Singer Gazelle

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Singer Gazelle

Singer Gazelle

1956 - 1967 Series I
United Kingdom
4 cyl.
1390 cc
52.5 bhp @ 4500 rpm
4 spd. man
Top Speed:
80 mph / 126 km/h
Number Built:
2 star
With Singer becoming part of the Rootes group in 1955 the marque was only used as an exercise in re-badging, the Singer name being used to identify more upmarket Hillman models.

And so it was with the Singer Gazelle, which was simply an upmarket Hillman Minx, albeit with a few additional luxury appointments.
Launched in 1956, the Gazelle was an reasonably attractive car, typical of the new look British built cars of the mid 1950's.

Both the Minx and Gazelle featured an entirely new body, the style referred to during development as "Audax", which is Latin for "Bold". The designer, Raymond Loewy, had previously worked not only for Rootes, but also for Studebaker, amongst others, having been responsible for the 1949 Starlight Coupe.

As it turned out, neither the Singer Gazelle nor the Hillman Minx would be the first cars to use the new Audax body style, that honour falling to the Sunbeam Rapier (another re-badged Minx), first unveiled at the 1955 Motor Show.

The Gazelle didn't deviate from standard mechanical specification, at a time when "tried and proven" was seen by manufacturers as a fail-safe marketing strategy. The Gazelle had an independent coil spring front, semi-elliptic leaf springs rear and Lockheed hydraulic drum brakes. Thankfully though, Rootes had relaced their archaic sidevalve engine in 1954, and so both the Minx and Gazelle were fitted with the new 1390cc engine.

Over the years the engine grew from 1390 cc (in the Series I and II) to 1725 cc in the Series VI. A variety of manual transmissions, with column or floor change, and automatic transmissions were offered. For the automatic version, the Series I and II used a Lockheed Manumatic two pedal system (really only a semi-automatic), the Phase III a Smiths Easidrive and the V/VI a Borg Warner.

Despite competitng with an almost identical Hillman, the Gazelle managed to rack up just over 100,000 sales before it was replaced by an entirely new shaped car in 1967.

Also see:

The History of Singer
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