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Who is who

Over 6,000 workers built more than 440,000 cars in the area over the course of 13 years ...

Source: Linwood's motoring past to be celebrated with special bash
/ Apr 2 2013 by Chris Taylor, Paisley Daily Express

The factory employed 9000 workers in its heyday and a total of 444,000 cars were made between 1963 and 1976.

Source: Hillman Imp owners asked to share memories
/ Sep 10 2012 by Lynn Jolly, Paisley Daily Express

I had only just started making this listing. Still thinking on how to go about it. Who (and who not) to include... Perhaps too tough a cookie and I'll break my teeth on it...
Then Ken Sharpe sent me the list he made for himself as an aid when writing his memoirs. I am hoping visitors will help with completing and improving.

Imp team - minus M. Parkes
KS: This is a photograph in either the Times or the Telegraph supplement at the time of the Imp's introduction.
It shows all the leaders of the Imp team with the exception of Mike Parkes.
The people are - nearest the camera and on the left: A.C. Miller, and going clockwise round the outside, Bill West with gearbox, Ken Sharpe just behind, Bob Saward with Imp model, Bob Croft, Leo Kuzmicki behind engine, and at the front Peter Ware. Squatting down in the middle: Harry White on the left and Tim Fry on right.

The Apex engineering team was based in Ryton, and was treated as an entirely different entity to the main engineering office at Stoke.

Ken Sharpe: The men responsible for the Hillman Imp
The following is a list of the Ryton design and development team from 1960 to 1965.
I have tried hard to include everybody I can remember but there are still several faces in my memory that I cannot put names to. It would be great if any of the these people could complete the list. Styling was done at the Stoke styling studio and I don't know these people.

Name PositionPeriodLocationNotes
B.B. Winter Engineering Director retired and replaced by P.G.Ware Ryton
P.G. Ware
Engineering Director 1958-1966

William Ware: My father joined Rootes from CAV/ Lucas in 1958/9 and was specifically recruited to take over from Miller
I think he left in 1967.

Ryton Peter Ware

Press Release, 11th May 1963:
Peter Ware, 46-years-old, is the Rootes Group's Director of Engineering. He has been responsible for the overall design and development of the Hillman Imp since its conception and has supervised the work of the team of specialists which took the car from a draughtman's doodle to a production line reality.

Peter Ware : Technician behind the Hillman Imp, the challenger to the Mini car / Anders Ditlev Clausager. - The Guardian, Monday 27 March 2000 01.32 BST. - [Guardian Obituaries]

R.A. Evison Personal Assistant to Peter Ware 1961 to 1963 - .... Ryton

Press Release, 11th May 1963:
Dick Evison, aged 24, is an ex-apprentice at Rootes and started work on the drawing board in the Imp engine design office two years ago. He is at present Personal Assistant to Peter Ware.

Mervin Cutler Chief Engineer 1960 to ...., left company and replaced by A.C.Miller Ryton
A.C. Miller (Maxie) Chief Engineer moved to Linwood - this was factual by August 1963 (and was replaced by Leo Kuzmicki) Ryton A.C. Miller
Leo Kuzmicki
25 Oct 1910, Warsaw - 22 May 1982, Preston Capes, Northamptonshire
Engineering Dept.
Engine design then Chief Engineer
1956 - 1965;
In the middle sixties Leo Kuzmiki, ex-Norton ex-Vanwall engine designer, was head of Powertrain design and development
.... moved to Stoke Engineering and replaced by Stan Taylor
Ryton Leo Kuzmicki
The Hillman 875cc engine / by Leo Kuzmicki, A Craig Miller and Peter Ware

Press Release, 11th May 1963:
Fifty-two-year-old Leo Kuzmicki is Deputy Chief Engineer at the Rootes Ryton plant and has been mainly responsible for developing the engine of the Imp.

Worked as a lecturer at the Warsaw University, but WW2 intervened and he moved to England. After a spell as a pilot during the conflict (a war career which reads like the page of an adventure book), he joined Norton as a sanitary engineer initially. Kuzmicki became well known for his work on combustion chambers and this led to rapid promotion at Norton. He became their chief engineer. In 1955 he joined the Vanwall racing team as chief engineer and a year later he joined the Rootes Group and has worked on the Imp project since its inception.

Philip Laugton research .... 1963 - .... Ryton

Press Release, 11th May 1963:
Phil Laugton has been working in close associatiion with Leo Kuzmicki and has played a major part in the original design and development. He is now preoccupied with advanced research work. He is 30 and has worked at Rootes since leaving school.

Christine Jones secretary to Mervin Cutler .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Elsie Davies secretary to A.C.Miller .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Stan Taylor Body design then Chief Engineer .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Mike Parkes Project engineer .... 1955 to the end of 1962 Ryton Michael Parkes (1931) is an ex-Humber pupil (1949) who acted as Project Engineer on the Imp until the end of 1962, when he left to join Ferrari. He co-ordinated the activities of the specialists working on the car and also carried out a great deal of the testing of it. Here his ability as a racing driver was of inestimable value.
T.S. (Tim) Fry Engineering Dept.
Project engineer
.... 1955 to 1965 .... Ryton Tim Fry

Press Release, 11th May 1963:
Tim Fry is 28 and as a pupil was trained in engineering at Rootes. He was an original member of the team that conceived and built the very first small car six years ago. His personal experience covers many components and controls. He can handle the car extremely well, having lapped this circuit within 1/5th of a second of Mike Parkes.

P.G. Manning the Rootes Group's Quality Director .... 1963 .... Ryton

Press Release, 11th May 1963:
Pip Manning, aged 49, is the Rootes Group's Quality Director. A former apprentice with the Group, he operates a close liaison with production engineers and is responsible for ensuring that Imps are built to the highest possible standard.

W.H. Round Quality Engineer .... 1963 .... Ryton

Press Release, 11th May 1963:
Bill Round is the Quality Engineer responsible for all items manufactured at Coventry. He is in charge of the company's C.I.D., which not only stands for 'Criminal' but for Central Investigation Department. He is the policeman who keeps quality, law and order and watches the customer's interest.

Barbara Harris Draughts woman .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Ernie Unger Road test engineer .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Harry White Engineering Dept.
Senior Chassis design engineer
1958 to 1965 .... Ryton Harry White

Press Release, 11th May 1963:
Harry White (37) has been Chassis Engineer on the Imp project. Suspension, brakes and control, in fact, have been his passion throughout most of his engineering career. He joined the Rootes Group in 1958 and is engaged on engineering research and long term design. The remarkable road holding characteristics of the Imp are largely a result of White's ability.

Des Dudley Chassis design 1958 to 1965 .... Ryton

Press Release, 11th May 1963:
Des Dudley is 31 and has been with the Group five years. He has been working on the Imp project from its inception and has been engaged mainly in suspension design.

Bill Rutherford Chassis design .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Alan Treadwell Chassis design .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Mrs Dudley Chassis design .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
A.W. West
Bill West
Engineering Dept.
Senior Transmission Design engineer
.... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton Bill West
John Lewis Transmission Design and development .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Bob Croft Engineering Dept.
Senior Body design engineer
.... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton Bob Croft
K.M. Davies
Ken Davies
Engineering Dept.
Body design engineer
.... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Stan Attwood Body development engineer .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
I.D. Paterson
Ian Paterson
Engineering Dept.
Noise and vibration
.... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Stan Stanton Instrumentation .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
George Cotterill Cold room test .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
David Lloyd Senior Engine Development engineer .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton Dave Lloyd
John Horton Engine Development .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Ken Sharpe
apprentice and draughtsman Period? Stoke
Draughtsman Fighting vehicles Period? Stoke Aldermoor
Technical office Period? Stoke
then Development
Period? Ryton
Project Engineer Period? Stoke
Project engineer
then group Rig test
Period? Whitley technical centre
Group Rig Test Period? Ryton
Truck Rig test Period? Dunstable
Ken Sharpe Senior Development engineer .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton Kenneth SharpeDeveloping the Imp: memories August 2005, with many photos
Sid Baskets     the Stoke Works, Coventry  
Horace Allen     the Stoke Works, Coventry  
Colin Walters Planning Engineer started at Stoke as an apprentice in 1953
"I started my career as a Planning Engineer with the Imp Engine my first major project to be involved in."
"After the Imp was launched I left Rootes and returned to Stoke in 1971 (then Chrysler) as Production Engineering Manager.
After a few more moves I returned in 1980 as Director of Manufacturing for Peugeot UK. I retired in 1994."
the Stoke Works, Coventry "I was responsible for the processing, procurement and commissioning of machines and tooling etc. for the manufacture of all of the in-house parts, except for the block and head, working under Horace Allen and Sid Baskets.
I well remember Leo Kuzmicki, Harry White and Tim Fry, among others."
Graham Havard Road test engineer 1960 to ....; moved to Linwood - this was factual by August 1963 (and replaced by Fred Evans) Ryton; later Linwood
Fred Evans Road test engineer .... 196. to 1965 .... Ryton
Maurice Evans Road test engineer .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Derek Sleath Road test engineer .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Mike Rushall Road test engineer .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton Mike  Rushall
Wynne Mitchell Road test engineer Part of the period 1960-1965 Ryton
Clive Mann Road test engineer Part of the period 1960-1965 Ryton
Peter Carpenter Road test engineer Part of the period 1960-1965 Ryton
Richard Manning Road test engineer Part of the period 1960-1965 Ryton
F.D. Marsden
Frank Marsden
Engineering Dept.
Rig test engineer
"I joined Rootes in 1961 from Standard-Triumph where I was working as a design draughtsman on the Sports car section.
I replaced David Ward, who left because he came into an inheritiance in, I think, Bournmouth. I was in charge of Rig Test from 1961, March or April, until after the Imp was launched.

In 1964, Rootes sent me to Cranfield, School of Automobile Engineering, where, at Leo Kuzmicki's suggestion I did a thesis on stress analysis of car body structures, which we did not know how to do at that time.
After finishing the year at Cranfield I was offered a job in charge of the Imp sports car; one had been made, designed by Tim Fry. I turned this down, as I did not think it would continue; it did not.

I then went to Rootes Long Term Development and Research Dept. at Humber Road, headed by Richard Hodkin, the brother of David Hodkin, Chief engineer. I was promoted to 2 i/c of that department, working mainly on ABS, on which I had a couple of patents, which Rootes never followed up. The first ABS on the Mk2 Escort, some years later followed the exact principle in one of my patent applications." [22 Jul 2007]

From: Frank Marsden
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2007


Frank Marsden Rig test 1961-1964

Still around,
Frank Marsden

[22 Jul 2007] "I am still in contact with a couple of people who were in the Ryton dept:

  • Phil Laughton, who worked on engines and
  • Tony Griffiths, who designed a new (Mac Strut) front suspension for the Imp. This never made it to production, but would have been a major improvement, not the least reason being that it made much better use of the space at the front."

Brian A. Walker 1963-66: Rig Test Engineer / Manager
1967-70: Manager - Electrical and Heat Exchange Design
1971-75: Manager - Safety and Functional Test Department
1976-80: Chief Engineer - Vehicle Evaluation
1981-82: Product Engineer
1983: Engineering Director
Coventry Came from Jaguar (The Jaguar Apprentice's Sketchbook [orig. link:]), went to DeLorean
Stewart Wilson Rig test engineer 1964 to 1965 .... Ryton
David Ward Rig test engineer .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Jack Huddy Material supply 1960 to ....; retired an replaced by David Davies Ryton
David Davies Material supply .... 196. to 1965 .... Ryton
R.H. Riddiford
Ron Riddiford
Engineering Dept.
Workshop foreman
.... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Roy West Fitter .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Jim Allen (the cornal) Fitter .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Ernie ? Fitter .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Ted Gothard? Fitter .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
E. Conrath
'Big Ted'
Fitter .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton with his mate he could change an Imp engine while we went for a cup of tea.
'Big Ted' Conrath has been 16 years with Rootes (March 1963) as a mechanic. Working exclusively with Imps in recent years, he knows the car inside out. His capacity for engine changing is formidable, it being on record that, working alone, he has removed a complete power unit in twenty minutes. This stems from having done 37 engine changes on one particular car in 15,000 miles over six months, as pat of a special test exercise.
Harold Millner Tinsmith .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Horace Miller .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Burt Lathe .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Vic Gorman Fitter tester .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton Vic Gorman
Dave Newton Engine Test .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Ceril Oakley Rig test fitter .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
Peter Warwick Rig test fitter .... 1960 to 1965 .... Ryton
C.R. McLachlan Engineering Dept. .... August 1963 .... Ryton
Richard Puxted apprentice .... to .... Maidstone Richard PuxtedRichard PuxtedR. Puxted was there with testing the preproduction Imps in Kenya (2nd hot climate test), 1963. Chris Puxted of Tenterden: "Dad was working for the Rootes Group at Maidstone and he went on the trip as a result of being apprentice of the year (1961) at Rootes. I think dad did his apprenticeship as a body man." "He would have been 20 at the time, so was very much the junior of the team and I'm not sure if he had a defined function." [Kenneth Sharpe's memories; Garret Walker's memories]. His father died in 1989.
Mrs. Margaret Perkins Imp machine shop left in 1966 at age 24 Stoke
Name PositionPeriodLocationNotes

This list is short of about:
3 chassis draughtsmen
4 body draughtsmen
4 fitters
4 road test/fitter testers

And apologies if I have spelt any names incorrectly

Linwood; Works

Bob Irwin Linwood manufacturing director .... 1968 ....LinwoodIrwin was the one to sent a congratulatory telegram to Sydney, to Cowan, Malkin and Coyle from all at Linwood.
Bill Carter Works Director    
Alan Simpson Machine Shop Manager    
George Minton Assembly Shop Manager      
Garth Vaughan Quality Manager    
Tom Clay Planning Manager    
Joe (?) Work Study Manager    
Eric Smith Toolroom Manager    
Scott Glover Production Control Manager   Recollections:
The Hillman Imp and Linwood
Ian Mackcar assembly.... 1966 ....Linwoodmember of Linwood's Apex Car Club
Norman BrownRootes machine shop.... 1966 ....Linwoodmember of Linwood's Apex Car Club
Gordon SinclairRootes machine shop.... 1966 ....Linwoodmember of Linwood's Apex Car Club
Miss Joyce KirkwoodCashier's Office.... 1966 ....Linwood 
Miss Joan ParkerChief Telephonist.... 1966 ....Linwood 
Robert KyleProduction Engineering.... 1966 ....Linwood 
Miss Rose LowLabour Cost Control.... 1966 ....Linwoodgot married to John Purden, Oct. 7, 1966
John PurdenProduction Control.... 1966 ....Linwood 
Charles CarltonToolroom.... 1966 ....Linwood 
Jeff Torrington
Telex Sequencer1973 - 22nd May 1981Linwood

Telex Sequencer: to telex car codes to various sections along the assembly track (eg. the harness, the axle, the wheels & tyres, the engine drop-in), calling a part number to be used for a type of car that will be there, plus ensure that the body-shells were being delivered to the plant's assembly block in conformity with the telex broadcast plus the line operative's personnel assignment. Opportunities for quite a range of screw-ups.

Later: author (novels; newspaper articles)
mates: Jimmy and Wee Tam (a veteran, nostalgic about Pressed Steel)


22nd May, 1981 was the last day for most of the Linwood workforce. Only those who dismantled the plant worked after that. Nearly 5000 personnel were made redundant.

Reporting to the chief Executive of the Rootes Group (and Chrysler UK as it later became):
each one had a Board Director as its head

When the Imp was being developed, it was slightly different as there was no Product Planning. So the department was just called 'Engineering', and the Rootes brothers split the departments up a bit differently between them.


The Hon. Geoffrey Rootes Managing Director of Rootes Motors and Chairman of Rootes (Scotland) Ltd.   Geoffrey Rootes 1963
Timothy Rootes managing director of the Manufacturing Division   Mr. Timothy Rootes, managing director of the Manufacturing Division
The Hon. Brian RootesChairman of Rootes Motors (Overseas) Ltd.   The Hon. Brian Rootes, Chairman of Rootes Motors (Overseas) Ltd.
W.G. Rootes       His memo to all hosts at the opening of LinwoodS
Bill Garner Manufactoring director
in charge of production
sent to Linwood from Coventry   excellent track record
a fine reputation for fairmindedness
a clear understanding of the problems created by assembly-line work
Bill Bryant Director and General Manager of the Linwood plant

[Scott Glover:] Bill Bryant was the Director and General Manager of Hills Precision Castings an independent Company that had been purchased by Rootes some years before. It manufactured Die Castings and plastic injection mouldings. As will be outlined later he was appointed to the position because of his Die Casting knowledge and other factors.
Increasingly he struggled with the job and left the Company in the middle of 1964 and was replaced by George Cattell.


Reporting to him were:

  • Bill Collins - Die Casting Manager
  • Ken Ganney - Chief Accountant
  • Tony Savory - Personnel Manager
  • Barry Massey - Chief Buyer
  • Doug Hannay - Company Secretary
  • Bill Carter - Works Director
Ken Ganney Chief Accountant    Ken Ganney was promoted from Rootes Coventry and was an extremely competent and helpful member of the Management team.
Tony Savory Personnel Manager   

Tony Savory was one of a number of ex Military men who had joined Rootes in the late '50s/early '60s. He was very sound and quite unflappable!

Doug Hannay Company Secretary     
Bill Carter Works Director   

reporting to him were:

  • Alan Simpson - Machine Shop Manager
  • Clive (?) Minton - Assembly Shop Manager
  • Garth Vaughan - Quality Manager
  • Tom Clay - Planning Manager
  • Joe  (?)      - Work Study Manager
  • Eric Smith - Toolroom Manager
  • Scott Glover - Production Control Manager
Cpt. J. Bryttan-Jones Director Purchasing .... - Jan. '62 - Feb. '65 - .... Rootes Scotland Ltd.
Coventry & Linwood
H.J.C. Weighell Director Production Planning & Development 1959 - 1978 Rootes Motors Ltd.
Making the Imp / H.J. Cyril Weighell. - 2015
Gilbert Hunt Rootes Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer .... - 1968 - .... Rootes Motors Ltd. Gilbert Hunt, CEO
Barry Massey
B.H.O. Massey
5 Jan. 1924
Production Control Analyst
duties: Production control
Vendor scheduling
Feb. '53 -
July '54
Humber Ltd.
Assistant to Mr. C. Diamond, Procurement manager
duties: Procurement of all non-current vendored sourced parts, placements of internal orders for Parts. Divs. preparation of vendor schedules, supervision of production control staff.
July '54 -
Aug. '56
Humber Ltd.
Procurement manager Aug. '56 -
Aug. '57
Humber Ltd.
Buyer Aug. '57 -
Aug. '58
Humber Ltd.
Chief Buyer Aug. '58 -
Jan. '62
Humber Ltd.
Chief Buyer
duties: control of all plant, tool, machinery, consumables and automobile parts related to the Imp in Scotland
Jan. '62 -
Feb. '65
Rootes Scotland Ltd.
Coventry & Linwood
Product Cost Planning Director
duties: Reorganisation and set up of Product Cost Dept. within Rootes modelled on Chrysler Detroit lines to track truck and car costs through from planning stage to Job 1, provide and estimate service to Prod. Planning, Product Engineering, Purchase, set up value analysis and tear down section of Rootes & competitors products
Feb. '65 -
Aug. 68
Rootes Motors Ltd.
Production Plan. & Development
Systems Planning Director
duties: To direct the planning, co-ordination and development of new and current systems through the areas laid down by the Director of MOS function and in accordance with established requirements and priorities with the directors of the user areas and Corporate staffs concerned.
Sep. '68 -
Rootes Motors Ltd.
Barry Massey
Guy Massey: "My father is still well and just as much a 'forthright speaker' as he was then, and now lives in North Devon. I wonder if anyone out there still remembers him?
I well remember sitting quitely in the corner of the Castle Hotel in Largs fussing Lulu the Boxer dog that belonged to Craig Miller (Chief Engineer on the Imp), whilst he and my father sat at the bar talking shop!" [22 Jun 2005]

Scott Glover : Barry Massey's details you already have, but suffice it to say he knew what he was doing and ran a very efficient Department.

Alan Lane Linwood Planning Manager He joined Rootes in 1961 - from Associated Industrial Consultants - and sourced the tooling & machines from Bavaria, etc. Rootes Motors Ltd.
Alan Lane in Australia at Melbourne, 21st Oct. 2007

One of the gentlemen who helped to set up the Linwood factory - Alan Lane - he now lives in Victoria, Australia.

Matthew Lambert: "He had some interesting stories to tell - such as the day that the Duke of Edinburgh visited... apparently an electric fault stopped the line working, an employee had to hold two wires together to keep it running. Employees also had to keep driving the same cars around for the newsreels (as unfortunately not enough of them were working!)"

October 2007, Alan Lane and his wife Ray visited the 100-years-of-Hillman celebration at Melbourne (Point Cook)

Mr Lane passed away on August 12th, 2008


Sales and Marketing

Board Director: ....

 Sales Director   
    Sales Manager   
       Area Manager   
David Allen          Sales Rep. in Scotland (4 levels down)   My time with the Hillman Impat the Rootes Group and Chrysler UK / by David Allen. - September 2014

Mike Hancock

Garth Vaughan

David Low, the photographer


Mr. G. Ashby   The memo on Operation Europe
Mr. S. Schofield   The memo on Operation Europe

Rootes Competition Department

Competition Department

(suspended in 1969, months after the London-Sydney marathon was won)

NamePositionPeriod Location Notes
Norman Garrad
Clement-Talbot, area manager for Scotland;
After WWII, a year in New York, running the Rootes company depot;
Sunbeam-Talbot sales manager;
Rootes Competition Manager




mid-60s retired

  P.Harper: "Norman Garrad of Rootes, too, has done a wonderful job and I would place him very high indeed on my list of competition managers."

Press Release, 11th May 1963:
Norman Garrad, the Competition Manager of the Rootes Group, has utilised his 40 years of International competitions experience in the planning and organising of long distance endurance testing of the Imp and tests by professional rally drivers.

His son said (2008) that his great interest in motor sport became an obsession.And that he developed the philosophy that life should be a team effort. No one got very far alone. He always involved local distributors the rallies abroad.

Lewis Garrad
working for his father, Norman Garrad, in the motorsport operation ....  


Peter Brown   1962-19..   Peter BrownAt 14 January 2010, Peter Brown wrote: I joined the Rootes Group in 1962 as a pupil and after the first year working my way through the various factory departments I was mainly doing sales and public relations in Devonshire House London, before joining Norman Garrad at Ryton, Coventry.
He was involved in a major way in the endurance run through 15 countries: Operation Europe.
Marcus Chambers Competition Manager
Proving Ground Manager
1964, Feb. 17
  From BMC, Appleyard
Timothy Rootes wanted to find a replacment who would take Rootes back into the forefront again.
Des O'Dell

Competitions Manager
Rootes, Chrysler, Talbot and Peugeot
"Rally Engineer"
Special Tuning
Chrysler Motorsport Director
since Nov. 1964
in the late 70s
retired 1992
  From Aston Martin, leader of Production Quality Dept.
Des's deputy: Wynne Mitchell
John Rowe a 'resident' at the comp. dept.
of Publicity dept.
....   had been promised the Norman Garrad's job by Brian Rootes
Ian Hall 1964, April 1 - ....
replacing John Rowe as M. Chambers' assitant and team leader
....   ....
John Goff comp. dept. resident engineer (not M. Chambers technical assistant) ....   M. Chambers calls him 'a very abrassive young man'


NamePositionPeriod   Notes
Jim Ashworth Chief Engineer
in charge of the preparation of rally cars at Rootes
Private Rally Imps section
.... 1967 ....   M. Chambers would have ranked him as foreman
P. Harper: "a great and likeable character."
T. Sharman call him Foreman, too.
Gerry Spencer Chief Mechanic
Works rally section
.... 1968 ....   Jerry SpencerM. Chambers would have ranked him as deputy foreman
T. Sharman calls him a 'charge hand'. "The charge hand is responsible for the day-to-day running of the workshop and preparation."

In Why finish last? by Andrew Cowan, he is called Jerry Spencer, Rootes Chief Mechanic. Photo 24 shows mr. Spencer in Bombay during the London to Sydney marathon.

Ernie Beck Mechanic
Works rally section
  Engine builder
little Ernie Beck
George Coles Mechanic
Works rally section
.... 1964-1967 ....   P.Harper: Jack Coles
Terry Sharman
T.A. Sharman
Private Rally Imps section
Came from the 85 engine shop. Transfered to the Comps. Dept. in 1965
1955 Coventry
Terry A. Sharman   
'I have included a photo of me & Ernie Schofield when we were both in the Rootes 85 engine shop around 1959/60 before we both went into competitions'
Ernie Schofield Mechanic
Works rally section
Came from the 85 engine shop.
Ernie Schofield    
Ernie Schofield in the Rootes 85 engine shop around 1959/60 before going to competitions
Derek Hughes mechanic
Works rally section
    Derek Hughes, mechanic
Terry Sharman: I think Derek Hughes went on to work with Andrew Cowan & Colin Malkin with the Mitsubishi team a few years ago
Jack Walton mechanic
Works rally section
Dick Wright mechanic
Works rally section
Arthur Bird 'sparkie' / electrician
Works rally section
    Arthur Bird
Ron (?) Bakewell trim & body work
Works rally section
    Ron Blakewell
Mike Coomb stores
Works rally section
    Raced a Tiger
Pete Burgess mechanic
Private Rally Imps section
John Winters gearboxes
Private Rally Imps section
Bob ? gearbox & axles
Private Rally Imps section
Bob Lamb engines
Private Rally Imps section
Dick Guy Apprentice     T. Sharman: "The two main apprentices were with the rally section, we also had apprentices in the private section for shorter periods."
David Brown Apprentice     David Brown, apprentice


Bernard Unett Rootes senior development driver1968racing driver in Alan Fraser's team
Peter Harper Works driver
'Tiny' Lewis Works driver The memo on Operation Europe
Andrew Cowan Works driver  
Keith Ballisat Works driver  
Peter Procter Works driver
racing & rally
Rosemary Smith Works driver
Paddy Hopkirk Works driver ....1959-1962
gone to BMC
Stan Nicholls Time Keeper ....1964 ....  


P.S. Wilson
Peter Wilson
Dept. Experimental
Engineer in charge of development
... 1963 ... Rootes
Humber Road


Bob Saward Styling
in overall charge of the Little Jim project
... Late fifties ...
Came from Ford
 Bob Saward


P.G. Ware
Peter Ware
the new chief executive engineer
playing a major role in the overall concept of the Imp
Alec Caine .... ....   had been the engineer in charge of the Sunbeam TIger project

Experimental Department

There was a small development area in the Engineering department in which Little Jim was first given shape.

P.M.T. Cobley
Tom Cobley
Airflow Engineer... 1964 ... 
R.C. TustinDynamics Engineer... 1964 ... 

Die-casting Department

Bill Collins Die Casting ManagerWorks Manager (Director?) at Hills  had more practical Die Casting knowledge than Bill Bryant (Director and General Manager).

Pressed Steel (Scotland)

Jim Keyden Director and General Manager
key player in working with Local Government in the initial stages.
for some time, until the start of Imp production
He was succeeded by Peter Griffiths
Peter GriffithsDirector and General Manager by the start of Imp production promoted from Cowley  
John Cameron Works Director    

Advertising / Publicity / Sales promotion

John Bullock Head of public relations for the Rootes Group in the 1950s ahs 60s,and Chrysler International SA during the 70s. involved with the Rootes brothers for nearly 30 years. ... 
Bill Morris Head of public relations in Scotland came from the Daily Record at Glasgow a former bomber pilot
an experienced journalist
a good understanding of the motor industry
W. Elsey (Bill) advertising and sales promotion .... a good teamThe memo on Operation Europe
supported Rootes motorsport by organising the financial side
John Wilcox press and public relations campaign .... successful, skillful team 
B. Campbell the Rootes Group's Home Sales Director 1932 - 1963 .... Ryton

Press Release, 11th May 1963:
Barry Campbell (52) is the Group's Home Sales Director. He has collaborated closely with the Imp's design team, bringing the salesman's viewpoint to many of the interesting design features. He has been with the Rootes Group for over 30 years.

J.D. Carr Industrial Press Officer,
(collegue of Mr. R.M. Webb)
.... - May 1966 - .... Devonshire House, Piccadilly, London W1He wrote a lovely letter to a schoolboy (P.E.G. Plumbe @ Gordonstoun School) who did a Linwood project and sent him the PR photos that he asked for.
R.A. Wimbush Rootes Group's marketing manager 1967 ?  

Mr. R.A. Wimbush personally owned a Hartwell Imp Group 2: JYP 911D. He was very much an Imp fan.

Dealer support (?)

Neville Jackson General Manager   Rootes Ladbroke Hall, London  
Bob Clarke members of the Technical Department

Our responsibilities were to work with the factory to provide technical support for our own workshops and the dealer network. As you can appreciate we were kept very busy with the various manufacturing and technical problems that did exist with an evolutionary vehicle like the Imp.

joining Rootes as an apprentice in 1963 Rootes Ladbroke Hall, London In addition to our normal day jobs we were tasked to develop our own Imps for competition work. The first one was our Rootes London CP Imp.
Lead by the support of our then General Manager Neville Jackson, we were given permission to evaluate running our own racing team, but one of the main conditions was that it had to be low key - in order that we would not infringe on the factory activities with the Fraser Imps or compete against them.
The other condition was that we built the cars and ran them in our own time.
So the team was formed with a limited budget sourced from Ladbroke Hall division and to keep costs down, as we were also responsible for warranty activities our spares had to be developed from warranty return scrapped components. A large task as you can imagine.
We also developed upgrades for customers cars and produced a limited run of Imps for sale as CP Imps (ComPetition).
Roy Capel  
Ian Lowe
Roger Bailey
Alan Moore
Rowan Leck

June 1964 (source A):
K.W. Sharpe
P.G. Ware - Peter Ware, the new chief executive engineer and playing a major role in the overall concept of the Imp.
T.L. Jump
D. Hodkin
P.S. Wilson
D.R. Welbourne
E.F. Litchfield
V.J. Adrian
F.J. Smithyman
W.T. Oliver
P.J. Nevitt
L.T. Price
L. Kuzmicki
D.W. Brummit
C.W. Mann - Ryton
R.L. Croft - Ryton
K.M. Davis - Ryton
F.B. Evans - Ryton
H.W. White - Ryton
M. Rushall
E.S. White - Engineering Studio; Ted White and the Rootes Styling team
T.G.R. Fleming - Engineering Studio
T.R. Carpenter


John T. Panks General Manager of Rootes in the United States 1964   The memo on Operation Europe
Lyman Gaylord Public Relations Manager 1964 Rootes Motors, Long Island City Rootes P.R.
Herman 'Skip' Jeahne Rootes Sales representative in the greater New York area
3000 Miles in 48 Hours
1964   Rootes Sales
Skip was also an accomplished rallyist and racing car driver.
Jeff Croft Service Manager 1964 Rootes Motors, Long Island City Rootes Service Manager
Ian Garrad West Coast General Manager of Rootes in the United States 1964 Los Angeles  
Alex Evelove West Coast Public Relations of Rootes in the United States 1964 Los Angeles  


  1. Geoffrey Rootes' dream for Linwood / Robert J. Allan, 1991

  2. Works team : the Rootes competition department / Michael Frostick, 1964

  3. Works wonders / Marcus Chambers

  4. The men responsible for the Hillman Imp / Ken Sharpe. - 8 August 2005. - MS Word file

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