Rally results 1963-1970, including...
At the end of 1963 Marcus Chambers was approached to replace Norman Garrad (Scarborough, 1901) as first man of the Competition Department: Competition Manager. He was appointed February 1964.
When the Simca 1000 Rallye turned into a successful rally car, Des O'Dell wanted to do the same with the Hillman Imp. But he needed a bigger engine, which Rootes' management denied him. So every Sunday O'Dell broke into the factory and replaced pistons and cylinder liners at the engine assembly line, and every following Monday the first 20 Imps produced had a bigger engine - while O'Dell took careful note of all the chassis numbers. Eventually Des O'Dell homologated a Hillman Imp for rallying of which Rootes directors never knew it existed!
Rootes made the mistake of asking Des O'Dell to run a touring car program. O'Dell decided that the roundy stuff was such a simple thing to do, he didn't need a highly paid driver: his friend and team head-mechanic, Frenchman Bernard Unett could do the job just as well - and the mechanic turned a triple British touring car Champ! The touring car world was turned upside down by Rootes and their rally improvisor director.
In 1964 Rootes management was backing the Imp.
Rallies in alphabetical order
A - C - E - G - I - M - R - S - T - W
Tapio Mäkinen, brother of Timo Mäkinen (of Cooper 'S' fame), drove an Imp #23 - YouTube @ 05:29.
Michailidis? I think the 'IZ' indicates which Acropolis rally it was. The one from 1964 (12th) reads 'IB!'
Paul Rutland Barsby / ...? Bradney Hillman Imp #65, 3000 R, class: Tourism - they did not finish in time
[source: autoforum.com - by 'berfarigoulette' posted 17-Dec-2008 @ 11:53:06]
Omitted by the Rootes Works team as it started on the same weekend as the Le Mans.
|British International Rallies Championship
The British International Rallies Club, which started life as the Monte Carlo Rally British Competitors' Club, announced in January 1965 a new championship, based on the outcome of 8 events.
|These were the 6 rallies counting towards the F.I.A. European Rally Championship + the Safari + the S.S.L. Rally.|
This rally was put on video - The Rootes Group presents: "Miss Smith and her Imp, 1965". The narator is Rosemary Smith herself, which is unusual.
93 starters leave Marseille, 53 reach Grenoble, but only 32 complete this rally. It consisted of 2200 miles, mostly in the mountains, divided into three main stages: 500, 800 and 900 miles with overnight stops. There were about 60 special sections, which are practiced first, so pace notes can be used.
The other two Hillman Imps spotted in the video are a red one with a white roof, comp.no 104 and no. 108, 4525 KV, in the same blue as the Works Imp, but with standard wheels rather than alloy ones. Both of these are shown to reach the first overnight stop (in Grenoble ?).
Participating Imps in the 1965 Alpine Rally that DNF:
Thompsom / Rodney; Hillman #45 , class Tourism
Henry Ziegler / Harry Skelton; Hillman Imp #104 ?? class GT - DNF because of the front suspension
Margareth MacKenzie / Joseph Lowrey; Hillman Imp #108 4525 KV class GT - DNF because of an accident
John Evans / Rodney Spoke; Hillman Imp #109 class GT
All the Hillman Imps had trouble and did not finish:
Robin Turvey; Peter Harper; Rosemary Smith; Valerie Domleo [much later: Valerie Morley]; Andrew Cowan; Brian Coyle
FRW 308C; 4525 KV; FRW 307C
Roy Fidler & Alan Taylor, in Sunbeam Imp JDU 48E with #77 (group 3) did not finish - says one source, which supplied the times, too. But the photo says differently. Did Fidler and Taylor drive #83? They stopped with head gasket problems. Carles Bosch 02 says they drove JDU 46E
The 3rd works Imp at Coupe des Alpine 1967 driven by Andrew Cowan: registration JRW 702E.
(Information by Andrew Cowan himself, asked Ian GRINDROD) - source: forum-auto.com, posted 05-01-2009 @ 20:34:05 by 2000RS (Keith)
The 1967 Alpine Rally - Roy Fidler at the wheel
- source not remembered :-( but likely their caption was in error. JDU 48E
[source: autoforum.com - by 'berfarigoulette' posted 17-Dec-2008 @ 11:53:06] (photo ecots or JeanMarc06)?
According to a list of entries to 1967, No. 77 was attributed to Rosemary Smith.
In 1969 it was held twice, once in February and once in November. The first one was won outright by Rosemary Smith and Ricky Foot in a Hillman Imp.
source: Fred Gallagher forums.autosport.com
4326(?)KV on the Orra Lodge stage on the last morning.
The most competitive Imps on the event - all entered in the GT up to 1300 class - were
#15 Tiny Lewis / Robin Turvey;
#20 David Pollard / Barry Hughes;
#37 Rosemary Smith / Sheila O'Clery;
#49 Malcolm Templeton /T. (Ted?) Cowell;
#50 Ernest McMillen / B. Metcalfe.
Circuit of Ireland International Rally, 16th-20th April 1965
Hillman Imps driven by:
Tiny Lewis / Robin Turvey
David Pollard / Barry Hughes
Rosemary Smith / Sheila O'Clery
Four days. A rugged route through Northern Ireland and the republic, which included 50 'flat out' sections on rough privatte roads and tracks. Torrential rain and floods in the early stages. 86 starters, 33 finished.
In 1953, the first East African Safari Rally was run to mark the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
£3,000 to be won, £1,000 for the outright winner. Gulf paid for everyone's fuel.
92 starters, less than 40 survived the first night in Wales (Dollgellau control); only 17 arrived back at the finish, 45 hours later.
14th; John Evans / Rodney Spokes; Hillman Imp; EBL 313C - possiby the same Imp as in the Alpine Rally
It arrived too late to finish. [source: 2000RS @ forum-auto.com, photo]
comp.# 10 Tiny Lewis / Robin Turvey; class 5 Hillman Imp
Hillman Imp 7742 KV during a service stop on the Gulf Rally in 1965, Gulf Rally comp.no. 40
Sticker behind the front wheel: Team 848 (Which is what?)
(237 - Photogr.: Michael Marchant, 28 Hayerstreet W.1. Welbeck 1989 / Ludgate 0254)
According to TeamDan, car no 40 in the '65 Gulf London Rally was a Sunbeam Rapier (Harry Skelton/Mike Lindsay-Jones). So either it isn't 1965 or TeamDan is wrong.
It IS the Gulf Rally, the sticker on the bonnet says it is.
The Motor v.131 1967 Jul-Aug 5. - Page 46
... Barry Williams and Tommy Thompson rolled their Rally Imp although they managed to get it going again, and finished second in their class. ...
From the entry list:
No. 35 - David Pollard / David Fawsett; Sunbeam Imp; Class 1
No. 46 - Harry Skelton / Mike Lindsay - Jones; Sunbeam Imp; Class 1
No. 52 - Colin Malkin / Vaughan Bond; Rallye Imp; Class 5;
No. 108 - Anthony Payne / Colin Briars; Rallye Imp; Class 5
No. 111 - Pauline Wynn / Venetia Sadler; Rallye Imp; Class 5
No. 117 - Rodney Badham / John Alcock; Rallye Imp; Class 5
Class 1: Groups 1 & 2, up to 1000cc
Class 5: Groups 3 & 4, up to 1600cc
source: Milan Fistonic at forums.autosport.com
#25 David Pollard / David Fawsett; Sunbeam Rally Imp; Class vii
#33 Barry Williams / Tommy Thompson; Hillman Rally Imp; Class v
#46 Harry Skelton / Geraint Phillips; Sunbeam Super Sport; Class i
#52 Colin Malkin / Vaughan Bond; Hillman Imp; Class v
Hillman Imp JVC 123E - Andrew Cowan
Source: Thomas Lundevall at forums.autosport.com
GULF LONDON 1968, Andrew Cowan / Brian Coyle, JVC 123E [source: TR_tat, 11-05-2012 à 14:40:56 @ forum-auto.com, photo]
|Miss Smith and Miss MacKenzie setting off from the London start to Saint Claude. This year the British starting point was Chelsea (at 3.26 a.m.) instead of Glasgow.|
4160km; finish at Monte Carlo
First major outing for the Imp. Works entered 8 Imps and 7 of these arrived safely back in Monte Carlo after the 3,000 (or is it 2,000) mile drive from the start. 3 of those were driven by Danes:
One Imp retired before the end of the opening stages at Rheims. Michael Frostik / G. Burgess started in Minsk in Hillman Imp 4525 KV with no. 32. Results unknown.
Keith Ballisat / Andrew Cowan started in Oslo in Hillman Imp 4526 KV with no. 90. They made it in good order to the special stages on the common route from Rheims to Monaco, even though the roads were icy. Results unknown.
I.D. Lewis / D. Pollard started in Paris in an Hillman Imp. They retired due to an accidentThese Imps were mostly unmodified Group I entries. Of the eight Imps that were entered, seven drove the 3,000 miles from the Oslo start and arrived safely in Monte Carlo.
The award for best performance was taken by another Imp which was a private British entry.
The Death March of 1965 when only a few battered hulks made it to Monte Carlo. And that was before the start of the last stages which saw even more of the battered machinery give up the ghost before returning back to Monte Carlo and the distribution of the shiny tin cups to the various class winners.
Marcus Chambers said that this was the first event in which the Rootes Competition Department expected the Imps to make a showing. They had the 998cc engines and ran in Group 3. The dry liners were bored out and a thin shrunk-in liner was inserted. This increased the bore to 72,5mm. (Later on proper wet liners were to fitted, but as a temporary solution, it was worth a try. The cylinder blocks were not rigid enough to hold wet liners accurately, not for very long, so the dimensions had to be checked at every engine overhaul.)
See also the advert 'Rootes successes in 1965 Monte Carlo rally' on Russell's site.
'Tiny' Lewis with no. 124 retired with engine problems.
N. Rowe and D. Doidge had to retire their Hillman Imp. They had started from London.
British Pathe video: Monte Carlo rally 1966. Oficials starting Hillman Imp, Rover 2000, Ford Cortina and Ford Corsair off from London airport, also shots of them taking roundabout at the airport as they leave for the rally
Monte Carlo 1968, GKV 799D, #196
Rosemary Smith and her navigator Valerie Domleo in FRW 306C with no. 107 performed well, too, but got disqualified ? Another Imp got supposedly disqualified: MTB 217C, with no. 35.
Both Smith and Lier drove standard Imps that you can buy at the local dealer, according to their claim in advertisements.
The Works team for the 1967 Monte Carlo Rally comprised three Imps - JDU46E/ JDU47E/ JDU48E - all three were built at the end of 1966 and first registered in January of 1967.
|JDU 46E||Gp 3||998||Peter Harper||DNF - out with a carb fault on the last night, when 2nd in class and 46th overall||
used by Peter Harper on the '67 Tulip and by Roy Fiddler on the '67 Alpine and by Rosemary Smith on the '67 RAC.
|JDU 47E||Gp 2||875||Andrew Cowan||Imp Sport; Cowan finished with a class win and was 22nd overall.||it became a demonstration car until it was sold off with a 998 (to Peter Read? who used it in club rallies); it was not used by the Works team again.||yes|
|JDU 48E||Gp 3||998||Rosemary Smith||9||DNF - accident: crashed out on the last night when leading the Coupe de Dames.||used by Rosemary Smith on the '67 Alpine; used by Andrew Cowan on the '69 Scottish Rally as a Gp 6 with 998cc - 2nd overall !||yes|
P. Lier and crew made the first succesful use of radio equipment to keep a rally car in touch with its service vehicle. Guinness Book of Rallying / John Davenport
From the Sunbeam Rootes advert (Autocar January 1967. p.67, with photo):
(results subject to official confirmation)
Success for the Sunbeam Imp Sport the very first time it enters an International Rally! That's what Andrew Cowan's class win means for the latest Sunbeam model. Convincing proof of the Imp's performance and reliability. Again and again, the Imp wins. Choose a tough car, choose the Imp
37th Monte Carlo Rally
229 entries, 200 starters, 153 finishers.
Start cities were Dover, Lisbon, Warsaw, Oslo, Monte Carlo, Athens, Frankfurt and Reims.
teamdan.com says both teams Andrew Cowan/Brian Coyle as well as Rosemary Smith/Margaret Lowrey drove Hillman Imp Sports.
From the programme:
|Departs de Monte-Carlo|
|45||Cowan, Andrew||Coyle, Brian||Brittanique||Sunbeam Imp||II||2||897|
|Departs de Douvres|
|169||Smith, Rosemary (Miss)||Lowrey, Margaret (Mrs.)||Irlandaise||Sunbeam Imp||III||1||998|
|174||Darby, Peter||Leslie, Robin||Brittanique||Singer Chamois||II||2||875|
|196||Michailidis, Andréas||Bosence, Timothy||Brittanique||Hillman Imp||III||1||998|
|197||Crawford, David||Boyd, Adrian||Brittanique||Sunbeam Imp||III||1||998|
Andrew Cowan and Brian Coyle in JHP 100E at the Monte of 1968, according to the programme with 897cc...
|In their newspaper 'Arrow' of February 1968, Rootes write:
#169, Rosemary Smith and Margaret Lowrey in a group III Sunbeam Imp (998cc) in class 1; JRW 701E
|In their newspaper 'Arrow' of February 1968, Rootes write on page 3:
John Chronidis started from Athens with a Hillman Imp (#154), but did not classify as a finisher. No points were listed.
The same with Andreas Michailidis, who started from London with Hillman Imp (#232)
A reprint of the 1964 publication, includes Works modification schedules for competitions, specifications of all Rootes Group models, advice on food, sleep and car comfort, team briefing and servicing arrangements.
171 entries, 163 starters, 91 finishers.
Pos # Crew Car Cls Pts Car reg 152 A.C. Kirby/ I.R. Martin Hillman Imp 2 171 Paul Rutland-Barsby Hillman Imp 2
3670km, finish at London airport
David Pollard / Tony Baines in 4526 KV with no. 67
another source says they drove 4525 KV
Tiny Lewis and Robin Turvey drove a Hillman Imp with comp.no. 18.
Rosemary Smith and Miss Margaret McKenzie drove a Hillman Imp with comp.no. 60
#121 G.S. Dinwiddy and F.P. Rutter Hillman Imp
#141 A. Wright and D.R. Edwards Hillman Imp
(Andrew Cowan and Brian Coyle drove a Sunbeam Rapier, comp.no. 28.)
180 entries, 158 starters, 89 finishers
1964, November 8-..
By 1965/1966 the works Imps were becoming increasingly modified. An example was the Imp driven in this rally by Rosemary Smith. EDU 710C was road-tested by Autocar soon after the event.
This RAC was particularly tough. Rootes and only one other factory team out of nine starters finished intact. All three works Imps survived, and Rootes received the manufacturers' Team prize. Due to snow, ice, fog and pouring rain, only 62 out of 162 participants finished.
The three Works Imps in this rally: 4525 KV (Andrew Cowan / Brian Coyle); EDU 710C (Rosemary Smith / Susan Reeves); 4526 KV ('Tiny' Lewis / Robin Turvey).
168 entries, 163 starters, 62 finishers
|48||J.D.L. Lewis/ Robin Turvey||Hillman Imp||9||579m53|
|68||P. Burch/ G Jones||Hillman Imp||9||613m18|
|9||Rosemary Smith/ Susan Reeves||Hillman Imp||9||620m37|
|21||Andrew Cowan/ Brian Coyle||Hillman Imp||9|
|52||David Pollard/ J Baines||Hillman Imp||9|
|99||J R Cotter/ W Ward||Hillman Imp||9|
|101||Tom Huntley/ Peter Jones||Singer Chamois||9||DNF|
|105||Michael Frostick/ M B||Hillman Imp||9|
|125||S Benton/ M Hayward||Hillman Imp||3|
|134||Harry Skelton/||Hillman Imp||9|
|140||S Turner/||Hillman Imp||9|
|147||P Carver/ G Warren||Hillman Imp||9|
|156||G Birrell/ G Birrell||Singer Chamois||3|
|157||M Leeke/ M Cot||Singer Chamois||9|
|162||A Beattie/ I Woodruff||Hillman Imp||9|
Gerry Birrell's racer FUE 4C was the Imp that was best known for using a Climax engine.
From: Peter Valentine
Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2009
On the 1965 RAC Rally there was a 998 cc Singer Chamois driven by a great friend of mine, Tom Huntley with one Peter Jones co-driving.
They retired after the co-driver put the car off the road on an icy road section when the driver was having a sleep. To say that there was one unhappy driver would be no understatement.
Both 'Tiny' Lewis and Andrew Cowan had to retire due to transaxle problems.
The table on TeamDan has Rosemary Smith/Valerie Morley in EWK 573C, still finishing 14th overall, but with comp. no. 20 and in class 9. They supply the time it took for them.
That table also supplies that Peter Harper/R.Turvey retired (comp. no. 32, class 9). I.Lewis/T.Bosence in comp. no. 39; Andrew Cowan/B.Coyle in comp. no. 41 have a blanc, not an R.
Miss J Nadin/, comp. no. 93
R G Badham/J H Alcock, comp. no. 98
P Burch/G E Jones, comp. no. 103
W Sutton/C G Gilbert, comp. no. 124
H Mackie/J McKenzie, comp. no. 147
Major M Bailey/Major Cruickshank, comp. no. 151
From the entry list:
|2||G. Birrell / M. Leeke||Sunbeam Imp||998||7||Claud Hamilton (Motors) Ltd.|
|46||A. Cowan / N. Cryle||Imp Sport||998||10||Rootes Group|
|58||Miss R. Smith / Mrs. V. Morley||Sunbeam Imp||998||7||Rootes Group|
|70||Mrs. M.W. Lowrey / Mrs. A.H. Watson||Imp Sport||900||2||Mrs. M.W. Lowrey|
|72||P. Burch / G. Marlow||Sunbeam Imp||875||2||Coombs & Sons, Guildford|
|83||C.M. Malkin / K. Billows||Imp||998||10||C.M. Malkin|
|114||J.R. Chidroy / P. Langmaid||Imp Sport||875||2||J.R. Chidroy|
|117||D.F.G. Cox / Miss A. Bertram||Rallye Imp||925||10||D.E.G. Cox|
|122||P.R. Darby / R. Leslie||Chamois Sport||875||2||P.R. Darby|
|131||R.I. Stewart / R.H. Alton||Imp||875||2||R.I. Stewart|
The newspaper the Sun was the main sponsor for the RAC 1966, '67 & kind of '68 and the first dozen or so were 'publicity entries'.
Cancelled little more than 12 hours before the start. It was replaced by a Camberly single stage event.
|JVC 123E||3rd||Gp 6||Andrew Cowan||the first Gp 6 Imp. Subsequently it won the ATV rallycross outright, again with Cowan. This car was very successful, particularly for Malkin taking him to many successes and the '68 Motoring News Championship. It is unlikely that it ever had an engine on an event bigger than 998cc given the state of development of big bore engines at that time.||yes|
|JDU 46E||Rosemary Smith|
Rosemary Smith, JDU 46E, 1967 RAC, TV stage
Photo for sale at photohistoric.com
114 entries, 96 starters, 32 finishers
R.J. Iliffe and P.W.E. Bolton drove a Singer Chamois in class A (with maybe competition no. 19?). They did not finish?
Miss B. Burrell and Joan Pink drove a Sunbeam Imp with competition no. 113 in class 2.
RAC Rally of Nov. 1969 - see consecutive file
Don Barrow: "I have attached a pic I took prior to the start of the 1965 Scottish Rally, it's outside the Scottish Automobile Club in Blythewood Square, Glasgow.
The 3 cars are L to R - Tiny Lewis & Robin Turvey 4526 KV - Andrew Cowan & Don Barrow FRW 3070 - Rosemary Smith & Valerie Domleo - 4525 KV
You have my permission to use the attached photo."
(click to enlarge: 1578x1057 pixels)
scottishrally.co.uk: Previous Winners
This rally is the main subject of the Rootes video "Highland Imp 1965". Only a few weeks after the Tulip. And only 3 days after the Acropolis Rally where three other Works Imps competed, only the crews being flown home to compete [source: Don Barrow]. The Works team had three Imps, driving with the engine lid agap: the third one being David Pollard with comp.no. 11 - he wasn't shown to finish. The event lasted 5 days. It consisted of 1166 miles, mostly rough and muddy roads through forest area, and 52 special sections. Paddy Hopkirk (Mini-driver) declared it the roughest rally he'd ever been in. Of the 105 cars that started only 42 finished (according to the video). But the Imps were much in evidence.
From: Don Barrow - Rally Navigation Equipment
From: Don Barrow - Rally Navigation Equipment
|both green Singer Chamois|
with large, sturdy antennas
|56||red Hillman Imp (Greenward ? Greenwood ?)||CJ5 165C||Probably|
|72||white Hillman Imp||1LKJ||Probably not|
|83||red Hillman Imp||?||Yes|
|93||white Hillman Imp||CWF 663C||Probably|
And Lewis received the Scottish Daily Record trophy for driving the highest placed Scottish car. (Tiny Lewis repeated the Tulip trick of finishing 2nd overall.)
Only 40 of the 102 participants made it to the finish.
Andrew Cowan with co-driver Don Barrow drove a works Imp. They had the dreaded transaxle trouble and retired on Special Stage 13
Was comp.no. 9 another Imp?
Motor Racing, August 1965 says that Pollard drove an Imp in this rally, but retired on the 1st day due to engine trouble. All the Imps were running in Group 3 trim, with all the engine and suspension modifications, and 1 litre power units. (p. 345) But they also said that Andy Cowan drove a Tiger.
According to another source N. Greenwood won class 1 of the 1966 scotish rally in his Hillman Imp EAK 608D.
Rosemary Smith & Susan Seigle-Morris in FRW 308C with comp. no. 5 in the Scottish Rally of 1967
source: Hot Car 1969, August, p.23. photographer unknown
Andrew Cowan drove JRW 700E with unknown results.
All Imps also Team awards Best Performance Three car team " " Ecurie Team
Three great little Imps beat some great big mountains (and great big opposition) to romp home in the Scottish rally. Cowan in LWK 700F had an accident and retired.
The Impers collected all three team prizes.
For the 1968/1969 regulations and class structure suited a more modified works Imp. On this Rally there were many modifications, including Weber carburettors, front radiators, Minilite magnesium wheels and air ducts mounted on the rear wing to feed the engine bay. The Imps were not powerful enough to compete with the new works Escorts and the Cooper 'S' on this and other events.
Latest successes of Rootes/ Chrysler cars is the term win of the Group 6 Sunbeam Imps in the recent Scottish rally in which 96 starters were reduced to less than half that number by the 29 rugged special stages. Colin Malkin was third overall while Rosemary Smith was fifth overall. Andrew Cowan also finished after rolling him Imp.
Ganging Warily on Scottish / as seen by Richard Hudson-Evans. - Hot Car, September 1968, p. 21:
Conditions: heat wave; bone dry; the most dreadful forest tracks; Very hard on tyres and shockers; lots of things came undone. The field of over 100 was quickly decimated by blinding dust and those enormous boulders. The floor wore away, the body shell looked like a cullender in places. We were absolutely black with dust. At times I was so blinded by dust and flying rocks, that I couldn't even see the track.
"With the battle at the head of the field going on between Ytterbring's S, Clark's Escort, Orrenius's Saab and a trio of Group 6 Imps from Rootes, the finest drive of the event to my mind was by Colin Malkin and John Brown in the leading Imp."
The works Imp's last international event.
Cowan suffered transaxle problems and replaced the unit with one from his own road Imp, kept on his nearby farm, and continued to finish second overall to Roger Clark.
JDU 48E was later owned and rallied by Steve Brew.
Melanie Fitzgerald-Smith (Irish) did the 1969 Scottish in what was possibly an ex-works car, although it had Irish plates. Her navigator was Venetia Sadler who had earlier been a 'Team HAS' co-driver.
1st week of May, 6 days. Vancouver to Quebec City. An important victory in North America. More than 60 starters (big American cars and powerful competition from Europe. Only 30% of the route over main highways, 70% over paved, gravel or dirt surfaces. 8 closed test sections.
|"Say, where did she come from?" Rosemary Smith plays an Impish trick, and bypasses the bogged down competitors by taking to the undergrowth, in the Shell 4000 Rally. [source]|
Shell 4000, 1966
[source] Sunbeam Imp, Reg.no. 50898K, Comp.no.128
Sixty drivers have ploughed through a 4,100 miles course coast-to-coast across Canada (the longest car rally in the world!) doing all their own own repairs and maintenance throughout a six-day marathon over roads that are largely gravel or dirt-surfaced.
|Shell News: Congratulations are hearty as Coupe des Dames winners Ann Coombe, centre, and Rosemary Smith receive trophies from Gerry Marchesseau who, as manager of Special Services, Head Office Advertising, is in charge of the Trophy.|
|Canada Track & Traffic: Special Section - Rosemary Smith drifts the Imp
White letters on the bonnet: Ireland. Registration: 380-141
COUPE DES DAMES AND CLASS 1 SUNBEAM IMP
Class 1 - up to 1000 cc (61.02 cu. in.)
The Coupe leaders coming into the second stop-over at Red Deer, Alberta, were Ireland's Rosemary Smith and Canadian Ann Coombe in a Sunbeam Imp.
The Smith-Coombe Imp was maintaining the Coupe des Dames lead, and was up to 7th overall at Brandon, Manitoba.
Between Fort William and North Bay the picture changed dramatically and mostly in a large mud hole.
In went a Citroen, a second Citroen went in to help; in went the MacLennan-Wilson Ford, and although Wilson helped to push the Citroens, 20 points went to the lead car.
With this set of stick-in-the muds only partially cleared, in went the Smith-Coombe Imp, which baulked the Schulz-Manson Datsun, causing it to stop. And with momentum halted, the car began to dig in.
The crews were all complaining of exhaustion and the mud and dust. Of Ihe Ontario section Rosemary Smith, still leading for the Coupe des Dames, said she was anxious only for the end of the Rally, never mind the Trophy...
The Smith-Coombe Imp, in 13th position overall with 761 points, took the Coupe des Dames and Class 1 (up to 1,000 cc) [...]
[source: Proving the point - in Canada. - AUTOCAR, 18 May 1967, p.52-53]
Rosemary Smith / Ann Combe, Sunbeam Imp
This crew, at whom the aforementioned sign is directed, are very heavily favoured to win their class, as they did last year and they might succeed in a bit higher position than last year (8th overall). They are without a doubt out to try for a repeat Coupe des Dames win, as they did last year when they put an end to Diana Carter's winning ways.
Rosemary won the '65 Tulip Rally in Holland outright, beating the best rally drivers in the world today with an Imp. In fact she has done so well with this car that she is becoming a legend with Rootes of England, and most certainly already synonomous with the trade mark 'Imp'.
[source: Broken Spoke 1967]
In the Ladies' Cup, Rosemary Smith performed impeccably as usual and had taken the Coventry-prepared Imp as high as eighth overall when she too got stuck in the 100-yard water-hole by Georgia Bay. Luckily the Imp was more easily extractable than the Citroen and she only dropped to 17th, finally recovering to 13th.
The area round Georgia Bay incidentally is the scene of the Canadian Winter Rally, by reputation a very tough all-snow event.
[source: CANADIAN SHELL 4,000 RALLY : rally review / A.E.A.K. - Motor Sport. July 1967. - p.610]
In a three-way battle for the Coupe des Dames, the Rosemary Smith/Ann Coombe Sunbeam Imp had already opened up a margin over English racing driver Anita Taylor and her Montreal navigator Terry Gillies, in one of the Ford team cars. And the Diana Carter-Polivka / Barbara Jean Jack team in one of the three works Ramblers.
The Smith /Coombe Imp also sank into the water - 'just like a frog jumping off a lilypad,' as one driver remarked. Other competitors pushed the Imp clear (they had to because it blocked the only navigable passage) and although the girls dropped to 17th place, they retained their hold on the Coupe des Dames.
Rosemary Smith, the chic Irish dress designer, stole the fashion show and with navigator Ann Coombe also won the Coupe des Dames for the second year in a row. They were 13th overall.
[source: A tough one / by Don Grey. - Shell News June/July, 1967. p.16-18]
All competitors were allowed a penalty-free run to the Westwood circuit where the high speed test was run. Best mark at the track was put up by the Lotus Cortina driven by Roger Clark. He lost four points, while teammate Anita Taylor dropped eight. Rosemary Smith, in her Imp, also lost eight points. Diana Carter Polivka, driving a team Rambler with navigator Barbara Jean Jack, lost 12 points, one more than teammates Jones and Siivonen.
At day's end, Rosemary Smith led the Coupe des Dames with 38 points, in 19th overall. Diana Carter-Polivka was second at 86 points, in 36th spot and Anita Taylor was third in 42nd with 117.
Diana Carter-Polivka was balked by a truculent cowboy who would not let her pass through his herd of cattle near Merrit, RC. He felt the rally cars were bothering his animals [...]
The Ford group's problems began early when Anita Taylor had tire trouble and had to drive a number of miles on a flat, collapsing a wheel and tearing out her front brakes. Waiting for the repair crew added to her points.
In the battle for the Coupe des Dames, Imp driver Rosemary Smith led with 56 points for 19th overall, Diana Carter-Polivka was second with 573 points and Anita Taylor third with 779.
In the Coupe des Dames, Rosemary Smith and Anne Coombe led with 62 points and due to some uncooperative mud, Diana Carter-Polivka amassed 537 points when she was forced to call a tow truck. To add to her miseries, the tow truck became mired and a second truck had to be called.
Anita Taylor dropped out in Northern Ontario. Diana Carter-Polivka was making time when she struck a non-rally car almost head on.
Rosemary Smith nailed down the Coupe des Dames with no competition left and completed the run in a shocking-pink driving suit.
[Source: Shell 4000 Centennial Rally ...over the mountains, through the prairies and into the mud / by Hugh McCall; photos by Robert C, Rasgdale. - Canada Track & Traffic (CTT) 1967, June. - p.17-21]
|13||149||Smith, Rosemary||Eire||Coombe, Anne||ON||Sunbeam Imp 998 cc||762.9||G1L|
|DNF||105||Frost, Jim||ON||Hill, Kenneth G.||ON||Sunbeam Imp 875 cc||retired - mechanical||P1||Merritt|
[source: results 1967]
I do not know who, when, where.
Competiton no. 105; no registration plate; steering wheel on the lefthand side; I can't read the writing on the door; vinyl roof, panoramic rearview mirror stuck to original mirror; engine lid open; across the back silencer?
photogr.: Colin Kent, Orpington, Kent
The 4,000 mile rally crossed much of Canada from Calgary to Halifax, 3-8 June 1968. (6 nights)
1968 results: shell-4000-rally.org
|49||149||Power, Sean C.||ON||Lapp, J.C. (Jim)||ON||Sunbeam Imp||1795||P1|
|DNF||128||Hill , Kenneth G.||ON||Hockley, Philip||ON||Sunbeam Rally Imp||1|
Ex-works (Rosemary Smith) Imp, owned by driver Sean Power of Toronto, was first in P1 class in 1968.
Problems: One flat tire, one hood hinge pin jarred loose and was replaced by a large cotter pin, and one bent valve. The valve was damaged when the car hit a tree stump at 90 mph on the path/route through Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba. The Imp was airborne and the rev counter maxed. Running on 3 cylinders for the remaining 2,500 miles of the rally, the Imp won the P1 class. And then the team drove the 3 cyl Imp 1,100 miles back to Toronto when the valve was replaced.
The two biggest co-drivers in the smallest car were pleased with the Imp's performance.
source: Jim Lapp
Two previously entered Sunbeam Imps will be contesting in Class 1. Both of the cars are from Ontario and were previously driven by Miss Rosemary Smith, the Rootes Rally girl who recently finished third overall in the group six Sunbeam Imp in the Circuit of Ireland Rally.
source: From the rally seat... / by Chris Dyer. - Spoke 1968 [Sports Line]
107 - Tom Knowles / Jeffrey Entwistle ; Sunbeam Stiletto; Class II
114 Bronwen Barrell / Peter O'German; Sunbeam Imp; Class II
115 - Brian Storcy / Geoffey Eteson; Sunbeam Stiletto; Class II
source: Milan Fistonic at forums.autosport.com
The TAP was first held in 1967. The 2nd one was in 1968; the 6th in 1972, 7th 1973, 8th 1974. After that the name was changed from TAP Rallye de Portugal to Rallye de Portugal Vinho do Porto. But the numbering was kept the same.
Hillman Imp GKV 799D, #168 at TAP Portugal 1968
Imp, #168 at the finish line of TAP 1968
24-27 Oct. 1968, asphalt - gravel 2438 km
Hillman Imp GKV 799D with competition #168, took part in the TAP of 1968 and finished.
photogr.: Foster & Skeffington, Hereford
Robin Eyre-Maunsell / Norman Henderson (Ulster) finished 7 overall in a Hillman Imp. Group 9? Luis Cezar wrote on his blog (1.5.13) that on a tough rally like this one, it was an important result!
JHR 100F was first registered in Wiltshire, between August 1967 and July 1968.
There was no overall winner under the new rules for this year.
There were 134 starters and 95 who classified (70.9%). In class 9 there were 8 starters (Grand Touring plus Amateur Trophy) and 4 (so 50%) who classified. Of the 47 starters in the Grand Touring classes, 12 did not finish.
David Pollard and A.(?) Baines drove a Hillman Imp, and so did Tiny Lewis and Robin Turvey. Lewis and Turvey retired due to an accident.
(Rosemary Smith and Margaret Mackenzie drove a Sunbeam Rapier and finished 4th in the Ladies Cup.)
|No.||Names||Nat.||Car||Cyl./cc||no. in class||wedstrp.bon.||overall|
|Class 9: Grand-Touring up to 1000cc|
|44||Kees van den Bos / Jan Hulsker||NL||Hillman Imp||875|
|47||Ian Lewis / Robin Turvey||GB||Hillman Imp||875|
|48||David Pollard / James Baines||GB||Hillman Imp||875||4||5087.8||19|
|Class 3: Touring cars 850-1000cc|
|127||Erik Whitmore / Carl-Lund Svendsen||DK||Hillman Imp||875||9||5960.5||55|
|La Roche - Samrée||7,500||5:30||4:47||287||6:03||363|
|Col de la Charbonnière||5,700||5:43||5:11||311||6:21||381|
|Col de Herrenfluh||4,000||4:18||3:56||236||4:34||274|
|Oppenau - Zuflucht||7,100||6:55||6:06||366||7:38||458|
|Col de Fochy||7,900||8:49||7:24||444||9:01||541|
|Aubure - Fréland||6,000||6:32||4:50||309||5:59||359|
|Col de Wettstein||4,000||5:08||3:14||206||3:54||234|
|Nürburgring - Nordschleife||20,800||17:02||13:02||900||16:49||1009|
|Petit-Fays - Orchimont||7,200||7:24||6:00||432||7:19:4||439.4|
[source for the content in these tables: the official Results booklet]
The event was won on handicap with a complicated scoring system to make cars of different performance more comparable. Overall performance was judged by a driver's advantage or disadvantage compared to those in their class and classes above and below them. In unusually snowy conditions the Imps combined excellent traction and handling with class-leading performance to claim outright victory.
8305 KV was subsequently driven by Nick Rowe (a works supported driver) who, after competing in the Monte Carlo Rally, sold it to Dennis Greenslade (Cornwall). He used the car in the late '60s in various motorsport events, including international rallies, speed hillclimbs and classic reliability trials.
7742 KV was preserved and seen in good state at the ARCC Millenium Rally. There's a lovely photo of it at the ARCC site.
Nick Rowe and Stuart Turner in their Hillman Imp during the 1966 Tulip Rally - R 56658/C
1,750 miles through Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and France. 23 timed tests on racing circuits and mountain climbs. 117 starters.
Patrick Lier - ?.... Formige (Hillman)
source: motorsportforums.com, World Rally Championship; Rally History (part III)
|10||89||Peter Harper/ David Pollard||Sunbeam Rally Imp||2 / 3||3916.2|
|27||S.Heijndijk||Sunbeam Imp GT||3||4814.0|
|R||110||Andrew Cowan and Brian Coyle||Hillman Imp / Sunbeam IMP Sport ?||stub axle|
|111||A. Maslen and Martin Holmes||Hillman Imp / Sunbeam IMP Sport ?||stub axle|
Tulpenrallye, April 24-29, 1967
Source: the swedish annual MOTORRET
Group 3, EM:
3. Peter Harper, Sunbeam Rally Imp do. 3916,0 (10 overall)
5. Simon Heijndijk, Sunbeam Imp GT, Holland, 4814,0 (27 overall)
1. Peter Harper, 3916,2
1st in class: 'Tiny' Lewis
8th overall: I.D. Lewis / R. Turvey in a Hillman Imp
4th Welsh International Rally
10th-12th December 1965; 120 entries
There were two Welsh rallies in 1965
D. Thistlewaite / J. Youd; Hillman Imp
C. Malkin driving JVC 123E retired; comp.no. may have been 9.
In 1967 the West German Rally was round 4 of the European Rally Championship.
Patrick Lier finished 8th in his Hillman Rally Imp. Navigator: Tony Chappell.
FRW 303C the most reliable Rally car ever ?
Robin Eyre-Maunsell from Belfast, the only driver to have tackled all the Uniroyal/RAC rally championship events up to date of printing (July 1977) reckons that his Rallye Imp FRW 303C stands well in the running for this title. It has been used at least thirty times, and he has only retired three times, one through accident and twice through mechanical breakdown, and of these events, six were full blooded Internationals.
Robin's firm, A.S. Baird Ltd, have a stable of three such cars, two Group 6 cars - FRW and LWK 700F, and a Group 2 car WYH 934H. LWK met its Waterloo at Lock Eck-side on this year's Scottish, thus providing Austin Frazer (sic) with yet another exciting chapter in his Rallying book, and is currently being rebuilt. The Group 2 car is ex-factory, like all the others, but a little unwanted, as so many events stipulate Group 2 classes all the way up to 1600cc.
So far as the history of FRW is concerned, it started life as Rosemary Smith's Group 3 car in 1965, and only sold to the Baird empire in 1967. It was converted to Group 6 when the formulae changed in 1969, and has been used by Adrian Boyd, Robin and George Baird.
The Rallying Business / John Sprinzel. - Automobile year 13. - pp.147
"Of the smaller British firms who actively participate [in rallying], Rootes felt that national prestige had much to do with their rallying. In addition to pushing the name of their products (and Rootes have been fully involved with the sport for many years) they thought that the success of any British car helped to improve the image of all the nation's products."
"Rootes also felt dat rallying was the quickest way to find production faults - and drivers' demands were usually the quickest way to find an answer to these faults."
|The Imp Site
Imps in rallies
Works results (1963 - 1969)
Other results (1970 - ....)
Works Imps results by year