1968 Humber Super Snipe 5A – Annette and Ron Scattergood

Owner: Annette Scattergood

There were four makes of cars that Anne and I wished to own. Hudson and Studebaker had been in the family for almost 50 years. The two remaining were a Humber Super Snipe and a Leyland P76. The chance to get a quality Super Snipe was jumped at. (The P76 has since arrived too.)

We answered the advert for the Humber. It was located in Narrandera, owned by a Mr Tom Burton who had lost interest in the car following the death of his wife.

The Burtons were formerly moteliers. They owned the Fig Tree Motel and the Super Snipe spent all 14 years with the Burtons shut away in the motel garage. For around 10 of those years, the car only made an annual trip out for a rego check.

We were asked what time we could be at Tom’s home in Narrandera. Took a guess we could be there between 1 pm and 1.30 pm the next day. Weren’t told another buyer was booked in at 1.30 pm, in case we weren’t coming. A flat tyre would have cost us the car! We made it with 15 minutes to spare.

A quick trip around the back streets of Narrandera confirmed the quality of the car and we returned to Tom’s house to pay him. While sitting at the table counting out the readies, the gent from Shepparton arrived, on the off chance we had not turned up. Not a happy camper!

We were happy with the price asked. Just as well, negotiating would have been hard with another buyer leaning on the bonnet!

Apart from knowing the car was sold new in Victoria, we know nothing of its early history. Around 1985 the car was traded in to a used car lot in Wagga Wagga. The proprietor then used the car for bringing in his stock on a car trailer.

The one major trip made under Tom’s ownership was from Narrandera to Adelaide, made as part of a group from an MIA club that Tom had joined.

Apart from a new radiator fitted early in Tom’s ownership, the Super Snipe is totally original. When purchased the car had about 54,000 miles up, we have added another 12,000 to that score.

Two thousand five hundered of that was a trip to Broken Hill via the Murray River and returning via White Cliffs, Cobar, Lake Cargellico, West Wyalong and home to Queanbeyan. Petrol costs averaged around $65-$70 per day on the 11 day trip. Economical? Depends on your point of view!

The car was on full NSW rego when we bought it. We have kept it that way. To justify this, we use it (along with the P76) as a second car. It can regularly be seen out as a shopping car as well as a club car. Handy not having to worry telling anyone its on the road. (Also, how could you hand in those beautiful “Lest We Forget” number plates?)

The series 5 and 5A Super Snipe were the revamped models put out by Chrysler after their takeover of the Rootes Group. They feature the higher roof line enabling a larger windscreen and rear window and the Borg Warner gearbox is generally looked upon as an improvement over its predecessor.

A great car, a great purchase and boy, are we pleased we didn’t have a flat on the way to Narrandera!

Ron Scattergood.