1931 Humber 16/50 Saloon Trivia
Motor tax for a private car in the year 1931 was £12.00 an unbelievable £706.87 in today’s money! the price remained stable at that price, apart from a hike during world war two, until the 1960’s when some bright spark in the Government reckoned they could get away with hiking it every year! So, car tax was a serious consideration when buying a car in the 1930’s.
The reverse of the tax disc set out rules for the disc.
“This licence card must be exhibited in the regulation position on the vehicle (see note in licence regulation book). It must be destroyed on expiry unless renewed at a Post Office” (remember them?) “when it must be surrendered”.
The obverse carried the text “Licence for a mechanically propelled vehicle”
Of interest is the fact that our Humber had some restoration work undertaken by Lea-Francis Cars Ltd in 2007. The firm itself was founded in 1895 by engineers Richard H. Lea and Graham I. Francis. In 1903 they commenced motor car production initially utilizing Singer Car components under licence. In 1911 Motorcycle production also commenced.
In 1919 the firm manufactured its own cars and in 1922 linked with Vulcan cars on a deal whereby L.F. supplied Vulcan with gearbox and steering in exchange for Vulcan bodies.
Always a quality, sporty, if expensive manufacturer the company came into its own by winning the 1928 Ulster TT with a Lea-Francis “hyper” model.
Cash flow problems dogged the firm throughout its history and the firm was reformed after bankruptcy in 1937. After resuming car production following WW2 production again halted in 1954 and finally in 1962 when the firm was wound up. Components supplier Quinton Hazell Ltd. Purchased the assets and thankfully a Mr. Barrie Price purchased the name as Lea-Francis Cars Ltd operating from Alcester and the firm continues to support the service and parts requirements of surviving examples of the marque enabling many of these fine cars to still be enjoyed by their owners and the general public. The firm also “retro built” a six “Ace of Spades” models utilizing Jaguar mechanicals