Restoration completed by The Sammy Miller Museum
1904 Humber 402cc
Registration no. LY 965
Frame no. 136528
Engine no. 1738
Humber operated a factory at Beeston, Nottinghamshire from 1878 to 1908 and from 1887 onwards at Coventry, which is where this early motorcycle was made. The machine has a P&M (Phelon & Moore) engine and the same maker's two-speed gear with clutch and all chain drive, making it one of the most useable of Veteran motorcycles. Previously registered 'FC 8', the machine was purchased by the Morrell family, owners of the eponymous Oxford brewery that closed in 1998, for their son to travel to Oxford University. When he graduated some years later the machine was stored in the boathouse where it remained until the gardener was told to remove it. For the next 50 years the Humber remained outside at the rear of the boathouse. In the early 1950s, Arthur Hearn, a Henley-on-Thames motorcycle enthusiast, heard about the Humber and with the owner's permission was allowed to remove it. Mr Hearn re-commissioned the machine, replacing the wheel rims with modern equivalents, the originals having rotted away. He then rode it in the Pioneer Run from 1955 until his death in 1982.
An acquaintance of the Hearns, the current owner failed to buy the Humber when Arthur's collection was auctioned in May 1982 but was able to purchase it later that year, by which time the original registration had been removed. The Humber was ridden in the Pioneer Run a number of times in 'as purchased' condition but increasing unreliability meant that eventually it had to be renovated. The cycle parts were prepared but it was not until suitable wheel rims became available some 20 years later (in 2010) that further progress was made. A smashed elbow, suffered by the owner, curtailed work so Sammy Miller and Bob Stanley were enlisted to bring the Humber up to the fine condition it is in today. The engine has been completely rebuilt, with coil ignition replacing the original trembler arrangement (included in the sale). Sadly, the vendor's physical condition means that he has not been able to ride the machine since its completion in 2011.
Reregistered 'LY 965' (previously on an Elswick), this fully restored and most capable Veteran comes with an original Humber Owners Register badge, two Humber special spanners, sundry restoration invoices, old-style logbooks (x2), Pioneer Certificates (x3), expired MoT (August 2011), Swansea V5C document and a most substantial file of history (close inspection recommended).
- Please be advised that this machine will be offered with one old-style logbook, not two as stated in the catalogue. All other documentation is present as described.