British Roadster Combo: Hillman Aero & MGTD

It’s easy to consider the MGTD or various ACs and Allards to be the predominant British sports cars of the era, but the Hillman Aero Minx shouldn’t be written off the list. Although extremely obscure today, these vintage sportscars were well-loved by enthusiasts in their day and this one looks worthy of restoration – especially when paired with an equally tatty MDTD. Find both cars here on craigslist in Los Angeles (or go here if the ad disappears.) 

The seller notes the Hillman was running when it entered the garage in the 1990s. It hasn’t been run since, and based on photos, it doesn’t look like the MG has, either. The seller is primarily interested in selling the Hillman, with a listed price of $15,000, but mentions his willingness to sell the MGTD at the same time. What’s not disclosed is whether it’s included for that price (doubtful) or what the price will increase to for both cars.

The Hillman made do with about 41 b.h.p. when new, but it’s light-weight kept things interesting. Truthfully, none of its rivals were making considerably more horsepower, so the battle for b.h.p. was a game of inches in the 1940s. Worth noting is that driving reports from the era of the Hillman indicated it had a tendency to oversteer, and that it was immensely fun to drive at its limits.

Photos are few and fairly poor. The seller doesn’t elaborate about the condition of the bodies or their mechanical history. Why the Hillman was laid up and not driven is beyond me, especially considering it’d be right at home along the Pacific Coast Highway in California. Hopefully, this interesting example of a historic British sports car will be saved by an enthusiast and not snapped up by one of the many West Coast flippers that love oddballs like this one.

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Comments

  1. junkman Member

    Maybe rare but not necessarily desirable as it’s been listed for 19 days. Pretty cool, wrong coast though.

  2. James HGF

    There are many better sales sites to choose than LA Craigslist for a car that many have never heard of not to mention the dearth of photos and specific details of condition provided. Not a problem for a knowledgeable local buyer, but for others round North America and the UK it’s iffy. However a phone number is supplied along with the caveat “must sell”. Therefore we know what the seller is wants. Negotiable?

    The Historics at Brooklands sale on 18 Feb 2017 pulled a hammer price of £25,025 (roughly $31,300 on the day or $35,500 today as the pound sterling gains strength). A very nice looking sports touring car rather than a true sports car.

    Historics @ Brooklands:

    https://www.historics.co.uk/buying/auctions/2012-02-18/car/hillman-aero-minx/

  3. James HGF

    The ’35 has an improved gearbox vs the ’34. That’s a positive. The condition of the car offered near Temecula is for a large part unknown. It requires inspection. Nevertheless the Caernarfonshire Constabulary used four of these Aero Minx tourers for patrol work in 1934. That suggests an expectation of reasonable performance and reliability for the period.

    Click on the photos to enlarge – Old Classic Car UK Hillman Aero Minx Tourer page:

    http://www.oldclassiccar.co.uk/aero-minx.htm

  4. Martin Horrocks

    Quite a pretty car and very rare as few were sold, Hillman not having any sporting credential in the 30s. Probably not much better or worse than other budget UK sports tourers of the time, but sometimes the badge is where the value is.

    As James HGF verifies, values for the Hillman are not high but a Britcar enthusiast with good skills should enjoy restoring the car. Spares could be a challenge but suppose patient internet searching will supply most mechanical parts and an owner’s club in UK.

  5. Peter Stroblr

    Would love to see the Hillman find its way to the British Transportation Museum in Ohio. One of our members has a 1935 in very nice condition.

    Like 1
  6. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    You have to forgive the photographer if they only have so many ways to snap pictures of these cars together where they sit. As others have stated, a local CL ad will garner only scant interest. With this being Los Angeles, I will take a leap and say there are plenty of lurkers who will pass this info onto those in the know and with the funds to purchase. Wrong coast for me tho.

    Like 1
  7. Klaus Graf

    I was there and have a look at both cars. Just talking with the son, because his father who is the owner is sick. The condition of the cars is very poor. Much more as the pictures say. For me the MG TD is junk. It had a bad hit in the front, what you cannot see. The Hillman is really poor but for somebody how will invest a lot of time and money a interesting project. I make an offer to the son, but did not get in contact with his father. No business.

  8. Bill B.

    A very attractive car that I had not known of…quite beautiful from the back.

  9. Tim Green

    As registrar of Aero Minx register here in the UK and an owner of three Aeros I can confirm almost all of the above comments both good and not so good. The tourers and two seaters are great fun to drive and pretty lively around the country lanes here. Can keep up with most other normally aspirated prewar small sports cars and often surprise them. Truth is the badge does not bring on palpitations which is a shame but it does keep them affordable. I have about 60 cars on my list with a small number in the USA with owners who love them. If anyone would like more information just let me know.

    Like 3
  10. Paul

    Hello Tim. How are you?
    I am a member of the Hillman Owners Club (7269ROW membership), I am contacting you because I wonder If you can help me.
    I would like to put together the history of my 1932 Hillman two seatet. I inherited it from a relative and I would like to know the exact year of origin, color, number of units manufactured and all the information that you can provide me.
    I am really on a frustrated research.
    I really appreciate your cooperation in advance.
    Best regards.
    Pablo

    Like 2

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