Hill­man Minx MkVII

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - THIS WEEK - Grant Ford

ENGINE 1265cc/4-cyl/SV POWER 38bhp@4200rpm TORQUE 58lb ft@2200rpm MAX­I­MUM SPEED 65mph 0-60MPH 29.7sec FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 26-33mpg TRANS­MIS­SION RWD, four-speed man­ual MoT Ex­empt ODOME­TER 44,202 miles


Just the one push on the starter but­ton and the side­valve unit ticks over read­ily with the ad­di­tional oil pres­sure gauge reg­is­ter­ing a very healthy 40lb when warm. The clutch is light with a bit­ing point just above halfway, while the col­umn change se­lects with ease. The drive is sur­pris­ingly com­pe­tent, with far bet­ter per­for­mance than ex­pected. Drums all round mean that some thought is re­quired when brak­ing. The steer­ing isn’t heavy, even at park­ing speeds.


The chas­sis and floor­pan have sur­vived rather well; no doubt re­pairs have been car­ried out, but there are min­i­mal signs of weld­ing. Both front wings show ev­i­dence of lo­cal re­pairs and a few small bub­bles are vis­i­ble for those with a keen eye. Both rear doors also dis­play small signs of pre­vi­ous re­pairs while the boot lid fea­tures a small star-shaped dent. The sills ap­pear solid and the roof has an un­for­tu­nate scratch that won’t pol­ish out, but over­all the fin­ish is still bright and very pre­sentable. The orig­i­nal grille was heav­ily pit­ted so has been de-chromed and fin­ished in a lac­quered sil­ver; the bumpers are straight with min­i­mal pit­ting.


With its Art Deco dash and bench seats, the in­side is vis­ually im­pres­sive. The car­pets are per­fect, as is the seat leather. All the gauges and di­als work cor­rectly, and the ad­di­tion of amps, tem­per­a­ture and oil pres­sure gauges are sen­si­ble and blend in rel­a­tively well. The orig­i­nal roof lin­ing is taut, while the cur­rent owner has car­ried out im­pres­sive re­pairs to the Bake­lite steer­ing wheel which looks show­room fresh. There is a fur­ther switch to op­er­ate the traf­fi­ca­tors and all the Fur­flex door seals are new. Ac­cess pan­els have also been pro­vided through the car­pets for the brake mas­ter cylin­der and gear­box dip­stick lo­ca­tions.


The ma­jor­ity of the cur­rent owner’s fi­nan­cial out­lay has been here; the bay is prac­ti­cally show stan­dard. With in­voices to­talling £2773 and a ful­ly­doc­u­mented engine re­build there is am­ple pa­per­work, but the trail stops in 2011 with its last MoT. It was recom­mis­sioned last year and the engine was stripped be­fore a head skim and full de-coke. The list of new and re­con­di­tioned parts is ex­ten­sive. Ev­ery hose and clip has been re­placed along with a com­plete brake sys­tem over­haul, with new mas­ter and wheel cylin­ders. Four new pe­riod crossply tyres com­plete things.


This is a very hon­est 1950s saloon that is me­chan­i­cally in top or­der and easy to drive. While the ex­te­rior would ben­e­fit from some re­pairs and paint, it is cer­tainly not ur­gent. The in­te­rior is pe­riod-per­fect. Ideal for any­body seek­ing the older clas­sic ex­pe­ri­ence, with­out go­ing vin­tage.

The engine has re­ceived a lot of care and cash.

Art Deco in­te­rior sup­ple­mented by ad­di­tional gauges.

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