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When Rootes made the Minx super; classic wheels.

Byline: Ian Johnson

HILLMAN cars were at one time the pride of middle England.

In the 1950s and 1960s they graced the driveways of many family homes and were always considered a bit of a step up from competitors such as Ford.

The Minx was the mainstay of the range but at the dawn of the 1960s it needed to answer a call for more space as competitors were gaining ground in this area.

Announced in October 1961, the new Super Minx was a larger and much more modern development of the basic car. This roomy model was aimed at the family man, although looking at it in modern terms it was a classic contender as a business car.

The recipe included a longer wheelbase, smaller wheels, much more legroom and a wider cabin. Safety harness anchorages were built in and maintenance was streamlined with just three chassis grease points and even these were phased out.

Hillman owners the Rootes Group may have wished for this new, more with it car to have taken over from the standard Minx, but it was not to be because it was just too big for a one size fits all approach.

An estate car was a welcome addition to the range in 1962 and a very roomy one it was. But the beauty of the line-up was the two door convertible which followed later hat year. However, anyone expecting big changes under the bonnet were disappointed because power was from the old 1,592cc engine which traced its ancestry back to a 1,390cc unit of 1953 vintage.

The original Super Minx had the cast-iron cylinder head version of the engine, though on later cars the cylinder head was replaced with an aluminium one.

Suspension was independent at the front using coil springs with anti-roll bar and at the rear had leaf springs and a live axle. Steering was unassisted and drum brakes were fitted. In truth the Super Minx was a great improvement on the standard model which had its roots firmly in the 1950s. As with many Rootes cars of the time it could be ordered in some very attractive two tone paint jobs. And of course, as was the Rootes way, the company badge-engineered the platform to cover cars from Singer and Humber. Further marks of the car were introduced and at the end of its career in 1967 it proved its case as a very roomy and attractive car. If you wanted one in 1962 it would have set you back PS854.

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The new Super Minx was a larger, more modern development of the basic car.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:May 31, 2013
Words:439
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