Q: Greg I graduated substantial university in 1969 and my father was normally intrigued in cars and did most of his own auto care. We were a spouse and children of six and all of our automobiles had been functional. I recall we experienced a vehicle termed the Hillman Husky and it was a bare bones auto that I imagine had a handbook transmission. My dad’s intention was finding fantastic fuel mileage and I keep in mind the Hillman wasn’t a well-recognised brand name.
I have fantastic reminiscences of this time in my life and any facts on Hillmans is appreciated. I browse your content in the Push Organization each and every 7 days.
– Joanne Charles, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
A: Joanne thanks for your hand-penned letter and yours is the initial I have obtained inquiring for details on the Hillman.
Hillman was portion of the significant Rootes auto production corporation, a nicely recognized British company working in the vicinity of Coventry, England. Dating again to building its very first cars in 1907, they are most effective identified for vehicle production and specifically its low-priced Hillman and sporty Sunbeam two-seater. Chrysler and then Peugeot took around afterwards in Rootes background in advance of its closing styles in 1981. Most of the automobiles have been sold in Europe, but Rootes to this day is respected as a high quality manufacturer in the course of its heyday and did impression North The usa on a beneficial take note.
The Hillman Husky your father owned was a pleasant little station wagon developed from 1954 to 1970 in a few distinct generations. And, staying that you keep in mind your dad’s Hillman Husky, there is just a tiny chance he owned a person of the first technology Huskies named the Mark I that was crafted on the well known Hillman Minx automobile chassis.
These autos debuted in 1954 and ended the generation in 1957 driving on an 84-inch wheelbase with a control body weight of just 1,904 pounds. It was a a few-doorway estate layout with two side doorways and just one massive rear doorway that opened sideways. Run by a fuel economical, 35-horse inline-4 cylinder engine of just 77.2 cubic inches, I’m confident when loaded down with children and cargo it did not set any acceleration records. It arrived with a 4-velocity guide transmission as the only equipment changer obtainable.
In 1958, Hillman launched a new Husky that would go via 3 levels. The very first of the 2nd era Husky was just named the Series 1 and was again dependent on its preferred Minx chassis. Although still a modest station wagon, the new Husky grew in wheelbase to 86 inches and the suppress pounds now exceeded one ton at 2,072 to 2,100 lbs . relying on the trims that became readily available.
The Husky motor also bought a tad much larger, now measuring in at 86-cubic inches and producing 51 horsepower. The exterior style was additional fashionable, particularly in the front fender treatment method and an all-new entrance grille style. Offered via 1965, I’d give robust odds that this is the edition you experienced in your driveway back then. In 1960, a Series II was included to the lineup with much more engine compression resulting in zero to 60 mph moments just below 30 seconds! Last but not least, a Series III arrived in 1963 with a 97.1 cubic inch engine, four-speed synchromesh transmission and some styling tweaks to the entrance close.
The last and third technology Hillman Husky arrived in 1967 and lasted until finally 1970. This time, it was centered on the more compact Hillman Imp chassis with the wheelbase shrinking to 82 inches and the control weight dropping to 1,652 lbs .. The engine, as well, was a more compact inline-4 cylinder of just 53.4-cubic inches and 42 horses hooked to a 4-velocity handbook. All of these Hillman Husky trims ended up 4 passenger vehicles, received fantastic gasoline mileage and experienced a leading velocity somewhere in the lower 70 mph variety.
The primary Rootes Export Division was perhaps greatest recognized for its Hillman and Sunbeam Alpine sports activities cars and trucks with regional import workplaces in New York Metropolis and Los Angeles. Adhering to a British Car Clearly show in New York structured by William Rootes in 1950, they signed up numerous American dealers and revenue to customers shot to $169 million from 1951 to 1956 and then up to $303 million from 1957 to 1962. The Rootes household challenging function compensated off as in 1959, 27,000 Hillmans have been parked in American driveways.
Hillman and Sunbeam ended up both well-liked in North The us, but when Chrysler Europe took around Rootes in 1967 to 1970 through agreed on stock takeover purchases, profits in the states declined. Emphasis was extra on the European marketplace when the U.S. government was generating it additional difficult for foreign cars and trucks to adapt to thoroughly clean air mandates, protection enhancements and other EPA procedures.
And as for the Sunbeam two-seater, a Carroll Shelby-led hard work equipped the Alpine with tiny block Ford V8, renamed it the Sunbeam Tiger and Rootes introduced the attractiveness to the U.S. market place from 1964 to 1967. Chrysler ended the Tiger exertion when its 273-inch modest block wouldn’t in shape in the engine bay. (But which is a tale for another working day).
And for the sake of dialogue, if your dad’s Husky was a 1964, it retailed back again then for $1,639 and currently is detailed at $34,700 significant retail by NADA. Low retail is $17,700.
Hope this all aids and many thanks for your letter, Joanne.
Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content material Now and Gannett Co. Inc. Call him at [email protected] or at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, PA 18840.