Humber is a motoring brand that comes from the golden age of the industry in the UK. Starting life as a bicycle firm in the 19th century, it evolved to become part of the Rootes Group and produced high calibre vehicles. The Humber brand was finally put to bed in 1976, but it had already made some very influential classic cars that have stood the test of time, and that remain popular.
In the final years before the 20th century dawned, Humber built its first vehicle, which was a three wheeled car, taking its first steps into the market of four wheeled vehicles soon after in 1901 with a model known as the Beeston-Humber, after its town of manufacture. Over the next 30 years, it produced a number of stylish, expensive models including the Humber Humberette, the Humber 11 and eventually, the Humber Snipe.
The Snipe and the Super Snipe would become one of Humber's most enduring models. The Snipe range continued to offer a high end motoring experience, but was able to capture the attention of a mainstream audience thanks to a relatively affordable pricing structure. Humber made a point of offering the Snipe as a larger, more spacious alternative to traditional family vehicles of the period and it very much capitalised on the public desire for such cars.
The Super Snipe came in just before WWII in 1938, increasing the engine capacity to 4 litres over the traditional 3 litre block found in the standard Snipe. The fact that it could hit almost 80 miles per hour made it rather nippy at the time and once again, it was the competitive price point that allowed it to sell well and make a stir. The Super Snipe endured well into the 1960s, albeit in a radically changed form influenced by American designs from the 1950s. By this point, the Humber brand was not at the pinnacle of its performance and it eventually faded out in 1976 when Rootes Group owner Chrysler decided that its British range should all fall under the same brand.
There have been several other noteworthy Humber models, including the Sceptre, which was a spruced up take on the Hillman Super Minx and the Humber Pullman, which was a long wheelbase iteration of the Snipe. While there are many other classic car manufacturers from Britain's past, Humber vehicles have buckets of charm and benefit from being relatively unknown amongst a mainstream audience, intrinsically boosting their value amongst connoisseurs.
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