PCH, What The Hell IS That Thing Edition: Humber Sceptre or Simca Aronde?

Welcome to Project Car Hell, where you choose your eternity by selecting the project that's the coolest... and the most hellish! We had as close to a tie as you're going to see in the Hell Garage, last time around, with the '77 911 Turbo just barely beating the '78 911 Turbo in the poll. Now it's time to return to some mano-a-mano PCH Superpower action, and not only that- it's time to look at crazy orphan cars from across the ocean, cars that will make passersby shun you like the freak you are admire your rebellious spirit. France versus Britain! Simca versus Humber!

You got your Reliants and your Lloyds, but when you're talking about weird British marques that Americans can't identify… well, it's tough to beat a Humber. You get your Rootes Group-ish Chrysler-influenced styling, Lucas Electrics, and ahead-of-its-time technology (well, not really, unless the time is being set in Detroit) with the Magnificent Humber Sceptre!


Just look at that fine hunk of British iron! At this point, you're probably bummed because you know there's no way in hell to get a Sceptre without traveling to the UK, and even then you'd be in a frustrating right-hand-drive car… but hold on a second! There's a left-hand drive Humber Sceptre (go here if the ad disappears) available for just $750 in rust-free Southern California! We know, the seller says it's a '60 and the Sceptre Mark I didn't exist until 1963, but this one ran when parked! OK, that was 10 (probable Craigslist-to-English translation: 18) years ago, but the "motor turns over" and it looks like all the impossible-to-find glass is intact. Add an SR20DET and you'll be the Sceptre King of your time zone!
That Sceptre is mighty fine and that's a fact, but where's the sportiness? You need a slick-looking two-door to get anywhere in this world, and you need to remember that Chrysler wasn't just building Hillmans and Humbers and Singers in England- the Rootes Group was building cars in France as well! Yes, perennial PCH Superpower France, where engineers don't give a damn how the rest of the world thinks cars ought to be… and you're in luck today, because this 1959 Simca Aronde is available at a very reasonable price. How reasonable we can't say, because of that damn eBay reserve game, but we're betting it's a 3-digit number. That means you'll have money left in your budget for an Offenhauser engine to fill in that void under the hood, and then you can start the search for a new rear window. Oh, wait- the seller says "i have found a rear window and i will give new owner the phone number to buy it," so you're pretty much ready to go!

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