Another example of ingenious and resourceful product planning from the Rootes Group in the immediate post-war years was the launch of the Super Snipe in 1950.
Once the new-for-1949 Hawk generation had been launched, it was inevitable that a Super Snipe derivative would eventually appear.
Which indeed it did — but not until October 1952, when the Hawk had already been on sale for four years.
Although it shared the same four-door passenger cabin as the contemporary Hawk, under the skin, the Super Snipe was considerably different
The Super Snipe’s box-section 103.7in-wheelbase chassis frame was treated to coil spring independent front suspension (of Hawk type), and powered by a broad-shouldered 113bhp 4139, overhead-valve six-cylinder engine which had already been tried and tested as a 4750cc unit in a Commer commercial,
This powerful engine was mated to the latest four-speed all-synchromesh gearbox recently developed by Rootes.
Compared with the latest Hawk body shell, that of the Super Snipe Mk P in line with the most recent Thrupp & Maberly Pullman shape.
The Super Snipe maintained a traditional feel thanks to its running boards, which had been ousted during the Forties and, now re-appeared.
For the first time on the Super Snipe, alternative body styles to the saloon were available, with a touring limousine and Drophead Coupe, coach built by Tickfords were available.
This model ran through to the autumn of 1952, selling steadily during its production run.
Very few potential owners were overwhelmed by the Super Snipe’s line, although the Tickford Drophead coupe variation was quite a looker. The consensus was that the Humber Super Snipe Mk IV was an acquired taste, with very few buyers prepared to take the plunge.
Mk IVA cars came along in autumn 1953, with 116bhp. Mk IVB took over swiftly, in April 1954, with a new fascia style, including wood cappings, optional separate front seats and more space in the rear compartment.
Borg Warner automatic transmission became optional in April 1956.
All this frenetic activity was meant to keep the Super Snipe name alive, but the model was dropped in 1957, after which it took a year before an entirely new type of Super Snipe made its debut.
Though fast and powerful, this was not a car for the connoisseur by any means, mainly as it was a cumbersome and outdated machine, which suffered from the lack of power steering.
Fuel economy was lacking, averaging around 16mpg, another factor that hastened the demise of the Super Snipe Mk IV.