humbers

Rare classic Humber cars used by the Queen Mother and Wallis Simpson are up for sale

The classic cars will go under the hammer later this month

Carla Challis

Ever fancied owning a car with royal pedigree? Now's your chance, as a fleet of classic Humber cars are up for auction, including the Queen Mother's motor and Wallis Simpson's vehicle, which she and Edward VIII used to drive around London in secret.

The Queen Mother's Humber

The Queen Mother's 1950s Humber is up for auction

16 vintage Humber vehicles make up the collection, belonging to Allan Marshall from Hull, and will go under the hammer later this month. Along with royalty, the collection also boasts cars that have been used in films including A Royal Night Out and 60s spy thriller Operation Crossbow. In their heyday, Humbers were the car of choice for royals and prime ministers, including Sir Winston Churchill who owned five.

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The Queen Mother

The Queen Mother was a fan of the Humber

The collection includes a 1952 Super-Snip MKIII that belonged to the Queen Mother, which delivered her to church during the reign of her husband King George VI, and is said to bear marks from her fingernails on the door handles inside the car.

Also up for auction is a 1930s 80bhp Snipe, found in a Northamptonshire scrapyard and was used by Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. It's believed the couple used the car to drive around London in secret – blacked out windows meant passers-by couldn't see who was inside.

Wallis Simpson's Humber

The car Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII used to drive was found on a scrapyard

"They used it to get around London in secret," commented Allan. "Thanks to its small back window you couldn't see who was inside. It was made for privacy. The Wallis Simpson Humber has always been popular with Americans because she was the closest thing they ever really had to a queen." 

Wallis and Edward in the 1930s

Wallis Simpon and Edward VIII in the 30s

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Another highlight in the sale is a Humber Imperial built for King George VI, who died before it could be delivered. King George VI was a big fan of the Humber, and took delivery of his first Humber in 1935. He was said to be so impressed by it that he ordered 47 to be sent to British embassies around the world.

Humber Limited was listed as a manufacturer of cars, bicycles and motorcycles in 1887 after Initially starting out as a cycle business in 1868 owned by Thomas Humber. Produced in Beeston, near Nottingham, Stoke and Coventry, they gained admiration for their robust quality and reliability and it’s claimed they are the first series production cars made in England. The cars, sold through Hanson Auctioneers, are expected to fetch between £200,000 and £250,000.

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