Based on the Hillman Imp
, the Singer Chamois was introduced in October 1964. As was the case with Vanden-Plas
, a Singer badged Hillman really meant that the car was considerably more upmarket, a luxury car with a traditional image.
Changes to the Singer iteration included a beautiful polished walnut veneer dash, larger and much more comfortable seats, better instrumentation which included additional temperature and oil pressure gauges, and the heater came as standard kit.
As the Chamois was introduced nearly a year after the Imp, most of the initial teething problems had been sorted, however reliability alone would not help the car become a showroom success.
Improving on the Imp required more than a few cosmetic changes being made inside the cabin. The Imp was fitted with C41 crossplies that caused gradual understeer. Instead the engineers shod the Chamois with Dunlop SP41 radials fitted to wider (1/2") rim wheels - these bring far improved handling, proving to be neutral up to much higher speeds. Other differences included a heavier clutch and better sound damping.
With all the improvements made to the Chamois, the press were very kind to the newcomer, deeming it to be far better than the competition, which included some pretty good cars, such as the Riley Elf, Wolseley Hornet, Ford Anglia Super and Triumph Herald 12/50
The Mark II arrived in September 1965, although there were only very minor changes. Then in April 1967 there were a limited edition of Chamois Spring specials, and in
October 1968 the Mk II designation was discontinued.
Along with the rest of the range the Chamois was given a new dashboard layout with full width facia and round dials; new seats and upholstery and different external trim. Both the Chamois and Chamois Sport gained four headlights but lost their pretty veneer trim and had to make do with plastic 'wood' trimming instead.