Hill­man Minx

Crusty Hill­man goes back to the coast – and Nick learns a harsh les­son

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - NICK LARKIN ED­I­TOR-AT-LARGE

1960 HILL­MAN MINX

My self-chas­tise­ment at buy­ing a bod­ily-chal­lenged Hill­man Minx un­seen has been re­duced to the odd ver­bal re­buke now that the car has found a new home.

The Minx could not have a bet­ter hope for fu­ture restora­tion, or be in a bet­ter place – it’s gone to Skeg­ness in Lin­colnshire, where it pre­vi­ously resided for more than 50 years.

Its new own­ers are fa­ther and son Fred and Ian El­lis. Fred has owned sev­eral Minxes over the years and even went on his hon­ey­moon in one. Ap­par­ently his new bride didn’t asked to be dropped off at the di­vorce courts on the way home.

‘ The car does need a lot of work but I’m re­ally pleased to be able to bring it back to Skeg­ness and it will be re­stored,’ Fred as­sured me. You may re­call that a gen­tle­man from the ‘so brac­ing’ east coast re­sort bought SCT 511 in 1965, be­fore pass­ing it on to his daugh­ters whio left it in their garage since 1973.

I’d spot­ted it while re­search­ing a news story and had lusted af­ter Hill­man Minx Se­ries IIIs in cof­fee-and-cream colours ever since I was al­lowed to sit in a £25 ex­am­ple when I was an im­pres­sion­able babe in arms.

My new car was lov­able but needed far more body­work that I could ever hope to achieve. There are too many other projects around here in any case.

I was more than happy with the money I got for the car, though I have taken quite a big fi­nan­cial hit. I briefly con­sid­ered stick­ing the Minx back on the auc­tion site which I ac­quired it, along with a vague de­scrip­tion, but that would have been wrong, and I would have hated the idea of it be­ing stripped for parts or – worse – scrapped.

But some­times – and I can just imag­ine this be­ing sung by Tommy Steele in one of his 1960s mu­si­cals – ‘Ya know, money just ain’t the most im­por­tant fing in life. It’s ya con­science wot counts.’ Or some­thing like that, any­way.

Oh well, les­son learned. At least I had some nice sits in the car – which took me back 40 years – and it’s good to know that I’ve se­cured its fu­ture.

Fred and Ian will be keep­ing in touch about the car. And the Hill­man will be at a rally in aid of char­ity at the venue owned by the El­lis fam­ily, Skeg­ness Water Leisure Park (www. skeg­ness­wa­ter­leisurepark.co.uk) on 17 Septem­ber. See you there!

’I would have hated the idea of it be­ing stripped for parts or – worse – scrapped’

Nick meets Philip Jor­dan, a friend of the new own­ers, who helps with their clas­sic col­lec­tion.

The Minx is whisked off to a new – and hope­fully much im­proved – stage in its life.

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