Book reviews, October 1989, October 1989

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The Humber Story, 1868-1932 by AB Demaus and JC Tarring. 178 pp. 10″ x 7″. (Alan Sutton Publishing, unit 2, Shepherd Road, Gloucester, GL2 6E1 £14.95.)

Rumours that these two authors/reseachers of the Humber Register were working on a history of the Humber Company have been circulating for many years, but at last this important contribution to motoring literature has found a publisher. The Coventry-built Humber was a fine car, as Edgar Duffield, who wrote for the old yellow-cover Auto once noted, “Nothing about it could be bettered….amply powered, elaborately equipped and most nicely finished.” So it is excellent that the story of these cars, up to the time when Routes changed the conception of a Humber in many peoples’ minds, is set down from the earliest days.

Several pages are devoted to Humber bicycles (one of which Brian Demaus rides), tricycles and motorcycles; nor are the Humber aeroplanes forgotten. But the bulk of this book is about those well-made, if staid cars, which filled a similar place in history to the Rover, with the TT and other racing exploits and Brooklands record-breaking, etc, included. The text is more than adequately supported by good pictures, many of the pages embellished with tiny drawings of appropriate bikes and cars, and headed with the Humber logo. Four appendices cover complete specifications (with bicycle identification details) and company data, body styles and prices, production figures and profit and loss statistics. This book is an essential work for historians’ bookshelves and reference libraries, of interest to riders as well as drivers. For such a complete one-make history, the price is decidedly modest. WB