CHASSIS NO: 8805020HX0
• 1 of 124 produced and 1 of only 28 known survivors
• Haartz cloth three-position top
• Connolly leather seating
This lot is available for online bidding at Proxibid.com, LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com
OHV six-cylinder engine, 113 HP, four-speed all-synchromesh gearbox, coil spring independent front suspension; wheelbase: 103.7”
The Humber Super Snipe was introduced in October 1938, derived by combining the four-litre inline six-cylinder engine from the larger Humber Pullman with the chassis and body of the Humber Snipe, normally powered by a three-litre engine. The result was a car of enhanced performance and a top speed of 79 mph — fast for its day. Its design was contributed to by American engine genius Delmar "Barney" Roos who left a successful career at Studebaker to join Rootes in 1936.
The Super Snipe was marketed to upper-middle-class managers, professional people, and government officials. It was relatively low-priced for its large size and performance and was similar to American cars in appearance and concept, providing a value for the money. Within a year of its introduction, World War II broke out in Europe; however, the car continued in production as a British military staff car. In 1946, British post-war civilian production resumed, and the Super Snipe evolved through several versions, each designated by a Mark number, each generally larger, more powerful, and more modern, until production ended in 1957 with the Mark IVB version. While the post-World War II home market for the car continued as before, the Rootes Group also marketed the car for export. The Super Snipe was also relatively successful in Australia, where it was locally assembled from kits, beginning with the Mark IV version in 1952. Humber recommenced production after World War II with two models, the four-cylinder Hawk and six-cylinder Snipe. The Super Snipe evolved by putting the four-litre engine from the pre-war Pullman and Imperial models into the Snipe chassis. In 1948, a 3.5-inch wheelbase stretch distinguished the Super Snipe Mk II. Humber did not produce open models; however, a small number of chassis were sent to coachbuilders Tickford Ltd. at Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, for drophead bodies in 1949 and 1950.
This stunning Super Snipe was delivered new to New Zealand, where it remained until 2008, when it was exported to Alberta, Canada. While in New Zealand, it was the subject of several magazine articles. Subsequently, it was sold in March 2009 to a Southern California collector. Prior to leaving New Zealand, it was the subject of an eight-year restoration. An intense, every nut and bolt rebuild, the renovation comprised a complete overhaul of the drivetrain, interior, and exterior paint and trim. The Sand Beige body is nicely complemented by a tan Haartz cloth three-position top and sumptuous tan Connolly leather seating. The brightwork, tastefully understated, is in excellent condition. The engine runs smoothly, the four-speed manual gearbox shifts easily, and the car runs down the road silently. The braking system has been rebuilt and recently serviced and performs like new.
There were only 124 Humber Super Snipe Mk II Dropheads produced, and the registrar of survivors has documented that 28 are presently known to exist. Of the 28 known survivors, this car is believed to be the only one in North America. For those wishing to acquire a truly rare, unusual, and stylish automobile of superior quality to add to a collection that will garner attention at any automotive gathering, this stunning example of European style and elegance presents a unique opportunity.