Unique Cars - - CONTENTS -

In­ter­est­ing to see the photo and ac­com­pa­ny­ing let­ter seeking iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the car in the photo.

The ve­hi­cle is a Hum­ber Su­per Snipe MkII of 1948-1949 vin­tage, in­di­cated by the large hole un­der the head lamp for the park­ing light. Later mod­els ,1949-52, had rec­tan­gu­lar park lamps.

Pow­ered by a 4086 cc side-valve six cylin­der en­gine, these were large English ve­hi­cles pro­duced by t he Rootes Grouproup (ab­sorbed by Chrysler) and used byy both busi­ness moguls and the Royal Fam­ily. mily.

I hope this in­for­ma­tion is help full to you. It is sad to see such a once classy ve­hi­clee­hi­cle in such a pa rlous state a nd obv iously beyond t he scope of a ny eco­nomic redemp­tion.

Colin Man­ner­ing

ED: Thanks, Colin, and ev­ery­one else who dropped us a line about our One for the Sleuths let­ter and photo last is­sue. We got a huge re­sponse to that ques­tion and we’d have to pub­lish a sep­a­rate mag just to cover them all. A 1949 Su­per Snipe was the most pop­u­lar con­clu­sion. Since you lot seem to en­joy a lit­tle train-spot­ting, what car is the in­te­rior pic­tured out of?


Great Editorial in is­sue

416 about the 850i and M5. How­ever, I’m sure you’ve been in­un­dated by now with corrections. The chas­sis codes in the story have been re­versed. The 850i was an E31, while the M5 of the same era was an E34.

Fab­u­lous ar­ti­cle oth­er­wise, and I have also used the house value ana­log y in a pre­sen­ta­tion about my own 850i. My 1992 model in its spec lev level was around $240,000 ne new, while the me­dian house pr price in Syd­ney at the time wa was $185,000.

I picked my E31 up five ye years ago for $18,000, pic pic­tured here at Qld Race­way du dur­ing the 2017 BMW Clubs Na Na­tion­als. A lot of car for the mo money.

The Big Drives ar­ti­cle was als also awe­some. Keep them co com­ing.

Ian McLach­lan

ED: ED Thanks, Ian. Yep, I must ha have had a lit­tle dyslexic m mo­ment with that one. Big Drives is miss­ing this is­sue be­cause we had to make room for the gi­ant fam­ily car value guide, but it will re­turn in is­sue 418. Young Alex, who writes it, tells me the next one is an As­ton Martin V8 Van­tage.


Great ar­ti­cle about the Avanti in your July edi­tion. A real stand-out de­sign for the strug­gling Stude­baker com­pany.

Thought the fol­low­ing might be of in­ter­est.

In the ar­ti­cle it refers to a widely ac­cepted mis­con­cep­tion about the ori­gins of the shapely ribbed Coca Cola bot­tle, that is that Ray­mond Loew y, much later to be recog­nised and hugely re­spected as the Avanti’s de­signer, was re­spon­si­ble for the iconic bot­tle’s de­sign.

In fact the unique Coke bot­tle was cre­ated over

100 years ago, in 1915, by a Swedish en­gi­neer, and fore­man at the Root Glass Com­pany of In­di­ana, Alexan­der Sa­muel­son. Pos­si­bly in­spired by the shape of the Kola nut, the bot­tle’s de­sign was patented a year later.

At that time the twenty-two year old Ray­mond Loew y was a con­ti­nent away, serv­ing in the French Army, be­fore mi­grat­ing to the U.S in 1922. Af­ter ini­tially work­ing as a depart­ment store win­dow­dresser, Loew y started his own de­sign con­sul­tancy busi­ness, which, by the 1940s had grown to be the largest in New York.

In part the at­tri­bu­tion of the coke bot­tle de­sign to Loew y likely re­sulted from a let­ter he sent to the Coca Cola Com­pany, in which he de­scribed the bot­tle as ”...the most per­fect f luid wrap­per of the day and one of the clas­sics in pack­ag­ing his­tory”, a quote later mis­in­ter­pret­ing Loew y as the de­signer. Never one to lose an op­por­tu­nity for self­pro­mo­tion, Loew y was in no rush to cor­rect the er­ror.

Of course the term ‘coke bot­tle’ has a more con­tem­po­rary au­to­mo­tive con­nec­tion. In the mid 60’s the term was used to char­ac­terise the up­swept hip de­sign on the rear quar­ter of many ‘sporty’ pro­duc­tion cars, as seen on Ford’s XR Fal­con, GM’s 67 Chevro­let Ca­maro, and lo­cally on GM-H’s scaled-down Ca­maro, the hum­ble HB To­rana, nee Vaux­hall Viva.

Ah, the pause that re­freshes!

Paul Beranger

ED: Paul is the au­thor of the ex­cel­lent book Crayon to CAD. See Jon Faine’s col­umn (page 148) for more.


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