This is Ashley Crossland’s 1954 SMX Roadster, the only known survivor of five prototypes. This one was prototype no. 2 .
The car has a fibreglass body and is built on a Roadster 4AD chassis with an SM1500 engine. Ashley acquired the car in 2016 – this picture was taken on the Dutch Lustrum Rally in 1995.
Previous owner, the late Bill Haverly said: “When is a Roadster not a Roadster? Singer’s answer to this little riddle was “When it’s an SMX”. And to prove the point they made the first of these prototype fibreglass bodied cars for display at the 1953 Motor Show.
Having been in production since 1939, the traditionally styled Roadster was showing its age, and a replacement was needed if the ailing company was to survive.
The Hunter saloon car was on the drawing board, and experimental GRP body panels were to be incorporated in some cars. Why not take these developments a stage further and make Britain’s first glass fibre bodied car? The new convertible would be based on the SM Roadster’s rolling chassis, so protocol demanded it retain the old name. In reality, its lines clearly show that, had it reached the production stage, there would be no mistaking it as a soft topped companion for the Hunter. But the market response to the new car was disappointing, and only a handful of SMX Roadsters ever left the factory, so the experiment was shelved.
This example, with right hand drive, was made in 1954 to further promotion, and was sold off in early 1955.”