Humber Super Snipe Mk IV
My favourite car ever was a 1953 Humber Super Snipe. It had been laid up for ten years in a garage in Corfe Castle, Dorset, when we bought it in April 1972, with 40,000 miles on the clock. A friend had paid £40 for it, and sold it on to me for £60. It had a 4.138 litre engine, so was barely run in. You didn’t really need gears as it would go anywhere in 4th. It would go anywhere in 1st too, usefully as the column change was not positive. The engine had been designed for a Commer truck, and was presumably based on the modified Chrysler engine used in the wartime Mk 1 and Mk II.
Peter with car in 1972
Karen in July 1972
Sadly, the 1973 petrol crisis was the end of it. The exhaust fell off in December 1972, but I managed to get a Jaguar Mk X box welded in to replace it. Then petrol prices started rocketing. The exhaust change had seen its petrol consumption drop from 15 mpg to 11 mpg around town. Petrol ration coupons were issued (though never used). It was time for it to go. I sold it for £60, a rare car I didn’t lose money on, to a neighbour who intended to restore it to pristine condition for a concours d’elegance. We moved. Four years later we passed the block of flats again, and there it was, wheels off, engine out, a hulk, rusting quietly in the garden.
OK, on some of the photos the driver’s door looks different. A respray? A trick of the light? I don’t know – it was nowhere near as noticeable in real life.