HISTORY OF THE

                                      HILLMAN HUNTER                                       

 
IN AUSTRALIA

 


 

The information contained within these paragraphs is based on more than 10 years of research. I cannot guarantee what I have written to be 100 percent correct, but Because I really enjoy owning and driving HILLMAN HUNTERS, I feel compelled to put my research onto this webpage.

I would really like to hear from anyone that maybe owned, sold, serviced or even worked in the factory , putting these excellent cars together.

These Hillman models were built from Completely Knock Down (C.K.D.) kits, that were shipped to Australia from Chrysler UK,  at Chrysler Park in the southern suburbs of Adelaide between 1966-73. The Scotsman Andrew Cowan, of whom won the London to Sydney marathon in  1968 driving his NUMBER 75 "MK1" Hunter, surely helped bolster the sales of the "mighty" Hunter here in Australia. I actually saw the cars as they went through the western boundary of Mt Elm station as a 5 year old lad! We lived on Mt Elm station, which is 20 odd miles west of Hawker in the Flinders Ranges. My father found a "locking" petrol cap that fell off one of the competitors cars after traversing one of the many "nasty" cattle/sheep grids.

 

Chrysler Australia had three models of the HUNTER badged as the 660 (to compliment the the Chrysler Valiant REGAL 770), SAFARI (as the Chrysler station wagons were) and HUSTLER that appear to be uniquely Australian. However, the HUSTLER only had 1 badge on it, of course, being the PENTASTAR on the lower LH front mudguard. The word Hustler adorned the lower sections of the cars front doors, as a cut-out of the black inserts. Read Below about the Australian models, including the various CHASSIS numbers etc.

The Australian designated compliance plates are made up with original Chrysler Australia body type numbers etc, and are totally different to the UK hunters.

I am looking for a comprehensive Paint code listing to include on these pages...can you help?

 


 
MODELS

- ARROW (later: HUNTER) : 

 

They went onto the Australian market in 1967. The Hillman Arrow has a body style and shape that is identical to that of the 1968-70 model HUNTER. The only difference being that the Arrow has round headlights, also "ARROW" badges on the front guards, and a different grille. The H I L L M A N single letters were on the front of the bonnet with this model. During the production run, the Arrow name was dropped. When installed, these cars had Borg warner 35 (T) automatic gearboxes, as all Hunters did. The 4 speed manual gearboxes are a delight, and I have NEVER had any problems with them. A lucas generator was used  and I believe they were fully imported from the UK. I have only ever seen two of these cars, so I reckon they are not very common. They were badged as a "minx"and other names Eg Sunbeam Arrow etc., in the UK.

 ARROW CHASSIS NUMBERS WERE AS FOLLOWS:

All Chassis numbers are stamped on the top near the strut support on the LH side of the mud-guard.

Interestingly, the ARROW did not have a separate compliance plate attached as all the other models had.

On the HB hunter, the compliance plate is attached onto the heater cavity on the firewall near the top RH side 

MANUAL GEARBOX  HB1 - M - 41 #chassis

AUTOMATIC  GEARBOX        HB2 - M - 41 #chassis

 


 - HUNTER :

 

 This was the basic model of the range, and had rubber floor covering and from what a friend said, they were very basic inside. The earliest HB models had

the Round headlights and a grille to suit. other HB/HC models had the ovalish style headlights and a grille to suit this layout. HE models used

smaller headlights that are more "squarish", and the taillights were changed from the singular to a pair each side at the rear of the hunter.

 

 HUNTER CHASSIS NUMBERS WERE AS FOLLOWS: 

MANUAL GEARBOX  HB/C/E1 - H - 41 #chassis

AUTOMATIC GEARBOX  HB/C/E2 - H - 41 #chassis

 


 - HUNTER ROYAL :

 

 

 These models were "put" together from C.K.D. kits from 1967 to 1973 by Chrysler Australia, on behalf of Chrysler UK, Of course we all know that the ROOTES GROUP of companies was taken over by Chrysler UK in early 1967. This model had a few more refinements than the basic hunter model, which included royal badges, carpet inserts in the lower parts of all doors, a mirror in the glove compartment. Other "improvements" did include "high-back" seats, with adjustable head rests. There was carpet floor covering also. "standard" 1725 cc engines were fitted into these models. Around the door windows, "chrome" strips covered the metal work on the royal models (HB) HE models had an alternator installed, replacing the Lucas generator and external voltage regulators

 

 

 HUNTER ROYAL CHASSIS NUMBERS WERE AS FOLLOWS: 

MANUAL GEARBOX               HB/C/E            13 - H - 41 #chassis

AUTOMATIC GEARBOX          HB/C/E              23 - H - 41 #chassis

 


 

 - HUNTER GT :

HB/HC MODELS ONLY

 

 The Hunter GT was made between 1968-1970 in Australia, They had a GT emblem in the centre of the grille, The fuel cap had the letters GT on it also, The motors were much more powerful than the "standard" 1725cc engine.

 The bore and Stroke was the same as a standard engine, however they had an alloy head and 2 one and a half inch stromberg carbies. The compression ratio for the "GT" engine was 9.2:1 as opposed to 8.4:1 with a standard engine.

The GT engine developed 94 Break Horse Power at 5,200 RPM as opposed to 73 B.H.P. at 4,900 RPM. The GT has vacuum assisted  disk brakes on the front whilst still retaining shoes on the rear. Front suspension has a larger diameter stabilizer bar than the standard Hunters.

 There is a walnut veneer dash with SPEEDO, TACHO, FUEL, OIL, AMP and TEMP gauges fitted. The floor covering was rubber also. Another interesting addition, was a mini "shock absorber" fitted to the right hand side engine mount, obviously put there to "settle" the "rough" idle of the GT engine. All GT models came out of the factory with 4 speed manual transmissions. The section below the boot, and between the tail lights was painted black. The GT was dropped as a model, partly due to the insurance premium costs at the time for any cars that had a reference to GT! The GT model was to later become the 660 of sorts.

 

 HUNTER GT CHASSIS  NUMBERS WERE AS FOLLOWS: 

MANUAL HB/C  17 - P - 41 #chassis


 - SAFARI :

 

 This was the model which was the "station" wagon, Known as an "Estate" in the UK etc. Believed to have been sold from 1967

 HUNTER SAFARI CHASSIS NUMBERS WERE AS FOLLOWS: 

MANUAL HB1/HC/E3 - M - 45 #chassis

 


 - HUNTER ROYAL 660 :

The 660 is only as a HE Hunter model.

The 660 was sold as a top-of-the-line model, and as the Chrysler Australia's top Valiant Regal was badged as a 770, that is how the 660 was "named", and this is UNIQUE to Australian Hillman Hunters. It was an attempt by Chrysler to sell the 660 as a replacement to the GT.

 

Made between 1970-73, they had the twin carby, alloy head GT engine, along with all the other features of the GT.

One addition over the GT was the inclusion of "rostyle" factory rims. Carpet covered the floor, and they had carpet inserts in the lower door trim, as well as "H/SCEPTRE" badges placed onto the front door trims..

2 speed heater fan, 2 speed window wipers, power assisted brakes were standard accessories on the 660

 The sill panels were painted in silver, as was the insert inside the chrome strips below the boot. . This model had separate indicator and brake lenses, with the indicators being above the brake lights. The grilles were different, also Smaller square headlights were used on the HE models.

 High-back front seats were standard, which also included head rests. This model incorporated the use of an alternator, instead of the lucas generator as per earlier models. As per a Chrysler brochure, vinyl roof, AM radio, bonnet emblems, tow bars, and left hand mirrors etc., were available as accessories, and as such needed to be ordered when buying the new vehicle.

 

 HUNTER ROYAL 660 CHASSIS NUMBERS WERE AS FOLLOWS: 

MANUAL GEARBOX  HE7   - P - 41 #chassis

 


 

 - HILLMAN HUSTLER :

 HE HUNTER  MODEL ONLY!

 Made between late 1970-73, they were the "sporty" model. They had the twin carby alloy head (GT-660) engine, along with all the other features of the GT. However, this DID NOT include the walnut dash. the floor coverings were "standard" rubber, and the Hustler was in no way as "plush" as the GT or 660.

Supposedly they had lowered suspension ex the Factory.

The sill panels were painted in Black, and there are painted black inserts on  the bonnet etc.

 Black  striping adorned the sides of these cars with the letters "H U S T L E R" cut from the stripes..

 From what I was told, these models did not have any badges on them at all, except a "Pentastar" on the lower left hand guard.  The catch cry was "nobody out hustles HUSTLER" I have never seen one, but am interested in hearing from anyone that knows anything more about them, or has photographs!!. In over 10 years searching, I have only heard of ONE of these genuine cars being around.. They are VERY RARE, and unless some one can tell me about other GENUINE Hustlers, I think the VERY RARE tag is justified

 

 HILLMAN HUSTLER CHASSIS NUMBERS WERE AS FOLLOWS: 

!

MANUAL GEARBOX  HE7 - S - 41 #chassis

The engine numbers were HEH 00123 , with the numbers matching the chassis, eg. in this case HE7 - S - 41 00123


 

CLICK the UNION JACK to look at the UK history of the Hillman Hunter and DERIVATIVES or....

 


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Stories, pictures and webpages compiled by John F. McRae --GOODWOOD-- SOUTH AUSTRALIA July 2005