Last week I mentioned that the 24 hour race at Le Mans has seen some epic failures. One manufacturer entered four cars but withdrew the fourth after the first three all crashed for the same reason. I asked what was the manufacturer. It was Singer with the Singer 9 which entered the 1935 Le Mans Tourist Trophy race where three of the four Singer 9 cars crashed because of steering failures before the fourth was withdrawn. In May 1936 W.E. Bullock who had been managing director from 1919 together with his son, general manager from 1931, resigned following criticism from the shareholders at their annual general meeting. No longer viable Singer & Co., Limited was dissolved in December 1936 and what had been its business was transferred to a new company – Singer Motors Limited. So there you go. And as an aside, my father once owned one of the 1935 Le Mans team cars.
So to this week. When you talk about “badge engineering”, one of the first automobile companies that comes to mind is BMC/British Leyland which produced such gems as the Morris 850, also as the Austin Mini, and the Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet. However, Central Europe also produced some corkers. One car, given the name as the second worst car in the world, had connections to Italy, Yugoslavia and Serbia, and were just badge engineered. What was it (or were they)?