1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035

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Lot 240
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer

Sold for £ 98,940 (US$ 132,389) inc. premium
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer
Registration no. RM 6487
Chassis no. HE C6035
Engine no. HE 6035
*Ultra-rare Vintage-era thoroughbred
*One of a believed three made
*Present ownership for 25 years
*Restored condition

Footnotes

  • The H.E. was one of a number of high quality fast tourers introduced after WWI. Produced in limited numbers at their workshops in Wolsey Road, Caversham, Reading by the Herbert Engineering Co Ltd, the H.E. offered lusty performance and very handsome sporting bodywork, albeit at considerable cost. The low production volumes and the cars' bespoke nature meant that they were very expensive, selling in the early 1920s for little less than a Bentley.

    Designed by talented engineer Roland Sully, the first H.E. cars had conventional four-cylinder side-valve engines with separate four-speed gearboxes and an overhead worm-drive rear axle. Engine capacities were soon increased to a little over 2.0-litres, and with some 40bhp available the lightweight sports model, featuring gorgeous 'Dutch clog' bodywork, was good for 75mph.

    Like most small manufacturers competing for a slice of the luxury car market, H.E. soon added a six-cylinder model to the range: the 2.3-litre 16/55hp. The latter was joined in 1929 by the short-chassis 16/60hp Sports model (as seen here) whose triple carburettors and close-ratio gearbox made it good for 80mph. Only three such Sports models are believed to have been made out of a total of 61 six-cylinder 2.3-litre cars.

    Incorporating a number of interesting features, this car has brakes that are geared and servo assisted, as well as having a hinged foot pad at the top of the brake pedal which, if tilted forwards at the top, pulls a Bowden cable attached to the rear of the pad which opens a valve extracting manifold pressure to increase the effectiveness of the servo. Although still fitted to the car, it is not connected in accordance with the owner's preference. This car also has a Hele-Shaw multi-disc clutch, an adjustable steering column (requiring a spanner) and a fuel reserve switch operated from the bulkhead. A Clayton de Wandre steering mechanism was standard equipment also.

    Contemporary H.E. advertisements boasted: 'The best of British Sixes of exceptional design whereby the greatly desired features of a semi-sporting car are linked with the luxury and silky running of a town carriage'. The company was also sufficiently confident in its product to offer a five-year guarantee, although how owners managed after the firm succumbed to financial pressures in 1931 is anyone's guess.

    This car is believed to be the sole remaining short chassis 16/60hp and is pictured in 'Georgano' (where it is incorrectly captioned as a 16/55hp). Its whereabouts were known in the mid-1950s when it was campaigned by a Major Woolston. He had the H.E. shipped to New York and drove it across the USA, covering 5,000 trouble-free miles. The car then returned to the Phoenix Garage at Hartley Wintney (the birthplace of the VSCC) where it was kept behind the pub.

    The H.E. was subsequently purchased by well-known VSCC member, Julian Hallam, from Stanley Mann the Bentley dealer, in the 1980s. By 1990 Julian had decided to move on to other projects and advertised the car in 'The Automobile' where it was spotted by the vendor. Having acquired the car, he embarked on a program of improvements.

    By good fortune, the late Denis de Ferranti, the well-known collector, had acquired one of the five remaining long-chassis H.E. Sixes to sit alongside his Napiers, Bugattis and other exotica. He had already commissioned patterns for a new cylinder head casting and so, in the interests of longevity, the vendor was able to have a new one cast by a Wolverhampton foundry, getting the finished article X-rayed to ensure that it was sound. The engine was fully rebuilt and bored out to 2.5 litres by Hereford Rebore, and the car has covered fewer than 2,000 miles since.

    Thanks to another piece of good fortune, the vendor was able to acquire another H.E. Six gearbox - especially useful as the one that came with the car was worn. The close-ratio gearbox was carefully rebuilt, and a new crown-wheel-and-pinion fitted to the Salisbury back axle. 'RM 6470' is now described as in full health mechanically; it runs on triple carburettors, fed by an SU pump (the original Autovac is still in situ) and has a full-flow oil filter for enhanced reliability. The 20" wheels have been checked by Richards Brothers of Cardiff, re-spoked as necessary and fitted with excellent Michelin tyres.

    A full set of weather gear is included, comprising a new double-duck hood and a set of side screens that have yet to be used. Apart from providing snug, year-round driving capabilities, the hood and side screens are well proportioned and suit the car particularly well - it looks almost as good 'hood up' as it does 'hood down'. Accompanying documentation consists of sundry restoration invoices, current MoT certificate and a V5 registration document.

    The vendor has been the custodian of this sole-surviving, matching numbers, short-chassis H.E. Six for some 25 years and has loved the car and used it regularly; it is only very reluctantly being offered for sale due to health issues brought on by advancing years. This is almost certainly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire one of these imposing H.E. sports tourers, this being the rarest of the them all and available at considerably less than the cost of a 3-Litre Bentley or Vauxhall 30/98.
Contacts
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
1929 H.E 16/60hp Six Sports Tourer  Chassis no. HE C6035 Engine no. HE 6035
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