Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hillman Minx Series I II III (1956-1963)

I'm sentimental for the Hillman Minx "Series" cars. They're a charming old car. My brother's first car was a Hillman Minx. At university my friend Patricia drove a Humber 80 (The Humber 80 was a rebadged Hillman Minx that was sold only in the NZ market).

It's a conventional front engine (1390cc, later 1592cc) rear wheel drive car that was very popular. I remember the body was made from much thicker steel than car makers would later use. It had 15" wheels when 13" wheels would soon be the standard. It had a bench seat and a 4-speed gearshift on the steering column when individual seats and floor mounted gearshift would soon be popular. Over the years there were only minor styling changes to the grille and rear quarter panels and tail lights. The Raymond Loewy styling (most noticeable around the "C" pillar in the profile) is a little bit roly poly. It was a solid car. Honest, unpretentious transportation. You could even crank start it! And I like the two-tone paint.



Mr. M. said...

I had a 1959 Hillman Minx, and I completely agree that the steel was like armor! After it hit a guardrail on a snowy road once, the front wheel well was bent in. A tow truck was hooked up to pull out the dent, but instead pulled the whole car without moving the sheet metal! It had a stick shift on the floor, not the column. I loved that car, despite mechanical flaws. Had to get rid of it around 1970 when we could see the road pass by through the floorboards!

Terry said...

I have just bought '59 Minx with a floor shift as a restoration project to replace the enormous Jag I was working on. The scale and style are much more to my capabilities and tastes.