Hillman Hunter Reviews - Page 2 of 4

1967 Hillman Hunter 1.7 4 cylinders from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1967
Year of manufacture1967
First year of ownership1983
Most recent year of ownership1987
Engine and transmission 1.7 4 cylinders Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.3 / 10
Distance when acquired150000 kilometres
Most recent distance220000 kilometres
Previous carVauxhall Viva

Summary:

Complete British Reliability

Faults:

The number three cylinder collapsed.

The owner had the rings and bearings done before he sold it, but being tight fisted he decided not to replace a cracked piston, which would have cost $15.00 NZ for a second hand one, so the piston collapsed after six months.

It cost me $1,000.00 to put in a replacement engine. The hydraulic clutch blew seals on a regular basis. Rust got a good hold of the old girl, requiring extreme lashings of bog.

General Comments:

The Hunter was a reasonably reliable car, despite the problems I had with it.

It was always a good starter, even in the middle of winter. In a -6 degree frost I only had to pull out the choke, turn the key and voila.

The Billy as I called it, did a lot of kms for me around New Zealand.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th June, 2008

1971 Hillman Hunter Safari Station Wagon 1.8 4 cylinder from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1971
Year of manufacture1971
First year of ownership1991
Most recent year of ownership1994
Engine and transmission 1.8 4 cylinder Manual
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.7 / 10
Distance when acquired62000 miles
Most recent distance75000 miles
Previous carLeyland Moke

Summary:

It served its purpose as a form of cheap semi-reliable transport when I needed it

Faults:

Head gasket repeatedly leaked- Block needed surfacing.

Clutch thrust bearing disintegrated- they are a ring of Graphite!

Headlights were appallingly bad- all of the electricals were earthed through the accelerator cable onto the carb!- Fixed with an earthing strap and multiple electrical problems just disappeared! The guy I bought it from showed me receipts for several hundred dollars for electrical work-sucker!

Handbrake never worked.

General Comments:

Bought the car for $1000, spent $300-$400 on various parts and sold it three years later for $1100.

The car handles fairly sloppily, the steering is perhaps excessively light, but has a good, tight turning circle, but tends to scrub the front tyres quite severely if doing a lot of tight cornering (eg shopping car-parks).

I used it for some long distance driving and it was OK at 110kph, but wouldn't want to go much faster. Around town the light steering made it easy to drive, and the clutch is also light, but still has some feel to it.

Easy to work on, I replaced the graphite clutch thrust bearing in just under three hours by following the repair manual (and I am not a mechanic!). Head gasket replacement in under 90 minutes!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th March, 2006

1979 Hillman Hunter GL 1.7 from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1979
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.7 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired11900 kilometres
Most recent distance12500 kilometres
Previous carToyota Corolla

Summary:

Great car for a collector or first car buyer

Faults:

Nothing has gone wrong with the car since I have had it.

General Comments:

The car is still in original condition.

Seats are very comfortable.

Goes like a dream on long trips and when it is warm, hardly uses any fuel on long distances.

The car isn't the best looking, but it is in very tidy condition for its age.

The dash isn't showing any cracking or fading.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th August, 2004

1970 Hillman Hunter Hustler 1.7 4 cylinder petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1970
First year of ownership1995
Most recent year of ownership1998
Engine and transmission 1.7 4 cylinder petrol Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired36000 miles
Most recent distance60000 miles
Previous carHillman Hunter

Summary:

A good affordable vehicle for the mechanically minded first car buyer

Faults:

Blown head gasket.

Ruptured carburettor diaphragms.

Cracked front cross-member.

Seized rear universal joint.

Gearbox jammed in two gears.

Tore the internal spline out of the clutch friction plate.

Clutch thrust bearing failed.

Main plug in underdash wiring harness burnt out.

Drivers front window broke whilst closing the door.

Rear brake cylinders leaking.

Snapped pinion in differential.

Spun number four big end bearing.

Front timing cover seal wore out.

Radiator re-core.

Snapped front sway bar.

Rust in near side rear quarter panel.

Rust perforations in fuel tank.

General Comments:

A powerful car, given the size of the engine.

Reasonably predictable handling, although the vehicle does tend to go from understeer to oversteer at off camber corners without warning, especially at speed.

Vehicle has no camber adjustment on front axle.

Vehicle has too much positive camber for high speed operation.

The vehicle has incorrect Ackerman angle in relation to the front end geometry.

The comfort level of the vehicle is quite good.

The vehicle was quite reliable, despite all of the above problems, which only happened over the first six months of ownership.

Parts are very cheap and easy to obtain.

Performance upgrades, including suspension modifications are straightforward and available.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd July, 2004

10th Oct 2005, 07:17

I think the Hustler is a smaller version of the Chrysler Pacer (Australian made 70's).

I wish I was in England so I could get a hold of a decent Hillman Hustler or GT.

28th Jun 2008, 05:14

I use to own a Hustler here in Australia it was fitted with a 245 Hemi motor and was cut up into a drag car. The thing would have went like all hell only been so light not much in the car. And having a big Hemi 6...

10th Jun 2009, 02:01

I was thinking of buying one of these cars. Would it be recommended given all the things that have gone wrong in the above? I would not be able to work on the car myself and would need to get everything fixed by a mechanic, but I love old cars. I wanted to fix the thing up and make it real classy.

Thanks!

Lisa.

17th Jan 2010, 06:18

Lisa.. It's probably a little late to answer your posting. I have a 1961 Sunbeam Alpine that is very similar, mechanically to the Hunter, and I use it on almost a daily basis. So long as you are aware of the limitations of a "classic" daily drive, the Hunter should do the job. Join the Hillman club, good for spares and advise. Also quite a few modifications can be done to make the car more usable.

I have just bought a 1973 Kombi that I will fit out as a weekend touring vehicle, and my partner is selling her 2002 Camry to buy a 1970's VW T3 squareback as a daily driver. Old cars have much more character and can be made suitable for daily use.

Chris.

30th Jun 2011, 07:10

The sporty twin carb Hunter Hustlers (Baby version of Aussie Valiant Pacers) and Royal 660s (Baby version of Aussie Valiant Regal 770s) were both uniquely Australian.

CHECK OUT: www.southernhemimedia.com/hillman_hunters_23.html

Cheers, Jeff :)

Average review marks: 6.3 / 10, based on 13 reviews