Singer Special Found! The Tale of Torquie – Part 2


Above: Ron Pierce’s Singer Special Arrives – “Torquie” Finds A New Home

Note:  Click here to read part 1 of this story


Hi Gang…

“I’ll bring the car to you – it’s not that long of a drive.” 

That’s what Ron Pierce told me after I bought his Allied Swallow Singer Special back around 2016.  And what an adventure it was for all of us involved.  That story is the topic for today.

Here’s one of the first photos that Ron Pierce sent to me in 2014

Ron Pierce’s Allied Singer Special

Ron had owned the Singer Special since the 1960s.  In fact, in part 1 of this story, he remembered the day his friend, Lawrence Showalter who had built the car, picked up the body and stopped by his house in Petaluma, California.  That was in late 1953 or early 1954.  For me, when you purchase a handbuilt car like this from the 1950s or earlier, you not just become the owner but you become the steward of its history and its caretaker.  That’s exactly the story here with the car I acquired from Ron Pierce.

I had first heard from Ron in the summer of 2014.  We were just getting ramped up for the Leo Lyons Custom Mercury restoration but Ron and I kept in touch throughout the next year.  When we were accepted and then showed our Leo Lyons Custom Mercury on the lawn at Pebble in 2015, we had our chance to visit Ron and his Allied – during our Pebble Beach trip.  And by the way, I have a habit of cramming in as much as possible anytime we hit the road.  Case in point…saving a LaSaetta Sports Car.

Back in 2012 when we landed on the west coast to show our 1947 Kurtis-Omohundro Comet at Pebble Beach, I grabbed one of my best friends out there – Randy Abernathy – and we raced to rescue a lost LaSaetta Sports car that another friend, Jeff Spence, had found.  Why did we race?  Because in August, 2012 the fires that California are so famous for were burning strong and heading toward Jeff’s location near Napa Valley.

Pedal to the metal, we rented a car trailer and blazed a trail to go get that car.  We took photos of the burned hills on the way home with the LaSaetta tucked safely away on the trailer.  Thanks again to Randy Abernathy and Jeff Spence for their help.

Click Here To Read About Saving the LaSaetta Before The First – Classic & Sports Car, March, 2013

So we hit the ground in California and drove south to visit our friend Ron and his Allied Swallow “Torquie” in Shafter, California.   As everything we do, Undiscovered Classics is not a solitary effort.  This time we had Kyle Feller and Dennis Gerdes with us.  We all got a chance to spend some time checking out the Allied and getting to know Ron.  I have always said that the cars lead us to the greatest of friendships and adventures.  This one with Ron Pierce.  Check out some of the photos we took on that August day in 2015 below.

From Left to Right: Rick D’Louhy, Dennis Gerdes, Ron Pierce and Kyle Feller

From Left to Right: Ron Pierce, Dennis Gerdes, Rick D’Louhy and Kyle Feller

The Man! Rick D’Louhy

Rick D’Louhy and Kyle Feller

Getting Torquie Home to Tampa, Florida

After buying the Singer Special, Ron Pierce had a proposal for me.  Rather than hire a transport company to move it to my home in Tampa, Florida hire Ron and his friend to do it.  Sounded like a good plan to me.  Ron and his friend of many years, Don Bender, trailered the Singer Special from Shafter, California to Tampa, Florida – a 5,500 mile ‘round trip.

Apparently Ron likes adventures as I do.  I was jealous.  I almost wanted to fly out and join them for the trip from California to Florida.  Traveling across the states in a car is heaven for me.  We did it when I was young and I enjoy it still to this day.  The reason Ron offered to bring the car to me was he was going to pick up a new purchase – a plane – near my home and take it back to California.  So before leaving on the return journey, Ron and his friend Don stopped off in Lakeland, Florida to pick up a restored 1946 Ercoupe aircraft for Don. Quite a cross-country adventure for them both 🙂   Let’s check out some of the photos from their eastern “ho” adventure.

Who Can Pass Up A Dairy Queen on the Road? Not me and evidently not Ron and Don.

Torquie Arrives at my Home in Tampa, Florida. Ground Zero for Undiscovered Classics 🙂

Arriving at My House in Tampa, Florida

Here are some photos of Ron and Don unloading the car and even a shot of one of the cars (the Galileo) that was lurking under the car covers.

Ron Pierce Unpacking the Singer Allied

Left to Right: Ron Pierce and Don Bender

Left To Right: Ron Pierce and Don Bender

 

Geoff Hacker with Ron Pierce

Next Step for Torquie

We’re in the process here at Undiscovered Classics on not just saving and restoring cars, but making these rare designs available for future generations.  So far we’ve produced molds for:

  • Byers SR-100
  • Bangert Manta Ray
  • Sorrell SR-100
  • Covington’s Tiburon Coupe
  • CRV Piranha
  • And most recently, the larger version of the Allied Cisitalia Coupe called the Allied Blackhawk

Click Here To Learn More About Our Newly Built Vintage Bodies

Before restoration of Ron Pierce’s Singer Special, we’ll restore the body and pull a mold.  The wheelbase will be variable so that the bodies can accommodate a Singer 91 inch or MG 94 inch wheelbase.  So….anyone interested in creating a newly built but vintage style Singer Special?  If you do, you’ll have Ron Pierce and the legacy of his “Torquie” Singer Special to thank.

Is A Singer Special In Your Future?  It Might Be As We Embark on the Next Mold To Reintroduce These Special Cars.  Artwork by Dan Palatnik, Rio de Janeiro

Summary:

Singer Sports Cars are pretty cool and I have more than one.  Did I tell you own the most famous Singer Race Car that exists today?  Well that story, my friends, is for another day.

Hope you enjoyed the story, and remember…

The adventure continues here at Undiscovered Classics.

Geoff


Comments

Singer Special Found! The Tale of Torquie – Part 2 — 11 Comments

  1. I can’t hardly wait until part 3 of this story is out, yes there is a part 3 to this.
    After Ronald Pierce and Don Bender delivered the Allied Swallow Singer Special to Tampa Florida.
    They drove to near Lakeland Florida to a 1946 Ercoupe Airplane that Don Bender had purchased.
    After removing the wings and loading it on their trailer they headed back to California.
    Photos and story to follow in part 3.

  2. The best racing success of the Singer Specials must have gone to Roger Barlow’s Southern Calif team. Alloy bodies, cycle fenders as long as that was permitted, and at last one Road and Track cover.

  3. There may be a 3rd part to this story.
    The loading of a Bright Shiny 1946 Ercoupe Aircraft and 2 men head for home in California.
    With pictures and all.

    • There may be a 3rd part to this story.
      The loading of a Bright Shiny 1946 Ercoupe Aircraft and 2 men head for home in California.
      With pictures and all.

    • I can’t hardly wait until part 3 of this story is out, yes there is a part 3 to this.
      After Ronald Pierce and Don Bender delivered the Allied Swallow Singer Special to Tampa Florida.
      They drove to near Lakeland Florida to a 1946 Ercoupe Airplane that Don Bender had purchased.
      After removing the wings and loading it on their trailer they headed back to California.
      Photos and story to follow in part 3.

      • @Ron Pierce – Let’s see if we can get part 3 up in the next week. I just finished the Singer part of our website (look in the Menu bar for the word “Singer” and click on it ) so the timing is good. Thanks for checking in Ron. Best, Geoff

  4. we had a rental singer sports in Honolulu in the summer of ’54. a little four-seat roadster with a fold down luggage carrier at the rear. I loved the chronometric tach and speedometer…the last chronological instrument I saw on a new car was on a fiat 595ss at our dealership in ’70. apparently singers weren’t selling well on the west coast so they were sent to Hawaii to become rentals. it never let us down; first ohh engine I’d ever seen!

  5. I like these stories especially when they have a lot of pictures. It looks like your Singer Special used that short through gear shift adapter that was available from Vaughn Singer. This will be a fun project.

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