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Hillman Minx Californian (1953 - 1956)

Last updated 26 March 2013

 
4
A step towards modernity for Rootes, better to drive than to look at, Studebaker-inspired styling works well
Aimed at the American market, not many car here in the UK

Introduction

The Hillman Minx Californian was conceived for the American market. The USA was always a big target for British car firms in the aftermath of WW2 and the subsequent export drive, and Hillman had a head start on its competitors thanks to Studebaker-inspired styling by American Raymond Loewy.

As its name suggested the Californian coupé was designed to target the 'personal coupe' market with a car that young couples could buy for a very reasonable outlay. In essence, it was a 1953 Minx drophead coupé with a permanent hardtop attached. The top half of the car featured a split three-piece rear screen that was was very eye-catching and the roof’s contrasting paint made the car stand out. However, it didn't sell in the numbers anticipated of it - mainly because when Americans wanted to buy British cars, they wanted all-out sports cars.

 

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