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Hillman Hunter - Rod Badham


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#1 RCH

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 10:25

I've been considering for a while building/acquiring a Category 1 (pre 1968) Historic Rally Car. Common sense tells me to stick with what I know and use an Imp but as a Rootes enthusiast the Hunter keeps coming to mind. Now we all know that the Hunter's moment of glory came in 1968 but does anyone know whether one was rallied in 1967? Graham Robson's excellent book Rootes Maestros says that a car was built fot the Alpine Rally but only used as a sort of chase car and then as a testing mule for the London Sydney.

A little research showed that Rod Badham apparently used a Hunter to win the Plains Rally in 1967. As I recall Rod was using an Imp at this time but had a Hunter later, so was this purely a mistake and he actually won with his Imp or maybe the date was wrong? Or perhaps it was a standard car substituted because the Imp was in pieces, quite common with Imps! Does anyway know whether it actually was a Hunter and what sort of spec it had? Even if the project never goes ahead (most likely) it would be intersting to know.

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#2 Derwent Motorsport

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 15:31

You may well get some info on classicrallychat which is alos the main forum for historic rallying in the UK
http://makephpbb.com...classicrallycha

#3 RCH

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 18:42

Thanks for the link, looks like a lot of information to be found there!

#4 RS2000

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 21:28

Knutsford & DMC don't appear to have historical information on their site and their forum is members only, so your best bet is to hope someone on here can look up the MN report (what date in 67?). (Compare that to the excellent Wolverhampton & SSCC web site historic section that covers their MN round)
Don Barrow has been on here and has a good archive of MN Championship data.
I simply can't remember and don't have my MNs of that period.
Another possible contact is Rob Lyall (who organised the WCR40 event at Gaydon last year, which has a web site) - he navigated for RB later if not then.

Have to ask. It wouldn't be competitive in class surely?

Edited by RS2000, 30 March 2011 - 21:30.


#5 RCH

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 05:38

Have to ask. It wouldn't be competitive in class surely?


The thinking is to find a car which is strong and reliable. It's more a case of whether I would be competitive! Using what could be available if allowed: twin 40s, etc. etc. should be competitive with a Cortina GT? Would be up against Volvos, probably best to opt for one of those! I was thinking more in terms of the Historic Stage Challenge rather than the Championship, not many entrants there anyway.

#6 Gary Davies

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 06:22

Ah the Hunter. Do excuse a moment of relative offtopicness. A company I worked for in South Bucks in the late 60s/early 70's used them (and Avengers) as pool cars. (Does the concept of a pool car still exist?) One day I grabbed a Hunter from the pool to get to an appointment in London. Shortly after leaving the car park I noticed that the gear lever was uncharacteristically stiff. It got stiffer and stiffer to the point where I considered abandoning the trip and limping back to base. I persevered and suddenly it became ridiculously light, as in change gear with your finger tips.

Finally, assorted metal and fibre bushes having terminally consumed themselves, the entire gear lever fell out, landing in the passenger foot well. The end on the line? Oh no.. I found that by reinserting it into the 'ole, gear changes could be effected with a minimum of fuss. The only problem then was that the gear lever would fall out if one removed one's hand from it. So finally, the technique by which I proceeded into the interstices of London and then back to Bucks was to retain hold of the lever at all times and return my left hand to the wheel between changes with the lever held between my fingers rather like a Churchillian cigar. Worked a treat it did. In fact, it occurred to me at the time that the removeable gear lever was something of a half decent security strategy. :smoking:

#7 Nick Wa

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 16:38

Rod used his Hunter in Morocco in Oct 1970 on the 1sr Rallye Agip Supercortémaggiore from Casablanca. If your eyes are better than mine you might find a second reference to him. I can see he was 10th at the end of the 1st section into Tangier. I think he finished (which is more than we did) about 5th or 6th.
Try and read it! ps its in French!

#8 RS2000

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 19:21

Looking at Eddie Green's "Nineteen to the Dozen", Rod Badham was in a Hunter for the first half of the 69 MN Championship, then in the Imp later. There is a photo on the Seven Dales.
None of this of course helps with Historic Cat 1 eligibility ie. "prove used in rallying in 1967".
Gordon Jarvis might be another to contact. He was using a Rapier (the one that was roughly Hunter-based) a bit later and may have used a Hunter at some point. He worked at the Reading dealership.

#9 sterling49

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 01:42

Looking at Eddie Green's "Nineteen to the Dozen", Rod Badham was in a Hunter for the first half of the 69 MN Championship, then in the Imp later. There is a photo on the Seven Dales.
None of this of course helps with Historic Cat 1 eligibility ie. "prove used in rallying in 1967".
Gordon Jarvis might be another to contact. He was using a Rapier (the one that was roughly Hunter-based) a bit later and may have used a Hunter at some point. He worked at the Reading dealership.



I remember seeing this car out on London Counties events in the mid '70s, August Moon springs to mind, with Wayne Goble in the left hand seat..............

#10 GeoffR

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:53

When I read the OP for this thread my first thought was 'Why would you bother?' Being a London-Sydney inspired Hunter owner I struggle to think of a similar car available at the time that was a bigger p.o.s.!
Despite more broken diffs than I care to recall, I struggled on with my 'beast' and eventually ended up with a worked 1800cc (approx) engine that would rev to something like 6500rpm and top 110mph. At least it was unique at the time, but when I had a chance to have a good look at Cowan's L-S car the only similarity was the bodyshell!
And when I did eventually get involved in rallying my choice of car was a Mk1 Cortina GT equipped with twin s/d webers etc.


#11 RCH

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 10:53

My rally cars have never really gone with majority opinion; 2 Imps, Saab 96, Avenger "Tiger" (fake & never actually rallied but fondly remembered), Lada, Chevette (that's one I won't repeat) and Opel Kadett D; so the idea of a pre'68 Hunter was interesting.

#12 RS2000

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 21:18

Being a London-Sydney inspired Hunter owner I struggle to think of a similar car available at the time that was a bigger p.o.s.!
Despite more broken diffs than I care to recall, I struggled on with my 'beast'. At least it was unique at the time, but when I had a chance to have a good look at Cowan's L-S car the only similarity was the bodyshell!


Yes, Salisbury 4HA axle on the "works" car (and the 4 private London-Mexico 70 cars), or whatever the correct generic description of that axle is? Someone said "4HA" was only strictly correct as the Jaguar application. The marathon Hunter axle was inspired by Des O'Dell having been at Aston Martin, prior to JW Automotive and Rootes/Chrysler.
The attributes of Gp1 Avengers were being hailed elsewhere recently. It almost became a Monty Python sketch: "what did the Romans ever do for us?". Avengers were claimed to great...well, except for the axle: "well, yes, there was the axle..." ...and the gearbox: "well yes that too...".

#13 RS2000

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 21:21

By the way, talking of the Volvo option, this was at scrutineering for the Bulldog Historic Rally (round 2 BHRC) in Welshpool this afternoon:
Posted Image

Edit 2.4.11. It won the Historic Category (Cat B)!

Edited by RS2000, 02 April 2011 - 19:31.


#14 RS2000

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 21:25

As Cortinas get a mention above too, so was this (with David Stokes' championship winning Escort in the background):
Posted Image

Edited by RS2000, 02 April 2011 - 19:28.


#15 RCH

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 07:12

So was Geoff Taylor's Imp I hope. Perhaps the Hunter was not such a good idea? Just want to get away from wall to wall Fords. Never rallied my Avenger, had a shock horror moment when one of the struts appeared through the inner wing after trying it out on a local white, sold it on quick after the repair. Interesting that Avengers are allowed to use Ford gearboxes. My Chevette 2300SC was a completely different car with a Ford box, still not a very good one though. I can pick 'em!

#16 RS2000

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 19:25

So was Geoff Taylor's Imp I hope.


Not whilst I was there but I passed it on a trailer a couple of miles out of Welshpool as I headed back up the A485 the other way.


#17 RCH

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 07:43

By the way, talking of the Volvo option, this was at scrutineering for the Bulldog Historic Rally (round 2 BHRC) in Welshpool this afternoon:
Posted Image

Edit 2.4.11. It won the Historic Category (Cat B)!


The Volvos seem to be very quick this year.

#18 RS2000

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 20:35

This is the 67 Scottish (down the page):
http://www.forum-aut...370504-1085.htm
Looks like a Singer Vogue rather than a Hillman Hunter but with re-badging BHRC would have to accept it?

#19 RCH

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 08:50

This is the 67 Scottish (down the page):
http://www.forum-aut...370504-1085.htm
Looks like a Singer Vogue rather than a Hillman Hunter but with re-badging BHRC would have to accept it?


Sorry, bit late seeing this but thanks. I suddenly remembered I had a very poor photocopy of the Autocar report on this event amongst my Imp stuff. It seems that Gerry Birrell "won" the 2-litre Group One class with an "unmodified" Vogue but was moved into Group 2 because he had too many lamps!

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#20 RS2000

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 19:14

Sorry, bit late seeing this but thanks. I suddenly remembered I had a very poor photocopy of the Autocar report on this event amongst my Imp stuff. It seems that Gerry Birrell "won" the 2-litre Group One class with an "unmodified" Vogue but was moved into Group 2 because he had too many lamps!


Sounds like an inside job then! As seen in photo, most of Scottish would be in daylight and most would remove auxilliary lights for latter part of event - so someone grassed? Strictly speaking, cars should be presented at any stage of scrutineering with all equipment that would be/was on the car at any time during the event....yeah, right....).
New Gp1 66 onwards originally allowed only 2 aux lts (the basis of the 66 Mini Monte fiasco) but it changed later (I think to "a total of 6 forward facing lights including all headlights" - at least that's what we had to change to on the Firenza after scrutineering for the 1977 12 Heuren DePanne).

Edited by RS2000, 27 May 2011 - 19:15.


#21 RCH

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 09:09

Sounds like an inside job then! As seen in photo, most of Scottish would be in daylight and most would remove auxilliary lights for latter part of event - so someone grassed? Strictly speaking, cars should be presented at any stage of scrutineering with all equipment that would be/was on the car at any time during the event....yeah, right....).
New Gp1 66 onwards originally allowed only 2 aux lts (the basis of the 66 Mini Monte fiasco) but it changed later (I think to "a total of 6 forward facing lights including all headlights" - at least that's what we had to change to on the Firenza after scrutineering for the 1977 12 Heuren DePanne).


Graham Robson's report was actually quite critical of the event. "special stage timing was often suspect with the most improbable performances - good and bad - sometimes being credited to well known teams...." ; several of the stages were cleanable. "...certain scrutineering decisions appeared completely contrary to FIA Appendix J regulations." The results for Birrell's class were not final at the date of the report. after he was moved to Group 2, "...the class win should have then gone to Paul Burch's Volvo but is still in abeyance until homologation details of this car are verified."

I'm still in awe of being able to finish a Scottish of that era quickly enough to win your class with an "unmodified" Singer Vogue. Or perhaps unmodified only applies to the engine? Wonder if the car was much use afterwards?

#22 Nick Wa

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 19:45

I have just noticed I ran with only 2 spots, on closer examination of the photo I am reminded that one of the lamp covers went missing overnight in parc ferme. :cry:

several of the stages were cleanable

Even I managed one! :rotfl:

This thread has got a long way from Badham.

Edited by Nick Wa, 28 May 2011 - 19:48.


#23 RS2000

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 20:24

To get a bit further back towards Rod Badham's Hunter, his co-driver in the Hunter on the 1970 London-Mexico World Cup Rally, Rob Lyall is at back left of this photo I took at HSCC Mallory Park last year. At the driver's door of the Alfa is Jimmy Fuller of Antigua, who started the WCR70 in another Hunter. Badham's WCR70 Hunter MWK938G looked as new as the other 3 Hunters, so presumably it was not a re-build of his previous rally Hunter?
http://imageshack.us...4/1001909v.jpg/

Edited by RS2000, 28 May 2011 - 20:25.


#24 RCH

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 10:52

Just thought I'd bump this thread in case Graham Robson has some more info.