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