Humber Car Club of Victoria for stories on National Rallies and Events,  members cars
and Regalia Sales
Humber Car Club of Victoria for stories on National Rallies and Events,  members cars
and Regalia Sales
Humber Car Club of Victoria for stories on National Rallies and Events,  members cars
and Regalia Sales

Joe's Humber Hawk Story

To start with, l was partly built in two countries. l am a 1956 design and my pressing and mechanical section was done in England, and then shipped to Australia in CKD form (Complete Knocked Down). Complete cars that were imported from England were much the same but had leather upholstery and parts made in England while CKDs had many Australian parts and vinyl upholstery.

I was left in a garage on a property that had been sold prior to 2000. The new property owner had a clean up and placed many machinery bits and pieces in the corner of a paddock. Joe and a mate retrieved me from Warragul, Victoria. He had been told by another club member that I was available at no cost. I was inspected carefully and thoroughly for some time and showed that I needed attention to my rear end. I had rust in my boot floor and rear guards, some of which had been filled with tar and painted over. It was decision time for Joe. What was to become of me?

Luckily, Joe had a book 'Humber Illustrated - a History. 1868 to 1976' full of cycles, motor cycles. domestic motor vehicles and war products, aircraft, "Blenheim" scout cars trucks, heavy 4x4 station wagons! Montgomery's "Old Faithful" Snipe convertible, and armoured cars.
Original Car
Whilst reading Joe noticed that Ealing of England had made a Snipe ute from 1946 to 1956. My new owner had to make a decision - would he turn me into scrap metal and sell my mechanicals for spare parts; give me away after all his effort to bring me to Wodonga; or give me a face lift and make me look like the Ealing of England ute with an improved style that we are used to in Australia? Joe decided that if Reall of Ealing of England could build a ute then so could he. With his 4" angle grinder he started in 2001.

Shortly after this Eddie Hay rang to ask if we would like another Humber that was located a short distance to the East of Wodonga, Joe asked Russell Renfrey for help and I soon had a friend, another car same model and year and the same price, thanks to Michael Bartel.

To make my cabin Joe went down to Hovell Street Wodonga where he found a light truck cabin. Pat O'Toole Jnr said that it would be okay to buy, so the next day it was bought home. My chassis and two front doors went to be cleaned and solution dipped. The rest of my metal went to Border Sand-Blasters to be cleaned and primed.
Next was my engine. It was stripped and all internal bearings and bores were rebored and the only parts that could not he replaced with new ones were two gear wheels in my oilpump. While my engine was being rebored, my gearbox was being converted from column shift to floor shift by Colin Kendall of Wodonga Automatic Transmissions. King pins later rebuilt the rest of my front end and refitted it to my chassis. Next it was my rear end's turn to be cleaned and fitted with new bearings and seals. Finally my engine parts were back and John Adams lovingly' assenbled them, coupled them to the transmission and fitted them to my chassis. My brakes were then given attention with all new cylinders and pipes. The drums were machined and linings bonded" The master cylinder re-sleeved and they were all fitted with the help of Arnie Leitch, Bill Washington and Wodonga Brake and Clutch. My Chassis was now in "running" order.

It was now time for the start of my beauty treatment. My shiny parts were sent away to have new chrome plating. my steering wheel was sent to "Pearlcraft" and my dashboard was sent to Melbourne to be "woodgrained".
My body was about to be rebuilt and the truck cabin had the inner panel removed by drilling out the spot welds. This took two days, followed by cutting about 200mm vertically from the cabin to match door pillars. Then Joe assisted Rob Golin to repair the cabin, mudguards and bonnet and spray them with undercoat. My tray was formed in exchange for some work that Joe did, but Rob found that it was twisted and could not be heated and shrunk, so Wolfgang Humer folded up new sides and they were spot welded in place and lovingly fitted to my chassis. Meanwhile, my cabin was painted with burgundy acrylic gloss. The rear mudguards were cut, reshaped, painted and fitted to the tray.

It was now time to modify and reshape the heater to direct air to the windscreen and cabin. This was followed by new wiring, lights, chrome work and new 8 ply tyres.

Now it was time for my upholstery - mid grey interior and light grey tonneau, masterfully handled by Eddie at Ryebuck Auto Trimming
At last I am nearly finished. Minor adjustments to my gearbox, brakes and choke cable and get my driving lights to work. The Engineer inspects me for a second time, the "Weighbridge" certificate and finally Registration and I'm an the road in May 2009. My facelift started in 2001 and completed in 2009 and with about l2 months of non-work time I'm now complete with my "short back and sides".

Thank you to every person who helped to make me a great vehicle so that Joe can at last, chauffer me around.

I'm "Lady Hawk" with the help of Joe Rouse.
The Crowning of Lady Hawk VI
Once I had decided to convert the Hawk VI sedan to a "look alike" of a Super Snipe Pickup, and before getting out the 4" cutting disc, I went to Vic Roads to ask what they required in relation to the conversion of the Hawk in order for it to be legal.

I was told that I needed an engineer's report certificate, on completion. They gave me a list of engineers, all in Melbourne, and asked a few questions: the age of vehicle, and did it have a separate chassis.

I rang the engineer and told him what I was about to do. He told me that he would do a complete inspection which included tyres (8 ply), chassis, bodywork (new and old), steering, brakes, and all mechanical modifications. Plus it also needs seatbelts for all 3 people. He gave me a price - I was glad I was sitting down! He said that if I can find anybody else requiring an inspection certificate, he would halve the price.

Later, having got complete running chassis and cabin completed, inspected work, noted all welds, mechanical parts and noted tyres, brand and ply, bolt holes for seat belts. Body was left in undercoat so he could see where welds were.

Next, the ute was finished in upholstery shop. An inspection was done at the upholsterer's workshop where he did the whole inspection again. He asked me about seat belt brackets - I told him that he had inspected that before. He flipped back through his notes and found the previous notation. I said to him that is why I called him before, if it was covered with upholstery, we would have had to undo it! Yes, it was good to have two inspections.

He said he would send the certificate when I was ready to register the ute, because the certificate only lasts for three months. Later, time for rego. Booked in for rego and was told I would have to have a weighbridge ticket, receipt for the car, and the cost for the rebuild. I collected all the paperwork and headed down to Vic Roads with all papers.

I was asked if I wanted to have Full or Club Permit Scheme Registration, so I said I would have Club Permit Scheme plates.

Then I was told I would not require weighbridge or engineer's certificate, just proof of ownership. I told them the cost of all the inspections, and about the weighbridge papers only lasting three months.

They told me that being on Club Permit Scheme plates, nothing of the history for the ute would be recorded in their paperwork, so if it was sold or required to go on full registration in the future I would have to go through all inspections again.

So it is now on full registration, and I can go onto Club Permit Scheme registration later with the full history of the conversion recorded.

Submitted by Joe Rouse as a follow up to the article printed in The Humberette April 2010

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