Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What are the Humber Sceptre Mk1 and Mk11?

The Sceptre was introduced in 1963 as part of the Rootes “light car range”. Similar to the earlier Sunbeam Rapier, the Sceptre was a comfortable four door, four-seater designed for long distance transport in comfort. The Sceptre appealed to those with more money but who wanted a small and economical car. As such, the Sceptre was the car of choice of well-heeled people.
The Mk I had a 4 cylinder OHV unit of 1592cc produced 80bhp and gives a top speed of around 90mph, a 0-60 in about 17 seconds. This was replaced with the larger 1725cc engine from late 1965, the engine also being in a better state of tune than that used for the lower models. The manual transmission model was fitted with overdrive on 3rd and 4th gears and this was a self-cancelling overdrive.
The 4 cylinder in line engine has twin Zenith carburettors, a 4 speed manual overdrive gearbox and live rear axle. Brakes drums at the rear and discs at the front are perfectly capable with dealing with modern driving conditions.
The MkII Sceptre arrived in 1965 and visually the four headlamps are now flared into a new full width grille. Under the bonnet was the five bearing 1725cc four-cylinder engine that produced 85bhp. The Mk II also had a interior update and overall drove as well as the Mk I but with more performance.
As befits its status, the Sceptre had additional sound deadening and was designed to be a quiet and very refined car. It had all the usual luxury items inside, including very comfortable seats and a plush interior with a full range of instruments including, fuel gauge, oil pressure, ammeter and water temperature along with a centrally mounted clock complementing the usual speedometer and rev counter. The car was slightly bigger but, despite all the extra equipment, it was not a lot heavier and this, with the higher tuned engine, resulted in good performance and handling. The Humber Sceptre and the Vauxhall Cresta remain 2 of the British cars that captured the look of the American Classic car that is so loved by the modern day rockabilly crowd. While my Humber Sceptre is now regarded as a collectable car, it is not too big, so I can use it as my every day driving car

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