Magazine Cover - Classic Cars For Sale - 1000s of Classic Car Reviews, How To Service & Maintenance Guides

Humber Company History

Published: 24th Mar 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!


Humber Archive

Magazine Subscription
The latest issue of Classic Cars For Sale is on sale now - Pick up your copy from all good newsagents including WHSmith or click here to subscribe now

Subscribe to Classic Motoring Magazine and save over 25%

Subscribe NOW

Available at all good newsagents including WHSmith

The origins of the Humber car company date back to 1868, with Thomas Humber’s bicycle building business. The firm was later involved with producing the three wheeled Pennington, and Humber motor tricycles, quadricycles and cars were built. In 1901 came a 4.5hp model, powered by a De Dion engine and featuring a steering wheel plus shaft drive – both innovative features which were ahead of their time. In the early years of the 20th Century, the 5hp Humberette made its significant mark in the growing light car market. More expensive models were built at Humber’s factory at Beeston in Nottinghamshire (compared with those produced in the company’s Coventry premises), but the Beeston facility closed in 1908.

Well-built family models predominated after the First World War, and in the late 1920s the firm’s products were selling well, famous models of the time including the 9/20, the two litre 14/40 and the six-cylinder 20/55. Following the takeover by the Rootes brothers in 1928, the range was revised and Humber models of the early 1930s included the six cylinder 16/50, the huge 3.5 litre Snipe and an even longer variation on the same theme, the Pullman. A much smaller saloon was the 1.7-litre Humber Twelve of 1933.

The firm was well known for its range of upmarket models (which were offered at reasonable prices), and by the end of the 1930s was offering only six-cylinder cars, including the new Super Snipe with its thumping 4-litre straight six. During World War II Humber vehicles contributed greatly to Britain’s fighting efforts, and following the conflict the company was able to build on the solid foundations of pre-War Rootes models.

The new Humber Hawk was derived from the 1.9-litre Hillman Fourteen of the late 1930s, and the Super Snipe and Pullman were attractive larger vehicles. During the late 1950s the new Hawk and Super Snipe models both featured unitary bodywork construction, and the Super Snipe had shrunk by comparison with previous models bearing the name.

A popular Humber was the luxurious, sporty Sceptre of 1963; this was a variation on the Hillman Super Minx/Singer Vogue theme, with revised bodywork and quadruple headlamps, plus standard- fit overdrive. As the 1960s progressed the larger Humber Hawk and Super Snipe disappeared, and ‘Arrow’ range versions of the posh Sceptre arrived. These were effectively badge-engineered versions of the contemporary Hillman Hunter and topped the Arrow line-up until the Humber name finally sank below the horizon in 1976.

Share This Article

Share with Facebook Share with Facebook

Share with Twitter Tweet this article

Share bookmark with Delicious Share bookmark with Delicious

Share with Digg Digg this article

Share with Email Share by email

User Comments

This review has 0 comments - Be the first!

Leave a comment

Keep it polite and on topic. Your email address will not be published. Please do not advertise products, all posts of this nature will be removed. We do not stock or supply any of these products, we independently review these products.

Subscribe Today
Latest Issue Cover - Click here to subscribe

Subscribe to Classic Motoring Magazine and save over 25%