Monday, 18 June 2012

The Royal Humber

The Daily Telegraph has begun a new series about driving The Queen's cars. In Part One, the Humber Super Snipe Drophead is taken on a ride:-

In 1953 the Queen and Prince Philip embarked on the first-ever world tour by a reigning monarch.

They left London and visited Bermuda and Jamaica, where they boarded the SS Gothic and sailed through the Panama Canal and on to Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.

The 1953 Royal Tour was kept on the road by this very special Humber Super Snipe Drophead.

Humber Super Snipes gained a phenomenal reputation for toughness in the Second World War when they were used as staff cars, including Field Marshal Montgomery's 'Old Faithful'.

After driving the Super Snipe, the Telegraph's Andrew English reports:
'A few miles at the wheel of Denis Cunningham's royal drophead Super Snipe leaves you with the impression that royal chauffeurs must have been tiny. This conversion maximised rear leg room at the expense of a front bench seat so far forward that you are virtually on top of the big steering wheel. 
'The 100bhp, 4.1-litre straight-six provides oodles of torque virtually from idle, but the column-mounted four-speed change has not worn its years well. You have to hold it in second and that leaves you an arm short when manoeuvring on those big white-walled tyres'.

Top speed was quoted at 81.8mph with 0-60mph in 20.6sec and 15mpg. While this 15ft 7¼in long, 1.9-ton six seater is compact by contemporary limo standards, it still feels ponderous and huge on modern roads.


Elendil son of Amandil said...


You have a very fine blog. A most enjoyable read.

Timothy Belmont said...

Many thanks indeed! Always delighted to receive positive comments.