Blacksmith Thomas Humber made velocipedes in 1868 and became a major cycle maker. He was introduced to the British Motor Syndicate in the 1890's by its general manger Martin Rucker. They built copies of Leon Bollee's tricar.
Later, back on his own again, Humber built tricycles, motorcycles and voiturettes offering two speeds, one forwards, one backwards. Until 1908 Humbers were built at both Coventry and Beeston near Nottingham. The Beeston Humbers were well built and therefore more expensive to buy. The Humberette catered for the popular small car market with its single-cylinder engine of 5 or 6.5hp.
After The Great War a series of small cars were at first offered, later being joined by medium sized vehicles of 12 and 24hp. During the Second World War Humber produced many vehicles, especially staff cars, for the services and public services. In 1925 Humber acquired Commer and in 1928 were themselves incorporated in Hillman.
In 1945 the Hawk, Snipe, Super Snipe and Pullman arrived and were produced over several Marks well into the 1960's. During the 1960's smaller models were introduced, such as the Sceptre based on Hillman Super Minx body shell.
The last of the traditional large Humbers were sold in 1968, when Chrysler, who by then owned the Rootes group, pulled the plug on production. Several V8 models had been in pre-production at this time, and several of these test examples survive today.
Its last car was the Humber Sceptre, an upmarket version of the Hillman Minx. The marque was shelved in 1975 when all Hillmans became badged as Chryslers. The Hillman Hunter was subsequently badged as a Chrysler until production ceased in 1979 when Chrysler's European division was sold to Peugeot and the marque renamed Talbot. The Talbot marque was abandoned at the end of 1986 on passenger cars, although it was continued on vans for six years afterwards.