Car of the Month
CAR OF THE MONTH 145: February 2020
1970 Hillman Avenger
The Avenger was introduced exactly 50 years ago in February 1970 manufactured by the former Rootes division of Chrysler Europe. It was a medium-sized family car that fitted into their UK car range above the Imp and below the Minx-Hunter, originally with 1248cc and 1498cc engine options that were later expanded to 1295cc and 1599cc. The higher powered variants were reasonably brisk, reaching 100mph with a 0-60mph time of just over 12s. It was the first British car to be supplied with a plastic radiator grille and the "hockey-stick" shaped rear light cluster was another unique feature at the time. In 1976 the Hillman name was dropped in favour of Chrysler and, following the collapse of Chrysler Europe in 1978 when it was taken over by PSA Peugeot Citroën, the face-lifted car soldiered on until 1981 as the Talbot Avenger. In spite of having to compete with the Ford Escort and Morris Marina, it sold well in the UK with over 600,000 produced, but less well in the USA where it was sold as the Plymouth Cricket and withdrawn after two years.