All Original 1965 Humber Super Snipe Estate

I don’t know why I see a 1958 Packard when I look at the front end of this 1965 Humber Super Snipe Series Va Estate, maybe it’s just the quad headlights (the first British car to receive them) or the decidedly late-1950s look of the car, in general. This rare and rarely-seen-in-the-US-anymore wagon can be found here on eBay in Wahoo, Nebraska and the seller has a $2,700 buy-it-now price listed or you can make an offer. Can that be right? Let’s check it out.

Just as interesting and unique storage space filler, this car has to be worth $2,700 all day long, why is it still for sale? It looks complete although they don’t show the rear of the interior at all. The body looks incredible and they say that it’s “pretty rust free“, which isn’t super encouraging but compared to a lot of vehicles that we see roll through the doors here at One Barn Finds Tower, this thing looks rock solid. There are two close-up photos of the rockers and it does look great for being almost as old as I am. I wish I could be this rust-free. The bottoms of the doors look like new. How can it be in this nice condition and still be only $2,700?

The unique two-piece rear door configuration is as cool as the name: Humber Super Snipe. I mean, come on, that’s just cool. The company started in the late-1800s and eventually became a part of the powerhouse Rootes Group of companies which included Sunbeam, Singer, Karrier, Commer, Hillman, and Humber. Humber quit producing cars in 1967 and this is the last series, known as Series V. The “a” designates that this car has an automatic transmission which was made by Borg-Warner. Humber sold cars in North America, including the US, from the late-40s until 1967 and how this car ended up in Nebraska has to be an interesting story.

The exterior looks like it would clean up very nicely and if it’s an original car as the seller says, and we have no reason to doubt their word, I’d want to keep it as original as possible. The interior needs a bit more work as you can see. It was a beautiful dash at one time and it could be again with some work. The front seats look like a very comfortable place to be and if they’re as original and nice in person as they look in the photos, hopefully they can be refurbished without replacing any of the leather. They don’t show us the rear of the car other than a slim peek from a shot of the headliner, but it looks packed with parts back there.

It looks like the air cleaner is lying under the hood which is a good thing, at least it’s there. I never like to see an open carburetor like that on a car that has been in storage for years as this one has been. But, they tell us that this beauty runs and drives so that’s a good sign! The engine is a 181 cubic-inch inline-six with 127 horsepower and the aforementioned BW-35 automatic transmission. It needs work on the brakes and will need the usual rubber replacement bits and other wear parts, but you can pretty much be guaranteed to have the only Humber Super Snipe Series Va Estate at any cars and coffee event. Have any of you owned a Humber Super Snipe, or seen one?

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Comments

  1. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    I’ve never seen one of these before. It does have a 50’s look to it though. Seems quite large for British Streets to me from pictures I’ve seen. Sure is different, if your one of those people that wants something different, this might be the one. For me I got to stay American.
    God bless America

    Like 10
  2. Fred W

    Hello Autozone? I need pads, rotors and calipers for a ’65 ….ummmmm…Humber Super Snipe …..(dial tone)… Hello? Hello?

    Like 36
  3. Arby

    Wonder what the regular Snipe looks like…

    Like 21
  4. Allan

    ‘Super Snipe’ gives new meaning to the ‘SS’ designation.

    Like 19
  5. Bultaco

    It’s amazing that it’s a 1965 car. It looks like a ‘58 Studebaker.

    Like 9
    • Martin Horrocks

      65 is at the end of the run. The shape is based on 55 Chevy, and dates from 56/7

      Like 4
    • Bob C.

      I was going to say a 58 Plymouth from the front view, but yes, the rest has a Studey wagon look to it.

      Like 5
  6. Mike Hawke

    I can remember seeing 2 of the sedans in the past 5 decades. Never a wagon. Probably don’t need more than one hand to count all of the Humber wagons remaining in the USA.

    Like 7
  7. R Soul

    Does anyone know what the knockout piece in the middle of the front bumper is for?

    Like 2
    • Chris Webster

      A crank handle. Seriously.

      Like 9
    • Chris Webster

      Crank handle. Yes, I’m serious.

      Like 5
      • R Soul

        Thanks Chris, I had no idea cars from the 60’s still came with crank handles.

        Like 2
      • Daymo

        Quite a few (Euro) cars came with space for a crank handle right up until the end of their lives, including Morris Minors and even Citroen 2CV’s!

      • Derek

        Some cars from the 80s came with crank handles…!

      • local_sheriff

        Citroën 2cv kept the crank handle till its production ceased in ’90. Lada Niva and Hindustan Ambassador are other ‘ancient’ cars that were in production into present time that also had the handle, though not sure whether their last versions were so equipped

        https://www.hemmings.com/stories/2020/11/06/ask-a-hemmings-editor-what-was-the-last-vehicle-that-could-be-cranked-by-hand

        Like 2
    • Gayle A MacLeod

      hole in bumper is a cover for hand crank in case the battery is dead. The covered hole in the sill plate is for the jack. These wagons were mostly used on estates and the larger size was not a problem. Finding parts isn’t hard either, just google Humber Super Snipe and you will find parts and service help.

      Like 3
  8. Rex Kahrs Member

    Those nuns would have washed my mouth out with soap if I’d said “Super Snipe”.

    And if it had sat, parked too long, would it have been a “guttersnipe”?

    I only have questions.

    Like 10
  9. Chris Webster

    A late uncle had one, replacing a Riley RMD, a Triumph 2500 replaced the Humber. The Snipe was his last Rootes car

    Like 6
  10. Howard A Member

    Where to start? 1st, a tip of the hat to the author, who just has a knack for these kinds of things. ( He must have some secret deal to find this stuff)
    A Humber( bless you) you know, I’ve known about Humbers for a while. I think a doctor once had one when I was a kid. It was just the name we mocked,and were too young to know just what neat cars they actually were. A Humber in Milwaukee just didn’t click. Common British folk drove Austins, but Humbers were very nice cars, as you can kind of see, even in it’s derelict condition and not just any bloke drove one. I’d say, kind of the Buick of our cars. I read, that motor was derived in 1938 and powered just about everything and anything British, from limos to lorries. What to do with it? I think, by the time you restored this, if even possible, you’d be better off, booking a vacation to merry old England, find a decent one and ship it back. Very cool find, and I bet a lot of folks learned something here. Thanks, Scotty!!

    Like 18
  11. JACKinNWPA JACKinNWPA Member

    Not surprised, sold.

    Like 6
  12. Gary

    Nice to see a car at a realistic price. The so-called “estate” variation was rare when new, so an excellent find. But what to do from here? It’ll cost a fortune to restore.

    Like 4
    • Martin Horrocks

      These were popular as tow cars with impecunious racers in UK in 1960s because big, strong, reliable and cheap. It would look great towing a trailer with a vintage racer loaded up.

      Like 8
    • Andy B

      Good luck finding parts tho. A quick look on the rock auto site shows this car, but when you start looking for parts…. Not much there. Maybe there are other sources across the pond? I honestly never heard of this make before, so I had to click and read. Learn something new every day! Always liked seeing the oddball stuff on here, after awhile all the mustang/camaro/cudas just seem to blur on…

      Like 4
      • Chinga-Trailer

        KIP Motor Parts in Dallas and Google may be all you need to know!

        Like 1
  13. Dan D

    As an avowed English car nut, it was great to see this listed. There was a black with red interior Humber SS sedan that used to attend many of the same car shows that I did here in NJ back in the early 2000’s. Gorgeous car. Kind of like a small Checker, but much nicer materials in the interior. Wood dash, leather seats, good quality carpet…. Really a neat car.

    Like 12
  14. Howard P

    The pre-war Snipe and from 1938 Super Snipe (Snipe is a wading bird BTW) were designed to compete with Jaguar and Armstrong Siddeleys (another up market British make you Americans may not have heard of). Purchased by bank managers and similar that couldnʻt afford a Rolls / Bentley to show you had made it, so I guess similar to Buick / Olds? Reginald and William Rootes were great admirers of American style making regular trips to the US to study US production methods and car / van design as the American market was very important to them after WWII. Some of their sporting models, while designed in-house, were inspired by the work of Raymond Loewry so it is no surprise they have the look of many American models. The designer of the Super Snipe, Ted Green was clearly a fan of Detroit styling and their are lots of clues from various General Motors products, like the lip on the rear doors, copied from a ʻ55 Chev 4 dr. The engine is not the old side valve / overhead valve 4.1/4.7 litre 6 cylinder that powered the earlier Super Snipe and Commer / Karrier trucks Howard A (I know these engines well having worked on them). Rootes approached Armstrong Siddeley to develop and design this motor for them (The two companies had collaborated on other projects before and this motor was also used in enlarged form in the final Armstrong Siddeley car). Initially in 2.6 form, these proved underpowered and the engine was increased to 3 litre. There are still a few Super Snipes running around in New Zealand but Iʻm not sure we have any Estate car versions (Station Wagons to you guys! Most common English makes Zephyr / Vauxhall had their Estate cars built by ʻoutsideʻ coach works such as Abbotts but as far as I can find out, these were built in house at the Humber Ryton on Dunsmore plant. Parts are often still available from enthusiast Rootes Group clubs but rubber parts are very hard to source. These were smooth and silent tourers that had the smell and opulence of an English ʻmenʻs clubʻ.

    Like 7
  15. Art Boyan

    Drove a 66 Humber Super Snipe Mark III sedan in high school, late 60’s. It was a great car. White w/red leather interior. Had elegant fold-down wood food trays (matching the dash) in the back and seats that were super-comfortable. The auto trans had a “click-down” on the shifter for a “sport-mode”, such as it was. I loved that car…can’t find them anymore!

    Like 4
  16. Jiří

    The front-end looks like a little bit like Checker Marathon to me.. maybe just because of those four headlights and grille.

    Like 3
  17. Alan

    My mum had a 1956 Humber Hawk. Humber’s were definitely luxury cars back in the day.

  18. Derek

    I’ve driven a saloon – years ago – but have never even seen an estate. They’re good at making stately progress at a decent rate. I think that the idea was that the interior replicated the feel of your Gentlemen’s Club! There was an even more upmarket version marketed as the Imperial – I think it had the same basic bodyword, but it’s hard to tell from the adverts of the time – which was aimed at those who had personal drivers, butlers and so on; it had a partition between front and rear.

    Like 4
    • Howard P

      Same body shell Derek, just luxuriously appointed and bristling with extras (standard stuff on American Sedans :-) ) added by well known outside coachbuilders Thrupp and Maberley. Found out part assembled bodyshells were shipped to Carbodies of Coventry to be built into the Estate cars. Another thing to mention is there was a 4 cylinder version of this car and estate wagon with single headlights called the Humber Hawk, (bird names for the models being used since the mid 30s)

      Like 2
  19. Steve smith

    I owned one of these but a sadan back in the end of the 70’s in new Zealand was a great car very solid and had a fantastic interior but hungry on fuel.
    Most of them ended up demolition derby cars here as they were strong shame as they were a class act.

    Like 7
  20. jeff

    seems to look a lot like a 57 or 58 stude wagon

    Like 2
  21. Mark Member

    Reminds me of Professor Hubert Hubert in Lolita. I can see him in this Humber!

    • Karen Bryan

      That’s Humbert Humbert. My all-time favorite car name.

  22. Joe Sewell

    Recalling the Beatles song ‘HELP!”……

  23. Howard A Member

    I tried to find the meaning of “Snipe” and why a car company would name their cars such. Of course, the meaning that comes up most, is “someone that shoots from a concealed place” ( I doubt what they had in mind) but some humorous ones come up as well. Including, a long billed bird, a cigarette butt, a bottle of wine, a member of the engineering part of a ship, malicious remarks, but can’t find the reason they called them “Snipes” in the 1st place. “Super” is pretty obvious. Anyone?

    • Dan D

      As noted above, it’s a bird. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snipe

      Like 2
    • Howard P

      Humber gave the car this name when they released it at the Motor Show in 1928 and I guess it was a time when British car manufacturers were looking for catchy names that would appeal. Animal and bird names were used by a number of companies – Leyland produced a whole range of trucks named after animals and sea creatures (Octopus). Super Swallow was the name used by William Lyons for the motorbike sidecars and then bodies for Austin 7s he made – which ultimately lead to Jaguar, and there was the Riley Kestrel which admittedly came a little later in the early 30s. Rootes also named the 4 cylinder version of the Snipe the Humber Hawk. In your area, Kissel had the White Eagle in the 20s so I guess we can just put it down to the marketing department thinking it was a catchy idea to use a birdʻs name with the connotations that go with that bird. Of course, US cars used a number of bird names in the 50s – 70s???

  24. Pete

    One barn finds tower- hahaha.

  25. Dave croydon

    Humbers are great cars. Quite up market as per comments above. I went to see/buy an estate version the same as this but in better condition. stored in a garage in Montreal about 25 yers ago. Stupidly didn’t buy it (you can’t buy them all) Often wonder if it is still there.

    Like 1
  26. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    In the late 60s, a guy in my high school in upstate New York who was known for fixing up old cars one day somehow got hold of one of these (I’m guessing around a 1953 model) which he got running and drove for some time until something broke and he had no way to find the part(s) to repair it. Never saw it again after that. It is probably sitting in a field somewhere.

  27. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: someone got this one for $2,700!

  28. Mitchell Ross Member

    Humber actually continued into the 70s with the Sceptre. It was an upscale, leather and wood version on the nearly immortal Hillman Hunter. The featured car, luckily for me was far enough away to keep it out of my driveway in Brooklyn, where it could have parked next to my 1948 Humber bicycle.

    • Howard P

      Youʻve mentioned your Humber bicycle Ross which is, of course, where Humber started in the 1880s leading on (as happened with so many companies in England) to motorbikes (basically an engine on a bicycle!) and so to cars. But what is not generally known is for a few years Humber also built aircraft! The first air mail was reputedly carried by a Humber in 1910 in, of all places, India!

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