"How do I know if it's got a hidden hinge?"

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.

In addition to the hidden hinge and louvered vents, early-run HK cars have a number of other unique features.  The photos below illustrate some of these features, and show how to distinguish the early hidden hinge cars from the later run HK and US Ford J-Cars.

An early-run white enamel HK Ford J-Car.  Note the small front deep dish wheels.
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.

On 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
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.


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