In 1928 Humber merged with Hillman, another loss-making Coventry car manufacturer, and within a few years both were under the control of the expanding Rootes Group. Production was rationalised and marketing strategy crystallised, with Hillman concentrating on volume production and Humber capitalising on its up-market image to cater for the middle classes. Humber's first all-new product of the post-WW2 era did not arrive until 1948 in the shape of the Hawk III. Although the latter retained a separate chassis it featured independent front suspension, for the first time on a Humber, and pleasing up-to-the-minute styling courtesy of Raymond Loewy, the American stylist responsible for the influential new Studebakers. The old Hawk's 1,944cc four-cylinder sidevalve engine was carried over to the new model. Responding to criticism that it was under-powered, Rootes introduced an improved Hawk IV, with a 2,267cc engine, in September 1950, which was followed for 1952 by the mildly face-lifted MkV. Not until the MkVI's arrival in 1954 did the Hawk get the overhead-valve engine it had needed all along. Inherited from the Sunbeam-Talbot 90, this 2,267cc unit was coupled to the existing four-speed column-change gearbox, which now could be ordered with Laycock overdrive. Other MkVI improvements included a front anti-roll bar and an enlarged boot. The last of the separate-chassis Hawks was the MkVIA, which featured 'de luxe' paintwork and trim.
Previously registered 'CUU 3', this overdrive-equipped Hawk VIA comes complete with removable front/rear 'Police' plates, working Winkworth bell, police helmets, whistle and handcuffs, and many other items of policing memorabilia together with a 'Great Train Robbery' poster. In the immediately preceding ownership for 26 years, the car was purchased by the current vendor at Bonhams' Goodwood Festival of Speed sale in July 2011 (Lot 403) since when it has been a regular Revival Meting attendee, never once letting its owner down. Finished in black with brown/tan leather interior, the Humber currently displays a total of circa 50,000 miles on the odometer.
Suitable for film/television work and a welcome addition to any gathering of classic vehicles, the car is offered with two original owner's service books, an original Humber guarantee, workshop manual, handbook, sundry service records, a quantity of expired MoT certificates and tax discs, and copy/current V5/V5C documents with the most appropriate 'BVF 999' registration. A spare overdrive gearbox is included in the sale.