H  I  L  L  M  A  N

The "NEW" 1959 Hillman Minx - Progress Report #1 ooo

Me and my HillmanHere's the Minx, 9 months after purchase in the new garage, up on floor jacks.  Right now the brakes are getting all the attention.   All four front wheel cylinders, brake lines and hydraulic hoses are gone, and the passenger side needs new wheel bearings, possibly.  But I'm still smiling, as you can tell.   The strange purple "lens flare" is from the Sony Mavica digital camera - need a filter it seems, just like on analogue cameras.

motorHere's the engine department - the right side of which has received some attention with rebuild of the wiper motor, battery tray cleaning and repaint and some rewiring to the fuse block and regulator.

The Brakes, as found, have virtually full linings on the shoes, but the wheel cylinders are rusted in - moisture has taken it's toll over years of neglect.  I suspect this car was taken off the road and sat for at least 10, if not 20 years - probably from sitting in the same barn in which it was found.  The radiator shell in this car is steel, whereas the shell in my first Hillman was solid brass, so I wonder why the change?

keyhide.jpg (17580 bytes)



This is the mysterious location of the spare, brand new, trunk key as outlined in the dirt and dust that managed it's way around and under the specifications plate that was attached by four screws (see orange arrow pointing to the key location).  One screw went right through the fob of the key, making it secure.  Many other Hillman owners have reported finding keys in the same location, which is great, because many cars are found having no keys at all.


front pass. sidewheelwell< Here is the passenger's side front wheel well after removal of lots of grease collected over the years.   What is interesting about this, and the subsequent shots, is the solid condition of the sheet metal, which is not protected by any sort of undercoating - only the same paint and undercoat primer as used on the exterior finish of the entire body.  The bits of red paint showing is the actual undercoat primer, as this car has never been repainted or even waxed, for that matter.

The inner wheel well  > 




<This is the infamous box section at the top of the front wheel well: shot taken facing the back of the car.  This is where road dirt, grime, and moisture usually collect and eventually eat the car.   Only in this case, there is only a light surface coating of rust instead, which is treatable by wire brushing and a recoat of primer and topcoat to renewHere, you can see how the red primer base coat has barely survived, and it's protective qualities are quite minimal, at best.

slave cylinder


This is the incorrectly replaced clutch slave cylinder > Note that the bleeding screw is located at the bottom, which is wrong.  To ensure proper elimination of air from the lines when bleeding, make sure the bleeder screw is at the top!   A common mistake many make, including myself,  is to refit the cylinder upside down.  This error will be corrected during the rebuild.  Also, more tension can be had from a 40 year old spring by reversing the spring mount located under the slave cylinder mounting bolt, which in effect stretches the spring a little tighter.

rear logo


< This is what happens to the rear Trunk logo after the chrome flakes away and someone tries to "restore" it by painting it silver.  Not a nice looking job.  Unfortunately, rechroming cost would be prohibitive, considering the amount of filling and smoothing necessary to prepare the part for re-chroming.  A better condition original replacement is on it's way, thankfully, due to the kindness of another Hillman owner and affectionato.  The license tags are circa 1989, and came with the car.  Anyone recognize them?  I restored the tags by removing a thin layer of overspray (silver paint, of course) using pencil erasers (act like mild rubbing compound) so as to not damage the paint underneath, and then polished them with a good coat of wax.   Now the tags look better than the car!   Could use a new gas cap too, since it was dented, and is suffering corrosion as well - all donations accepted!



Lastly, here is the result of applying coarse compound by machine to the dull, rough finish of the car (Right side of top).  It becomes smooth, and a shine begins to develop!  Note, that no polish or wax topcoat has been applied!  Is especially evident when compared to the left side, which remains untouched.  Note the temporary replacement rear view mirror donated by a Super Minx languishing in a junkyard in nearby Pennsylvania.  The mounting holes and arm are identical, but the mirror itself is twice as large as the original Series III mirror.  Bit of a safety improvement, hey?  Note the dry-rotted seat back....