Hillman GT: British Motor Museum in Warwickshire displays possibly the last remaining example
and live on Freeview channel 276
One of Britain's rarest cars is ready to be gazed upon by motoring enthusiasts after a detailed year-long restoration process. The 1969 Hillman GT - believed to be the only one of its kind left in existence - has gone on display at a museum after being returned to its former glory.
Regarded in its heyday as a vehicle for “the married man who still remembers fun, free, fast, bachelor GT days", its price when new was £962. The car has been lovingly restored over the past 12 months after it was bought at auction for £5,300 last year.
This high-performance saloon was built in Renfrewshire, Scotland and unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in 1969.
The vintage motor was only known as the Hillman GT in its first year of production before being replaced by the Hillman Hunter GT.
It was the sporty offering of the Rootes Group Arrow range, boasting a top speed of 94 mph, a 1725cc engine and 94 bhp.
Cat Boxall, curator at the British Motor Museum, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have this fabulous iconic motor on display. The Hillman GT is arguably the rarest car from the Rootes Group manufacturer and it is believed that this vehicle, built in Linwood, Renfrewshire, is the only surviving example”.
The car included high-backed seats with moulded head restraints which were seen by many as restricting vision for both the rear passengers and driver.
The Hillman GT also had two bands of peelable stripes to enhance the sporty look that Rootes preferred to call “Virile GT stripes”.
The museum, plus the car's renovation, feature in the TV show Bangers & Cash: Restoring Classics, which will be screened on November 9.
Andy Joynson, executive producer of Bangers & Cash: Restoring Classics, said, “We couldn’t think of a better place for the car to go on display than the British Motor Museum. It isn’t flash, it isn’t expensive, it isn’t even an iconic car - but it is part of our motoring history at a very particular moment in the important story of the Rootes group. I hope people enjoy the story of a humble and very British car”.