The Hillman Hunter was a clean-sheet car developed to replace the Minx and Super Minx, and tidy-up and modernise the Rootes range in the process. It was a very conservative-looking car, but solidly engineered, and was of above-quality build in comparison with its British saloon car rivals of the time.
Its angular looks were penned by Rex Fleming with the help of noted stylist William Towns and were neat but hardly stirred the blood, and ended up looking very similar to the Ford Cortina Mk2, although the Hillman hit the market first. It was offered in a number of variations, including versions wearing the Sunbeam and Singer nameplates.
The 1725cc engine was the only real link with Rootes history and, with MacPherson strut front suspension, front disc brakes and overdrive, the Hunter gave a good account of itself. The entry-level Minx variant was more affordable, with a 1496cc engine, but the old name disappeared in 1970.
The Hunter soldiered on, largely unloved, and ignored in a post-Cortina Mk3 world, where flashiness was considered a quality. With the 88bhp GT and 93bhp GLSs on offer, the Hunter’s most interesting versions remain interesting classic cars. The last couple of years’ production took place in Ireland, making them a historical curiosity.
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The Arrow range was conceived as a smart-suited replacement for the Audax range of Minx/Supermix models and their badge-engineered counterparts. Some have called this the last Rootes car, although the Avenger has equal claim to that title. Launched in 1966/67, the new range of cars came in several guises, from the Hillman Minx at the […]
Conceived as an advanced replacement for the Audax range and created with the same set of goals as the Imp, the Swallow could have been the Rootes Group’s swansong… Sadly, it did not progress very far. Hindsight suggests that this might be no bad thing, as rear engined family cars were rapidly becoming a thing […]
The Arrow range was conceived to be a conventional replacement for the Audax Rootes cars – and as such, was designed in Hillman, Humber and Singer versions. The early styling schemes resembled an enlarged Imp, but these were soon revised into a plainer and more classical looking saloon. Quarter-scale models Full-scale proposals Late in 1963, […]
In design Roy Axe’s designs feature heavily on this website, and it was his Sunbeam Rapier that saw him rise to prominence… April 1964 May 1964 Full size clay, January 1965 Refinement, March 1965 Production version Roy Axe’s coupe makes an appearance at the 1968 London motor show, and immediately proves popular, even if comparisons […]
The Rootes Group were a prime proponent of the art of badge engineering; take a basic car and apply several marque names to it in order to cover several market sectors, whilst keeping a wide range of customers happy. Here is a gallery of the different Arrows sold during its lifetime… Chrysler Hunter 1976-1979 After […]
Enduring legend After several unsuccessful attempts to make FIAT automobiles, the most serious step towards production of automobiles was taken by establishment of Iran National Factories (Iran khodro, public joint stock company) and presentation of Paykan passenger car on 17 August 1962. Iran National was commissioned to manufacture the latest model of HILLMAN under the […]