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Old 17th November 2009, 15:18   #1
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Default 1951 Hillman Minx restoration

Hi All,

This is my 1951 Hillman Minx. It is in pretty good originality, except the engine! I did not realize this when I picked it up from one of my distant uncles (thats the reason I did not do a thorough scrutiny) and I was told it is in unchanged original condition. Anyway, keeping the past aside, the original side-valve engine has been replaced with 1592 cc OHV Hillman engine from a later model (guess around 1955 engine. It needed some attention and got it partially restored (only the engine work) at a workshop near my home in Malleshwaram, Bangalore. It was probably one of the worst decisions. After about a year of basking in the sun, got it back a couple of months ago. It is in very decent running condition now, except a few things for which I plan to take it elsewhere. Once these are done, I also intend giving it a fresh paint job and upholstery. I have the original Minx badges and also got the original Smiths speedo serviced, but yet to install. These are the current issues / problems -

1. Some oil leakage (very slow rate, but bothers me nevertheless)
2. Minor gear adjustment (was great earlier, my mechanic messed it a bit)
3. Re-checking the electrical wiring and fixing if required
4. Fixing the trafficator arms (one of them is not working)
5. Repair of the original Lucas horn-pair (the one bulged on one side)
6. Sourcing original / good wiper blades and getting it to work
7. Fix out-of-sync boot lid rachets (courtesy my mechanic, was perfect)
8. Some general servicing and tuning
9. Source original solex / zenith carburretor
10. Indicators and front sidelights (Lucas 488?)

Once these are done, I plan to get some minor body work done and go for a fresh paint-job and that I expect should complete the restoration.

Any suggestions and advice on bring this car back to pristine condition is welcome. Like I said, it runs quite well now. So, I believe the engine may not need much attention. Also, I have just got most of the chrome re-done at Vijayalakshmi. However, I would be delighted if I can find an old side-valve engine and restore that part also. I was thinking of first getting the mechanicals up-to-speed and then get the body work / paint job attended to. Is this a good idea or is it better to get it done one shot? It may be so especially if the mechanicals and body work are to be done at different places.

What do you guys suggest?
1. Any suggestions for a mechanic and paint work?
2. I am not sure what part numbers were the original front sidelights and rear indicators. I am sure the one currently on the car is that of Ambassador. Any idea which were the original sidelights and indicators? Were they Lucas L488? Because I was able to find them on Ebay UK, but wanted to be sure before I ordered them. Can I source them locally?
3. Any source for original Solex / Zenith carb?
4. Pointers for servicing m original horns in Bangalore?

Thanks a lot in advance for the time you took off to go through my post and helping me out. Someone suggested Sripathi, but am not too sure, so thought I will bounce my thought with you folks and then go ahead. I will post better quality pictures one of these days, these were captured using my phone camera.

Cheers,
Avinash
Attached Thumbnails
1951 Hillman Minx restoration-01112009407.jpg  

1951 Hillman Minx restoration-01112009409.jpg  

1951 Hillman Minx restoration-01112009410.jpg  

1951 Hillman Minx restoration-01112009411.jpg  

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Old 17th November 2009, 20:44   #2
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ace hillman your car is very well kept. The front parking lights are from brand new Ambassadors, the front side indicators being from the Super Select (the Hillman Minx had no side indicators) while the rear orange lights are just add-ons from the Padmini (even the Minx never had these).In fact your Minx has original backlights.
Please view these pictures of a Hillman Minx which is very original. Its seat is also original and maybe the paint too.You can take this as one role model for restoring your car to its originality.But in its overall looks this one looks ramshackle!
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/vintag...an-minx-5.html (Hillman Minx)

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 17th November 2009 at 20:45.
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Old 18th November 2009, 11:22   #3
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Thanks for your reply Anjan. Yes, that right, the front parking lights are Ambassador parts, I realized it the moment I saw them at my uncle's place and thats one of the few things he also acknowledged!

Thanks for that link, I had searched around a little to find reference pictures, but hadn't been able to locate. The side lights in my car are mere reflectors, which I will remove. I will also remove the rear indicators. And for the front parking lights, I came across two versions of original Lucas lamps on Ebay UK, not able to decide which one to go for. Guess L488 looks neat, and it should not matter a whole lot, but your suggestion would help - L488 / L594?

Also, any pointers to other spares like carb and some good mechanics around Bangalore region?

Cheers,
Avinash
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Old 18th November 2009, 19:42   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ace_hillman View Post
Thanks for your reply Anjan. Yes, that right, the front parking lights are Ambassador parts, I realized it the moment I saw them at my uncle's place and thats one of the few things he also acknowledged!

Thanks for that link, I had searched around a little to find reference pictures, but hadn't been able to locate. The side lights in my car are mere reflectors, which I will remove. I will also remove the rear indicators. And for the front parking lights, I came across two versions of original Lucas lamps on Ebay UK, not able to decide which one to go for. Guess L488 looks neat, and it should not matter a whole lot, but your suggestion would help - L488 / L594?

Also, any pointers to other spares like carb and some good mechanics around Bangalore region?

Cheers,
Avinash
Thanks Avinash the L594 looks more akin to the one fitted in the Hillman Minx of yours.
You've asked about the carb and I suggest you try at eBay or through some contact in Mumbai. The market near Opera House and the Mutton Street market (I sometimes go to the latter) may be of help. As far as mechanics in Bangalore are concerned, true blue teambhpians from B'lore can surely help.
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Old 20th November 2009, 14:21   #5
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Thanks Anjan, I agree, the L594 looks more like it. Will pick up a couple of them one of these days from Ebay.

Secondly, someone from around Bangalore, Arun, Pavan, Sidman, Manish..., any suggestions regarding a mechanic and body work / painting? How's Sripati? I came across a message from Pavan on a Morris 1000 thread that someone must be insane to go to Sripathi.. Thats a pretty strong warning, and I would like to add that someone must be completely insane to leave their car with Venkatesh at Malleshwaram. I had a terrible experience, with my car basking in the sun for a year and a few things lost and few others spoilt / damaged, which were perfect and required no attention at all when I left it with him. So who else then?
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Old 20th November 2009, 19:30   #6
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acehillman Thanks and here are the original parking lights.
Name:  Minx Headlight.jpg
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Name:  Minx Parking light.jpg
Views: 4699
Size:  27.1 KB
Have posted some more Minx pictures today. Please view this link:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/vintag...ml#post1593334 (Hillman Minx)

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 20th November 2009 at 19:39.
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Old 22nd November 2009, 08:02   #7
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Sorry missed to attach the image of L489 lamps -
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Old 22nd November 2009, 20:07   #8
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Nice car, not tooo much of an issue.

You can get out with a small MINI RESTORATION.

Attend to few things

1) Rear tail lights/ Indicators
2) Front Head Lights / parking lights
3) Bit on the paint job/ Black is tooooo boring, most of them came with varitone shades.
4) Top line of the Front grille has to be straight
5) Missing bumper stone guards
6) Replace the Rear liscence plate light, looks its not original

About its original carb , my mechanic might get one.

keep us updated, Best of luck.

Last edited by PAVAN KADAM : 22nd November 2009 at 20:10.
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Old 22nd November 2009, 20:58   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ace_hillman View Post
Thanks Anjan, I agree, the L594 looks more like it. Will pick up a couple of them one of these days from Ebay.

Secondly, someone from around Bangalore, Arun, Pavan, Sidman, Manish..., any suggestions regarding a mechanic and body work / painting? How's Sripati? I came across a message from Pavan on a Morris 1000 thread that someone must be insane to go to Sripathi.. Thats a pretty strong warning, and I would like to add that someone must be completely insane to leave their car with Venkatesh at Malleshwaram. I had a terrible experience, with my car basking in the sun for a year and a few things lost and few others spoilt / damaged, which were perfect and required no attention at all when I left it with him. So who else then?
Hi! Just read your post! I am not knowledgeable enough to suggest a mechanic to you. I have requested a friend to find a good mech in JP Nagar / Jayanagar area, let us see what happens.
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Old 23rd November 2009, 00:35   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAVAN KADAM View Post
Nice car, not tooo much of an issue.

You can get out with a small MINI RESTORATION.

Attend to few things

1) Rear tail lights/ Indicators
2) Front Head Lights / parking lights
3) Bit on the paint job/ Black is tooooo boring, most of them came with varitone shades.
4) Top line of the Front grille has to be straight
5) Missing bumper stone guards
6) Replace the Rear liscence plate light, looks its not original

About its original carb , my mechanic might get one.

keep us updated, Best of luck.

Thanks. The grill alignment was perfect earlier, but got spoilt when I gave it for chrome plating at Vijayalakshmi. Each section in this grill separates out to separate parts which are all bolted together on a frame. These horizontal members were a little thin, but after plating it became further thin and got unusably bent while polishing post-plating. Fought with Giri of Vijayalakshmi and after some reworking on them it became usable. The rear tail lamps are the original Lucas 484 glass lenses and even the headlamp and license plate lamp is original Brit Lucas part. But I sure need the bumper stone guards and front parking lights, apart from the carb.

I also need someone who can fix / repair the side trafficator arms and also the original pair of horns. Any suggestions about someone who can do it in Bangalore? Also, who is your mechanic? Would help if we can meet sometime and you introduce me to him..
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Old 7th December 2009, 12:42   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ace_hillman View Post
This is my 1951 Hillman Minx. It is in pretty good originality, except the engine! I did not realize this when I picked it up from one of my distant uncles (thats the reason I did not do a thorough scrutiny) and I was told it is in unchanged original condition. Anyway, keeping the past aside, the original side-valve engine has been replaced with 1592 cc OHV Hillman engine from a later model (guess around 1955 engine.

However, I would be delighted if I can find an old side-valve engine and restore that part also.
Hi Avinash

Yesterday I saw a side valve Minx engine and gear box for sale. It is free (not monetarily, but mechanically ), complete with all ancilliaries (except generator or starter - I forget which). Asking is 20k, let me know if interested.
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Old 9th December 2009, 13:51   #12
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Hey Karl, sorry for a late reply, somehow missed to notice your post! Yes, I am interested for sure. Will PM you also separately right now.. Many thanks.
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Old 12th September 2011, 23:17   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ace_hillman View Post
Hi All,

This is my 1951 Hillman Minx. It is in pretty good originality, except the engine! I did not realize this when I picked it up from one of my distant uncles (thats the reason I did not do a thorough scrutiny) and I was told it is in unchanged original condition. Anyway, keeping the past aside, the original side-valve engine has been replaced with 1592 cc OHV Hillman engine from a later model (guess around 1955 engine. It needed some attention and got it partially restored (only the engine work) at a workshop near my home in Malleshwaram, Bangalore. It was probably one of the worst decisions. After about a year of basking in the sun, got it back a couple of months ago. It is in very decent running condition now, except a few things for which I plan to take it elsewhere. Once these are done, I also intend giving it a fresh paint job and upholstery. I have the original Minx badges and also got the original Smiths speedo serviced, but yet to install. These are the current issues / problems -

1. Some oil leakage (very slow rate, but bothers me nevertheless)
2. Minor gear adjustment (was great earlier, my mechanic messed it a bit)
3. Re-checking the electrical wiring and fixing if required
4. Fixing the trafficator arms (one of them is not working)
5. Repair of the original Lucas horn-pair (the one bulged on one side)
6. Sourcing original / good wiper blades and getting it to work
7. Fix out-of-sync boot lid rachets (courtesy my mechanic, was perfect)
8. Some general servicing and tuning
9. Source original solex / zenith carburretor
10. Indicators and front sidelights (Lucas 488?)

Once these are done, I plan to get some minor body work done and go for a fresh paint-job and that I expect should complete the restoration.

Any suggestions and advice on bring this car back to pristine condition is welcome. Like I said, it runs quite well now. So, I believe the engine may not need much attention. Also, I have just got most of the chrome re-done at Vijayalakshmi. However, I would be delighted if I can find an old side-valve engine and restore that part also. I was thinking of first getting the mechanicals up-to-speed and then get the body work / paint job attended to. Is this a good idea or is it better to get it done one shot? It may be so especially if the mechanicals and body work are to be done at different places.

What do you guys suggest?
1. Any suggestions for a mechanic and paint work?
2. I am not sure what part numbers were the original front sidelights and rear indicators. I am sure the one currently on the car is that of Ambassador. Any idea which were the original sidelights and indicators? Were they Lucas L488? Because I was able to find them on Ebay UK, but wanted to be sure before I ordered them. Can I source them locally?
3. Any source for original Solex / Zenith carb?
4. Pointers for servicing m original horns in Bangalore?

Thanks a lot in advance for the time you took off to go through my post and helping me out. Someone suggested Sripathi, but am not too sure, so thought I will bounce my thought with you folks and then go ahead. I will post better quality pictures one of these days, these were captured using my phone camera.

Cheers,
Avinash


I am quite sure it is a 1952 Hillman and not a 1951 Hillman. The two side vertical pieces in the grill came only in 1952, so also the horn button with 3 tear drops. Also the 1952 came with an ammeter (placed in the square like the fuel gauge - on the right), which was not there on the 1951 model. Lastly the 1951 did not have the side body beading - it just had Minx. This was dropped and the beading added in the 1952. Also the headlight dipper went to the floor in 1952 - in 1951 it was below the horn button on the steering. I grew up with one so I am aware of this. It has a soft suspension and is enjoyable. You have to pick up the two vertical pieces for the bumpers - front and back. Best wishes. Mohaan
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Old 12th September 2011, 23:38   #14
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Hi Avinash....

Nice to see MYG car. I think its ex-Mangalore car.....any history ?

cheers
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Old 13th September 2011, 00:30   #15
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I am quite sure it is a 1952 Hillman and not a 1951 Hillman. The two side vertical pieces in the grill came only in 1952, so also the horn button with 3 tear drops. Also the 1952 came with an ammeter (placed in the square like the fuel gauge - on the right), which was not there on the 1951 model. Lastly the 1951 did not have the side body beading - it just had Minx. This was dropped and the beading added in the 1952. Also the headlight dipper went to the floor in 1952 - in 1951 it was below the horn button on the steering. I grew up with one so I am aware of this. It has a soft suspension and is enjoyable. You have to pick up the two vertical pieces for the bumpers - front and back. Best wishes. Mohaan
Hey Mohaan, many thanks for the insights! Yes, you are absolutely right. It is indeed a 1952. No idea why that gentleman said it was 1951 and that somehow stayed in my mind. I just checked the original RC book and it is 19.11.1952

But, the manual that came with the car mentions it to have had a side valve engine. Hope that's right. Please comment. In fact, the engine has been changed to a later model Hillman OHV engine (not sure, but believe its a '54 - `55 one). That's also endorsed in the RC book, but I have now sourced a Hillman side valve motor and few other goodies with it from Mumbai. Many thanks to Karl for helping out. Part of this lot of spares are the vertical pieces on the bumpers. Am planning to put the side valve engine and keep the OHV as spare, and also get a new paint job and upholstery. Btw, while we are at it, what color was your car? Do you know what all color combinations it came with? I want to go for the best of the original shades offered on the car way back then.

Thanks again, will need more of your inputs.

Regards,
Avinash
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