1971 Hillman Avenger DL 1.3 from UK and Ireland


Great first car


Bought for less than a hundred quid and towed home from an auction - where do I start??

General Comments:

Despite the above, a great first car. To be fair it was a decent motor - somebody had altered the plug leads round so it wouldn't run properly, I assume in a bid to get a bargain. Well I beat them to it.

A good service when I got it home and all was fine. The biggest enemy was rust!!

All in all I learned a hell of a lot from this car and had real fun with it - most of the engine technology I learned is now redundant and cars don't rust now, so all a bit passé really.

PCW 879 J - great car, probably part of your fridge freezer now!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th May, 2014

1975 Hillman Avenger 1600 TC 1.6 Twin carb from Australia and New Zealand


Revenge of the Avenger


The car was a complete piece of crap from the word go. The twin carbs were always out of tune, and were running too rich; it made it smell like a petrol refinery. The handling was really terrible.

I got sick of the strong petrol smell and out of tune carbs, and fitted it with a single carb.

The manifold didn't fit right, and made it sound like a tractor.

It didn't decrease the fuel consumption. After four months of crawling around town, the car died, and I sold it for $50.00 NZ to a car dealer. I celebrated.

General Comments:

The car was originally fitted with a vinyl roof, which was rotten. I pulled it off and repainted the car, which made it look a bigger piece of crap.

The performance was particularly bad; 0 to 60 in two minutes

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th July, 2008

23rd Apr 2010, 01:59

It beggars belief why you bought it in the first place!?

4th Jun 2010, 02:07

You probably could have got more than that if you just sold it for parts. I have one, and it's only a pain in the backside not knowing what is going to go wrong next.

19th Jul 2010, 16:21

I agree with the comment above. Why buy a 19 year old car and expect it to be perfect??

29th Aug 2010, 15:43

Might have just been yours, mine is fine apart from not knowing what's going to go wrong next.

Apart from that, it doesn't smell like a petrol refinery?? And it's a 1975.

29th Aug 2013, 05:15

I have memories of the station wagon version of this Avenger, and not good ones. It was not a bad looking car, but the gearbox and clutch were heavy work, the handling poor, the interior fit and finish poor, and it broke down all the time, ruining many an outing with the family. Then Dad bought a Honda and things got a lot better!

1972 Hillman Avenger Super 1.5 from UK and Ireland


A less obvious classic


This one has been very reliable, since it has an alternator rather than the unreliable dynamo. But, of all things, the alternator did fail and was easily and cheaply replaced. I've had Avengers in the past too, they are fairly strong.

Had a dirty fuel line problem, caused the car to stop after being driven over 60mph for a while. Had fuel line from tank replaced and fuel tank cleaned out.

Needed a new steering rack when I first bought it, wasn't expensive.

General Comments:

Probably better than most of the cars of its time, such as Viva, Marina, Minor, MK2 Cortina. Certainly handled much better than any of them. Only competition would have been from Escort, but that is significantly smaller and less of a family car. Avenger boot is capacious.

Rust is bound to be an issue with a 31 year old car, but it is often just wheel arches and wings which can be replaced. If floor pans get rusty then it is more expensive to put right.

Now a collectors' item, but less obvious than all the Minors, Beetles and Minis that seem to make up most of the classics from the era. Even so, a good following these days.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th May, 2003

15th Nov 2004, 14:51

The Avenger was the first car I clocked 100mph in! I never owned one, but drove several at a time when my company wagon was the Hunter. Funnily enough I saw an Avenger the other day. It wasn't a bad car much better than Marinas, allegros and vivas.

20th Oct 2008, 16:36

The Avengers were good cars. My mum had one for about 10 years from 86-96 and hated my old man for buying her his sister's cast off Vauxhall Cavalier as a "present", and then an even worse Vauxhall Astra when the Cav conked out. She loved the light handling, the outstanding reliability and how cheap it was come MOT time, certainly compared to two of Luton's finest she got lumbered with afterwards.

So yeh, no surprise when the divorce papers went through...

2nd Sep 2011, 10:59

Dad had one of these in the early 1980s, and he was forever fixing it. I remember trying to drive it, and could not muscle the gear shift around. I loved the bronze metallic colour and the chrome work, and fondly remember the way the vinyl burnt my legs in the hot NZ sun. The British car industry really went out with a whimper rather than a bang.