December 9th 2016
I have decided – at what is a bit of a late hour in terms of the project itself – to write this blog because it’s the sort of internet content that I like to find and read when there is nothing on the telly (most evenings) and it is too dark / cold / frustrating / seemingly pointless etc. to actually go out to the workshop and do something constructive on the car. I say a late hour as I started this project about five years ago and am hopefully nearer the end than the beginning of the process. However as we all know, there is nothing such as ‘the end’ when building or restoring a car and I am therefore confident that with the huge amount of catching up to do and the probably painfully slow drawn out end to the project with all the attendant ‘fiddly bits’ still to do, there will be plenty to write about.
Is this project a recreation? a rebody? a restoration? I will just tell the story and let you know once I decide or am educated.
I bought the remains of two Aero Minx tourers from Bob, a Gentleman from the Heathrow area of Greater London some six years ago for no better reason other than that the ‘barn find’ (and worse) piles of stuff were too tempting to resist especially at the very reasonable price asked.
Bob, a prewar Hillman expert of some repute, had contacted me as the fairly recent and well-smitten owner of a 1935 Aero Minx tourer. He phoned me and said something along the lines of “You’ve got an Aero Minx, haven’t you?”, I replied in the affirmative to which he went on with “Do you want a couple more?”
Within a couple of days the wrecks had been viewed, deal agreed and wrecks transported back to base. Then I meditated on what I had done.
I decided to pick one of the cars, ADU 101, and commence restoration immediately. I must confess that I didn’t give it a huge amount of thought, certainly not as much thought as my wife, thereby following a bit of a pattern.
In 2012 I was offered the opportunity of raising the profile of the Aero Minx by putting together a collection of cars for the Hillman Owners Club stand at the classic car show at the NEC. Of course I jumped at the chance and very ably assisted by Andrew McAdam of HOC we put on quite a show. It was at this show that I met up with Dave Hanks, long-time owner of what was then possibly the only example of a Streamlined Saloon who put the car on show. Spending the weekend with this car resulted in my decision to create another Streamlined on the chassis that was then nearing completion and also featured in the NEC bash. Dave’s car was a huge hit at the NEC and in fact won a special Judges Choice prize which got Dave a double page spread in Classic And Sports Car Magazine, a silver salver and all of us a table at the terrific prize giving event that evening.
Mr Hanks’ car is in fact one of the second incarnation of a very short production run of AM Streamlined saloons, the first model having some quite significant differences to his later model. The early one had no running boards and helmet type front wings which gave it a quite different look and as there was already one like Dave’s I thought I might try to recreate the early type of which no examples exist, the mark I if you like.
The early 1933 model is shown below with Dave’s 1934/5 model below that.