Lit­tle Minx! Rot stops play

Nick dis­cov­ers that his new Hill­man is hid­ing a mul­ti­tude of rusty hor­rors

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - LIVING WITH CLASSICS -

Right. I de­cided that it was time to re­move the rose-tinted spec­ta­cles and have a proper look un­der­neath the Hill­man Minx I re­cently bought on impulse, sight-un­seen.

Ob­vi­ously I knew about the ragged rear whee­larches and bub­bles on the wings but a care­ful look un­der the car con­firmed my worst fears – there’s some nasty corrosion on the front and rear chas­sis rails/out­rig­gers and a hole in the boot, prob­a­bly as a re­sult of the 1960s/early 1970s’ brac­ing Skeg­ness sea air. In ad­di­tion, it turns out that the near­side sill was care­fully riv­eted on, prob­a­bly in the early 1970s – a fine ex­am­ple of the ur­ban crafts­man­ship that pre­dom­i­nated at the time. If I were an eter­nal glass-half-full op­ti­mist, I might point out that the floor­pans seem to be rea­son­ably sound and that the car is prob­a­bly re­pairable. I have done some weld­ing be­fore and would love to have an­other go, but can’t see that hap­pen­ing in ad­di­tion to my var­i­ous other tire­less toils.

It has been sug­gested to me by a cou­ple of peo­ple – who I was sub­se­quently forced to chas­tise with an au­then­tic 1950s’ knuck­le­duster – that the car could be use­ful for spares, not least its good in­te­rior. It would cer­tainly make more sense to have a ser­vice­able Rootes­mo­bile rather than keep this one for years merely as some­thing to sit in and feel sorry for.

Any­one in­ter­ested? If you’re the sort of op­ti­mistic soul – one who thinks that our afore­men­tioned water glass isn’t just half full, but pos­si­bly a me­dieval tankard once owned by Richard the Lion­heart – then you might like to know that there’s a tin of Val­rex Sa­hara Beige paint in the boot. You have to take com­fort wher­ever pos­si­ble in these sit­u­a­tions!

Could hav­ing a rea­son­able in­te­rior save the Minx? At least there’s some spare paint for touch­ing in where needed!

Larkin puts on a brave face, be­fore re­peat­edly kick­ing him­self. NICK LARKIN ED­I­TOR-AT-LARGE 1960 HILL­MAN MINX

Whee­larch rot is ex­ten­sive too. Ah, quite a lot of rust, then. Not good.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.