Humber Sceptre Reviews from UK and Ireland

1970 Humber Sceptre 1.7 twin carb

Year of manufacture1970
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership1991
Engine and transmission 1.7 twin carb Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired75000 miles
Most recent distance75000 miles
Previous carFiat Mirafiori

Summary:

Adequate, but not outstanding

Faults:

Rust was always a problem.

I rebuilt the engine because it used lots of oil.

The carburettors were worn out and I could never get it properly tuned.

General Comments:

Despite the worn carburettors, it gave good performance and reasonable fuel economy most of the time.

It was an excellent tow car, apart from using vast amounts of petrol when towing my caravan.

The overdrive was a very good feature, making for relaxed main road driving.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th August, 2008

1967 Humber Sceptre Mark 2 E 1.7 cc with twin Webber

Year of manufacture1967
First year of ownership1977
Most recent year of ownership1979
Engine and transmission 1.7 cc with twin Webber Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.7 / 10
Distance when acquired52000 miles
Most recent distance70000 miles
Previous carRover - Austin Cambridge

Summary:

Curvaceous and very, very British

Faults:

Clutch slipping (twice)

Head Gasket (twice)

Overdrive switch wire, kept breaking (gearbox end)

Heavy tire wear.

General Comments:

I loved this car!!! Curvaceous and very, very British

The 1725 cc Routes engine, had twin webber's, it made a great spitting exhaust noise and with good use of the overdrive in 3rd and 4th would accelerate surprisingly well, flying along at 90, no problem; it was made for motorways which had no speed limit at time of manufacture!

The trouble was the brakes (although having disks at the front) were just not up to the speeds this car could do, also the suspension was soft and the car would lunge around corners.

The clutch was weak and would need replacing after only 10K miles, also the head gasket on these aluminum headed engines had a habit of leaking and blowing!

The bodywork on this car was fantastic, all rounded and in British racing green, looked great with the very curvaceous rear windscreen, it had slightly pointed rear wings, circa 1950's USA cars, which made it look like it was going fast before it ever moved.

The interior was all red leather, with enough dials to make it look like an airplane cockpit, I still miss my oil pressure, battery amps and wobbly fuel gauge, which read in gallons.

Sadly I was too young to appreciate this car at the time and drove it too fast and crashed. I hit a Mini, which unexpectedly stopped at traffic lights when I was trying to filter to the left, the brakes made the car understeer as I tried to turn left, so didn't make the turn and BANG!! I only had third-party insurance and couldn't afford to repair the badly dented front wing.

The Mark 2 had a more modern grille with twin headlights, it looked the part, lots of chrome yummmmm!

I had a Sunbeam Rapier after this, but that's another story!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 4th March, 2004

6th Jul 2006, 14:20

Good to hear you liked the car.

There is an error in your review though: you say that when the car was made in 1967 there were no motorway speed limits in the UK. In fact the 70mph limit was introduced in 1965.

31st Aug 2006, 11:39

The Mark 1 had twin Zenith Downdraughts later replaced by one twin choke Solex which carried through to the Mark 2. Only the Arrow shaped Sceptre Mark 3 from 1967 model year was fitted with twin Strombergs, and there was nothing wrong with them if they were set up correctly. Just needed a small amount of intelligence.

1964 Humber Sceptre 1.6 litre petrol

Year of manufacture1964
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.6 litre petrol Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.4 / 10
Distance when acquired82000 miles
Most recent distance85350 miles
Previous carHumber Sceptre

Summary:

A nicely styled, fast and comfortable car

Faults:

Clutch went recently.

Engine stalling problem. traced to a badly blocked up air filter.

Self induced minor electrical problems.

General Comments:

Very nicely styled, similar to the larger super snipe series cars and the early 60's american saloons.

Fast for its day and handles well, although it does have a fair amount of body roll.

Economy in normal driving is good. 30-32mpg easily attainable in normal driving.

The 6 speed manual/overdrive transmission is *brilliant*. Much more flexible than the 4 or 5 speed manuals found in modern cars. O/D change control is mounted on the column and is self cancelling. Transmission could be made to be 8 ratio with the disconnection of the lock out on 1st and 2nd gears (1 wire).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th June, 2002

24th Nov 2002, 05:29

It would be pointless in cutting one wire to the overdrive just so you can say you have 8 ratios. It would also burn out the overdrive unit in less time than it took me to type this.

29th Dec 2003, 06:31

Agree. The overdrive is a Laycock de Normanville unit. If you run OD on 1st and 2nd you are definitely likely to over rev and overheat the overdrive. There are many quaint descriptions of the result, but suffice to say the overdrive unit will not work any more.

16th Nov 2007, 07:35

I owned a 1964 Mk 1 Humber Sceptre for about 7yrs. (It was stolen). I rewired the overdrive to work on all forward gears. I only once tried to pull away quickly with overdrive engaged in 1st. The adaptor flange broke. I never tried that again. The overdrive was in use in all gears for all the time I owned it and covered in excess of 100,000 miles like this. I found it very useful for the low-speed crawl along the A40 in the 1970s getting to work and home. Apart from the above, the car only let me down once when the head gasket went on a hot summer's day.

8th May 2010, 05:41

I had a 64 Sceptre way back in the eighties. Every time it rained, the fuel tank would fill up with water because the fuel filler cap was recessed into the body. The single drain hole was not large enough to evacuate the water, and I can't remember how many times I had to drain the petrol tank to remove the water. What a nightmare!

Average review marks: 7.0 / 10, based on 3 reviews