William Hillman built his car factory in his large garden in Stoke, Coventry. The dynamic French engineer Louis Coatalen, who had worked at De Dion-Bouton and Humber joined in. The Hillman-Coatalen, a luxury car, was built on a small scale from 1907 to 1909. Its unit was a six cylinder of nearly ten litre.
In 1909 Coatalen moved to Sunbeam, and the Hillman marque turned more modest.
During the twenties Hillman gained a respectable but not very sporting reputation. With one exeception: the succesful racing automobile with which Raymond Mays (founder of BRM and ERA) started his racing career.
William Hillman had six daughters. His sons-in-law John Black and Spencer Wilks were directors of the Hillman company when the Rootes brothers moved in and took over in 1928. Rootes succeeded in combining Hillman and Humber into a considerable concern.
The products of Rootes other factories, such as Humber and Sunbeam-Talbot, soon had an influence and common designs became apparent.
Black went to Standard and Wilks to Rover.
The Hillman Wizard appeared in 1929 and was available with either a 2.1 or 2.8 litre engine.
Launcing the Hillman Minx in 1932 improved Hillman sales remarkably. The famous and popular line of Minx models lasted until 1970. The pretty 1933 Aero Minx coupé inspired the making of the Talbot Ten. (Talbot by then had been absorbed into the Rootes concern.) Many new Minx models saw the light and after the second World War Sunbeam and Singer were kept going by the Minx.
To build the Hillman Imp they built a new factory in Linwood, near Glasgow.
Chrysler had bought more and more shares and from 1976 on the Hillman cars that were still in production (Hunter and Avenger) became Chryslers. Iran kept on producing the Hunter until the eighties.
A Hillman Hunter won the extraordinary tough London - Sydney Marathon of 1968. At the wheel: Andrew Cowan, Brian Coyle and Colin Malkin.
In 1977 the Cyprus International Rally was won by K. Kyprianou and A. Longinos in a Hillman.
Hillman Owners list U.S.
The Hillman Page - Hillman & Rootes info on a U.K. site, a page on Andy's Series III Minx, info on the Hillman Owner's Club and a bunch of links.
Craig Burlingame's web site is no longer up. Hackers destroyed it at the same time that Craig had a disk crash so he lost the lot. Ron Beckett created a temporary page advising of this and it is posted at Craig's old URL. It used to be a tribute to Hillmans (mainly Minx and Imp) had all the resources you could expect. Has a picture of a 1960 Minx doing a wheely ;-)
The Imp Site
Pre War Hillman Cars
Hillman Cars 1945-1955
Humber Sceptre (1963-67)
Humber / by Georgano N
Pre War Humber 1920-1939
Post War Humbers