Article: Roving Reporter: First Cars: 1934 Humber 12

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Image Roving Reporter: First Cars
By Sharon Brown on August 14, 2011

We asked this question: "Tell us all about the first car you ever owned." I didn't realize the answers would bring with them memories, but I should have known. It brought memories for me, too.

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patgeorge
Aug 15, 2011 11:27 AM CST
Name: Pat(rick) George
Finland (previously England)
My first car was a 1934 Humber 12. I bought it in 1955 from a friend for the huge sum of 10 UK pounds. During the war it had been used as a chicken coop. The laminated windscreen was so yellow that at night it was easier to drive by leaning out of the window. It had, of course, a crash gear box; so you had to double declutch to change gear - a lost art nowadays. It had Bendix self-servo brakes, which didn't work backwards , so I carried a brick to put under the wheels when parking on a hill. Stuck in a slow moving traffic jam on a steep hill once my friend had to walk behind and lean on it every time we stopped to avoid it rolling backwards. You had to start it by cranking a handle at the front. Of course in those days there were no road worthiness tests.

On one occasion I approached it in a car park very nervously, as parked next to it was a police car, with two very glum looking cops leaning on it. I undid the padlock on the driver's door, reached in for the starting handle, and walked round to the front to start it. As I inserted the handle one of the cops said "starts easily does it ?" Heart in mouth I said "yes". He sniffed. "More than our b***** does" he said. "We're waiting for a tow truck to take it away!"

I sold it for twelve pounds and bought a 1936 Vauxhall 13 with the cash.
ImageSharon
Aug 15, 2011 1:22 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Oh Pat!! How fun. And what a great story.

I don't suppose you have any pictures to share, do you? Never mind, the images are already in my mind. It was the part where one had to lean on it to keep it from rolling backwards that grabbed me. I can just imagine.

Thanks for sharing. How did the '36 Vauxhall perform?
ImageAguane
Aug 15, 2011 7:52 PM CST
Name: Susie
Phoenix AZ
Fun story, Patgeorge. Now these are cars I've never heard of. I'll look them up via Google. Looking back I'd think you'd feel it very special you were owner of two such unique cars. Unique to me anyway! Big Grin .

I'm thinking autos used to be like beer. They were made and sold domestically for the local population's consumption. I remember going to a car import show at the Civic Center (as I remember) in San Francisco in about 1968. There were lots of Japanese imports for the first time ever. I fell in love with the Toyota Corona Mark 2 and bought it within a week's time. Traded in my '65 Chevy Impala SS. I owned the Toyota for 6 months when I met and married my 1st husband. We immediately sold the Toyota and bought a Porsche 914 which we later drove off a cliff.... another story.
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." --Albert Einstein
~ All Things Plants, SOUTHWEST GARDENING ~Cubits.org ENERGY & POWER
ImageSharon
Aug 15, 2011 9:42 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
A cliff??? Oh my.....

OK, I drove a Porsche 914, lime green, must have been about 1971-2, very cool car. And before that it was a Kharmann Ghia convertible, yellow, 1969. They weren't mine but belonged to a guy I dated at the time. I loved the Ghia, it moved! But I realized I liked the cars more than the guy, so I moved on with my Candy Apple Red Mustang.

ImageAguane
Aug 16, 2011 11:02 AM CST
Name: Susie
Phoenix AZ
Love all that color; lime green, yellow, candy apple red.... yummy! and HOT cars!
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." --Albert Einstein
~ All Things Plants, SOUTHWEST GARDENING ~Cubits.org ENERGY & POWER
ImageSharon
Aug 16, 2011 12:03 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Still hot colors, my little Altima is Sonoma Sunset, all sleek and leathery with moon/sunroof and great features including great gas mileage. I just pretend it's sleek and hot and all kinds of wonderful....actually it really is a great car for a little old lady.
patgeorge
Aug 17, 2011 11:05 AM CST
Name: Pat(rick) George
Finland (previously England)
Sharon

Sorry I can't find a photo of the Humber. You might like to glance at the 1948 Bedford on which I took my driving test. It's among my ambulance collection on my (patgeorge) photostream at flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ also the 1947 Morris on which I had my first driving lesson.
ImageSharon
Aug 17, 2011 2:25 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Pat, what a collection of photos!

Thanks for linking me to your site. I am such a history/architecture/design person I found myself also looking in the background to see what more I could find.

Great photos. Great vehicles.

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