Car that allegedly helped King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson’s relationship to go up for auction

The car which is alleged to have helped develop a controversial royal romance is set to be auctioned this week.

King Edward VIII abdicated the throne on December 11, 1936, after refusing to split from Wallis Simpson.

It is believed that Simpson traveled around London in secret in 1933 with the future king in a 1933 Humber Snipe.

Now, Hansons Auctioneers in Etwall, Derbyshire, is selling a collection of 16 vintage Humbers on October 25.

This 1933 Humber Snipe, which is alleged to have driven King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson around London in secret, is set to be sold at auction later this week at Hansons Auctioneers in Etwall, Derbyshire

This 1933 Humber Snipe, which is alleged to have driven King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson around London in secret, is set to be sold at auction later this week at Hansons Auctioneers in Etwall, Derbyshire

King Edward VIII abdicated the throne on December 11, 1936, after refusing to split from Wallis Simpson and it is alleged the pair drove around London in secret in this car

King Edward VIII abdicated the throne on December 11, 1936, after refusing to split from Wallis Simpson and it is alleged the pair drove around London in secret in this car

The Wallis Simpson-linked vehicle has a guide price of £20,000 to £40,000, while the other Humber models have a more modest starting price at around £1,000. 

Alan Marshall, 64, from Hull, is auctioning off the incredible collection, which was gathered across two generations of his family, because of spiraling maintenance and storage costs.

He said: ‘I was told the car had been used by Edward and Mrs Simpson because it was perfect for privacy. Thanks to its small back window you couldn’t see who was inside.’ 

The vehicle’s age ties in with the royal romance, as Prince Edward met Wallis Simpson at a fox hunt in 1931 and by 1934 the pair were allegedly lovers.

The Wallis Simpson-linked vehicle has a guide price of £20,000 to £40,000. Pictured: File image of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in the grounds of Charters in Sunninghall, Berkshire

The Wallis Simpson-linked vehicle has a guide price of £20,000 to £40,000. Pictured: File image of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in the grounds of Charters in Sunninghall, Berkshire

However, the relationship between Prince Edward and Simpson, who was twice divorced, caused the government enough concern to have the pair followed by Metropolitan Police Special Branch.

When King George V died in 1936, Edward ascended the throne as King Edward VIII – but his reign was short because his plan to marry Wallis caused a constitutional crisis that led to his abdication that same year. 

Manager of the Humbers sale on behalf of Hansons, Rik Alexander, said: ‘If Special Branch followed Edward and Mrs Simpson around, the Humber would have certainly suited their needs. A place to hide from prying eyes. 

‘I think buyers will be intrigued by this car’s romantic royal connection and place in history.

Alan Marshall, 64, from Hull, is auctioning off the incredible collection, which was gathered across two generations of his family, because of spiraling maintenance and storage costs

Alan Marshall, 64, from Hull, is auctioning off the incredible collection, which was gathered across two generations of his family, because of spiraling maintenance and storage costs

Allan Marshall lined up a seven Humbers for his daughters wedding in 2003. They make up a collection of 16 vintage motors

Allan Marshall lined up a seven Humbers for his daughters wedding in 2003. They make up a collection of 16 vintage motors

‘But the successful bidder will have to roll their sleeves up. They won’t be able to drive the car straight away. It’s a restoration project and needs its engine re-installing.’

However, the 1933 Humber Snipe isn’t the only car in Marshall’s collection with a royal connection.

A Humber Supersnipe MKIII 1952 is said to have transported The Queen Mother at the Castle of Mey, Caithness, Scotland and her finger nails are believed to have made marks on the grab handles inside the car. 

The 1952 motor has a similar guide price to the 1933 model, at around £20,000-£40,000. 

Marshall said he didn't want to have to sell his car collection which he described as 'the best collection of Humber vehicles in the world'

Marshall said he didn’t want to have to sell his car collection which he described as ‘the best collection of Humber vehicles in the world’

Royal interior: This is allegedly the seat on which King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson sat while secretly travelling around the capital, while being following by Metropolitan Police Special Branch

Royal interior: This is allegedly the seat on which King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson sat while secretly travelling around the capital, while being following by Metropolitan Police Special Branch

Another of Marshall’s motors, the 1948 MK1 Pullman, was involved in the 1965 Second World War film Operation Crossbow and the 2015 movie A Royal Night Out. 

Mr Alexander said: ‘I was bowled over by Allan’s Humbers. Every single one of them has a special story, a place in history. 

‘This collection celebrates British motoring history. Classic cars are soaring in value making them a good investment, particularly with global markets in turmoil right now.

‘They’re something you can rely on and enjoy. Celebrity Humber owners include Jools Holland, Richard Branson and Chris Evans, who apparently contacted Allan for advice.’

A Humber Supersnipe MKIII 1952 (pictured) is said to have transported The Queen Mother at the Castle of Mey, Caithness, Scotland and her finger nails are believed to have made marks on the grab handles inside the car

A Humber Supersnipe MKIII 1952 (pictured) is said to have transported The Queen Mother at the Castle of Mey, Caithness, Scotland and her finger nails are believed to have made marks on the grab handles inside the car

Allan said that he didn’t want to have to sell his collection of motors because it has taken him decades to build up the greatest collection of Humbers in the world.

He hopes that the collection will be sold together to keep it in one piece.

Humbers are claimed to be the first series production cars ever made in England and were produced in Beeston, near Nottingham, Stoke and Coventry.  

King George VI took delivery of his first Humber in 1935 and was so impressed he ordered 47 to be sent to British embassies around the world.

Every prime minister of the day arrived at Downing Street in a Humber.

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