Hillman Imps / Our other cars

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pmcgsmurf

MB Enthusiast
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Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
5,640
Location
Stirling, Scotland
Car
E55 AMG W211, E250 Sport W212, (and some Imps)
Someone asked if I could post a few pics after having seen my avatar picture, here you go.

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Boris, 1967 Spring Special
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Mildred, 1963 MK1 original unmodified condition.
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George 1967 Singer Chamois
Did look like this when arrived.

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Then at one point like this.
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George is currently work in progress, engine and box ready to do back in and should actually be MOT'd in a week or two at most before painting. Will only have front window in for MOT.
 
The Hilman Imp takes me back to my youth.
My mate, Mike Lord was very sweet on a girl he had dated a couple of times.
He was going to her house that was situated on a wide junction/bend.
The roads/pavements were slippy (cant remember if rain or ice).
He somehow managed to crash the Imp over the front garden dwarf wall and into their caravan on the front garden/drive which was pushed back into their sitting room window, cracking the glass.

He didn't see her again after that. :D
 
Love those Imps, especially the racing ones..:):)

.....and that what was prompted me to ask for the pics to be posted. My Cousin, Gordon Millar, Rally'd an IMP Sport at a high level for many years. He was sadly killed whilst racing (not in an IMP).

These are cars that have real character, are they not? They shout out, look at me, I have a story to tell and most very probably do. I recall, so vividly going for drives in another friends IMP and she would 'prop' open the rear window to give us proper air con. These are stunning examples and have refreshed my interest in the cars. I want to see and learn more now and would encourage a thread on the restoration or a pointer to another forum (if there is one).

Thank again for posting these up. Great work and beautiful cars. Cars to make you smile.
 
Wow, absolutely fascinating. Love to see "normal" 60's cars in period colours - it's such as shame to see them disappearing.

Many happy memories of my brother's Imp in the early 70's, although that maybe because I wasn't the one who had to work on the thing to keep it going. My favourite was the Hillman Californian - now there was a strangely named car !

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Thanks guys, we have quite a few of these and the goal is to get them all back on the road and running.
With the work that has been done on "George" he will be good to go for many years to come.
The green Mk1 (around 6k off line) still has it's auto choke and pneumatic throttle which works as it should.

We also have another Mk1 at around 5k off the production line due for a restoration.

From next year the government are proposing bringing in a no MOT required for 40+ year old cars.
We will continue to have our cars tested though as we think it just makes good sense.

The great thing about these cars is you don't need a diagnostic tool, maybe a multimeter at best but that's all.

We had a reconditioned engine running up on an engine stand in the factory car park the other night.
Fuel from a can, 12 volt to the coil and a jump lead to the starter, not even any need for electric to the fuel pump as it's mechanical.

Here's a little bit of a treat we got to do this year for the 50th anniversary of Celtic winning the European cup (I’m a fan).
In '67 three journalists drove from Glasgow to the game down in Lisbon in a car the same as the dark green one that was supplied by the factory in Linwood, apparently Lord Rootes thought it would be great PR for the car.

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The guys drove the same route as the original journalists in the dark green one and made a documentary along the way that is currently being edited for release in the future.
 
Thanks for your posts.
I have fond memories of my Imp.
 
I like the white one. Funny how wider wheels and a little neg camber change the look.
Wasn't cooling a weak point on these? How did you sort that?
 
IIRC the first Imps had positive camber on the front suspension/wheels. Rumour has it that at the last minute before production it was discovered that the headlights would fall below the height required by the vehicle construction and use regulations current at the time :eek: so the front "swing axle" suspension was jacked up for the car to pass. This made the handling "interesting" to say the least. :rolleyes:Standard suspension tweak was to lower the front suspension central pivot point such that the front wheels took on a far more sensible aspect.:cool:
All alloy engine [ pretty revolutionary in a mass produced car at the time] was supposedly based on the legendary Coventry Climax engine widely used in competition. That too had lowly origins have been originally designed as an engine to power fire pumps .
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My Mum had one when I was a child, for some reason I used to ride in the boot/hatch area and can still recall the smell of the engine.

Years later a mate had one which he tuned up, he claimed that he chose an Imp as he worked out that he could swap an engine over in about an hour which was useful given his propensity to blow them up. I also recall the rather 'floaty' nature of the steering at (relative) speed when surprising a few tarted up Mk1 or 2 Escorts.
 
My first car was a Singer Chamois, cost me £200..

Spent untold ££s converting it to full Monte Carlo road spec. Spax adjustable suspension, negative camber conversion, Viva(?) front hubs and discs. 998cc Rallye engine with dual Webers, competition transaxle, 1" competition drive shafts. Front mounted radiator (Hillman Hunter), extra large oil cooler. Interior stripped out Corbeau competition seats and 5 point harness. The later saved my life when a front tyre parted company from it's Revolution rim in a fast corner... Car sold for parts..

Great car, great learning experience...
 
IIRC the first Imps had positive camber on the front suspension/wheels. Rumour has it that at the last minute before production it was discovered that the headlights would fall below the height required by the vehicle construction and use regulations current at the time :eek: so the front "swing axle" suspension was jacked up for the car to pass. This made the handling "interesting" to say the least. :rolleyes:Standard suspension tweak was to lower the front suspension central pivot point such that the front wheels took on a far more sensible aspect.:cool:
All alloy engine [ pretty revolutionary in a mass produced car at the time] was supposedly based on the legendary Coventry Climax engine widely used in competition. That too had lowly origins have been originally designed as an engine to power fire pumps .
01022016_105.jpg
Lotus also used the Coventry Climax engine.
 
a lot of character in thos IMPs, keep up the good work Pat
 
Wow, absolutely fascinating. Love to see "normal" 60's cars in period colours - it's such as shame to see them disappearing.

Many happy memories of my brother's Imp in the early 70's, although that maybe because I wasn't the one who had to work on the thing to keep it going. My favourite was the Hillman Californian - now there was a strangely named car !

mpm_791f-hillman-californian-imp12-aug5-2980.jpg


My uncle had one of those just like that. I had no idea it was called a Hillman California.
 

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