With a background in bicycle manufacture, Humber began motor vehicle production as early as 1896, displaying motorcycles at 'The International Horseless Carriage Exhibition' that year. The production of Humber vehicles was carried on at both Beeston, Nottingham and at Coventry, there being some considerable rivalry between the two factories, the Beeston works being reserved generally for production of the more expensive models.
The Humber Olympia motor tandem is an ideal vehicle for two riders. All control is in the hands of the rear rider while the passenger is in the front, out of reach of dust and the exhaust gases, and conversation is easy. The front seat is most comfortably hung on springs and is excellently upholstered, luxurious to even the most delicate. The steering is unaffected by the absence or the presence of a passenger, and is easier than that of an ordinary tricycle. Thus did Humber describe their 1903 offering. The air-cooled engine was built under Phelon & Moore licence, featuring an automatic inlet valve and a bore and stroke of 80x77mm, giving a capacity of 403cc.
This forecar was formerly part of the Rootes Group Heritage Collection, which was dispersed at auction in London in October 1969. It was acquired by the preceding owner's family in the mid-1970s, and was the first Veteran on which they completed the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run (in 1974).
One of the earliest surviving Humbers, this tandem forecar, with its comfortable, coachbuilt front seat, is presented in blue livery with red coachlining and furnished with deep-buttoned blue leather upholstery, while ancillary equipment includes Lucas 'King of the Road' oil side lamps and nickel-plated fittings.
Offered with a V5 registration document, this Beeston-built Humber - as identified by the engine number's 'B' prefix - has not been used actively for some years but has been well stored and the engine regularly turned. The usual careful re-commissioning will be required prior to use on the prestigious London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, while it is worth noting that 'PSL 893' is also eligible for the equally prestigious Sunbeam MCC's Pioneer Run from Epsom to Brighton, and the VMCC's Banbury Run.