The Hillman Husky first made its debut in the mid-Fifties as an estate version of the Hillman Minx.

The Husky ran on, with a few upgrades here and there, until this unspectacular but inexpensive lightweight workhorse eventually went out of production in 1965, to be replaced by the Mark II version, s much more closely aligned to the Hillman Imp.

Rear engine powered, the Husky Mark II had to be much taller than its predecessor.

A possible catastrophic fault Which the design team at Hillman rapidly compensated for by literarily “ raising the roof” on the Husky, by 4 inches (100 mm). This alteration meant that additional and ample carrying space was made available above the engine bay.

A possible down side was that the new Husky had extremely “box-like” appearance.

T he positive effect was that the Husky Mark II doubled as a comfortable four-seater, that was readily capable of carrying 25 cu ft of cargo.

The Husky rapidly proved itself to be more economical to run than the Imp, even though they shared same 875 cc overhead camshaft engines this unlikely estate was approximately 150 kg lighter.

Like the earlier van version, the "Imp estate" was based on the two-door car, although with the roof being much higher.

While no exact statistics were made available, of the slightly more than ten thousand Husky Mark IIs sold during their four-year production run.

There was a definite slant towards using this vehicle for carrying light goods, thanks to a combination of its 50 cubic feet (1.4 square meters) of storage capacity.

Loading access was also exceptionally user-friendly thanks to the Husky’s by a rear tailgate which was both top-hinged and vertically hinged.

The bottom of tailgate sat precisely at the floor level with the floor, making for an easy task of both loading and uploading.

While the view looking outwards from the rear seats could hardly be described as panoramic, the rear sliding windows did provide ample ventilation while the view from the rear bench seat was adequate.

Taking into account its expected demands as a cargo carrier, the Husky came fitted with an enhanced rear suspension as well as strengthened rear shock absorbers and springs were fitted and strengthened.

┬áThese enhancements provided the Husky Mark II with improved handling, especially when taking into account the vehicle’s slight lack of proportion.

The Hillman Husky remained in production for just more than four years till it was discontinued by Rootes along with the rest of the Imp derivatives due to the overall poor sales performance of the much vaunted “Scottish Mini.”

Back to the homepage- and don't spare the horsepower.

UK5