c.1929 Humber 349cc Overhead Camshaft Sports  Frame no. 11869 Engine no. 11891

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Lot 506*
c.1929 Humber 349cc Overhead Camshaft Sports
Frame no. 11869 Engine no. 11891

Sold for £ 6,840 (US$ 8,673) inc. premium
c.1929 Humber 349cc Overhead Camshaft Sports
Frame no. 11869
Engine no. 11891
Overhead-camshaft motorcycles were relative rarities during the vintage period, which makes this rare ‘cammy’ Humber, offered for sale from long-term private ownership in Australia, all the more desirable to discerning collectors.

A firm with its roots in the Victorian bicycle industry, Humber began experimenting with powered transport in the closing years of the 19th Century, introducing its first successful motorcycle - a built-under-license P&M - in 1902 and the first all-Humber design in 1908. A 500cc sidevalve, this new 3½hp model carried its engine in the conventional position and featured belt drive to a two-speed rear hub. V-twin and flat-twin models followed, Humber’s first post-WWI offering being a 4½hp version of the latter. This heavyweight machine – ‘The Silent Humber’ - was joined for 1923 by a 2¾hp lightweight sports model powered by a single-cylinder sidevalve engine of 75x79mm bore/stroke displacing 349cc. Refined and speedy, the newcomer proved good enough to secure Humber the Team Prize in the 1923 ACU Six Days Trial.

This new 350 would provide Humber with the basis of its future motorcycle range, spawning overhead-valve and, later, overhead-camshaft derivatives. The ‘camshaft’ Humber was announced at the Motor Cycle Show in 1927, at which time it was the only twin-port ohc model on the market. Testing an example in 1928, Motor Cycling magazine had nothing but praise for the new engine, which was found to combine “admirable smoothness with a good deal of ‘pep’. The acceleration is very good and we should estimate the maximum speed at round about the 70mph mark. Another very excellent point is that it was entirely free from vibration; even when ‘flat out’ in second no sign of a period was noticed. Perhaps what most impressed us was the standard of mechanical silence which, especially for an overhead camshaft, was really remarkably high.” All of that plus 90 miles per gallon – no wonder Motor Cycling was impressed. Sadly, relatively few of this top-of-the-range model were made before Humber abandoned motorcycle production in 1930, and today the ‘cammy’ Humber is much less frequently encountered than its Velocette and Norton rivals.

Please note that 5mportation Duty will apply to the hammer price of this machine.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that Import VAT at 5% on the Hammer Price and Buyer's Premium will apply to this lot.
c.1929 Humber 349cc Overhead Camshaft Sports  Frame no. 11869 Engine no. 11891
c.1929 Humber 349cc Overhead Camshaft Sports  Frame no. 11869 Engine no. 11891
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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;
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