Home » Show, Slalom, Or Swap-Meet: Hillman Husky vs Jaguar XJ6 vs Mini Cooper S

Show, Slalom, Or Swap-Meet: Hillman Husky vs Jaguar XJ6 vs Mini Cooper S

Sbsd 9 8 2023
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Good morning, and happy Friday! We’ve made it to the end of our short week full of British steel, and now all that remains is to decide where best to put our three winners. So let’s officially choose our third Shitbox Champion from the Goblet of Electrical Fire, and then we’ll get on with it:

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Little and zoomy wins out over tough and off-roady. I think that would be my choice, too; I’m just not sure what I’d do with a Land Rover. I like ’em, but I don’t have a good use for it. That Mini would be a riot on the back roads around my house, though.

So tomorrow is the big day! Eight hundred or so British vehicles in one place. My MG is ready: it has a full tank of gas, and I got my new stereo installed so I can blast London Calling on the way there. The show runs from 10 AM to 4 PM; then we all have to hurry home before dark. (Lucas headlights, you see.) But the show isn’t the only event – there’s a slalom competition that any car in the show can enter. And on Sunday, the whole place turns into a giant swap meet, where you can buy cars, parts, shop manuals, tools, toys, memorabilia, and pretty much anything else related to British cars.

We’ve got three potential entries, so your task is to decide which car belongs where: the show grounds, the slalom course, or the swap meet. Think of it as a variation on the “track-daily-burn” theme. We’ll review the three winners, and then you can make your choices in the comments.

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Ready? Here we go.

1963 Hillman Husky

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Our little Hillman Husky, Tuesday’s winner, is the only non-runner of this group. Well, actually, it runs; it just isn’t drivable. But for our purposes today, we’re going to assume that it is in as-advertised condition, except fully reassembled and roadworthy. So what we’re looking at, then, is a small rear-wheel-drive wagon, with a 1.4 liter inline four making maybe fifty horsepower. But it will also be the only one of its kind pretty much anywhere you take it, even a large gathering of other British cars.

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Entering this car in the show is a guaranteed class win, even in slightly scruffy condition like this; I think I’ve seen a Hillman Imp there once or twice, but never a Husky. And you’ll have to stand by it all day long answering questions. The swap meet is an option, of course, and I’m sure you’d find a willing buyer. But the bold choice here is the slalom. Come on, admit it – you have always wanted to see what your Auntie Mildred from Sussex’s car can do.

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1983 Jaguar XJ6 with Chevy 305 V8

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This Jag seemed to disappoint more of you with its choice of Chevy V8, not merely the fact that it has one. And sure, a 305 isn’t the pick of the litter when it comes to small-blocks, but it’s a good running placeholder until you can put together the engine you really want for it. Since it’s already converted, there’s no use crying over spilled milk, or twincam sixes. Might as well go for broke, and throw the entire Summit Racing catalog at it. Just keep it looking like a stock ’83 Jag.

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As far as tomorrow goes, you’re taking a bit of a chance parking this in the Jaguar section. If you kept the bonnet shut, you could just keep quiet about its powerplant, until you fire it up to leave, and watch the angry expressions around you when they hear the V8 rumble. The slalom would be fun, and it won’t be the least likely entry by a long shot; there’s a guy who runs his Rolls-Royce Corniche in the slalom every year. Remember the ballet-dancing hippos in Fantasia? Yeah, kinda like that.

2005 Mini Cooper S

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Much like its most famous movie appearance, the new BMW Mini is bigger, heftier, more slickly produced, and more expensive, yet not as charming or satisfying as the original. The spirit is still there, but if you don’t want to be disappointed, you have to judge it on its own merits and not against its ancestral form. Luckily, judged on its own merits, this is a pretty cool car. Not many hot hatches have a supercharger and a six-speed stick and a sunroof that’s nearly the whole roof of the car.

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These new Minis have their own whole section at the show, and they always have a good turnout. Honestly, I only give them a cursory look, because there is so much to see, and when it’s a car you can see in most parking lots versus an Allard J2 or a Jensen Interceptor or a Gilbern GT, why bother? It’s an obvious choice for the slalom, and there are always quite a few competing. You might be able to sell it at the swap meet, but the rebuilt title will need explaining.

So there you have it! Three choices, and three uses for them. Choose one to shine up and show, one to wring out on the slalom course, and one to rid yourself of at the swap meet. No poll today, because it would be chaos – just post your choices in the comments.

If you are planning on coming to the event tomorrow, please do find me. I’ll be by my car, or watching the vintage races, or drooling over the Lotuses, or shooting the shit with the fine folks in the Columbia Gorge MG Club. I’ll probably be the only person there in an Autopian T-shirt, and I’m pretty sure I’ve got the only yellow MGB GT with stripes on it. And if I don’t see you, have a great weekend! We’ll be back here on Monday with more poor automotive choices. And not British, I promise.

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(Image credits: Craigslist sellers)

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Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
5 months ago

Jaguar. I wish those Minis had a better reptuation. They are cool cars. But if I am going to deal with a headache, the Jag is far cooler to cruise in.

Gilbert Wham
Gilbert Wham
5 months ago

Jaaaaaaag

Opa Carriker
Opa Carriker
5 months ago

The Jaguar period.

Here4thecars
Here4thecars
5 months ago

Show: Husky
Slalom: Mini
Swap: Jag

SonOfLP500
SonOfLP500
5 months ago
Reply to  Here4thecars

Shalom the Husky
Swallow the Mini
Slap the Jag

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
5 months ago

Show the Husky
Slalom the mini
Daily the now more reliable gorgeous Jag.
But everyday that Husky would be calling me to drive it.

FuzzyPlushroom
FuzzyPlushroom
5 months ago

I’ve seen exactly one Husky in my life – it had an AMC 2.5 swapped in, and apart from a Plymouth Volare, it’s the only car at that show I remember.

I know, building it into a showable, slalomable restomod using swap-meet parts doesn’t properly answer the question.

The real answers are obvious: the Hillman has the most charm, the Mini’s an autocross champion, and the Jaaag… well, I voted for it, but it’s the underdog here with just a 305.

However, personally, I want to show and slalom the Jaguar to confound and likely annoy as many stuffy folks as possible, so I’d list the Mini for sale as soon as I got the Husky roadworthy and something approaching show-worthy (at least as a 20-footer summer-weekend-driver). If everything works right now, great, but I’d be less afraid of keeping the Jag or the Hillman running with non-original parts, and the Mini stands to lose the most value when something goes wrong, so it’d be a quick fling and then out of my life.

In short: Show the Husky (and eventually bring it to one autocross for fun), slalom (and initially show) the XJ for a body-rolling, tail-happy laugh, and swap-meet the Cooper.

Myk El
Myk El
5 months ago

Husky for show, Slalom Mini and swap the Jag.

Freelivin1327
Freelivin1327
5 months ago

Show Husky, Slalom Jag, Swap Mini

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
5 months ago

Definitely show the Husky, Slalom the Mini, and swap the Jaaaaaag.

Max Headbolts
Max Headbolts
5 months ago

Apparently I’m alone in this:

Show the Jag
Slalom the Hilman
Swap Meet the Mini

These would be the most entertaining choices, and guaranteed to garner the most conversations with people.

Tim Beamer
Tim Beamer
5 months ago

Show the Hillman, slalom the Mini, swap the Jag. Lucas electric, don’t drive it at night…

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
5 months ago

“(Lucas headlights, you see.)”
More like “Lucas headlights, you don’t see,” amirite??

CUlater
CUlater
5 months ago

Came here for this, leaving satisfied.

Opa Carriker
Opa Carriker
5 months ago

How many of you have really dealt with bad Lucas electrics? I drove a ’62 TR3B for 20 years with only one electrical issue, when a fuseable link burnt out in Cokesville, WY. A drive to Salt Lake City on the battery fixed that problem. That was Lucas back then. Modern English cars have Lucas electrics and aren’t being parked all over England due to electric problems. I think you are a bunch of Gen Z kids just mouthing what others have said. Jags, TR’s, MG’s and hell even Rovers forever!

Last edited 5 months ago by Opa Carriker
Opa Carriker
Opa Carriker
5 months ago
Reply to  Opa Carriker

I wish the edit function would quit removing my 2nd space after periods.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
5 months ago

Show the MINI. That color combo is gorgeous!
Slalom the Husky. Guaranteed to be a crowd favorite, and who doesn’t want a crowd of auto aficionados cheering for them?
Swap the Jag. It’s the only one of the three I didn’t vote for, so piss off, guv’ner!

Seriously guys! We could have been slaloming an MG with horrific wheels! But noooOOOooo! You lot picked a malaisey Jag with an even more malaisey engine! HP of a 1987 Camaro with the “HO” 305: 178 hp. HP of a 1983 Jag XJ6 with a 4.2 I6: 202 hp. FFS!!!

Now we’re stuck pandering for attention by slaloming a rusty ol’ underpowered Hillman Husky.

Sigh.

John Crouch
John Crouch
5 months ago

Only choice for me.
Show – Hillman
Slalom – Mini
Swap – Jaguar

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
5 months ago
Reply to  John Crouch

Yup. Me too. Saved me the typing.

FloridaNative
FloridaNative
5 months ago
Reply to  John Crouch

This is the only correct answer.

Mike
Mike
5 months ago
Reply to  John Crouch

Beat me to it. This is correct.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
5 months ago
Reply to  John Crouch

Me as well—although there’s fun to be had pushing a small car on tiny tires through a slalom

Rusty S Trusty
Rusty S Trusty
5 months ago

Burn the Jag because nothing of value would be lost. Track the Mini since it already has a salvage title and racing is hard on stuff. Daily the Hillman because it’s awesome and that’s the only choice left.

David Spiese
David Spiese
5 months ago

Slalom the Mini – because maximum driving fun!
Show the Husky – let other people see something they NEVER see
Swap the Jag – because an SBC swapped Jaguar is somehow the least interesting of the three. Honestly that’s impressive in itself.

10001010
10001010
5 months ago

Slalom the Husky
Show the Mini
Swap the Jagvy

Man With A Reliable Jeep
Man With A Reliable Jeep
5 months ago

If we’re strictly talking about what most belongs in the show, with the highest chances of winning anything, the only sane answer is the Hillman Husky.

I’ve only seen one of these for sale once, ever, and it was half rotted in some guy’s back 40 (what a shame) and it’s been listed FOREVER. Nobody knows what it is nor are they willing to put in the internet legwork to find bits and parts to make it right again.

Droid
Droid
5 months ago

slalom – mini, cuz it’s a mini.
show – jag, cuz it’s clean, reliable and i don’t care what faux-elitist purists think (“you love the right thing the wrong way”).
swap – hillman, cuz it’s unappealing to me but a goldmine for somebody.

Slack00
Slack00
5 months ago

I think the obvious answers here are:
Show: Jaguar (and watch the horrified reactions)
Slalom: Mini (and run rings around everyone)
Swap Meet: Husky (and find out if your car is worth more in parts or fully assembled)

Geoff Buchholz
Geoff Buchholz
5 months ago

Oh, we’re gonna slalom that Jag; I want to powerslide the h*ck out of it.
We’ll show the Hillman.
That leaves the Mini for the swap meet … and I have a +8 on charisma, so I’m not worried.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
5 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Buchholz

Roll for initiative!

Geoff Buchholz
Geoff Buchholz
5 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

“Can I sell this branded-title Mini to this skeptical half-orc?”
“You can certainly try.”

Forbestheweirdo
Forbestheweirdo
5 months ago

I’m going to go weird on this one, let’s slalom the V8 Jag, because it would be the most entertaining, at least funniest there. Then Show the Mini, because at it’s age it’s impressive it still runs. Then we can go swap the Hillman, which will hold the most? Maybe? I can get the most parts there or that’s my thinking

Aaron Nichols
Aaron Nichols
5 months ago

Show – Hillman
Slalom – Mini
Swap – Jaguar

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