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LMS Route: Rugby to Wolverhampton
LMS Route: Nuneaton to Leamington

Coventry Station: lnwrcov3731

View of seven Hillman cars being transported to Coventry Goods yard by horse drawn trailers

View of seven Hillman cars being transported to Coventry Goods yard by horse drawn trailers from the works. The photographer is standing with his back to the motor landing dock as seen in image 'lnwrcov2769' when it managed a single siding. Within a couple of years (by 1937 at the latest) the motor landing had been developed to accommodate two sidings as can seen in image 'lnwrcov3738'. The above is obviously a posed publicity photograph with the trailers tightly drawn together and a horse of the leading trailer being kept between the shafts and, in addition, none of the cars have been 'tied' to the trailers which would be necessary even for moving them a short distance. The question is 'is the publicity for the car company or for the LMS railway company?. The reason being is that at least two of the the three gentlemen in long overcoats can also be seen in image 'lnwrcov3734' and 'lnwrcov3735' and these photographs are promoting Daimler and Lanchester cars being transported to the Scottish Motor Show. It may be these gentlemen are the LMS' agents.

The cars are right hand drive, have the driver's window wound down, have no licence plate and with their front bumpers removed, presumably necessary for their transportation by rail. The Hillman Minx was launched in 1932 and it maybe that this was part of the publicity being undertaken to promote the car. Built from 1932 to 1948 the Hillman Minx was the Rootes Group's most famous model, being launched in the 1932 with an 1185cc sidevalve engine. Rootes had determined that their Hillman marque should explore the cheaper areas of the market. The gearbox gained a 4th speed in 1934 and the bodywork a modest restyle. In 1933 the Hillman Aero Minx was announced with a tuned engine, better carburettor, better gearchange and a different axle ratio. They sat lower on a shorter chassis, and the standard bodywork was a small fastback saloon, but many were sold as a chassis only for coach builders to clothe until 1935.

The Minx Magnificent was announced in 1936, mechanically as before but now clothed in a much more rounded body. For 1938 a restyle was given, most notably to include an opening boot, and in 1939 this body was used to house new mechanics for the 1939 Minx. However, whilst retaining the same looks, this 1939 Minx had a unitary construction body. Production of a pickup Utility ('Tilly'), plus a few staff cars, was carried on during WW2. When production restarted after the War the Minx, now called 'Minx Phase I', was essentially the same car, that is until 1947 when it was restyled to become the Phase II. In 1948 a new '3-box body' was given to the Minx styled by the Raymond Loewy Studios and this was known as the Hillman Minx Mark III.

Peter Speding wrote in Volume 6, Edition 10 of the LNWR Society's Journal an article which featured this photograph, 'This is one of a set of five undated photographs found at Nuneaton sometime between 1960 and 1962. They were found in an envelope postmarked 14.11.1932 with a Midland Daily Telegraph label. The postmark date appears consistent with the subject matter of the photographs, each one of which is stamped on the reverse with 'Copyright Photograph by Midland Daily Telegraph and Coventry Herald, Coventry/ The Coventry Telegraph is the successor to the Midland Daily Telegraph and the Coventry Herald and research by their chief librarian revealed no trace of the pictures having been published and, because all the records of the time were destroyed in the Coventry blitz, it is not possible to obtain any other information. The photographs appear to be about the despatch of cars from the Coventry area and are split into two sections, those below taken in Coventry Goods yard and those on the next page showing a train of about twenty long wheelbase vans.