British Hillman Hunters 1968-1970 (Part 2 of 3)
This part looks at the Hillman-badged Rootes Arrows introduced from November 1968 until October 1970, paralleling the sales life of the Australian HC Series. Neither of the British models below is known to have been assembled in New Zealand or South Africa.
MINX (basic); Built from October 1968, this was a short-lived separate model that appears to have ceased before the 1969 move of Hunter production to the Linwood plant. In effect it was a Minx with the Estate level of trim and equipment, and was introduced shortly before the Australian HC series. Like the Minx Deluxe, it used a grille similar to our HB series.
Australia's HC series was originally to have had a basic Hunter and a deluxe Hunter too, but in the event the basic (Safari) interior trim became standard in the HC Hunter, including the bench front seat, with an option pack of non-reclining bucket seats, carpets and console instead of a separate 'deluxe' model.
HILLMAN GT; On sale from September 1969, this was a separate model in it's own right. Taking it's engine and drive-train components from the Humber Sceptre and Sunbeam Rapier but with no automatic option, it was in concept and appearance similar to our later Hustler. It used a grille similar to our HC series, and had a two-section 'split' tailshaft which was used on all twin-carburettor Rootes Arrow models in the UK. Australian twin-carburettor models did not use this tailshaft.
The Hillman GT may have been a factory response the the Master Hunter, a package-deal Hunter Mk 2 created in 1967 by a Rootes dealer in High Wycombe. Using aftermarket parts, this was offered as a low-cost performance modification of new and used Hunters that cost far less than the factory Sceptres and Rapiers. Although using factory parts, the Hillman GT equipment list was very similar to the Master Hunter modifications list.
Next time we'll look at developments from October 1970 to March 1972.