1972 Hillman Hunter Deluxe 1.5 OHV from UK and Ireland


Has the feel of a big car, but the nimbleness of a small car


Where do I start here...

Needed to replace the exhaust because the previous owner had fitted an incorrect one. Dynamo was not working very well which made it hard to start and the battery would drain if you used too many of the accessories at once.

Brakes failed a one point due to fluid leaking from the rear brake hose and the front right disc brake seized due to rust.

Tail-shaft fell off onto the road at one point due to loose bolts. Under-carriage was severely rusted due to salty British roads.

Indicators worked sometimes and sometimes not.

General Comments:

Apparently these cars are pretty reliable if they are looked after and last year I heard this model won the round the world rally.

My car was pretty neglected when I bought it but once I cut and polished about 10 years worth deteriorated paint off the surface the car actually looked quite good, although this didn't improve the mechanicals of it.

I guess this car would have been quite a large car in its day, it is certainly very roomy inside. Because of this you would think that the small 1.5 liter motor would make the car pretty slow, but I never found the car to be sluggish.

One thing about the car is the lack of accessories, i.e. no radio, single speed blower, no rear seat belts, no rear de-mister, just the basics which is all you need really.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th June, 2001

19th Sep 2001, 19:41

Yeh, well I got myself a Hillman Hunter. Might be an earlier model, but I had no problems with it. Bit of body rust, but that's all. Yeh they are a really, really, really slow car, but what can you expect for an old pom car?

6th Feb 2002, 22:32

Mine drives almost exactly like my old Marina 1800 - The car tilts like crazy when you rev the engine, but it still does 0 - 60 in about 5 minutes! Oh, and don't try taking it out in the ice or you will be asking for trouble. Handles like a shopping trolley. Lack of a heated rear window on my model makes the cold weather a pain in the rear, but getting one fitted would modernise the car and it wouldn't be original any more would it!

15th Nov 2004, 14:46

Funnily enough I also had 2 Hillman Hunter Estates in the 70's. Company cars. They were basically reliable, but had only vestigial road holding and liked to lurch from serious understeer to dramatic oversteer in the twinkling of an eye. Why would anybody even want to see one now? Let alone actually buy one!

11th Sep 2008, 06:31

Many people want to add a Hillman Hunter to their collection. This is 2008, but did you know the Hillman Hunter is being produced in Iran under the name of Peykan by Iran Khodro Ind?! ha ha ha...!

6th Jan 2009, 20:33

My father had one, it was a '72 DL 1500 bought in 1979. One tends to be nostalgic for that cars that one's father had, but not in this case. It was horrible, collapsing seats, no wing mirrors, non-inertia reel belts, loud, slow, moldy.

Nothing electrical worked except the one speed wipers and the head lights. I remember many electrical fires and the fact that he had to keep it in third gear with a rubber band.

Rust wasn't a problem though, and the bloody thing just wouldn't die. Gave it away in the end. He chose it over a Renault 16 Automatic back in '79. What was he thinking?

11th Sep 2010, 17:55

I have a Hillman Hunter.

It's a super car, lovely to drive, as back in the days the roads were not great. Driving mightn't have been the best as the roads have improved a lot since my dad had one for years. It was like a tractor. It would pull anything, Holbay engine o/d gearbox. What more would you need?