In the 1880’s, William Hillman, a qualified engineer, formed a bicycle company. Hillman's new company soon established itself and Hillman became a millionaire. This wealth enabled Hillman to become a car producer. He had moved into Abingdon House, near Coventry, and decided to build his car factory in its grounds. In 1907, Hillman launched his first car, the 24hp Hillman-Coatalen and entered it in the Tourist Trophy race. He achieved commercial success in 1913 with his 9hp model which sold well into 1920’s. It evolved during its life, but it was not until 1926 when the 14hp model was launched that changes came. Although the Hillman family remained in control, William Hillman had by then withdrawn from the running of the company. The decision making was made by John Black and Spencer Wilks. In 1928, Hillman previewed the 2.6-litre Straight Eight model. It was completely new and was aimed at a much more expensive market. Due to delays in production, however, it was not launched until 1929 - just as the Depression started. During the Depression, the Rootes brothers bought out Hillman; it became the dominant marque in the Rootes Group, but Hillmans were sold under other marques, so the company was one of very few who survived acquisition by Rootes. The Hillman Minx first appeared in 1932, with a 1185cc four cylinder engine. The Hawk appeared in 1936 with a 2576cc side valve straight six engine. A smaller car, the Hillman Husky, with a van like body, was introduced in 1954, with the old side valve engine.. In 1963 a completely new car, the Hillman Imp was introduced, using a Coventry Climax 875cc rear engine. This was followed in 1966 by the Hillman Hunter. In 1970 the Rootes Group was taken over by Chrysler. Chrysler launched the Avenger in 1970.