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Imperial

Imperial (United Kingdom, 1938)

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About


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About

Introduced as the Snipe Imperial in 1938, the Imperial was the flagship of the Humber range. Initially there wasn't much to distinguish the Imperial from a regular garden Snipe, aside from the steel spoke wheels, though the sports sedan did receive some rather stylish razor-edge lines.


A six-cylinder 4086cc side-valve engine was unable to deliver much more than 15mpg, much less when pushed along, but the gearbox was strong and the overall package was considered close to indestructable. Brakes were hydraulic.


After an 11 year break from the beginning of hostilities in 1939, the Imperial was back as the Imperial II in 1950. This time a whopping 17 and-a-half feet long, it required a two-piece propshaft to cope with the extra length. The Humber Imperial shared its body and mechanicals with the Pullman, which was slightly more upmarket with a passenger/driver division.


In 1951 came the Imperial III, which aside from an all-synchromesh gearbox, was indistinguishable from the Mark II.


In 1953 the last of the Pullman limousines and Imperial 7-seater saloons appeared as the Mark IV, featuring the 115bhp "Blue Riband" 4138cc OHV engine and a power division in the Pullman.


Another eleven-year gap ensued from the end of Imperial IV saloons until the Imperial arrived in 1965. This time there was no Pullman limousine, and the Imperial was based on the standard Super Snipe wheelbase and therefore seated only five. Under the hood was the Snipe's 2965cc OHV six-cylinder engine. As well as the four-speed all-synchromesh gearbox there was also an automatic option that proved more popular. Power steering was standard.


The last Imperial was produced in 1967, and the marque itself was to be phased out a few years later.



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