Hardwick Spares brings together over 50 years of expertise in restoration and re-manufacture of Singer classic car spare parts. Run from a purpose-built facility in Lincolnshire, UK, the company supplies customers all over the world.
Hardwick Spares was born from the passions of Dave Hardwick. As a child in the 1930s he grew up during a golden era of British car manufacture and motor sport. He was passionate about cars and in his early 20s he bought his first Singer 9 Le Mans; an iconic two-seater, rear-wheel-drive, soft-top roadster, famed for its successes at Le Mans road race events. From there, Dave went on to buy and restore several similar cars and invariably began to acquire and hold original spare parts.
In his youth, Dave trained as an apprentice pattern maker, handcrafting wooden patterns of precision machine parts. These patterns were used for creating moulds, within which metal machine parts were cast. As his passion for the Singer Le Mans grew and the availability of spare parts declined, Dave combined his skills in precision engineering with his network of contacts and began manufacturing new parts. Once a pattern or tooling had been created, it was often more cost effective to manufacture multiple copies at once and it was then that Dave started to add re-manufactured precision parts to his already large collection of original spares.
Dave was a charismatic character and his passion for Singers and for classic vehicles was contagious. He was an active member of the Singer Owners Club and along with his wife Sheila, was a regular attendee at the annual Singer National Day and other club calendar events. He initially started selling spare parts to fellow club members and over the decades he established himself as the “go to” authority and supplier of spare parts.
Dave Hardwick died in 2013, aged 81. He was much loved and is dearly missed by family and all that enjoyed his energy and passion for classic cars. In his later years, Dave’s eldest two children Steve and Sally became more involved in his projects. At the time of Dave’s death, Steve and Sally, then in their 50s, had each grown-up immersed in Dave’s passion and they too had become very familiar with the cars, parts, catalogue, suppliers and customers. Although it was naturally a difficult time, Steve and Sally, were able to quickly pick up the reins and continue to supply customers.
Over the last five years, Steve and Sally have worked hard to modernise systems, organise stock and establish a dedicated premises from which to operate. For decades Dave distributed a paper catalogue and took orders over the telephone; in 2018 the family have translated the original catalogue into an online shop and have begun the process of adding further descriptions and photographs.
Steve and Sally remain committed to building on the foundations established by Dave and to continue to supply spare parts.
Dave owned many classic cars (and motorbikes) over his lifetime, but the prize of his collection is a 1935 Singer Le Mans 1½ litre that carries the number plate BGN 1. This car has an impressive history having competed in many events in the 1930s including the Liege-Rome-Liege, Monte Carlo Rally, Le Mans 24 hour race, Mille Miglia and Italian Foreign Challenge Trophy; all at the hands of Merlin Minshall, a colourful character and member of the Special Branch of British Naval Intelligence (and colleague of Ian Fleming, inventor of James Bond). BGN 1 remains in the family and can often be seen at Singer and other classic car events with Steve and Sally, occasionally accompanied by Sheila.