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Hillman Minx Saloon RAF Staff Car restore & markings


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Hi all,


We just (this weekend) bought a Hillman Minx Saloon 1941 to restore and brought it from UK to Belgium.

We would like it to be in original RAF-colors again !



While stripping the black paint (it was rebuild in 1948 into a cab) we found lettering on back doors. Still have to strip another part, but now I’m trying to do some research about RAF vehicle markings. Hard to find !!!

The markings on the front right wing, was already made visible by the previous owners ...

I have paint chips of the original RAF blue grey that was underneath the other paint layers, so the color is no problem.




Right front wing marking:


base color of wing is black



with RAF roundel Type A diagonally below


On the left back door:


H + 2 or 3 digits we guess


The right front door panel has been repaired earlier, so no more markings on it.

The left front door panel, there is no marking either ...



- What's the meaning of the number 24 and letter H’ ? Must been sqn numbers but wich one ...

- What means black wings ?? Red wings are "Bombs Disposal" ... but black :wow:

- Any help about vehicle markings would be fantastic !!




Thanks a lot,


Edited by Tina&Roger
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A few questions; Is it a vehicle that was impressed in to service or one produced for the RAF?


I seem to remember a small number of cars were made for essential use early in the war, so was it built in black paint? If it was made for the RAF it could have been RAF blue up to August 1941. As for the Black wings these were used on some RAF vehicles just prior to WW2 but Black wings were standard post war for a few years when RAF Blue replaced the British Army style camo of the war years.

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Hi Larry,


well we try to make the 'reconstruction' of its history ...

- serial/Vin nr says it's an '41 ... Found the RAF blue grey paint on the bottom layer of the body.

Numbers painted on black front wings, so we presume it was originally RAF blue grey with black wings ...


- then I found blue paint (2nd layer paint done with a brush) over the black front wings, under the black cab paint (3rd layer paint)


- it's rebuild in 1948, into the cab



- date first registration in UK: 1955 as a cab


And that's all we have :-(



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As above.

It would almost certainly have been black originally if it was assigned as a staff car for a senior officer, otherwise it would have been in whatever camouflage was flavour of the moment. Presumably stripped and painted blue-grey with "black wings, valances and chassis" when the RAF introduced that scheme in 1946, the black bits were dropped in 1954 iirc.

H/24 indicates it was assigned to a station in 24 group Technical Training Command

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As you are finding, markings and colour schemes cause many 'discussions' :D Just to add to the hassle, a number of just pre WW2 cars used a very bluish primer coat. Try looking at some very obscure place that resprays might have missed. If the vehicle stayed in UK, even if it was a military vehicle, it would have had white blackout markings on it. Not often seen on restorations, but eye catching, and correct.


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Wauw !! Thank you for this stunning info about the wings and numbers !! Just what I was looking for :dancing:


I just went trough the paperwork wich was with the car and it says: "the contract number was a RAF contract.

So the car was ordered for the RAF ! It seems it was not built earlier than August 1941.

970 Hillman Minx Saloons were ordered in this contract."


I'm one happy girl :laugh:


@ Tony B: It stayed in UK untill last weekend, so we there is a big chance we will paint the blackout stripes when it's correct !

@ RAFMT: I'm thrilled !!!

@ REME: We will certainly look for a hidden spot of blue paint !!





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  • 1 month later...

Hello Tina,


Congratulations, and nice to see that there's another Minx in Belgium !


I have a '38 Minx saloon deluxe (white blackout and Home Guard markings).


Underneath the wipermotor I found some original untouched blue-grey paint... It looks exactly like the RAF colour they used to have... (or is it the primer coat Tony was talking about ?).


Anyway, would love to exchange some usefull info about those cars.

I'll try to post some pictures.


I'm living close to Gent by the way, and I think we have a common frend called Marc (from the Netherlands) who wrote a nice book about the RMC.




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Bernard De Smet


If the Hillman was built in 1938 for the RAF, it would certainly have been gloss RAF blue, but then most likely repainted in camouflage colours in Wartime.


BTW - If you ever strip the engine I'd be interested to see photos of the cam driven push rod drive for the fuel pump, as I was working on a Hillman Tilly with a friend who had a problem with the push rod as it seems the end had worn near the cam shaft, so there was no back and forward movement on the rod to work the fuel pump. We had to fit an electric one rather than strip the engine.


If its the cam shaft that's worn a new push rod won't work.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 years later...
1 hour ago, Nick Johns said:


Thanks, that’s interesting. I am sure my Hillman was FKM 481, registered on the 2nd of December 1938.

The one above looks very much like it, the blue under the wiper motor, the green hose taking the water from the roof guttering.

iIt was my first civvi car. I often wonder where it had got to.

It could be a coincidence, and I am now wondering if I misremembered the number plate.

will have to find a photo!




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