Prepare to be amazed by the remarkable story of this 1929 Hillman 14 Open Tourer, a true testament to automotive history. Hillman, originally a bicycle manufacturer, transitioned into the world of car production in the early 20th century. The Hillman 14, introduced in 1925, quickly became the company’s best-selling model due to its affordable price compared to competitors like Austin and Humber. Sadly, financial difficulties led to Hillman’s merger with Humber in 1928. Now, after spending three decades in storage, an untouched barn-fresh example of the 1929 Hillman 14 Open Tourer has surfaced on eBay, captivating enthusiasts and collectors alike. The car, currently available at Gullwing Motors in Astoria, New York, is seeking a new owner with a passion for automotive preservation.
Powering the Hillman 14 Open Tourer is a 1942 cc inline four-cylinder engine, producing approximately 35 bhp. With a top speed of around 55 mph, this vintage gem delivers a nostalgic driving experience. Equipped with a non-synchromesh, four-speed manual gearbox and cable-operated four-wheel drum brakes with servo assist, the Hillman 14 is a true representation of 1920s automotive engineering. However, considering its lengthy period of inactivity since 1992, it’s safe to assume that the car is currently not operational, requiring thorough restoration to bring it back to its former glory.
While the interior of the Hillman 14 Open Tourer shows signs of wear, most of the gauges are intact, offering a glimpse into the past. Ergonomics may not have been a priority in the 1920s, as the gauges are discreetly tucked under the cowl. Although the upholstery requires attention, there is enough remaining fabric to serve as a pattern for restoration. Notably, the gear change is located on the right-hand side, a unique characteristic of this era. However, it’s worth mentioning that the windshield frame is currently missing, a crucial component that needs to be sourced for a complete restoration.
Despite the challenges posed by its long slumber, the Hillman 14 Open Tourer still holds remarkable features. The convertible top, although weathered and hanging on by ropes, may serve as a reference for recreating an authentic replacement. The car’s distinctive artillery-style wheels, with wooden spokes and metal centers, present a restoration challenge. Fortunately, the Hillman 14 was also available with wire wheels, which may be more readily obtainable. When it comes to pricing, recent sales suggest that Hillman 14s typically fetch around £19,000, with minimal distinction between the saloon and tourer models. However, considering the comparable market prices, some may argue that the asking price for this Hillman 14 appears steep. What do you think of this exciting find and its potential value?