ENGINE 1592cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 62bhp@4800rpm TORQUE 84lb ft@2800rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 86mph 0-60MPH 22.2sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 22-28mpg TRANSMISSION RWD, four-speed manual MoT 12 months ODOMETER 60,130 miles
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
This Hillman starts instantly from cold and doesn’t need a long time on full choke. The subsequent idle barely wavers, and acceleration is enthusiastic and unhesitating, with around 55-60mph feeling naturally comfortable. Oil pressure is a healthy 40psi at warm tickover, 60psi under load. A very light clutch pedal makes the four-speed manual gearbox a pleasure to snick through its ratios. However, the non-servoassisted brakes require a hefty shove to offer their best and the steering wheel is angled slightly to the right with the wheels pointing directly ahead.
This car was comprehensively restored in 2006 and 2007 and has since picked up many cups and shields at events. There’s no rust and the pale blue paint is positively radiant in direct sunlight. Closer investigation reveals a few areas of orange peel effect here and there, but panel gaps are even all around, including the doors – they don’t often fit that well on the saloons, let alone the convertibles. Aside from some light pitting on the Mazak passenger door handle, all the brightwork is sparkling and untarnished. The body colour extends underneath the car, rather than undersealing having been applied.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
The blue carpets and matching vinyl seats are in as-new condition and the metallic blue dash panel shows just a little patina. No seatbelts are fitted – this is a 1963 car, so they’re not a legal requirement. All the gauges function correctly; speedometer needles can be quite vacillating on these cars, but this one gives a precise reading. The choke knob has a ‘C’ glued on to it to differentiate it from the other controls nearby. The hood is in excellent condition and easy to raise and lower.
UNDER THE BONNET
The engine bay is as immaculate as the rest of the car, with hardly a hint of oil or grime to be found. Even underneath the brake and clutch master cylinders is free from any fluid staining or corrosion; and the rocker cover, block and radiator are finished in a smart gloss black. All fluids are clean and to their correct levels. The car comes with an extensive history file, including photographs of the restoration process. It’s patently enjoyed a lot of care, attention and expenditure.
THE CCW VIEW
This Super Minx looks like most of its renovation work was done only yesterday, despite having been restored more than a decade ago. It is expensive for a Hillman but these convertibles are getting rare, and finding another as good as this one would be extremely difficult. If you want the best, then this is probably it… but quality such as this tends to to come at a justifiably high price.