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Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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-175 Hillman Minx Saloon (1958-61)

In the August 1958 issue of the Meccano Magazine, the release of two new Dinky Toys was announced; the 174 Hudson Hornet and the 175 Hillman Minx, two quite different models, but in their own way, two elegant examples of American and British motor engineering. (I guess I am a little biased as I once owned a 1958 Hillman Minx Series 2.) In the 2 August 1958 issue of EAGLE was a small advertisement for these two models. The Dinky Toys 175 Hillman Minx was a 1957 version, or Series 1 model.

As mentioned above, the model came in two colour schemes, grey and blue with blue ridged hubs and stone and bright green with stone ridged wheels. However, if one were to collect this model, one would need to acquire six examples, two with the upper colour across the bottom of the windscreen and two without the colour across the bottom of the windscreen. Then the last issues of the model, Meccano equipped it with turned aluminium hubs.

Here they are:

The original advertisement in the Meccano Magazine shows the model without the upper colour at the bottom of the windscreen. Just when the change was made that incorporated the upper colour across the base of the windscreen is indeterminable at this stage. As examples of the first colour scheme are less common, it must have taken place within a short period of time following the release of the model. Although less common but certainly not rare, examples can be eventually obtained at a fair price. The blue example above was obtained last December from an auction firm in Yorkshire for ₤120.58 including premium, VAT, air mail postage and packing charges to Australia; its winning bid amount was ₤80.00. The incorrect box can be easily corrected!

Perhaps the most difficult example to locate are those with turned aluminium hubs, so expect to pay a premium price.

Here is my 1958 Hillman Minx Series 2 in Antelope Brown, and next to it is a Dinky version of my old car crafted by a good friend Paul Mc. He tried to match the colour as best as he could and although not quite, still I really like the little fellow!

buzzer999's picture
buzzer999
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DTCA MemberUK

Excellent article Bruce.

I have virtually all the Eagle comics from Issue 1 on 14th April 1950 through to 1961.

Here is a scan of the August 1958 advert you refer to.

I have scans of all the Eagle adverts featuring Dinky and Corgi.

Dave

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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Many thanks Dave for your compliments - most appreciated. Thank you too for the scan of the EAGLE advertisement. It sure saved me having to scan it, rather awkwardly I might add, as I have had all my EAGLES bound in about 10 volumes which tends to make scanning somewhat difficult! I am very surprised that Meccano did not advertise more frequently in EAGLE and probably ROBIN as well, thus targeting the very buyers and recipients of their products.

My almost complete set of EAGLE weekly's goes from 1950 up until 1964 - of course the best years were those when Marcus Morris was at the helm and up until late 1959. I was an overseas member of the EAGLE CLUB. One of my most treasured items from my youth is a copy of a Dan Dare book, MISSION TO MARS, that i won through a competition conducted by EAGLE. The boy's paper was a great comic/article/weekly.

Back to the subject, the following is the leaflet produced for Arthur E Harris (Pty) Ltd, in South Africa for the models released in August 1958. No doubt these models went on sale in that country at about the same time as in the UK.

I hope this is of some interest to members and guests.

Kind regards

Bruce

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janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

Thank you Bruce and Dave for the documents and model pics shared. A little beyond my collecting profile, so I cannot show an example of mine, but in July last year I made a nice shot of a 1:1 two-tone Minx, at an oldtimer show in Medemblik (Noord-Holland). A very nice and relaxed event.
Please, note the luggage on the roof, and the companion caravan.

Kind regards, Jan

buzzer999's picture
buzzer999
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DTCA MemberUK

Very nice Jan

This one demonstrates that the paint on the upper part of the two-tone scheme should be continued across the bottom part of the windscreen as on some of the colour schemes shown by Bruce

Dave

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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AustraliaDTCA Member

janwerner wrote:
"Thank you Bruce and Dave for the documents and model pics shared. A little beyond my collecting profile, so I cannot show an example of mine, but in July last year I made a nice shot of a 1:1 two-tone Minx, at an oldtimer show in Medemblik (Noord-Holland). A very nice and relaxed event.
Please, note the luggage on the roof, and the companion caravan.

Kind regards, Jan"

Hi Jan

Nice picture - but are you sure the caravan was being towed by the Minx? It looks too far away and has its awning extended.

However, I notice the emergency mode of transport located in the roof rack! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Kind regards

Bruce

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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buzzer999 wrote:
"Very nice Jan

This one demonstrates that the paint on the upper part of the two-tone scheme should be continued across the bottom part of the windscreen as on some of the colour schemes shown by Bruce

Dave"

Dave

Yes, you are quite correct in regard to the upper colour extending across the front of the windscreen in the area of the air-vent. This is confirmed with the following:

This is a factory photograph later used by the Rootes Group for advertising this new model.

A 1957 model (that Dinky produced) clearly showing that Meccano did re-examine the model and realized that the model should be more representative of the real car. Now that is being meticulous!

And finally, a photograph of the new Hillman Minx in the showroom, taken in late September 1956.

Kind regards

Bruce

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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Greetings all

As discussed earlier, there were two masks used for the Hillman Minx; "Highline" that does not have the upper colour across the front of the windscreen, and "lowline" where the upper colour extends across the front of the windscreen. (I have used this terminology that matches other models with two different masking processes, thus saving the use of a long-winded explanation each time!)

The "highline" was the first mask as shown below in the leaflet issued in August 1958 when the model was released with the print details of DT/CL/28 16/858/6 Australia as well as the back cover for the August 1958 issue of Meccano Magazine:

Four months later in January 1959 (it may have been earlier as I do not have any leaflets between these two dates) Meccano issued Leaflet DT/CF/5 with the print number of 16/159/100.

As seen with the above image, the upper colour now extends across the bottom of the windscreen. This is the scheme used in all subsequent advertising. One can then assume the change was effected reasonably quickly which also explains why the Hillman Minx in "highline" is less common than the "lowline".

This is also conclusive proof that "fettled" and "titivated" frequently as advised on page 260 in "The Great Book of Dinky" had absolutely nothing to do with the change of masking.

Kind regards

Bruce

starni999
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DTCA MemberUK

Hi all,
I had never noticed the high - low line paint schemes on the Minx before, brilliant info, I've got two more to add to the wants list anyway, along with the spun hubs versions. I'm always glad to get an excuse to buy another of my favourite Dinkys!
Chris Warr.
PS, When I was 16 our next door neighbour gave me (yes, free) a 57 Minx, no MOT but it ran. Mom and Dad wouldn't let me keep it, so the neighbour scrapped it instead.

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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AustraliaDTCA Member

Chris

Many thanks for your response. A pity about your neighbour's 1957 Hillman Minx. My 1958 Series II was a great little car. The paintwork being baked enamel was superb, as can be seen in the earlier photograph of it. It was strange that the car was not fitted with a heater having come from England. I thought I had solved that problem cheaply by removing the plate over the gearbox through which a floor shift could be provided on removing the column shift, thus allowing the heat from the engine to come into the cabin. It worked fine until I encountered rain on my way home to Armidale from Maclean in New South Wales when I hit a pothole filled with muddy water, and whoosh, I was drenched with the interior roof being liberally covered in the stuff! Thus ended my experiment!

The only part of my Hillman still surviving to this day is the exterior rear vision mirror! Being an optional accessory in those days, I had removed it to place it on my next car!

Kind regards

Bruce still in Manila (150)

#540