1948 HUMBER Super Snipe

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1948 HUMBER Super Snipe


The Humber Super Snipe was produced from 1938 to 1967 by Humber Limited, part of the Rootes Group of companies.

Offering a capacious interior of almost American proportions, sprightly performance and a tasteful aesthetic at relatively affordable prices, the Super Snipe soon found its level with a particular demographic of customer at the upper end of the middle-class spectrum.

These cars were driven by provincial doctors with leather Gladstone bags, tweed jackets, grey flannels and briar pipes.

Or they were issued to chaps with dark suits and serious expressions from The Ministry of Something Awfully Secret or Jolly Important.

When they weren’t liveried in camouflage paint and serving in great numbers as staff cars during WWII, they were the natural choice for respectable managers, professionals and civil servants.

Introduced in September 1948, the Mark II featured a redesigned chassis and body, a wider track, variable ratio steering, column gear shift, running boards and, with bench seating at the front, the ability to seat six people in comfort.

The engine was the 4086cc straight-6 side-valve unit from previous models and was said by the company to provide 100hp and a top speed of around 80mph.

Early Mark II Super Snipes have round lamps below the head lamps. These were later dropped and replaced by rectangular side lamps which were continued in the Mark III.

The Vehicle

This motor car is being sold as part of an overseas collection. It has been imported under the Bonhams temporary admission customs bond and is therefore subject to the lower rate 5% import tax if the car is to remain in the UK & purchased by a private individual. The 5% is calculated on the final selling price. For example, if the car sells for £2,000, then £100 is added, making the total amount payable of £2,100.

The winning bidder will receive a receipt for the final hammer value, and proof that HMRC fees are paid. If the car is subsequently exported abroad within 30 days then these fees are refundable.

Lastly, there will be a nominal administration fee of £250 for processing the NOVA application, and payable direct to the shipping company. A completed and processed NOVA will provide you formal proof that all duties & taxes are paid in UK and thus allow you to register the vehicle with the DVLA

In common with the majority of cars in this collection, this vehicle has been on static display for a number of years and there is no history available beyond that displayed in our photography section.

We have not started or driven the car so cannot vouch for its mechanical viability or functionality. It will require recommissioning prior to road use and is sold ‘as seen’.

It is available for view and inspection at our HQ near Abingdon and we will be delighted to show the car to you and/or your appointed engineer.

The Mark II Super Snipe we have with us today is good in some parts, average in others and pretty shabby in a few, but it’s nonetheless an original and relatively sturdy and intact survivor of a once much-loved marque and model.

First registered in the UK on 8.10.49, the car’s old V5 states that it was bought by an enthusiast in Devon on 15.5.09.

The last MoT certificate for this car (with no advisories) is dated 19.6.09, at which time the odometer read 35,653 miles.

The car was sold on 2.11.09 to a Mr. Bunn of Glenburnie, Maryland, USA.

We believe it was bought by the current vendor for static display in his collection on 26.1.13.

The odometer currently reads 36,074 miles.

As with the other cars in this vendor’s collection, we haven’t been able to start or drive it and, consequently, our opinions are confined to the car’s cosmetic condition.

That said, we have turned the engine by hand and can state that it is not seized.

On the Outside

While the shut lines are pretty tight and the two-tone black and white bodywork is largely free of dents, dinks, creases, folds, it suffers in a variety of other ways.

There is bubbling and corrosion in evidence around the front grille, at the bottom of the doors, at the base of the windscreen and in numerous other places.

The paint is cracked, scuffed, flaking or missing here and there.

There is bubbling around the sunroof, which no longer closes fully.

The chrome work is pitted and tarnished in several places.

When the car arrived at The Market, its roof and flanks on the n/s/r were liberally spattered with some sort of tar or oil that had evidently dripped onto it from above while in storage or transit. We’ve made some attempts to clear this up (to little effect) but the substance has attacked the chrome at the rear and it’s hard to think that it will have done the paintwork much good.

Aside from tarnishing to the chrome and some superficial corrosion, the wheels look to be fairly reasonable.

All in all, while there is no doubt some work to be done on the bodywork, it isn’t in the grip of galloping rot and there appears to a good deal of solidity and integrity to it in most areas.

On the Inside

Like the outside, the inside has seen better days.

Importantly though, the vast expanse of brown hide on the front and rear bench seats seems to be in fairly good condition. Yes, it’s a little musty and dusty, but it’s not ripped or structurally compromised and looks as if it might respond handsomely to some cleaning, feeding and elbow grease.

The steering wheel, dashboard and instrument panel are in pretty good condition, although the top half of the glove compartment door has parted company with the lower half and now lives inside the glove compartment.

The carpets, the headlining and the fabric at the rear of the front seats are a little threadbare and/or ripped in a few places and look as if they may have suffered from the unwanted attentions of a moth or two.

The surface of the door cards is cracked and crazed

Lifting up the carpets in here (and in the boot), reveals plenty of rust dust and corrosion that appears to be mostly superficial.


Yes, there is rust dust and a bit of flaking to be found but we haven’t seen anything that suggests a real threat to the structural integrity of the chassis. Clearly, you’ll want expert eyes to take a closer look.

The engine and engine bay appear to be clean and dry and, as far as we can tell, everything is in its right and proper place.

History Highlights

The car comes with a workshop manual and an original owner’s handbook…but no service history or any record of work done.

Currently, it has neither an MoT certificate nor a V5.

If you’d like to inspect the car prior to placing a bid – something we would encourage – then please use the Contact Seller button to arrange an appointment.

What We Think

We haven’t been able to start or drive the car so our understanding of it is somewhat limited.

There is work to be done here, for sure, but perhaps less than there might first appear.

Underneath what seem to be largely cosmetic issues is a rare example of a low mileage Mark II Super Snipe – and quite possibly one that will more than repay its owner (certainly in terms of enjoyment) for any remedial costs. Provided, of course, that the car’s engine and mechanicals prove to be in good working order.

We’re confident to offer this car for auction with an estimate of £2,000 - £6,000, plus Bonhams bond payment and £250 NOVA fee.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Bidders MUST ensure they are aware of the registration situation of a car in auction, and whether it will be possible to export/register a vehicle in their country BEFORE they bid.

All vehicles MUST BE COLLECTED WITHIN 7-DAYS of the auction end. Storage fees of £180 + VAT apply (per week) thereafter without exception.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage can offer you options, plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping both domestic and international.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we always encourage bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using basic cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen (Caveat Emptor) and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, a return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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  • Location: The Market HQ Abingdon, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 36074
  • Engine: 4086
  • Gearbox: listings/auction-view.Auto
  • Steering position: Right-hand drive
  • Colour: Black / Cream
  • Interior: Green Leather
  • Estimated Price: £2,000 - £6,000

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