1909 Humber 3½hp  Frame no. 856 Engine no. 2506

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Lot 602
1909 Humber 3½hp
Registration no. NH 638 Frame no. 856 Engine no. 2506

£ 8,000 - 10,000
US$ 9,900 - 12,000
1909 Humber 3½hp
Registration no. NH 638
Frame no. 856
Engine no. 2506
Yet another firm with its roots in the Victorian bicycle industry, Humber began experimenting with powered transport in the late 19th Century, introducing its first successful motorcycle, a built-under-license P&M, in 1902. Announced for 1908, the first all-Humber design was a 3½hp (500cc) sidevalve that carried its engine in the conventional position and featured belt drive to a two-speed epicyclic rear hub. Unusual features included a ‘live’ rear axle, contrived for handle starting, and a large-diameter front frame member doubling as a silencer, though this was soon replaced by a conventional down-tube and separate silencer.

Early motorcyclists had to cope with many and varied controls and this Humber has four pedals plus an assortment of hand controls. By keeping pressure on the outer pedal on the right, the machine is set in motion in ‘low’ gear in a manner akin to a clutch - something of a luxury in 1909! To engage ‘top’ the outer pedal on the left is pressed, locking in position, and released by pressing the button behind it. The other left-side pedal operates the rear brake, while the other on the right operates the exhaust cut-out which opens or closes holes in the silencer. The rider’s hands also are kept occupied dealing with handlebar controls comprising throttle, front brake and valve lifter, while on the tank top there is another lever that adjusts the ignition timing.

This ‘Pioneer’ Humber was acquired by the vendor in 1999 and sympathetically restored in 2001. Presented in very good condition throughout, it comes equipped with acetylene lamps in working order, while the leather saddle has the rider’s weight of 10-12 stones stamped on it, a charming detail. A first-prize winner at many local shows and in the SVVF’s Champion of Champions Veteran Section in 2003, it is offered with road fund licence to July 2005, MoT to November 2005 and Swansea V5 registration document.
1909 Humber 3½hp  Frame no. 856 Engine no. 2506
1909 Humber 3½hp  Frame no. 856 Engine no. 2506
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Buyer's Premium Rates
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25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £2,500 up to and including £300,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £300,000 up to and including £3,000,000;
and 13.9% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of £3,000,000.

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