Isuzu’s famous car “Hillman Minx PH300″[Recommended car]that made the owner of the crown say “Don’t challenge because you can’t win” | MOBY [モビー]

Former “Gosanke”, Isuzu’s origin of passenger cars

A front mask with an American car-like atmosphere rather than a British car

I think there are more people who don’t know that “Isuzu used to make passenger cars”, but basically it is a bus and truck manufacturer. It was a passenger car manufacturer that normally sells sedans and coupes.

In the 1960s, it was said to be one of the “big three” domestically produced cars, along with Toyota and Nissan.

As a start, Hino Motors acquired the production and sales rights for passenger cars from overseas manufacturers, gradually increased the domestic production rate from knockdown production in which imported parts were assembled, and after achieving 100% domestic production, launched its own developed vehicle. is the same as

This time, we will introduce the “Hillman Minx” that was produced and sold by Isuzu at that time, along with images of the second-generation mid-generation PH300 that is on display at the Toyota Automobile Museum.

The latest “Hillman Minx” used car information

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average price 300Ten thousand yen
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“Isuzu” was a prestigious bus and truck since before the war

The “New Hillman Minx” PH300 is on permanent display at the Toyota Automobile Museum. The PH400 model after this is called “High Style” with a tail fin.

Isuzu Motors is a manufacturer with such a long history that it claims to be the “oldest existing domestic automaker” (“History of Isuzu / ISUZU: Tokyo Motor Show 2017”). was founded in 1907), its origins are a little more complicated.

Since it is complicated, I will only give an overview, but Ishikawajima Automobiles, which was the automobile division of IHI (former Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries), and the automobile department of Tokyo Gas Electric Industry, which was known under the Gasden brand throughout the pre-war period. , originated from the three companies of “Kaishinsha” affiliated “DAT Automobile Manufacturing”, which is also the origin of Nissan.

In the process of merging these companies and renaming them to “Tokyo Automobile Industry” by 1937, the trucks and buses standardized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (now the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) became the “Isuzu” brand, and in 1941 The name will be changed to “Diesel Automobile Industry”.

During the Pacific War, a prototype passenger car “PA10 model” for general use was not mass-produced, and except for military passenger cars, it was consistently a truck and bus manufacturer. , The history is quite complicated until it was renamed to “Isuzu Motors” in 1949 and settled down.

In 1952, when the then Ministry of International Trade and Industry (the current Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which was a successor to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry) allowed domestic manufacturers to partner with overseas manufacturers to develop the automobile industry, Isuzu Motors began working with Hino and Nissan. and entered the passenger car business.

Partnership with Roots Group

The back seat of the calm bench seat is pushed down from the front seat, a technique that was used in Hino Renault 4CV at that time to increase comfort.

Isuzu chose the UK-based Roots Group, which formed a technical partnership necessary for manufacturing and selling the 4-door sedan version of the Minx passenger car under the Hillman brand. Down method production will start.

Initially, we produced the Hillman Mk.VI with a 1.3-liter 4-cylinder SV (side valve) engine, and did not produce 2-door coupes, convertibles, wagons, etc., which were not in demand in Japan, where most of the demand was for taxis at the time.

However, the engine was changed to a 1.4-liter 4-cylinder OHV, and minor changes were made to the Mk.VII. Production continued until 1956, and production continued until 1956. model change to

Achieved complete domestic production and performance higher than home country!

It was a center meter with a luxurious interior at that time

Although it had not yet been realized at the beginning of the second generation, it was completely domestically produced in 1957, one year earlier than the Hino Renault 4CV and Nissan Austin A50 Cambridge. Improvements were also made.

The ambition of the Japanese people at the time and the stagnation of Britain, which was later called the “British disease” and was unable to recover from the ravages of World War II and entered an era of decline, was the result of the “Isuzu Hillman’s performance.” exceeds the home country specifications.”

The “PH300” on display at the Toyota Museum is a 1960 model Hillman released in October 1959. The newly installed 1.5-liter 4-cylinder OHV engine produces 60 horsepower in the “Standard” and 62 horsepower in the “Deluxe”. Demonstrated, it exceeded the 57.5 horsepower of the home country specification.

In the background of this, in the 1.5-liter class sedan, which was a 5-number full-size car at the time, in addition to Nissan’s A50 Cambridge, the Toyopet Crown and Prince Skyline (both first generation), etc. I have.

Among them, the New Hillman Minx has outstanding power performance, especially the torque from low to medium speed rotation is powerful, and drivers of other cars such as the Crown told me, “You can’t beat Hillman, so don’t try it.” , Its characteristics were later inherited by Isuzu passenger car engines.

After that, the 1961 model, commonly known as the “Hillman Minx High Style” with American car-style tail fins, was developed into the PH400 model, and the final model PH50D and PH50S, which were powered up to 70 horsepower with the “Deluxe”.

Gives birth to Berel and entrusts the aftermath to Beret

If the Hino Renault 4CV in the back was the king of 750cc class small taxis, the Hillman Minx PH300 would have competed with the crown for the 1,500cc class king.

In 1962, Isuzu released the first 4-door luxury sedan “Berel” as a passenger car developed independently by Isuzu. Although it was a purely domestic car that was expected to compete with the Crown, etc., the quality and reliability of Berel on the production line that was used to Hillman Minx. I have a problem with sexuality and I can’t stop playing Hillman Minx.

Ultimately, production of the Isuzu Hillman Minx continued until April 1964, when the middle-class sedan “Beret” launched in 1963 received high acclaim. It became the basis of the passenger car.

The second-generation 1960 model PH300 is on display at the Toyota Automobile Museum, but the original Isuzu also restored the Hillman Minx.

At “Isuzu Plaza” in Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture, three units (1953 PH10, 1956 PH12, 1961 PH400) as a special exhibition “Isuzu Treasure Collection Hillman Minx” from July 2020 to April 2021 ) is a special exhibition, although it is not a permanent installation, it seems that there will be opportunities to see it in the future.

* The author information of the images used in this article is as of the publication date.

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