Singer or Ringer?
Say, Che, what IS that purple car? "Runs like a sewing machine" is a phrase you don't come across often now, but once was common in the car world. It's a compliment, meaning that an engine is smooth and reliable ... though maybe a bit buzzy. Owners of Singer cars no doubt heard it regularly, although when directed at their vehicles, it was probably intended more as a gentle jibe. And they, no doubt, responded that Singer Motors Ltd. , founded by George Singer as a bicycle manufacturer in Coventry, England, in 1874, had nothing to do with the sewing machine company Isaac Merritt Singer and partner Edward Clark launched in New York in 1851. Singer – George, that is – first built motorized three-wheelers in 1901. A four-wheeler followed in 1905, and in 1912, the company achieved significant success with its Singer Ten, a sturdy two-seat roadster that was good on gas. Singer Motors was quick to adopt mechanical innovations, from steel frames to fluid-