Monday, 18 February 2008
Lunchtime of the Hunter
Except it isn't a Hillman Hunter is it, not really? This model is the downbeat version Rootes badged as a Minx, but whatever it is it sits in a field on the edge of my village. Somehow these cars have popped-up into my consciousness at various times of my life; first seen on the front cover of my 1967 Observer's Book of Automobiles with a very curvaceous blonde in a pink polka-dotted frock sitting seductively on the bonnet of which I now see is the Singer Vogue manifestation. Then in 1970 I borrowed one off a work colleague in order to deliver what seemed like six million Goddard's Silver Polish leaflets to Johnsons in Frimley, Surrey. It was the first time I'd managed to coax any car up to 80mph on the M1, not bad considering the boxes of print weighed the back end down to the rear tyres. My father owned a spectacularly dull Hunter in chocolate brown, and then they seemed to disappear, although I believe the tooling was sent from Ryton-on-Dunsmore to Iran to make taxis; much the same story as the Hindustan Morris Cowley in India. I expect this grazing Hunter is the plaything of an under-aged driver, but round here it could just as easily be awaiting conversion into a chicken coop.