It COST only £168 new in 1904 and is capable of a maximum speed of just 25mph – but now one of South Yorkshire’s oldest and rarest cars is set to fetch between £55,000 and £65,000 at auction.
The 1904 Humberette Royal Beeston six and a half horse power two-seater was owned at different times by Harry Gough, of Goldthorpe, and Mexborough garage owner Frank Harrison.
Frank lovingly restored the veteran car and won awards for his restoration.
Now the car is up for sale and it is expected to sell for between £55,000 and £65,000 at Bonhams in London today.
At least 500 Humberettes were built in the early 1900s but only 30 survive.
Malcolm Jeal, a Veteran Car Club enthusiast, said: “They are nice little cars, very well made, and the first volume-produced car in the United Kingdom.”
Auctioneers Bonhams confirmed: “It is known this car, first registered with East Sussex County Council, belonged to Harry Gough of Goldthorpe in Edwardian days.
“Garage man Frank Harrison, of nearby Mexborough, who had joined his father in the long-established family motor business in the town, discovered the car in 1955 and acquired it for restoration.
“Frank – trained in every aspect of the motor trade – embarked upon a restoration, which was to win him many awards during his long ownership.
“In 1986 the car was acquired by Raymond Nelson, a near neighbour who had known the car for many years, and he was to use the car sparingly.”
The car still has its original number plate – AP 413 – and was built at Beeston, Nottinghamshire, in 1904.
It cost 160 guineas new, or £168 in modern money.
The same year Henry Ford set a new land speed record of 91.37mph in his motor car, 999, on frozen Lake St Clair, Charles Rolls and Henry Royce agreed to make cars and Sheffield United finished sixth in the old first division.