This is the story of the SINGER VOGUE Mk III, owned by Ivan Nedelev of the Plovdiv Automobile Club Retro in Bulgaria. Ivan tells us:
The history of the car started back in 1965. Before me it was owned by my grandfather’s brothers. This is the only Vogue Mk III in Bulgaria. The first owner bought the car on 09.01.1965 from the Rootes Group factory in Coventry, England (the invoice is still available). The car was designed with a left-hand drive. This model is the third of the Vogue series (Singer Vogue Mk III), with a total of 10,000 copies manufactured from 1964 to 1965.
skills of the owner, whereby cylinder liners were fitted, pistons were cast, segments and bearings were adapted. Consequently, technical solutions were found for each mechanical failure. At the same time, all original parts were preserved and were subsequently restored and reinstalled. Just a year before 2004 the car was out of operation. It was carefully covered with tarpaulin and installed on raised logs. The chrome elements were preserved and oil was poured in the cylinders. Restoration began in September 2004. We started a gradual disassembly, making a full inventory of every bolt and part. The process was facilitated by the presence of the complete set of the repair
The car was driven to Bulgaria under its own power and registered there in August 1966. During all the years up to 1974, the car was kept in a perfect condition due to its daily use. After 1974 it experienced serious engine failure because of the systemic use of substandard fuel, and an overhaul was required. In those years this was a difficult task due to the lack of even the most basic spare parts, especially those needed to repair the engine. Nevertheless, the repair was completed thanks to the technical
documentation, specifications of spare parts and operating instructions. At the same time we started looking for information on any available original spare parts to maximize the effect of the restoration.
very difficult to find and restore front grille, as well as most turn signals and chrome-plated lights. The long hours spent in e-bay allowed us to obtain original reversing lamps and the missing rear emblem. Some of the valuable items bought on e-bay are still in the process of restoration and installation (original radio and Smiths clock). The headlights are in a very good state and despite the available replacements (also bought on e-bay), we have not changed them. We were surprised to find working original Lucas lamps while dismantling the lighting system. All dashboard and electrical installation devices work flawlessly and did not need restoration, except for the starter (Lucas inertia starter). A structural disadvantage of this type of starter causes frequent failure of the inertia mechanism, which requires very precise tuning. This was fully repaired (collector, brushes, stator winding and bushings).
We resolved the rubber seal problem, an issue faced by every restorer, only in part, by managing to locate just the windshield seal in the original, which was completely destroyed and it took one full year until we found a replacement in the autumn of 2006. The rear window seal was kept in perfect condition thanks to its specific design. We have yet to find replacements for the front and rear quarter windows. We resolved the problems which occurred during the restoration of most of the chrome parts by buying the most distinctive of the original chrome elements from ebay.co.uk. Thus we managed to replace all the engraved side strips, the unique chrome hubcaps and wheel rings, the
The next stages of the restoration took place a year later (after the car was already in operation and had taken part in several retro races, testing its performance) and, naturally, they were related with the operation of the engine and braking system. We had already found one Dutch website for ordering a wide range of spare parts for Rootes Group vehicles, and we decided to do a complete overhaul of the engine, including fitting new, standard-size cylinder liners, replacing pistons, segments, main and rod end bearings, camshaft bearings, valves, timing chain and timing gears, as well as replacement of all gaskets. We performed a thorough check of the carburettor by replacing
some of its elements. The distributor, all brake and clutch cylinders were also replaced.
8000 km after the overhaul (now), several car races and long-distance rides, we can safely say that the car works perfectly. The car has won prizes and distinctions at each race and exhibition, but so far only in Bulgaria.
About me: Ivan Ivanov Nedelev, DOB 21/06/79. Ever since I was a child I have been a fan of cars and motorbikes. Restoring the Singer was one of my childhood dreams come true. Apart from this I am also a fan of vintage guitars. I have been interested in music since I was 17 and I have managed to collect some unique guitars. For 14 years I play the guitar in my band, the FREE STYLE (www.myspace.com/bgfreestyle).
The Singer automobile inspired the production of one of the band’s videos. For the last three years I have been a member and organizer of the Plovdiv Automobile Club Retro.
The Restoration Begins
My father and great-uncle, first owner of the car.
Work in progress
My Trophy Cabinet.
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