Hillman Husky

Hillman Husky

Hillman Husky can refer to several different vehicles produced by British car manufacturer, the Rootes group, under their Hillman marque.

Original Hillman Husky ("Mark 1")

Infobox Automobile

name = Hillman Husky (Minx based)
manufacturer = Rootes Group
production = 1954-1957
predecessor =
successor = Hillman Husky (Audax based)
body_style = three door estate
engine = 1265 cc straight-4
transmission =
length = Auto in|148|0
width = Auto in|63.25|0
height = Auto in|61|0
weight = Auto lb|1904|0
wheelbase = Auto in|84|0cite book |last=Culshaw |first= |authorlink= |coauthors=Horrobin |title=Complete Catalogue of British Cars |year=1974 |publisher=Macmillan |location=London |id=ISBN 0-333-16689-2]
track = Auto in|48.75|0
related = Hillman Minx
similar =
designer =
fuel_capacity =

The first (or "Mark 1") Hillman Husky, introduced in 1954, was a small estate based on the contemporary "Mark VIII" Hillman Minx. The two-door Husky entered the range alongside an existing Minx estate car, which had a convert|9|in|mm|sing=on longer wheelbase. The Husky was not a hatchback, having instead a single side-hinged rear door. While the new Mark VIII Minx DeLuxe saloon, convertible and "Californian" hardtop used a new OHV 1390 cc engine, the Husky continued to use the older 1265 cc convert|35|bhp|abbr=on sidevalve engine with single Zenith carburettor which it shared with the Minx "Special" saloon and estate. Unlike the Minx with its column change, the gear lever for the Husky was floor mounted.

There were individual seats in front and a bench seat in the rear which would fold flat to increase load area. The trim material was leathercloth. Both the heater and radio were optional extras. The car was available in blue, grey, green or sand paint (1954 colours).

The Husky was badge engineered and slightly modified to form the Commer Cob – basically the same vehicle but with the rear side windows removed to create a panel van.

42,000 of this Husky were sold until the model was replaced in 1958 (a year after the "parent" Minx was itself replaced).
159,960 produced.cite book |last=Robson |first=G. |title=A-Z of British Cars 1945-1980|year=2006 |publisher=Herridge Books |location=Devon, UK |id=ISBN 1-9541063-9-3]

The Motor magazine tested a Husky in 1954 and found it to have a top speed of convert|65|mph|km/h|abbr=on and acceleration from 0-convert|50|mph|km/h|abbr=on in 24.3 seconds. A fuel consumption of convert|33.4|mpgimp|L/100 km mpgus was recorded. The test car cost £564 including taxes.cite journal | authorlink = Unsigned |title = The Hillman Husky| journal =The Motor| volume = | pages = | date = December 29 1954]

"Audax Series" Hillman Husky

Infobox Automobile

name = Hillman Husky (Minx "Audax" based)
manufacturer = Rootes Group
production = 1958-1965
predecessor = Hillman Husky (Minx based)
successor = Hillman Husky (Imp based)
body_style = three door estate
engine = 1390 cc straight-4
transmission =
length = Auto in|149.5|0
width = Auto in|60.5|0
height = Auto in|60|0
weight = Auto lb|2072|0 (Ser I & III)
(Auto lb|2100|0 (Ser II)
wheelbase = Auto in|86|0cite book |last=Culshaw |first= |authorlink= |coauthors=Horrobin |title=Complete Catalogue of British Cars |year=1974 |publisher=Macmillan |location=London |id=ISBN 0-333-16689-2]
track = Auto in|49|0
related = Hillman Minx
similar =
designer =
fuel_capacity =

eries I

In 1958 the new "Series I" Husky appeared. It followed the same formula as its predecessor, but was based on the new "Audax" or "Series" Hillman Minx. This time the engine was the new Minx’s 1390 cc overhead valve unit but de-rated to an output of 51 bhp. . As before, there was also a four-door "Minx estate", and the Husky had two doors (plus the side-hinged rear door) and a shorter wheelbase (by convert|8|in|mm). It was, however convert|2|in|mm longer than its predecessor.

Again Commer sold a panel van version of the same vehicle as the Commer Cob.

eries II

A "Series II" Husky followed in 1960 with a four speed gearbox, slightly lowered roof, a deeper windscreen, and altered seats. The engine compression ratio was raised to 8:1 and the carburettor changed to a Zenith 30 VIG type.

Testing the Husky in 1960 The Motor magazine recorded a top speed of convert|73.4|mph|km/h|abbr=on, acceleration from 0-convert|60|mph|km/h|abbr=on of 26.9 seconds and a fuel consumption of convert|30.8|mpgimp|L/100 km mpgus. The test car cost £674 including taxes. cite journal | authorlink = Unsigned |title = The Hillman Husky Series 2 | journal =The Motor| volume = | pages = | date = March 16, 1960]

eries III

The final iteration of the "Audax" Hillman Husky, the "Series III", made its debut in 1963, along with a face-lift for the whole Minx range (and its badge-engineered derivatives). The face-lift bodywork changes were applied to the Husky, but the reduction in wheel size from convert|15|in|mm|sing=on to convert|13|in|mm|sing=on, which was applied to the saloons, was not applied to the Husky in order to maintain its ground clearance. In addition, whilst the contemporary Series V Minx got front disc brakes, the Husky continued with four-wheel drum brakes. While the 1390 cc engine continued to be used in most markets, for the USA the Husky adopted the 1592 cc engine used in the contemporary Minx Series V.

From 1964 the Husky gained an all-synchromesh gearbox and changes to the clutch and suspension. Production of the Series III ended in 1965.

Hillman Imp van derivative

Infobox Automobile

name = Hillman Husky (Imp based)
manufacturer = Rootes Group
production = 1967-1970
predecessor = Hillman Husky
successor =
body_style = three door estate
engine = 875 cc straight-4
transmission =
length = Auto in|141|0
width = Auto in|60.25|0
height =
weight = Auto lb|1652|0
wheelbase = Auto in|82|0cite book |last=Culshaw |first= |authorlink= |coauthors=Horrobin |title=Complete Catalogue of British Cars |year=1974 |publisher=Macmillan |location=London |id=ISBN 0-333-16689-2]
track = Auto in|49|0
related = Hillman Imp
similar =
designer =
fuel_capacity =

No further Huskies were made until a new model based on the Hillman Imp appeared in 1967. This new Husky shared the Imp's rear-mounted 875 cc overhead camshaft engine, and had slightly better performance than the Imp. [ [http://www.imps4ever.info/library/1967/husky_roadtest.html Hillman Husky, Autocar 1967 - The Imp Site] ] This was also the engine adopted by the Bond 875.

Like the earlier van version, the "imp estate" was based on the two-door car, with the roof raised by 4 inches (100 mm) to provide a large carrying space above the engine bay, giving the car a square boxy look. Loading access was by a vertical top-hinged rear tailgate with the bottom of the opening level with the floor, making it easy to load without stooping down. Sliding windows gave ventilation and a view out from the rear bench seat. The top part of the back seat squab folded forward forming a useful horizontal loading platform with a ribbed rubber surface, and convert|50|cuft|m3 of capacity. To take the increased load, this was the first Hillman derivative to have radial-ply tyres. It also had uprated rear shock absorbers and rear springs were fitted along with a strengthened rear suspension. These gave the Husky more sporty handling that the standard Imp, and looked surprising when this tall vehicle went quickly round a corner with very little roll. [http://www.imps4ever.info/family/husky.html Hillman Husky 1967-'70 - The Imp Site] ]

Once more Commer sold a commercial version of the same car, the van version which was launched in 1965 [ [http://www.rootes-chrysler.co.uk/car-development/dev-imp.html Development of the Hillman Imp cars] ] and had the engine in low-compression form.

The last Husky was built in 1970, at which point Chrysler Europe, new owners of Rootes, engaged in a major rationalisation of their products.


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