1971 Hillman Hunter Auto.

I bought this Hillman Hunter from my Mum after it got old enough to start causing her too much in maintenance costs. It was a 3-speed auto which did not really suit the revvy nature of the alloy head 1725 engine, but it was still a quick mover despite years of being driven sedately.

It was an extremely straight and rust-free 1 owner car, but just getting a bit tired, so I reconditioned the engine, fitted a modern stereo and a rear window blind to keep the sun off the kids.

It went great and we had some excellent trips in it. One day a village idiot left a rubbish truck on our steep hill with engine running and handbrake on. The handbrake failed and the truck careered off down the hill - making its first contact with the Hunter, bending the rear quarter, shoving it over a very deep gutter and into a power pole. If you ever wanted to destroy a car - this was the way to do it.

The vehicle was not insured but it seemed obvious that the Truck's insurance would be responsible. Not as obvious as you might think. The driver was not proven "negligent" and the accident thus termed an "act-of-god". Apparently this now indemnified the insurance from a claim.

I pursued the claim in the small claims court on the premise that although he was not "negligent", the driver must have been a total f***ing idiot to park a laden truck on a steep hill relying only on the handbrake. Fortunately it transpired that in the initial stages of the claim the insurance company had gotten me to sign a form saying that if they paid out, then I would take no legal action. I had agreed, so the court ruled that they now must abide by their own document. Noice.!

The payout was a measly $800, but I got all my bits back and merely needed to find another bodyshell in order to resurrect the car.

So that's what happened.