Topic: True tales of the Super Snipe
This is a very belated thread to document my progress with the Humber Super Snipe. This first post will describe the acquisition and first impressions of it. Later ones will describe my progress(?) since then. Eventually I'll get caught up, but I'll give you a hint: as of late August, the engine runs.
Back in January, dgh posted a link to an ebay auction for a 1959 Humber Super Snipe. The ensuing thread (http://forums.24hoursoflemons.com/viewtopic.php?id=7933 convinced me that I had to buy it and prepare it for LeMons. This, partly because it was only a few miles from my house, and partly because I have a weakness/sickness/addiction for British rust, er, iron. Eventually, I won(?) the bid and negotiated a deal with the seller for both it and a parts car for $430 each. The "good" one was a 1959 and the parts car was a 1962.
The back story (according to the seller) was that they had belonged to a guy (now deceased) who had stored them at his llama ranch in Rancho Cucamonga, along with a bunch of VWs. The seller (a VW restorer) had made a deal with the collector's family to buy all the VWs, as long as he also took the Humbers. Now he was trying to unload them as quickly as possible.
When I first saw the Super Snipe, I knew that it has possibilities. Chief among those was that I could turn a profit by taking it to the crusher -- this beast is heavy! My second thought was that I have seen worse pieces of junk restored to concours condition -- was I committing a sin by wanting to make it a LeMons car? Judge Phil quickly convinced me that I would be doing it a favor by NOT restoring it (http://forums.24hoursoflemons.com/viewtopic.php?id=8190).
This is how it looked that fine day in January:
The interior didn't look nearly as nice:
Nor did the engine compartment, which proved to contain several pounds of rodent droppings and other disgusting debris. But just look at that 3.0 liter Hawker-Armstrong (part of the Hawker-Siddeley aircraft company) in-line 6 hemi:
A closer look showed that the dreaded British Tinworm had been nibbling at the body:
Since my employment at that time was, shall we say, a bit scarce, I figured that I would have lots of spare hours to work on it. Whether it was fate, luck, or the innate perversity of the universe, this would all change just two months later, leaving me with only an occasional weekend to devote to this project -- but that's in the future at this point.
Next up: Where would I work on this project, delivery of the cars, and horrifying discoveries. In the meantime, I was (and still am) puzzling over the meaning of this badge on the front of the car:
IOE winner in the Super Snipe -- Buttonwillow 2012