34 Hillman Minx 35 Rover 200 BRM LE 35 Land Rover Series IIA
OWNED SINCE November 2016 RECENT MILEAGE 0 TOTAL MILEAGE 51,018 LATEST COSTS £2.50 (ice for punishment bath)
I ’m left reeling, both by my own immense stupidity and by one of the most astonishing coincidences of my entire existence.
You may recall that I unexpectedly satisfied my 40-year urge for a Hillman Minx Series III in ‘coffee and cream’ by stupidly pressing the ‘ bid’ button on a certain well-known internet auction site. Although there were lots of bids and couple of days to go, I emerged er, victorious. However, the car, which had been in a Skegness garage since 1973, really needs more bodywork repairs than I could ever dare to attempt. So far, attempts to add to the vehicle to the local car collection of the Lincolnshire Vintage Vehicle Society have come to nothing. Do feel free to remind them.
I have always loved Rootes cars of the pre-Arrow era, but just to recap briefly, this Minx is exactly the same as that once owned by a petrol station attendant at L&P Motors in Hartlepool, which I used to see during the mid-1970s on walks with my dad. I used to gurgle loudly from my Silver Cross pram at the sight of it. Once, I was allowed to sit in the car and thought it was the most wonderful vehicle on earth, much to the complete bemusement of everyone around me who seemed united in the opinion that it was a festering heap. The owner had paid just £25 for the Hillman but a suggestion to Mr Larkin Snr that he snap it up for £50 did not make his beloved offspring popular.
In bitter 2017, I introduced CCW editor David Simister to the unfortunate Rootesmobile and he looked extremely at home in it. He made some favourable comments too, though did describe the car as being ‘a little bodily challenged’. Or something like that, anyway.
I had a long sit in the Minx – the interior is excellent – and the years slipped away, back to the 1970s, when a very young me dropped his Farley’s rusk in Minx admiration.
There is so much attention to detail in this car, from the lovely twotone door trims to the magnificent Rootes badge on the dash. The door closes with a wonderful booming clunk too, though opening the ashtray to find contents that must have been there since 1973 or earlier was a bit of a shock.
A greater shock was to come, however. The other day, I was leafing through a dealer’s stock of pictures hoping to find something interesting for CCW’s The Way We Were section, when my jaw dropped. There was a photo of Church Street in West Hartlepool taken on 30 July 1966. The magnificent double-decked vehicle in the foreground is a 1953 Roe-bodied Daimler CVG6 of West Hartlepool Corporation, and around the time of my Hillman adventures I had tried desperately – but unsuccessfully, more’s the pity – to convince the adult world that the sister bus to this vehicle, AEF 593, should not be scrapped.
But look at the Minx next to it. I’m sure this locally registered car is the very same one that I would later fall in love with during the 1970s. Interested in making an offer on the Minx? Tel: 07950 643065 or email email@example.com