1904 Humberette 'Royal Beeston' 6½hp Two-seater  Chassis no. 2109 Engine no. B5220
Lot 209
1904 Humberette 'Royal Beeston' 6½hp Two-seater
Registration no. AP 413 Chassis no. 2109 Engine no. B5220
Sold for £ 48,000 (US$ 67,021) inc. premium

Lot Details
1904 Humberette 'Royal Beeston' 6½hp Two-seater  Chassis no. 2109 Engine no. B5220 1904 Humberette 'Royal Beeston' 6½hp Two-seater  Chassis no. 2109 Engine no. B5220 1904 Humberette 'Royal Beeston' 6½hp Two-seater  Chassis no. 2109 Engine no. B5220 1904 Humberette 'Royal Beeston' 6½hp Two-seater  Chassis no. 2109 Engine no. B5220 1904 Humberette 'Royal Beeston' 6½hp Two-seater  Chassis no. 2109 Engine no. B5220
1904 Humberette 'Royal Beeston' 6½hp Two-seater
Registration no. AP 413
Chassis no. 2109
Engine no. B5220


  • Thomas Humber set up in business as a cycle maker in 1868, graduating like so many of his contemporaries into motorcycle, tricycle, forecar and motor car manufacture and even aeroplanes were on the agenda at the time of Thomas Humber's death in 1910. The latter part of the 19th Century saw Humber sucked into the mighty H.J.Lawson empire, manufacturing motorcycles and De Dion Bouton-type tricycles, however by 1900 relations with Lawson were wisely severed and Humber Ltd. commenced motor car manufacture independently.

    Louis Herve Coatalen was by 1901 a key and influential member of the Humber design staff and by 1903 single, twin and four cylinder cars appeared in Humber's sales catalogues. Factories were set up at Beeston and Coventry and perhaps the most commercially successful model introduced in 1903 was the single cylinder, 5hp model. These cars followed what was by then conventional layout with a forward mounted, vertical, single cylinder engine set in a tubular chassis, driving through a two speed gearbox. The 613cc engine developed some 5hp at 1,500rpm and the car weighed a little over 5cwt. Here was a serious challenge to the likes of De Dion Bouton, Oldsmobile and Peugeot.

    By January 1904 it was announced that almost 500 of these light cars had been built and a Royal Warrant was awarded in 1904 by the Prince of Wales. The new and significantly more powerful 6½hp, 773cc models, introduced that year and built at Beeston, became 'Royal Beeston' Humberettes and by now were equipped with a three forward speed and reverse gearbox. The Beeston models were superior in various respects to the Coventry built cars, featuring side doors and a governed engine with pedal accelerator, while by 1904 wooden artillery wheels had replaced the more fragile wire wheels of the early models. The 'Royal Beeston' Humberette was priced at 160 guineas, some 10 guineas dearer than the Coventry cars. The very high survival rate of these cars is testimony to their design and build quality.

    It is known that this car, seemingly first registered with East Sussex County Council, belonged to one Harry Gough of Goldthorpe, South Yorkshire, in Edwardian days. Garage man Frank Harrison of nearby Mexborough, who had joined his father in the long established family motor business in that town, discovered the car in 1955 and was able to acquire it for restoration. The car was remarkably complete as evidenced by the 'as found' photograph offered with the car. Frank, trained in every aspect of the motor trade, embarked upon a restoration which was to win him many awards during his long ownership. The car took part in many events including regular participation in the London to Brighton Run.

    In 1986 it was acquired by VCC member Raymond Nelson, a near neighbour who had known the car for many years, and he was to use the car sparingly. It was bought in 2009 by the present owner, a Humber enthusiast who had always wanted to drive the Brighton Road. This he has successfully accomplished and has also taken part in the Creepy Crawly and other events organised for members of the VCC. Only advancing years and reduced agility now bring the car to the market. New stub axles were fitted and the steering overhauled in 2010 and the hood and dash apron have been replaced in recent years. A visible small external hairline crack in the cylinder water jacket has caused no concern during the previous ownership or during the vendor's active use of this car. The vendor reports well patinated paintwork, an increasingly sought after feature, this paintwork probably having been applied in 1955.

    The car carries a VCC dating plate and is furnished with nickel fittings, hood and passenger apron, oil side lamps and rear lamp, a bulb horn, rear view mirror and it wears Automobile Association and VCC badges. AP 413 is offered with a V5C registration document, current and expired MoT certificates, current road fund license, two old style log books and a Veteran Car Club Dating Certificate. AP 413 comes with an accepted entry in the 2012 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.
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