How I got bitten by the HUNTER BUG!
When I was working for Orlando Wines here in the Barossa Valley, a fellow winery Supervisor had a Hunter, and I went for a few drives in it with him.
That was in 1993, and He said that he was going to sell it, so that he could get a motorbike, and as it turned out,
I had a Honda 500cc bike that my brother-in-law at the time just gave to me.
"Want to swap Peter" I asked, as I was looking for a "hack" to use for work etc, so my wife could use the other car for shopping, school and the like.
The front suspension was woeful, and as such, was chewing up tyres, and was a brute to steer. Something about driving it though!!
You see, the more I drove this car.. the more I liked it.
The body was very straight, with minimal rust. So I decided that I would give it a bit of new life.
Repairing the dodgy ball joints obviously made a huge difference as one would expect.
I got a crappy old crash pad repaired at $250, and the interior was in reasonable condition
One of my very good mates said he would love to help re-spray it, so I pulled the motor out and cleaned that up, then started sanding the HE Royal back.
It was in the throws of losing the "HACK" tag very quickly!! At his stage my knowledge of the Hunter was very minimal.., but I started looking around for bits and pieces.
We got the car all re-sprayed in arctic white, and was just like a new car. I was very happy with it...
It was about 1 week later, whilst going to work on afternoon shift through Tanunda, when out of the curb pulled this late model Ford laser..NO indicators!..
I took drastic action and had to push her back into the curb to avoid a head-on collision with a magna station wagon that was coming towards me...
The woman driver of the Magna pulled up down the street a bit, and run up, absolutely going nuts at me!!..yeah, at me!!! would you believe!!!
The front end of the Laser was nearly ripped off, and my Royal had a lot of panel damage down the LH side.. The Pillar was bent, so that was the end of my "FIRST" hunter folks!
Her insurance company gave me $1500 and let me keep the wreck!! very kind of them hey!
A guy was driving past my house one day, and saw the royal...with its panel damage . He "popped" in looking for a starter motor for a "660".. I said "never heard of 'em mate!"
As he lived about 35km north of me, he invited me to have a look at his "660".
I took the starter motor out of the Royal, and gave it to him.
Here is the 660... I bought it from the guy a few months later, and put my new crash pad into it...
The engine was more powerful than my first Hunter, as the 660 has 2 1 and a 1/2"
Carbies and an alloy head etc.. I got heaps of spares too!
The dash in this 660 was in reasonable condition, but the veneer had been totally removed by the previous owner unfortunately. This dash was removed and I took it to DASH ORIGINAL in Adelaide to be re veneered.
A local GT, It was the first GT purchased, but the original engine was not in the car, It had a standard engine in it.
Second Hunter GT purchased... a Rust bucket, but had the original engine in it, and a rear window louvre too!
I started getting Hunters given to me.. I really have lost count, but I think there was 14 altogether.
I currently have the 660's and my HC royal under cover, but most of the other Hunters are resting on a mates property.
I had joined the HILLMAN CAR CLUB of SA, and a fellow member was selling this 660..I had to have it!! Got heaps of spares from Nigel..
Just a fantastic car, but I wrote it off when it suffered a front RH side blowout!
YET ANOTHER local Hunter... In immaculate condition and all original, I have this Hunter on HISTORIC rego..
MY HC Hunter Royal, has been in one "Bay to Birdwood" run, and some club events. It had 50,000 miles on the clock,
NO ONE had sat in the back, and the original spare tyre was still in the boot.
Bitten by the BUG...I can think of many worse things that could happen to me hehehe!!!
Another local 660, I bought this car, which is very original..$500 well spent I reckon! My third 660!
I know of ONLY ONE genuine HUSTLER, and without being too presumptuous, I will own it one day in the future.. Then I can add it to my ever-growing list of these great cars, and put a few pictures on my web pages also!
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Web pages compiled by John F. McRae --GOODWOOD-- South Australia July 2005