||24th February, 1966
Record-breaking run across Europe
by Hillman Imp
You may remember that in 1952 we carried out a reliability
run with a Humber Super Snipe, with Stirling Moss at the wheel, and
covered 15 countries in 90 hours.
Now, we have been approached by the Royal Air Force and have
agreed to co-operate in an "initiative exercise" on similar lines, using
a standard production Hillman Imp de luxe Saloon, Mark 2. The R.A.F.
Motor Sports Association feels that the Imp can improve on the existing
This R.A.F. run from Norway to Portugal will cover a distance
of 3,352 miles, and calls for an average speed of 40 m.p.h., inclusive
of frontier formalities and stops for refuelling. Apart from these,
and two ferries in Denmark, it will be non-stop day and night.
The object of the run is to prove the exceptional endurance,
reliability, comfort, speed and safety of the Imp, and as the car enters
each territory it will display that country's emblem on the side of the
car alongside the Union Jack.
There will be four drivers: Flight Lieutenants J. A. Quilley,
and D. Carrington (of R.A.F. Watton), Flying Officer G. Smith (R.A.F.
Woodhall Spa) and Officer Cadet I. Stewart-Rattray (R.A.F. Feltwell).
Two will drive to Milan, where the other two, having been flown out,
will take over for the remainder of the run.
Full details of the actual route are attached, and me will
be sending you a final itinerary with dates and times to enable you to
arrange Press publicity as the car passes through your territory. It
is expected that the run will start on approximately Monday, 21st March.
Obviously, it would be most helpful if a pilot car could be provided,
in some instances, to escort the Hillman Imp through your town in order
to save vital time.
To contribute to the suocess of this Air Force venture,
Mr. Norman Garrad is arranging a Reconnaissance Run in the same Mark 2
Imp, to be driven by Mr. Peter Brown, from the Coventry factory, who
will be accompanied by F/Lt. Quilley. Please see itinerary attached.
Mr. Brown and F/Lt. Quilley will explain the entire operation
to Dealers along the route, and will also arrange any local co-operation
that may be necessary on the run itself.
Mr. Garrad will join the Reconnaissance at Milan, and will
finalise the arrangements from Milan to Lisbon.
We know all Rootes Dealers will be pleased to afford their
full co-operation in this important venture, both on the Reconnaissance
and Run itself, and we are sure that the resultant publicity -and the
documentary film to be made - will help to boost Imp sales throughout
Advertising & Sales Promotion Production,