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Really this is more of an advanced warning. Yesterday I paid for the 1912 Humber which will become my next project.

First thing is to get it transported from Willunga in the McLaren Vale wine district of South Australia the 800 kilometers to our home in Doncaster East, Victoria, Australia. This should be happening sometime during the coming week. The Humber is an 11hp four cylinder, side valve. It will be my first restoration of a Pre WW1 car, it is truly a basket case; totally dismantled and with what remains of the body little more that scaps of rusty sheet metal. As I have commented to some of my friends the only way that it could be  reduced to smaller pieces would be to remove the spokes from the wheels. 

 

Bj.

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Thank you all for your votes of confidence. I hope I can live up to your expectations. I am still waiting (impatiently)  to hear that it all has been collected and is safely on it's way home. Right now I am working on a brief history of Humber. Unfortunately the vendor seems to be unable to give me very much background on how or when he acquired it. Having said that he has been meticulous in saving and packing away all the small parts, nuts and bolts after cleaning them and placing them in waterproof containers. 

 

Bj

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Thomas Humber originally apprenticed as a black-smith was already a successful cycle racer when he first set up as a manufacturer of "Ordinary" (Penny-farthing) velocipedes and Tricycles making his first complete bicycle in 1868. He later branched out into making Motorcycles. By the time he retired in1892 he had effectively lost control of his company. Unfortunately the company ran into a series of financial "misadventures" in the hands of unscrupulous speculators.

By 1898 Humber were manufacturing a motorised tricycle, selling a side 7 side seated "Motor Sociable.   In 1900 the company was reformed as Humber Limited with factories in both Beeston and in nearby Coventry. By 1901 Humber were building a four wheeled Humber Motor Car powered by a 4 1/2 HP De Dion engine. A year later in 1902 Humber had a full four seater 12hp car designed by Louis Coatalen. A year later this had grown to a 20hp. An "up-market version with a "new" honeycomb radiator sold in the UK for 800 Guineas. A 'sporting' version said to be capable of 2,000 rpm was catalogued as the Tourist Trophy model.

Following yet another re-structuring the Beeston factory was closed and production was moved to the Coventry factory.

For the start of the new decade (1910) the catalogue included 8, 12, 16 and 20hp models including a "Racing two seater" with detachable wire spoke wheels. By 1912 the year of my "car"the catalogue a new model the 11 hp having for the first time a four cylinder 'monobloc' with the four cylinders cast in a single block. Up until then all Humber models had the cylinders cast in pairs. 
The 11hp had a foot-brake working with contracting bands acting on a drum mounted at the rear of the gearbox. The hand brake, with the lever mounted outside the body-work acted on internal "metal to metal" shoes inside drums on the rear wheels only. 

Only just prior to the commencement of hostilities that grew into the conflict now known as World War 1.

Humber engaged in building a team of three sophisticated racing two seaters for the Tourist Trophy races on the Isle of Mann. Unfortunately none of the three actualy finished the race. At least one has survived and is in private ownership in England.

During 1912-14 a special bodied  11 hp broke a number of class records at Brooklands.

My copy of the Humber Cars catalogue for 1913 runs to 32 pages.

 

 

1914_Isle_of_Man_TT_Humber.jpg

1913 brooklands - humber record attempt.jpg

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Oh good, looks like someone's already done the "hard work" for you by taking it apart.  Should be a cinch to paint the parts and put them back together... because, you know.., all the parts are there and they are all perfect. ;)

 

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Hi all,

 

Well! we are off to a flying start. My good friend Mel (with the big trailer) hopes to collect all the Humber "stuff" over the weekend but he cannot make the trip to Victoria until next thursday/friday. So we will all have to be a little patient, especially me. The good thing about this is that the Peugeot gets to live in the carport for another week.

 

Bj.

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Hello jp928

I think that your Rover is one from a deceased estate here in Victoria Australia. I went to look at it two or three times. For a little while there were two for sale, both from different deceased estates, not a good sign when you are my advanced age! I knew the previous owner and his standard of work was in my humble opinion very good. While it represents some additional work, I think that the 1912 Humber is more of a challenge, something I enjoy.

 

Bj.

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Hello Zimm63

Welcome to my thread. You are partially correct the two cast iron ends from the muffler are recoverable and and will be used

The sections of mudguard will be used as patterns, bad as they may seem most things are saved for a purpose. As the restoration progresses you may be amazed how useful all that "junk" is. You have to remember this car is 104  years old and you don't just run down to the 'parts shop's to get replacements.  Oh yes, I nearly forgot, I will have  to work out a way to use the cylinder block and the sump too.  Actually, looking at the photograph again there is a whole lot of recoverable stuff in there, you just have to look a little more closely.

Brake rods, section of the hood (top) frame, bonnet (hood) latch, etc etc, not to mention the spring base for the seat.

 

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Hello Mathew

Originally there were no instruments on the dash board, just a single sight tube to confirm that the oil pump was working and oil being  circulated in the engine. The 1912 had a scuttle mounted petrol tank which fed petrol to the carb by gravity. There was provision for this to be assisted by pressure from the exhaust manifold. With this there would be a pressure gauge reading up to 5psi. If this system (with a rear mounted tank) was being used there would be a hand air pump for starting.

Lights. horn, windscreen, folding top were all optional extras. Side and tail light were electric and where fitted, head lanps were acetylene. There would have been a switch for the magneto but that was about all. It is all a very steep learning curve. I can't wait to get it all home and start sorting it out. Don't go away.

 

Bj.

Humber11 8.jpg

Humber Chassis 846.jpg

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Bernie,

 

Yes my Rover is from Craig Lukeman's estate, got it in early June. Shame that he did so much work to miss out on completion- nowhere near as much to do as with your Humber!

Did I understand correctly from pictures of your Lagonda that you have used it in UK on Vic club plates ? If so, how does that work?

 

On my watch list. I am not far away, in Eltham.

 

jp

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Hello Jp

We have taken the Lagonda to the UK and Europe seven or eight times. You can take a car into the UK duty free on a temporary import permit as long as it does not stay any longer than six months.  The only requirement is that you take out the UK equivalent  to third party insurance. This is included in your general insurance, the only catch is that NO British Vintage/Classic Car Insurance company will give you any cover. HOWEVER Hagerty have a UK Branch Office who will. We have never had a problem. In Europe I much prefer to drive my own car on the wrong side of the road, than to drive a LHD hire car in which everything is in the wrong place. 

 

Now finally the Humber is safely installed in my spacious workshop and I have started work. I should be ok provided it does not rain and I do not  have to close the door. My Air-con does not work if I shut the front door down. My first target is to get the chassis painted, assembled and able to be rolled around. Looking at the original panels with a minimum of rust repair I should be able to use almost all of them. I will need to build a new frame  to fit them. It will be a change from cutting up large sheets of aluminium. I will have to cut new panels for the tail but that should not present too many problems.

 

Bj.

 

IMG_4136.JPG

IMG_4137.JPG

IMG_4138.JPG

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On 13/08/2016 at 11:08 AM, oldcar said:

Lights. horn, windscreen, folding top were all optional extras. Side and tail light were electric and where fitted, head lamps were acetylene.

 

 

The electric lights is interesting, they fitted them early compared to others. More importantly did they have electric start, or can it be easily fitted?

 

It appears also that you have parts from more than one car. Are there enough though for one complete restoration?

 

Matthew

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It's very unlikely it had an electric starter. Not may British cars did before WWI. But, it's a tiny engine — only about 107 cubic inches if I did my calculations correctly so starting it with a crank should be very easy... not like cranking a Simplex or a Silver Ghost.

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That's a good looking chassis Bernie. May I suggest you check very carefully for loose rivets. These tend to be a regular problem as the chassis' were very flexible. As a rather extreme example, my first brass car was a 1910 Model R Reo... when I stripped it down to the chassis, I could pick up one corner and the other three remained on the ground.

Edited by JV Puleo
typo (see edit history)
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Hello Keiser31

The Humber has been "home" for two days and I have already started work. I have removed the springs from the "spare" rear end of a chassis and will take them apart to check, clean and paint. Looking at all the loose panels there are sufficient in useable (after a little rust repair) to complete the two seater body> but first I have to build a new body frame but not until I have the chassis standing on four wheels. The cut off rear section of (spare) chassis with springs attached can be seen in the photographs standing up against my work bench. The chssis frame is up-side down ready to be painted. The wire crates and the shelves behind them hold most of the loose parts. The body panels are stacked up against the back wall.

Space is not a problem-------- I don't have any. Once I have put it all back together I can move it outside, then I will have plenty of space.

 

Bj.

 

IMG_4136.JPG

IMG_4138.JPG

IMG_4137.JPG

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Somebody asked about Instruments, the humber has absolutely no dashboard instruments, the nearest thing is the little sight feed that monitors oil flow. This should have a glass dome which is missing. This little gem is mounted on the dashboard where it is in full view of the driver.

 

Bj 

 

Humber 1.jpeg

Humber.jpeg

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Work on sorting out all the bits is progressing. I am trying to identify and locate all the parts that relate to a particular component. Yesterday/today I am concentrating on the Clutch. The owners hand book tells me that this is a completely separate unit which can be removed and re-fitted without disturbing either the engine or gearbox. It is a cone clutch with the female cone part of the flywheel. Sorting out the thrust race is the only thing presenting a problem but I have some litle time before I will need it........... I seem to have three of one part but will only need one. Also the large single spring is not included in these photographs. All the actuating levers etc are exposed when assembled. Drive to the gearbox is via three exposed "pegs". It is all gloriously simple but perhaps not simply glorious!

 

Bj.

DSCN5142.jpg

DSCN5146.jpg

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Bernie, I take it that the second pic is of the throw out bearing.  Are you going to have to make one as they look to be well used up?  What shape is everything else in?  Or will this just be plug and play with most of the parts.  It sure looks like the car was taken apart a long time ago.  Do you know anything of its history?

Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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Hello John

As with many basket case cars its history is very vague. It certainly has been a long time since it could be said to have been a car as we like to think. Quite a lot of work has been done It is just hard to see it. Right now it could be said that I am in stock taking mode. In actual fact very little is missing, things like the clutch throw-out bearing are not quite as desperate as they may appear.  My first task is to sort everything out then to erect a rolling chassis. It may not happen tomorrow but it is slowly moving ahead, I have not had it home a full week until Sunday.

 

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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I

Hi John

It must be in there some where perhaps in the half that is cut away? 

Seriously I will have to take the top off my gearbox and look for you. Perhaps not today 

while we have officially started Spring there is a freezing cold wind that blows in one end and out the other in my garage.

 

Bj

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Absolutely nothing happened on the Humber yesterday (Sunday) Instead we left home at about 7.30 am to drive the Lagonda to the start of the VSCC Day (Navigation) Trial. This took us out into some really interesting hill country, known for some unknown reason as the Switzerland Ranges, One of the features of this area is the massive out crops of Granite with huge boulders looking as though some giant child that tumbled them into untidy heaps. Being the start of our Spring we managed to cram all four seasons into the one day with a patch of dense fog thrown in for good measure. Sadly, possibly a reflection on the change in enthusiasts tastes, there were just half a dozen entries, where not all that many years ago there would have been at least twenty or thirty. These were a good (if that is the  right term) cross section of the Club's cars, 2 x 30/98 Vauxhalls, a 12/50 Alvis, a early 1920 Talbot, a 1935 Singer Le Mans and our 1934 Lagonda Rapier, not even one MG, Riley, Triumph, Bentley, DeLage or even an Model A Ford despite all the roads being excellent bitumen. Our lunch stop was a very good "pub" in Yea, a mediun sized country town. After lunch the route headed back towards the city (Melbourne) but carefully avoiding the highways apart for one very short section of about three or four miles. In total we would have covered just over 200 Miles (3/4 of a tank of petrol) for the days outing, door to door. As we had previously sampled the coffee at the finishing place (King Lake) we pased up the chance to see if it had improved since the last time and headed down the mountain for home. The Rapier is only very slightly showning signs of its travels  and after a quick wash and a check of fluid levels will be ready for its next outing. This morning being Monday, I had my usual Game of Petanque and now having finished lunch can change into my "dirties" and  head out to the garage.

 

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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Traps for young players and some old ones too.

Having removed the king-pins and proceeding to clean and de-rust the stub  axle assemblies, for a moment I thought that there was something wrong with the steering arms. These had been already  removed and when I started to re-assemble them it just did not look right. Fortunately I decided that when in doubt, check with a higher authority, the book! Sure enough the every thing was right except the operator (me) I now know that the steering arms project forward because the steering tie rod is mounted in front of the axle beam rather than in the usual place behind the axle. There is a perfectly logical explanation for this.The tie rod ends have a plain pivot pin. Mr Humber realised that to keep the steering light and prevent  premature wear, these needed frequent lubrication. As  the lubrication is supplied by nice little brass screw down grease caps. IF the tie rod was situated behind the axle  these would be awkward to reach and probably nine times out of ten be neglected, By placing the tie rod in front of the axle there is no problem and each of the grease caps can receive their required "two turns" each time the car is taken out and perhaps even more frequently during inclement weather.

 

You live and learn....

 

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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