1st January 1965 - Scorpion Sovereign 616M – 616MS – 620M
With Triumph Vitesse drivetrain and a Williams & Pritchard body the car looked great. In my opinion. Tragically, it was not a success.
In Chris Humberstone’s own words in an interview with Giles Chapman for Classic & Sportscar magazine in September 1986 – “(Triumph) agreed… to give me a chassis from a Triumph Vitesse, and I built this thing called a Scorpion Sovereign, a name I registered but Jaguar subsequently used it; I thought I wouldn’t fight Jaguar over a name!”
Three versions offered: The 616M and the 616MS had a 1.6-liter overhead six cylinder inline engine equipped with two or three carburettors. The 620M had a 2.0-liter engine. Wheelbase of 2324mm and a track width of 1245mm.
The vehicle utilised a Triumph Herald/Vitesse scuttle and windscreen but with a different nose and tail. Glass differed also, apart from windscreen.
Motoring News journalist Mike Twite irritated Chris Humberstone. When lent a car the designer saw it on TV parked next to a special stage on the RAC rally. The journalist had been following the rally and the car was returned in a condition that suggested he had competed in it!
Note CJH 507 numberplate in some of the pictures. Guessing a Chris Humberstone private plate. Number is no longer on DVLA system.
The vehicle continued to be unlucky as Chris Humberstone (CH) loaned the car to Tom Gratrix of Bond cars on promises the design “was going to make him rich”. Bond had just launched the Equipe and it did not meet with CH approval.
After many phone calls CH was told Bond did not want to use the car. It was collected and CH considered that the end of the matter… but it wasn’t. A designer called Trevor Fiore who had been working for Bond rang CH to tell him Gratrix had got him to restyle the Scorpion by making it into a fastback. It was soon to be launched as the Bond Equipe 2 litre. Neither Trevor or Chris had been paid. Trevor managed to win a pyrrhic victory winning a court case against Bond. Bond were close to insolvent and were taken over by Reliant. No money was ever paid to Trevor by Bond.