The Speed Model was a sports car made by Hillman between 1919 and 1921.
The Speed Model was the first sports car to come out of Britain after the First World War, being shown at the 1919 Motor Show. The bodywork was made from polished aluminium and the tail was circular in shape so a spare wheel could be attached. The car also featured a V-radiator, external four-branch exhaust pipe and copper exhaust pipe all added to the popularity of the car.
The Speed Model was mechanically identical to the 11hp except for a few modifications. The Speed Model had a conventional chassis with semi-elliptical leaf-springs all round and a side-valve long stroke engine. A Claudel-Hobson carburettor was used instead of the more conventional Zenith unit. Die-cast aluminium pistons along with a lightened crankshaft and flywheel were also added.
The Speed Model used a four-cylinder 1496cc engine which produced 28bhp. The car came with a three-speed manual gearbox and cone clutch. The top speed of the Speed Model was 65mph (105kmh). The chassis was 8ft 6in long with brakes being fitted on the rear wheels only.
The price put people off. At £620 it was only for the wealthy and for only £30 more, you could buy the more desirable and sporting Bugatti.
Mercury and Quicksilver
Hillman's Works driver George Bedford was given a special one-seater version of the car called Mercury. He was achieved notable successes at Brooklands and a number of hill-climbs. In 1921 he managed to lap Brooklands at 89.09mph (128.89kmh).
Another more standard Speed Model piloted by Raymond Mays was making a name for itself. The car was named Quicksilver and made the fastest time at the Inter-Varsity Speed Trial. It then went after significant modification to make it competitive at Brooklands.