This photo seals the deal for me: I must spend time in Washington State at some point. Only in such a place will anyone in the US find this Hillman Minx, let alone an Isuzu P’up sharing the same space. Cohort contributor Eric Clem posted these pics, and since we recently ran an article about the Rootes Arrow series of cars, posting one of its “Audax” predecessors only makes sense.
This particular car is a Hillman Minx, the volume seller, and as luck would have it, it looks to be a Series I. If the tags are to believed, it’s a ’57 or possibly a ’56. Washington must allow motorists to re-register the same plates indefinitely.
Any similarity with contemporary Studebakers was intentional, as the Audax range was styled under the watchful eye of Raymond Loewy. On this narrow, short car, sized for life on the British Isles, the overall look could be described as awkward, but I find it very cute, like a cartoon car come to life. That wasn’t the goal, obviously, but it didn’t matter as these cars sold well.
The center mounted gauges suggest a desire for success in left-hand drive markets, but these cars were always rare in the US, making the sight of this car somewhat of a shock. Seeing as it is unrestored and parked where it is, it could very well be a daily driver. I would doubt that trailer hitch is still used, but if it is, it wouldn’t be the only one!