HILLMAN CAR CLUB
OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA INC

Hillman Minx Series IV.
Why there wasn't one.
Editorial by Brian Vogt
HILLMAN CAR CLUB
OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA INC


When you look through the list of Audax body Hillman Minx and Singer Gazelle models, one is very conspicuous by its absence.
These Minx and Gazelle models were always produced in parallel, with matching Series numbers.  The Minx came as "Special" (plain version) and De Luxe, while the Gazelle had even more De Luxe features.

Where's the Series IV ?  Hillman fans have speculated for decades that the Super Minx was originally conceived with the intention of succeeding the Minx Series III.  What happened?
After almost 50 years, it would seem that verification of the story has been lost in the mists of time.  So let's examine the situation.

Was the Minx Series IV project running a couple of years late?  If not, the Series IIIB and IIIC model names would be hard to explain.  Mark VIIIa, Series IIIA and Series Va were all interim designations representing relatively minor updates while waiting for the significantly improved successor models.
Imagine that you're a senior Rootes executive in early 1960 the technical experts haven't got the Series IV ready for production yet, but the name is reserved, and you need a successor to what's now become the Series IIIA.  Just stall for time with another minor change put a hypoid differential into the old model, and extend the terminology to call it Series IIIB.  The public still seem to want to buy these Audax body cars while the engineering updates continue, so keep promoting them strongly.  Into the second half of 1961, the new models are ready.  How do you tell the public that the new design is superior, just after spinning a great story about the trusty Minx heritage?  Sales figures have been steadily falling over the years so you decide to sell both types.  Good decision the Minx is easier to park, while the longer wheelbase Super Minx has leg room for adult rear seat passengers.

When Super Minx bodies started coming out of the presses in October 1961, the Minx Series IIIC had already been in production for 2 months.  By that stage it might have become clear that the public had more of a preference for the old Audax body cars anyway, so they had to stay.  Development of the new Series V body (for release in 1963) was probably underway; it couldn't be called Series IV because that name was previously reserved for the Super Minx.  To avoid internal confusion at Rootes, it remained Series V.
This mess is probably why manufacturers now often use codenames for the development of new models.

I'd suggest that the Singer Vogue (badged as Humber Vogue in Australia) the De Luxe version of the Super Minx was originally intended to be the Singer Gazelle Series IV, as a parallel model to the planned Minx Series IV.
An extreme De Luxe version of the Vogue was later developed the Humber Sceptre but that's another subject.


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