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Chad Dendy is the proud owner of what must be one of the most eye-catching cars on the South Coast. Any 1965 Sceptre Mk. I would cut a dash through Lee on Solent, causing amazement amongst the various holidaymakers. Ice cream parlour customers gawp at the sight of those charmingly retro ’50s line while other motorists slow down to marvel at the Humber’s sheer presence.
1963 saw the Rootes Group introduce two high -profile cars, one entirely new and the other based on its existing lineup of medium-sized cars. The former was, of course, the Hillman Imp and the latter was the Humber Sceptre, one of the most downright agreeable cars to hail from Coventry.
At first sight, it could be a car that belongs to the world of La Dolce Vita; transport for Marcello Mastroianni or Sophia Loren to Rome’s finest nightclubs. Almost every detail is reminiscent of 1960s European glamour - until you notice the grille’s similarity to the Humber Sceptre Mk.I and the Sunbeam Rapier Mk. V. And while the coachwork was indeed the work of Carrozzeria Touring, the running gear hailed from Coventry.
As many readers already know, sourcing and restoring an ex-police car is a significant undertaking, from the challenges of locating the correct items of equipment to actually finding an authentic vehicle.
News: Lancaster Insurance sponsors Pride of Ownership at Practical Classics Restoration and Classic Car Show
A mixed trio of stunning classic cars are the first vehicles to be confirmed for the Pride of Ownership display, to be sponsored by Lancaster Insurance, at the Practical Classics Restoration and Classic Car Show, held 5-6 March at Birmingham’s NEC. A 1952 Humber Pullman Limousine, 1976 Citroen Ami Super Saloon and a stunning VW Camper Van have taken the first of the 20 places available for private entries.
In 1964 the average motoring enthusiast would have been forgiven for overlooking the news that the Daihatsu Compagno was soon to be officially available in the UK. This was, after all, the year of the Sunbeam Tiger, the 4.2-litre Jaguars E-Type and Mk. X, the Austin 1800, the Vanden Plas Princess 4-Litre R and the Humber Imperial.
The year is 1977, and the people of Southampton are still amazed by the recently opened Sainsbury’s hypermarket in the Lordshill district. Some say that this is the biggest news to hit the city since the Silver Jubilee celebrations or the FA Cup Victory of the previous year.
When Matt Debbage takes LLW 911K for a spin, the reactions from members of the public are usually ‘any combination of “nice car, my Dad / Grandad had one” /”I had one - it was so rusty” / “awful cars”/ “ooh look - a ‘Doloshite’” / “Is it a Sprint mate?”’.
There are some cars which seem to hail from a strange twilight zone of motoring; those models that enjoy a form of afterlife for quite a period after they were believed to have ceased production.
Picture the scene; a gentleman who resembles a younger version of the Major in Fawlty Towers is about to pen a stiff letter to his local newspaper recommending exile to the Falklands for The Beatles, Herman’s Hermits and everyone associated with Ready Steady Go.