red rally Imp, from an '84 design by Nick Webb

The Imp Site

The only Imp information I found on the web (before I decided to put Imps on the electronic highway myself) was a photograph of an Imp in a rally.
The Imp has been doing well in races and rallies, and in Historical Competition, it still is... The number of Imps engaged in competition today [Imps at YouTube] is surprising (not!). And it isn't just all in the U.K. either: the Imp is eg. quite popular in Finland.


Competitive Impers

Rallies
    Historic Rallies
Races
    Historic Races
    Ice-races
PCTs & Classic Trials
Economy Runs
Sprints & Hillclimbs
Grass track racing
Rallycross
Slalom
Drag-races
Hot-rod races (banger racing)
Boats (hydroplanes)
Sidecars (motorcycles)
 

 



Successes of the Imp
in major competitions
in the first 40 months of its existence

Over sixty outright wins, class wins, and team prizes in rallies and racing events. As often as not the Imp is the smallest and slowest serious contender in the events.

DateEventAwardWho
1964Monte Carlo Rallybest performance by a British private owner
best performance from the Glasgow start
Hunt and Mac
April 1964 Belgian Twelve Hours Rally won- the 850-1150 c.c. class for touring cars Truillet and Mollers; locally-entered car
November 1964 R.A.C. Rallywon the one-litre G.T. classPollard and Baines
1965 Monte Carlo Rally
35 finished out of 237 starters
22nd overall; 4th in the 1-litre G.T. class + 2nd in the Coupe des Dames
2nd in the 1-litre G.T. class + 15th overall
Rosemary Smith and Margaret McKenzie
Pollard and Hughes
April 1965 Circuit of Ireland Coupe des Dames; 16th overall
3rd in the 1300 c.c. G.T. class
Rosemary Smith & Sheila O'Clery
Tiny Lewis and R. Turvey
April 1965 Tulip won outright + the Coupes des Dames, the G.T. category and the 850-1150 G.T. class
2nd overall, 2nd in the G.T. category and 2nd in the class
Rosemary Smith and Valerie Domleo
Tiny Lewis and David Pollard
May 1965Tanzania rally outright win  
May 1965 French MobilEconomy Run second Joe Lowrey with Margaret McKenzie as co-driver
May 1965Danish Economy Run won their class Jensen and Andersen
June, 1965 Scottish Rally winning the ladies' prize, finishing fifth overall and second in the 1300 C.c. G.T. class
won the class and finished second overall
Rosemary Smith and Shelia Taylor
Tiny Lewis and Robin Turvey
June, 1965MobilEconomy Run, Austria class win  
  International Gulf London Rally won, of all things for an Imp to win, the unlimited capacity class Evans and Spokes
 Alpine Coupes des Dames and the first prize in the 1-litre G.T. class Rosemary Smith and Sheila Taylor
  Polish Rally finished second Thistlethwaite and Yond
 Canadian BP Economy run lowest consumption of any competitor with 46·34 m.p.g.  
1965 R.A.C. Rally Manufacturers Team Prize Rosemary Smith and S. Reeves, Tiny Lewis and Robin Turvey, and Cowan and Coyle
   sixteen first places and seven lap records Alan Fraser racing team: Jacqui Smith, Bernard Unett, Nick Brittan, Ray Calcutt
1966 9th July international saloon car race at Silverstone won Bill McGovern
 Monte won the one­litre modified production class
second
the series production cars one litre class
Lewis and Bosence
Simonetta and Dirren
Lier and Vuarrez
  East African Goodyear Rally won the 1300 c.c. class + 3rd overall Collinge and Dunk
A month later Nairobi Rally won outright  
  MobilEconomy Run best overall fuel consumption: 54·37 m.p.g. - won the one­litre class but was also the best consumption of the whole event J.A. Parham
  Ireland won the ladies' award + 2nd in the 1300 c.c. G.T. class
won the 1300 c.C. G.T. class
third and fourth
Rosemary Smith's turn again ­with Valerie Domleo
Malkin and Lyall
yet two more Imps
  Tulip first three places in the 1150 c.c. class Lewis and Bosence, Rowe and Turner, and Heijndijk and Martini
April 1966 Governor's Cup Race in Venezuela won its class  
  Arboe and Veralpen Rallies, in Austria three of the first four places in their class in both events  
  Canada, Shell 4000 Rally finished eighth overall, first in her class and won the ladies' award Rosemary Smith with Anne Coomb
  Acropolis Rally, Greece win the Coupe des Dames, to finish second in class and third overall Rosemary Smith with Val Domleo
  Scottish Rally won the Coupe des Dames and the 1300 G.T. class, finishing third overall, while more Imps took the next three places in that class and another won the 1-litre series production class Rosemary Smith with Val Domleo
  Swiss Tessin Rally, Yurrup outright win;  
  Austrian Alpine Rally a class second  
  Swiss Championship Slalom a class win  
  Geneva Rally A second overall and a class second Lier
  international Gulf London Rally first three places in the 1600 C.c. G.T. class + the team prize as well Cowan/Coyle, Pollard/Baines, and Rosemary Smith/Valerie Domleo
       

1975 results



Rallies

Results of the Works Imps (1964 - 1970).
Imps in rallies (post-Works) 1970 - ...
(Both files are very incomplete, of course).



Historic Rallies

 

Le Jog: Land's End to John O'Groats
Entry: about £800.

The MSA are organising the AXA Classic, a Classic Car run at the end of May. 10 start points and finishing at Millbrook. Each route takes in a variety of Hillclimbs, test tracks etc. The cost is £160 for the 2 day route or £90 for the 1 day.

historicroadrally.co.uk

historicmotorracingnews.com

The Classic Rally Association

Classic Malts Reliability Trial: Scotland
Entry: £2,350 incl. accommodation for 8 nights

Rally des Alpes

Liege-Rome-Liege (which finishes in Rome)

HRCR Historic Road Rally Championship
Minilite MSA British Historic Rally Championship: Harry Flatters Historic Tarmac Stages
HRCR Historic Road Rally Championship: St Wilfrids Rally (Nocturnal Challenge); CARS Half Night Rally (Nocturnal Challenge); Ross Traders Historic Tour; Hughes Rally; East Anglian Classic; Welsh Retrospective; Powderham Historic Rally of Devon
The Ypres Historic and Classic Tarmac Stages
Gremlin Rally; Co-op Motor Group Robin Hood Historic Stages

P. Loveridge: Historic Rally Car Technical
Permitted modifications to Hillman Imp

World Motorsport

UK Rallying: rallynavigation.com

Historic Rally Car Register HRCR

Rally Marshalling Site

The UK rules are layed down by the RAC. Cars must have either an RAC Historic Vehicle identity form or a more detailed FIA document. The basis for the identity form are the Homologation Papers produced by Rootes for the Imp. These are essential, as they contain all the legal extras that can be added to the Imp. There are two homologations:

They can be obtained from the RAC.


National Rally Britannia 1997, Final Classification

Class B1
 7     1   114  Alistair Bell / Peter Horsburgh  Austin Mini Cooper    0:50:15
11     2   117  Nigel Barnet / Paul Marshal      Hillman Imp Califo    0:51:03
12     3   116  David Rayner / Phil Smith        Hillman Rallye Imp    0:52:31
19     5   131  John Holloway / Mike Matthews    Hillman Imp           0:58:31 

East Anglian Classic Historic Road Rally, 1997

This was a historic rally with both Regularity sections and stages.

Class B1
Pos.  CarNo  Total   Driver            Navigator          Car                  Ability
 1       9    2629   Peter Valentine   Tony Pettie        Austin Cooper S         E       HRCR/HRCR      No/No
 2       8    4591   Owen Turner       Andrew Dadswell    Hillman Imp             N       GBMC/GBMC      No/No
 3       7    5725   Fiona Duncan      Michael Turner     Hillman Imp             N       GBMC/GBMC      No/No
 4       6    7871   Jason Thompson    Hugh Thompson      Austin Mini Cooper     SE       HRCR/HRCR      No/No
 5       5   11013   James Turner      Simon Hawkins      Hillman Imp             N

Historic Rally Championships:


   unlnown Imper

Races

While the Rootes competition budget was devoted to rallying, the factory did support third-party teams on a small scale - officially only the Fraser team.

Teams:

Index of racing Impers


Link:
The Imp Motorsport Gallery: all about spaceframe Imps



  • The Classic Saloon Car Club of Great Britain runs, in conjunction with the British Automobile Racing Club, three separate Championships for Pre 66, Pre 74 and Pre 83 Touring Cars.

  • Castle Combe
  • Donington Park
     - Historic Cars - Historic Sports CC
     - Flockhart and Seaman Trophies - Vintage SCC
  • Brands Hatch
     - Historic Raceday (HSCC)
     - International Historic Superprix - HSCC
  • Silverstone
     - Coys International Historic Festival
  • Croft Circuit
     - Classic Car Meeting / Concourse Festival
     - Classic and Historic
  • Mallory Park
     - Historic Cars - Historic Sports CC
     - International Classic Post TT - New Era
     - Bob Gerrard Memorial - Vintage SCC
  • Lydden - Classic Vintage Practice Day
  • Oulton Park - Historic Touring Cars - BARC
  • Cadwell Park - Historic Touring Cars - BARC
  • Pembrey - The Pembrey Classic - BARC
  • Snetterton - Historic Race Day - MSCC

  • Mosport International Raceway, Canada - VARAC Vintage Festival
  part of 1967 Stromberg advert

Historic races / Vintage races

Historic Racing Saloon Register launched a new series in January 1996: Alfred Blackmore or Alexander Forbes Historic Racing Saloon Championship.
Parcipants in Hillman Imps in 2001: Ron Parker; Adrian Oliver; Peter Upton, all in class E.

Nisula Reijo drives a Hillman Imp Rallye (comp. #4) in the HRF Historic-Class Racecars, class D (periods E-F, up to 1300 cc).
Saaristo Jussi does the same in his Hillman Imp Rallye with comp. #9.
Reijo Halonen's Hillman Imp Rallye has comp. #81 (same class)

Tommi Leino finished 8th with his Sunbeam Imp in the Historic Grand Race of 18 August 2001 in the Race 1 Roadsport C with competition number 316. In the second race, the following day, he finished 5th.
In the same race, but in class SS1300 both Ilkka Jutila (#603) and Juhani Jaakkola (#601) participated with their Sunbeam Stilettos. They finished 1st and 2nd respectively in the first race and again in the second race.
Again the same race (oh for to live in Finland...) Jussi Saaristo (#71) took part in the Historic GT/ D class. He drove his 1971 998 Hillman Imp the first day to finish 3rd (behind two Abarths) and on the second day 4th (behind four Abarts). Kari Olkinuora in another 998 Hillman Imp (but of 1964) finished 5th in the first race. Reijo Halonen in his Hillman Imp Rallye did not finish in the first race.

Historic Touring Car Championship
Photographer Toni P1 on Flicker took some photos on Silverstone of the HSCC on May 11, 2008 of four racing Hillman Imps:
no. 1: bright blue, two white stripes lengthwise over entire car; RYF 118E
no. 86: Singer Chamois (1965) blue with grey top; Andy Jones
no. 91: Hillman Imp (1963) red with yellow top; Welsh; Mimilites; Vince Frost
no. 93: white with green top; Singer; name in gold: Graham Martin.
Photographer Albert S. Bite (Martin Alford) took photos of the Silverstone HSCC 'ByBox' on March 28, 2010 of
No. 86; blue Imp, silver top; Andy Jones; Revolutions; Singer Chamois (1965)
no. 91: Hillman Imp (1963) red with yellow top; Welsh; Mimilites; Vince Frost

HRSR: Silverstone GP, 16th May 2010
10 Imps on the grid; 2 Imps did just the Practice Session
  1. Mr Gunton - blue & yellow Imp; class win
  2. Shrigley Engineering - Hillman Imp; misfire; 2nd in class
  3. Simon Benoy - broke down on lap 5; had out-qualified Shrigley in Practice

HSCC
Silverstone, March 28, 2010
Historic Touring Car Championship
Class winner: Simon Benoy in his 1967 998cc Hillman Imp finished in the Top 10, beating many more powerful cars.
Andy Jones, Shrigley Engineering, comp.no. 86

Historic Sports Car Club (HSCC): International Trophy, a 13 race meeting
Silverstone, 15-16th May 2010
Historic Touring Car Championship
12. Colin Gunton – Hillman Imp (Class E winner)

Historic Sports Car Club (HSCC) Historic Saloon Cars Championship - pre-1966 production cars
Silverstone, October 17th, 2009 (final round)
Class win: Simon Benoy - RYF 118E - bright blue, twin white stripes lengthwise over Imp; comp.no. 87
Graham Martin, white Imp, green top, comp.no. 93
Andy Jones; Shrigley Engineering



Ice-Racing

The Finnish Ice-Racing Championship of 1995 was won by Ilkka Jutilas in his Stiletto.
Eleven Imps took part. Ilkaa Jutila won his 7th ice racing championship with his Citroën-engined Imp. Reijo was second with his Stiletto.


Trials

    From: Mark Chater
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 1999 23:44:11 +0100
I've never broken a diff or a do-nut on trial or autotest. I must be blessed in some way!

Classics are rough, but we are fortunate in the Bristol area to have the best and least damaging one of the whole lot - the Allen. I am somewhat biased as it is promoted by my club and the CoC is a friend, but the ACTC has voted it trial of the year about 5 times in the last 6 or 7 years.

There are Production Car Trials (PCTs) and Classic Trials. There are also Auto tests, but an Imp might break a donut or differential over those. Classic Trials are rough (talk to Mark Chater), PCT's are gentler. The entry fee is maybe £15.

1973 Production Car Trials Championship (Mike Hinde) - Clan Crusader.
1993 Production Car Trials Championship (Bill Moffat) - Clan.

Caltex North Eastern Car Trial (Victoria, Australia), 1966
Up to 1100cc: 1st - Driver: Peter Janson; Nav.: Peter Davidson

Colin Valentine does PCTs like the Southern Autos PCT

Stuart Cairney

David Wright
Steve Court


  Martyn If you would like to do speed events (sprints and hillclimbs), you will need to join a motor club that either promote them or are invited to them.
In the UK, if you run your Imp in road legal state, safety regulations are not too demanding. (But with early Imps the front seats may not be latching in place, and this has to be sorted out.) The standard belts, seats etc. are fine, no roll cage or extinguisher is required.
The idea is to keep this a sport. Many events you will be allowed to attend in your unmodified road car.
You will need overalls and helmet (maybe £50-60 each) and a 'non-race National B' competition licence (£27). Entry fees are maybe £50-65 depending on venue.
No-one runs a 1000cc class anymore. Likely class for an Imp would be 'Roadgoing under 1400cc'.

Hillclimbs

I have a video "Motorsport Moments; Hillclimbs", published by K.L. Speedvideo in 1992 which features a few Imps and Clans. It is the kind of video where not all goes right...

The Hill Climb at Longleat House (26-Sep-98): the Cashmores Imp attended and 15 Davrians, 12 of which were Imp powered. It was wet.

Imp Sprint '96: a hillclimb

Gerald Stanley/ Ray Stammers' G15

Norm Beechey

Joao Manuel Tavares

Philip Lomas used to hill climb in his very fast Clan Crusader.
He also had a Californian he raced, sponsored by Mobile Windscreens. He raced it at Castle Combe 3rd August 1990. And he raced a space-frame Stiletto (comp.no.13) at Castle Combe on the Saturday of 1991 National Weekend. So did Ian Skinner in the other space-framed Stiletto (comp.no. 15) that visted the National Weekend.

Simon Benoy and Gerry Richards

Gary Bond (Coronation Rally with Neil Fraser as navigator; sprinting and hillclimbing).

Sprints

Ben Boult ran his 1040 Saracen Imp in Hillclimbs and Sprints. He participated at Weston and at Brighton (and where else ?). It was quick and it beat the Cosworth BDJ's (which cost some 12K).

Mark Chater converted his Davrian from Ford to Imp power (Sep 99), and then took it to Colerne for a sprint. (Colerne is an RAF airfield, where his motor club runs sprints). It is a very fast course of about 3000 yards (nearly 2km). Maybe 95% of the lap is done at full throttle.
One convoy lap to know the course, two runs in practice and two serious runs.
With his 998 Imp, he was thrown in with the Modified Production Sports Cars up to 1400cc. And the rest did have those 1400cc. He was fastest on the second half of the course, which has some very high speed corners.

A 998 Clan attended the Weston-super-Mare Sprint of 1983.


Autograss / Grasstrack racing

Roger Gill

Dave Payne used a Chamois during 1989 for autograss racing with the Mid Kent Autograss Club. He participated in class Production Cars up to 1000cc, so he was up against Minis and fiat 127s.


     rallycross Imp, comp. #89
Flying Imp, flying mud

Rallycross

Roger Burn was a BTRDA Autocross Champion in the 70s.

Andrew Cowan and Colin Malkin
Peter Harper (Fraser Team)

Juhani Kynsilehto, Oulu (Northern Finland)
A kind of pioneer in the Imp's rallycross history: First Finn to drive a rallycross in a factory team.
He had been the Finnish motocross champion. In the late sixties he was employed by the Wihuri concern, the importer of Imps in Finland. No wonder this keen competitor with motocycles, rally and race cars got the privilege to drive the Imp's rallycross-specials for Chrysler U.K. in England. Then and while he had some cars visiting Finland too; one race/rally Imp by British register REG-3 was here about 1970. That one had 110 hp at some 10500rpm.   - [Kari Tossavainen, 4 Feb 2001]



Slalom

Paul Anderson, Norway.
Oslo Champion 1985. Imp, Sport engine, R15 cam.

Steig Hardeng, Norwegian Slalom Champion (class 1) 1990.
He drove Paul Anderson's 1969 Sunbeam 900. Paul himself ended up fifth. The championship was held in Sarpsborg in August 1990. The previous champion, Ivar Opås in a very special mini, was beaten.
Class 1 is for cars shorter than 4 meters.
Some specifications:

  • rear negative camber
  • widened Austin-Healey Sprite wheels
    with 185/60 x 13 Yokohama A008s
  • suspension is rebuilt to a very hard Koni specification
    with hardened Monte Carlo rear springs and
    softened RAC front springs
  • engine: 875cc, bored out to +60 thou
    R15 and twin Stromberg 125CD
    rear oil cooler
    large-bore Janspeed

Team Wimedo


Drag-races

Imp engines were used for drag-racing motorbikes. They gave amazing power, but the pistons only lasted the event.


Hot-rod races

    competition Imp, Comp. #21
Unknown sport, unknown imper, likely Dutch, maybe French. Stamp on rear of photo: 11.1.74
 competition Imp, Comp. #21
Likely Dutch, maybe French imper. Comp. no. 21. Stamp on rear of photo: 21.2.74

Grahame Waite (in the late 70s)

One Imp competed in Scotland with moderate succes against the Escorts, circa 1974.

Date: 23-5-2010
From: Bill; (Dreambook Entry 58)

[...] Reading your article about various competitive imps, you mention Graham Waite as being the sole competitive Imp hot rod in Scotland. I must correct you there, as this is very inaccurate. I used to be a regular attender at Cowdenbeath hot rod circuit, which was run by Spedeworth Scotland in the 70s. The grid line-ups consisted of mk1 and mk2 Escorts, the odd Mini and Hillman Imps ! Regularly the Imps outnumbered the Escorts on the grid and were very competitive due to their suitability to short circuit racing. The only dissadvantage they had, was their lack of weight. Hot rod racing was supposedly non-contact, but inevitably it happened, and an Escort would be more successfull in pushing an Imp aside, than an imp pushing an escort. Top Imp drivers of the time were:
  • MALCOLM WATT (130)
  • JAMES KIRK (21)
  • JAMES MC GAUCHIE (58)
  • ALEX GRANT (127)
  • GRAHAM WAITE (140).
There were more, but i can't remember them all. These drivers regularly embarrased the larger more powerfull Escorts end their drivers.
regards
bill


?

Alan Smith's double championship winning Imp powered Davrian Stiletto


Dutch Koni advert of 1976. (jpg, 111 Kb)


Leeds - RAC International Historic Rally 1996
Classification after Leg 1

OVERALL CLASS NUMBER                 CREW                         CLASS  TOTAL
  1     1     1  Jimmy McRae/Beatty Crawford    Porsche 911        G11  1:21:25
 12     1    41  Lee Matthews/Gary Matthews     Hillman Imp       TC11  1:43:46


James and Jenkins Coronation Rally, March 29th (1997 ?):

1) Clive Fidgeon/Cathy Fidgeon  Porsche 911   69mins 39 secs
7) John Morris/Peter Rust       Hillman Imp   74:32


Circuit of Ireland; Historic Rally 1996

General Classification - Final
Pos. Car #  Driver / Codriver  Make             Class   Class Pos.  Time
  9  213    Derek Parling / Christine Parling
                               Sunbeam Stiletto  B1       1         4:54:39
11   218    Philip Wylie / Gregory Lockwood
                               Hillman Imp       B1       2         5:07:26 


SpeedSport Design Clubmans Rally Championship
Hughes Historic Rally, 1st June 1997
final results
Historic Cars

No  Driver        Navigator         Car               Overall Pos   Class   Class Pos  Score
9   Ted Roberts   Rob Granger       Singer Chamois        7          B1         3       844
49  Wayne Ellett  Mark Wojtanowski  Sunbeam Stiletto     36          B3        NF        NF

Post-Historic Cars
No  Driver           Navigator        Car            Class  Posn  Score
27  Dave Williamson  Joan Williamson  Clan Crusader  C1        6   1345

THE BLACKPALFREY MOTOR CLUB OF KENT

Alan Conley in his works Clan (rallying?)


The Imp Site
   Imps in Competition (this file)
      
      
      
      
      
      
      
      
© Franka