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.
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.
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.
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.