Founded as a bicycle maker in 1868, Humber later became associated with Harry Lawson's British Motor Syndicate, from which it purchased the rights to various unlikely automobile designs dreamt up by American E J Pennington. Freeing itself from Lawson, the reconstituted company commenced motor car production in 1900 with the unconventional (front-wheel drive, rear-wheel steered) M D Voiturette. A more conventional range of De Dion-powered light cars soon followed, which was notable for its use of shaft drive in an era when chain was the norm for such vehicles. Four-cylinder 12hp and 20hp models, designed by Louis Coatalen, had been added by 1903.
The year 1923 was a significant one for Humber, marking as it did the adoption across the range of new inlet-over-exhaust engines (replacing the earlier sidevalve units). Introduced in 1926 as replacement for the 12/25, the 14/40 was powered by a 2,050cc four-cylinder engine closely related to the 20/55's six, whose bore/stroke dimensions it shared. Although progressive in its choice of engine, the company was more conservative when it came to chassis design, only beginning to offer front-wheel brakes as an option in the mid-1920s. Three regular body styles were available on the 14/40 chassis, the most popular of which was the four-seater tourer costing £460, a considerable sum at the time and one that reflected Humber's policy of producing cars of high quality for a discerning clientele.
We are advised that this 14/40's engine was rebuilt by Antique Automobiles of Barton when the car was acquired in 1977 by the current vendor. The latter advises us that the Humber has had only one previous owner, having been purchased new from Messrs W R Heighton of Peterborough by a Miss Alderman of Broadway, Peterborough. Registered with the Humber Register, the car has covered only 63,914 miles from new and is described as in original condition although in need of re-commissioning throughout (the engine turns freely). Offered with Swansea V5.