The earliest production runs of Hong Kong Ford J-Cars featured a fragile "hidden hinge" mechanism for raising and lowering the rear engine cover. Since the hinge mechanism and engine cover were re-designed relatively early in 1968, and because the hinge was fragile and prone to breakage, this particular variation of HK J-Car is quite scarce. When the engine cover was re-designed, the louvered vents depicted on either side near the rear of the car were omitted. Hence, this variation is sometimes referred to as a "louvered" HK J-Car.
Hidden hinge J-Cars are usually found in white enamel, although the very rare light blue HK J-Cars also have the earlier hinge design.
addition to the hidden hinge and louvered vents, early-run HK cars have
a number of other unique features. The photos below illustrate
of these features, and show how to distinguish
the early hidden hinge cars from the later run HK and US Ford J-Cars.
early-run white enamel HK Ford J-Car. Note the small front deep
Hidden hinge J-Cars also can be found with small standard front wheels. The common
late-production white enamel HK J-Cars came with four medium standard wheels.
the early-run HK J-Cars, the rear hatch features a depicted louvered
vent on either side.
These vents are absent on the common late-run HK cars.
Note the silver painted engine compartment. This is similar to the engine painting done on
other early-production Hong Kong cars in 1968.
Base comparison: a US Ford J-Car (L), an early-run "hidden hinge" HK J-Car (C), a common HK J-Car (R).
Note the differences in the base, hinge mechanism and rear paint of the two HK variations.