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Hillman Imp and its badge-engineered cousins

Hillman Imp - logo imps4ever

Poor man's Porsche 911

The Hillman Imp, baby car (1560 lbs) of the Rootes Group. A true driver's car. First built in 1963, it had many innovative features. Last one out: 1976. Sprightly with its Coventry-Climax derived engine. Really fun to drive. Remarkable gear shift. Great road-holding ! The rearmounted engine (170 lbs.) is all aluminium alloy, with an overhead camshaft. It has all-independent suspension.
Sporty versions left the factory with 55 bhp @ 6100rpm and a torque output of 55.6lbs.ft @ 4300rpm out of its 875cc. For rallying, 75/80 bhp. could easily be extracted; for racing, if carburation was free, it could produce at least 110 bhp @ 8500 rpm.
Imps were built in a specially designed plant in Linwood, Scotland. The Rootes Group produced 440,000 of these extraordinary cars.

The rear-engined Imp was surely one of the finest mass-production saloons ever made in enthusiast terms.

1963 - 2013: 50 years of Imp


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