1952 HUMBER PULLMAN WARWICK ESTATE
COACHWORK BY CASTLE BODIES (COVENTRY) Ltd.
Registration No. BXG 563
Chassis No. A9000861
Engine No. Tba
Black, with brown interior
Engine: six cylinder, side valve, 4,086cc, 100bhp at 3,400 rpm; Gearbox: Four speed, all synchromesh, column-change; Suspension: front, independent by transverse leaf spring and upper wishbones, rear, semi-elliptic leaf springs with Panhard rod and anti-roll bar; Brakes: four wheel drum; Right hand drive
By the 1950s, Humber's Pullman line had been in production for two decades as the largest car available in the Rootes Group range. Its sheer proportions ensured it was usually seen in chauffeur driven Limousine form, but in mid-1952, The Autocar were able to report that a new 'Woody' Estate version had just been produced by Castle Bodies. The new design, boasting 16 square feet of luggage space or 28 with the rear seat folded, retailed at £1,460 plus £834 purchase tax.
This Shooting Brake/Estate car is the only known survivor of just four examples known to have been built, and was the original Autocar featured car, which was sold new to Teeside Shipping magnates, Constantines. Constantines kept the car until 1969, from them it passed to a greengrocer, then to a triumvirate of owners. By the late 1970s it was in the possession of the White Horse Distillery in Scotland, where it is believed it was used as guest transport. Later becoming the property of a London publican, it was rescued by the current owners in 1985 after many years of outside storage.
The vendors immediately set about returning the Estate to the road, and after sourcing a replcaement gearbox through the Humber Club, and basic refurbishment this was accomplished. Frustratingly it had only begun to be used when a fire broke out in the building in which it was garaged. Though no major damage was caused, it necessitated a second refurbishment. This time the work required was more cosmetic, but it was attended to very thoroughly, taking the front end back to the bulkhead for repainting, then the rear wings also. The engine stripped down, a crack in the block repaired, the interior retrimmed and all woodwork sanded and finished in cellulose. The personal restoration, of a handful of friends saw the car once again roadworthy by the mid-1990s.
Since then, the Humber has featured in an article in Classic Cars magazine (October 1995), been exhibited at the Louis Vuitton Classic at the Hurlingham Club (2000), and seen regular club use, its post-restoration debut recording it Member's choice and Best Restoration prizes. Today, the restoration has mellowed to give it an appealing and appropriately usable appearance.
The Humber is certainly a sociable post-war Estate with considerable charm, and on the road, as this cataloguer can attest it draws contented looks from all it passes by. It would no doubt be ideal for highdays, holidays or as Paddock support.