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1913 Two Humberette Vee-Twin kits
Registration No. Not Registered
Humber were old established bicycle makers in Coventry who started producing automobiles and by the early 1900s had developed a range of voiturettes mainly using French de Dion engines and transmissions. In 1903, Humber produced what was possibly Britain’s first effective light car, namely the 5 hp Humberette with 613 cc de Dion engine and 2-speed gearbox, with shaft drive.
By 1913 a new Humberette was being produced, with a 998 cc air cooled 50ᴼ vee-twin (84 x 90 mm) engine in a conventional light car chassis, and production continued until the outbreak of WWI. The cars were not unduly expensive at £120 as here in air cooled form, or water cooled engines were available for an extra £15.
The cars were described by the makers as ‘The Perfect Car in Miniature’ and the advanced chassis was of non-welded steel tubular construction, with transverse front leaf and quarter elliptic rear springs. A 3-speed and reverse gearbox with cone clutch and bevel-gear rear axle with transmission and rear wheel brakes and rack and pinion steering were all very advanced features for the period.
The two kits offered here consist of:
Kit 1: Chassis, front spring with shackles, front axle, 2 front wheels, 2 wheel rims and rear hubs (and 1 brake band), set of rear axle castings and tubes. New set of rear axle gears and differential castings, steering column complete with wheel, controls and pedal. New set of rear axle seal plate castings, engine complete with carburettor, magneto, clutch etc. Gearbox complete with brake drum and coupling, body frame including ironwork and door lock. 2 seats, boot box, part made fuel tank, pieces of upholstery for patterns, pair of acetylene lamps, hand brake lever, bonnet and scuttle panel.
Kit 2: Part chassis, with a lot of tubing to complete. Set of unmachined chassis lug castings and patterns, 1 wheel rim, steering column complete with wheel, control lever and pedal. Engine with clutch housing, gearbox casing and set of gears. Also included are an original handbook and sales brochure, a photocopied parts book and a quantity of detailed drawings and correspondence.
This large collection of parts would certainly allow an diligent restorer to produce a very authentic and correct 2-seater Humberette, with enough parts to start a second example. Pre-Great-War light cars are very hard to find now, and are sought after by enthusiasts to enter in popular events such as the famous ‘Festival of Slowth’, for which a 1913 vee-twin Humberette would seem to be well suited.