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Hillman Reviews

Hillmand was founded in 1907 by bicycle manufacturer William Hillman. As a car manufacturer, its products were seen as being dull but worthy, but sold well. After Hillman’s death in 1921 the company passed to his son-inlaws John Black and Spencer Wilks, who respectively would later run Standard and Rover.

Their moves were precipitated by a takeover from Humber in 1928, soon after which both companies were sucked into the Rootes Group. Hillman became the badge applied to Rootes’ entry-level vehicles, with a succession of friendly-family cars such as the mainstay Minxes and later the Hunter, continuing until Chrysler killed off the name in 1976.

Good: A step towards modernity for Rootes, better to drive than to look at, Studebaker-inspired styling works well
Bad: Aimed at the American market, not many car here in the UK
Good: Nicely engineered British saloons with US-influences, but without going too far over the top
Bad: Basic models on the slow side, but plenty have been tuned along the way
Good: Interesting mid-sized Rootesmobile with a nice range of engines and interior options, Holbay tuned versions not uncommon and well-worth seeking out, convertible model super-cool
Bad: Later models with the re-profiled roof just look weird
Good: Fun small car, which in many ways is better to drive than a Mini, that rear mounted engine is a peach
Bad: Unreliability and rust back in the day, most nice cars have now been restored
Good: Roomy load compartment, nice to drive - unladen - in the way all Imps are
Bad: Rear-engined, so interesting to consider driving fully-laden
Good: Capable solid saloon that looked good and went well in 1725cc form
Bad: Low survival rate due to poor build quality and apathy
Good: Tidy handler, good looking, practical saloon with plenty of tuning potential
Bad: Low survival rate due to shocking build and corrosion issues

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