June 25, 2006

A 1963 Humber Super Snipe (Series IV)

By John Ray

I have always wanted a really old car, and when age had slowed me down I thought it was time. Vintage cars are of course wonderful but you virtually need to be a mechanic to keep them going so I have compromised on a veteran car -- and not such a veteran one at that. I bought the 1963 Humber Super Snipe above off a family who had been driving it since new. It is a big old English car and, as such, bound to need lots of work to keep it going but I have a mechanic friend living just over the road so I think I can afford it! I remember that when they were new the Humbers were being advertised as being able to cruise on the open road at 100 mph but I am not going to try that. I am sure it would blow up if I tried it at this stage in its life.

The difference in handling of the two cars is of course enormous but I used to be a cab-driver many years ago so I am not bothered by big clumsy cars. The style of the Humber makes up for all else, in my view, particularly as the car has been very well-maintained and looks immaculate.

Collecting the Humber was rather fun. Everybody who heard about the impending purchase was enthusiastic and none more than an old friend who was born and bred in Coventry, England, where the Humber was built. The first car he ever drove was a Humber so he couldn't wait to see my Humber and came along with me to collect it. And my stepson Paul was equally enthusiastic. He and his wife drove us out to collect it and both were delighted by the car.

When we got the car home, we all had steak pies, teacake and tea on my verandah to celebrate.



After 12 years of satisfying motoring, I sold the Humber today. Its lack of power steering and my increasing frailty meant that I was having trouble driving it safely.

I sold it to an obviously rich guy who apparently had a collection of old cars. I provided the paperwork for him to re-register it but he did not bother

A fascinating thing about the Humber was how much praise it got. Wherever I stopped, people would congratulate me on it. I gather that some men buy expensive cars in the hope that people will admire their car. They rarely get that. Without intending to, however, I got the sort of praise that they could only dream of

Go to John Ray's Main academic menu
Go to Menu of recent writings
Go to John Ray's basic home page
Go to John Ray's pictorial Home Page (Backup here)
Go to Selected pictures from John Ray's blogs (Backup here)
Go to Another picture page (Best with broadband)