It’s not really a Clue or “What Car Is This?”, because the whole thing is posted at the Cohort. But when I first saw it, there was one car that instantly came to mind, even though the front end is totally different. So are you seeing the same thing? Or is it just late?
Here’s what I “saw”, another bird, at that. Nothing like a direct comparison to make all the many differences obvious, but that kick-up in the rear window and the thick pillars, and, well, um…they’re both green!
Here’s the full reveal of the Humber Super Snipe wagon that glen.h posted at the Cohort. And what a rare bird this Snipe is, as the saloon version dramatically outsold the estate wagon. Glen.h wonders if this wasn’t built by an outside coach building firm, but my Auto-Parade 1960 shows the four-cylinder Hawk version with the same basic body. So I strongly suspect it’s a factory car, but I can’t say I’ve ever thought of a Super Snipe wagon. Super!
When I saw that pic on the cohort, I noticed a front-end resemblance to a ’59 Rambler right away. That Humber looks like some sort of weird custom– a Lark station wagon with a ’59 Ambassador front clip. Rare, but not exactly beautiful!
Yes, the Lark is what I saw too. Interesting…did a Loewy stylist have anything to do with the Humber?
Loewy did design the Audax, the smaller Rootes line, so I suspect he may well have done the Snipe. Anybody know?
Looked pretty Stud-ley to me too.
Actually, the car looks more like the back of a Lark behind the front end of a 58 Stude. An interesting car.
That was my first thought, but unfortunately they didn’t make a combo of the two.
These large Rootes Group estates kept the original screen and roofline even after the 1964 update on the saloons which received a taller screen and flatter roofline. I think that both Hawk and Super Snipe estates were factory jobs; if not, then perhaps Thrupp and Maberly had a hand in their manufacture. Both Ford and Vauxhall did something similar: Ford Zephyr/Zodiacs converted by Abbotts of Farnham, Vauxhall Velox/Crestas modified by Friary of Basingstoke.
The first thing that I thought of was Checker, although I don’t even know if Checker made wagons. (A quick search tells me they did!)
Actually, the back end looks very much like the Checker wagon.
I definitely saw the Studebaker too
I suppose it depends on your context – show the rear half of the Studebaker to a Brit and they might see a Humber.
Did your friends take you out in the woods in the dark to find it?
Goddamit. I thought I saw a Lark wagon too. What’s the matter with this? Perhaps we should wait for Bryce.
Humber Hawke/Super Snipe/Snipe wagon was my first thought but you knew that Paul didnt you real rare cars though there are some survivors in Aotearoa.
International is what came to my mind.
Doggone foreign cars that I have never heard of. Harumpf…Stay off my lawn!
I wonder if the Rootes Group did something like Standard-Triumph did with the Triumph 2000 Estate. Standard was worried that the estate wouldn’t sell well enough to justify the tooling cost and decided to ship partly finished sedans to Carbodies for conversion.
Thrupp Maberly was coach builder of choice for Rootes Group any wagons here were imported built up in fact Im not sure there was any local assembly of big Humbers. Off topic gas gauge in the Hillman said we werent going to make it home from the store half an hour ago put $8 change in the tank 3.7 L or 1 US gallon nearly.
You know what? I thought “Hmm, Humber Super Snipe” but was disappointed when the next photo was a Lark but it’s a Super Snipe!
Lest I toot my own horn too much, the only reason I guessed right is because I read the thread by the guy that raced one in the Lemons series.
Awesome link and yeah its now sacriledge to “race” such a rare/valueable old cars one of the Humber Hillman club members used to demolition derby Super Snipes they are unbeatable and easily demolish US cars he told of prepping cars driving to the track winning then driving home NO trailer but as a lemon racer 13/4 tons with only 120hp nah and automatic why he didnt get a manual box for it they are common here there is a guy not far away wrecking SuperSnipes on a regular basis to keep NZ Humbers going
I agree with Bryce: that link was awesome! I just spent an hour or two reading every bit of it! Mixed feelings though – I’m kind of sad that he stripped the interior etc, but I’m delighted that the car got to live again!
Looking at these pics, first car that come’s to mind is ’69 Camaro…oh, wait wrong car show
Zackman, “Harumph, stay off my lawn”.. That was darned funny. The image that creates in my mind is priceless. Thanks for the laugh!
First car that comes to mind is a ’55 Chevy
I got a Studebaker flash when I first glimpsed that image.
I seem to remember having a Dinky Toy Super Snipe sedan police car as a kid. My parents had a Hillman Minx so I was aware of Rootes cars from a very young age but I don’t think Humbers were ever officially sold in the States. Off-topic, but given the colloquial term “snipe hunt”, was it a coincidence that Rootes had both the Snipe (Humber) and Hunter (Hillman)?
Pity it was,nt a guess the make/model entry it,s the first i would of won :0)
Oh and for the Kiwi,s amongst us Humbers where built in Aussie for the Kiwi/Aussie market from about 57 onwards.
For Bryce, Collector and any other of us Kiwis: yes Snipes were assembled in the old Todd Motors Rootes factory on the Hutt Road, Petone. I had a locally-built ’65 sedan which I doubled my money on when I sold it on, about 1990. Same as UK except poverty-spec locally made vinyl upholstery not leather. I think any estate cars were imports. Given Kiwis love of big 6s, I don’t think any 4-cylinder Hawks were built here, certainly not the 6-window face-lift (roof-lift?) models.
I too thought Humber first (there is one locally) but did see the similarity of the rear window line to the Studebaker. I believe the wagons were a factory build, as they had introduced a 4-cyl Hawk wagon with the last update of the previous generation car (Mark 6 Hawk).
I wonder if it would it have made sense to import the Hawk fully-built here to NZ if we were assembling the Snipes? I don’t know what the costs/taxes were on CBU vs CKD in those days, but would there have been a possibility that a CBU Hawk was too close in price to the CKD Snipe? Hardly ever see Hawks on trademe, although there’s usually a Snipe or three. A 6-window Snipe’s on my top-20 cars-to-collect-one-day-when-I-win-Lotto list.
The Lark similarity had never crossed my mind until this post – it certainly is intriguing, and I tend to agree that Loewy may have slipped the Hawk/Snipe sketches in when he did the Audax series. Either that or Rootes saw pictures of the Lark in Loewy’s portfolio and secretly ran off a copy!
Just found this piece by chance, looking for something else Rootes.
Per Graham Robson’s “Cars of the Rootes Group” Super Snipe estates from 1958 to 1964 with the option of an estate body. Surprisingly, length and wheelbase of the Hawk (4 cylinder) and Super Snipe (6 cylinder) were the same, but the Super Snipe had more chrome
Robson doesn’t confirm or deny if Loewy did the styling, but he’s certainly still in there. The 55 Chevrolet is often quoted as an influence too.
This may look like a Hawk estate but is a Super Snipe, which only gained double headlamps in 1960. The Hawk stayed with single lamps