Humber (car)

Humber (car)

Humber was a British automobile marque which could date its beginnings to Thomas Humber's bicycle company founded in 1868. In 1931 it was taken over by the Rootes brothers to become part of the Rootes Group. The range focused on luxury models, such as the Humber Super Snipe.

Thomas Humber went to school in Hull, which lies on the River Humber. However, this is the only connection between the Humber car and the City of Hull.


The first car was produced in 1898 and was a three-wheeled tricar with the first conventional four-wheeled car appearing in 1901. The company had factories in Beeston near Nottingham and Coventry. The Beeston factory produced a more expensive range known as Beeston-Humbers but the factory closed in 1908 after financial problems. Before the First World War a wide range of models were produced from the 600 cc Humberette to several 6 cylinder 6 litre models. In 1913 Humber was the second largest manufacturer of cars in the United Kingdom.

In 1925 Humber moved into the production of commercial vehicles with the purchase of Commer. In 1928 Hillman was added but independence ended in 1931 when the Rootes Brothers bought a majority shareholding.

During World War II, several armoured cars were produced under the Humber name, along with heavy-duty "staff" cars.

In the postwar era, Humber's mainstay products included the four-cylinder Hawk and six-cylinder Super Snipe. Being a choice of businessmen and officialdom alike, Humbers gained a reputation for beautifully-appointed interiors and build quality. The Hawk and the Super Snipe went through various designs, though all had a "transatlantic" influence.They offered disc brakes and automatic transmission at a time when these fitments were rare. A top-flight model, the Imperial, had these as standard, along with metallic paintwork and other luxury touches. The last of the traditional large Humbers were sold in 1968, when Chrysler, who by then owned the Rootes group, pulled the plug on production. Several V8 models had been in pre-production at this time, and several of these test examples survive today.

Its last car was the second generation of Humber Sceptre, a badge-engineered Rootes Arrow model. The marque was shelved in 1975 when all Hillmans became badged as Chryslers. The Hillman Hunter (another Arrow model) was subsequently badged as a Chrysler until production ceased in 1979 when Chrysler's European division was sold to Peugeot and the marque renamed Talbot. The Talbot marque was abandoned at the end of 1986 on passenger cars, although it was continued on vans for six years afterwards.

Main Models

* Humber 8 1902
* Humber 12 1902
* Humber 20 1903
* Humberette 1904 and 1911-15
* Humber 8/10 1905
* Humber 10/12 1905-07
* Humber 30/40 1908-09
* Humber 11 1912
* Humber 10 1919-21
* Humber 15.9 1919-25
* Humber 11.4 and 12/25 1921-25
* Humber 8/18 1922-25
* Humber 15/40 1924-28
* Humber 9/20 and 9/28 1925-30
* Humber 14/40 1926-29
* Humber 20/55 and 20/65 1926-29
* Humber 16/50 1928-32
* Humber 23.8 Snipe 1929-35
* Humber 16-60 Snipe 1933-35
* Humber 12 1933-37
* Humber 16 1936-40
* Humber Snipe 1929-47
* Humber Pullman 1930-54
* Humber Imperial 1938-67
* Humber Hawk 1945-67
* Humber Super Snipe 1938-67
* Humber Sceptre 1963–69, 1969-76
* Humber Vogue 1963-66 (Australia)

urviving cars

There is a thriving club, and many of these upmarket cars survive today.

The world's largest collection of Humber cars can be viewed at the Marshalls Post-Vintage Humber Car Museum in Hull. Includes 21 Humber cars dating from 1932-1970 on permanent display, plus 24 unrestored cars. [cite web|url=|accessmonthday=August 18 |accessyear=2006|title=BBC News UK Remembering the Humber] [cite web|url=|accessmonthday=August 18 |accessyear=2006|]

When the Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother visited Western Australia in the 1950s, a Humber was shipped over for her. It was left in a paddock, and was rediscovered and verified in 2002. It has since been restored and is currently privately owned.


ee also

* Humber Motorcycles
* Humber (bicycle)

External links

* [ The post vintage Humber Car Club]
* [ Marshalls Humber Car] (Museum)

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