1970-1981 HILLMAN AVENGER
The final Rootes design; simple, functional and highly usable, unusual styling, especially at the rear
Rootes/Chrysler UK had virtually a clean sheet of paper on which to design the Avenger and the result, while hardly world-beating, was certainly a success. It was reliable and economical, with longlasting 1248cc and 1498cc engines (1295cc and 1598cc from 1973).
You’ll pay good money for the coveted Escort Mexico-beating Tiger, but the rest of the Avenger range has largely remained out of the limelight, despite GLS models being well-equipped, some wacky special editions – such as the white vinyl-roofed Top Hat – and the spacious and rarer-still estate.
The Avenger was later badged and marketed as a Chrysler and ended its days as a Talbot, all be it with rather less distinctive styling.
Rust has killed most Avengers, with front wings, wheelarches and the boot floor among the key danger areas.
Larger engines can be heavy on fuel if pressed hard, but none of them have any real vices, other than regular wear and tear.
Shock absorbers and suspension bushes wear with age. Electrics were not always brilliant, especially in early cars, so make sure everything from the lights to the heater blower works as it should.