A 1969 Hillman GT from the Bangers & Cash: Restoring Classics TV show goes on display today, 12 October, at the British Motor Museum. Believed to be the only Hillman GT left in existence, the car was bought by the show at auction in 2022 for £5.3 thousand as a restoration project and will be on display in the museum’s Welcome Gallery until autumn of 2024, when it will be re-auctioned to a loving new owner.
“We couldn’t think of a better place for the car to go on display than the British Motor Museum” said Andy Joynson, executive producer of the show. “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”.
The TV Show
Bangers & Cash: Restoring Classics is a spin-off series that began in 2019 and follows the journey of a vehicle purchased at a Mathewsons classic car auction, then repaired and restored back to its former glory before being re-auctioned. These genuine projects with varying degrees of difficulty, are a favorite among car buffs and show just how tricky restore classic vehicles can ben.
The third series begins on the Yesterday Channel today, 12 October. The Hillman GT and the British Motor Museum are featured in episode 5, which will be broadcast on Thursday 9 November.
Bangers & Cash continues to be the most popular programme on Yesterday,
The Hillman GT
This high-performance saloon (sedan) was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in 1969 but was only called the Hillman GT in its first year of production. It was the sporty offering of the Rootes Group Arrow range before being replaced by the Hillman Hunter GT. The car has a top speed of 94 mph, a 1725 cc engine and 94 bhp. The “De Luxe Comfort Interior Pack” offered reclining seats, a cigar lighter, and “door-to-door carpeting” drivers who wanted a little more luxury. Its price was £962.
With a tuned Rootes engine and twin Stromberg CD150 carburettors, with testosterone infused marketing toward “the married man who still remembers fun, free, fast, bachelor GT days”.
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
“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”, said Cat Boxall, curator at the British Motor Museum, who also appears in the programme.
About the British Motor Museum
The British Motor Museum houses the collections of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust, the world’s largest collection of historic British Cars, with more than 400 spanning the classic, vintage and veteran eras. Visitors will also find a fabulous archive of film, photographs, personal papers and business documents. Each year the museum hosts a number of highly successful and varied motoring shows and rallies, as well as family events, lectures and workshops.
The museum is in beautifully landscaped 65-acre setting and rolls out onto the Warwickshire countryside.
British Motor Museum Banbury Road, Gaydon Warwickshire
Photos courtesy of the British Motor Museum