The Imp Site
OKA 9M, Hillman Imp
No photo yet.
See the Beswick file for a period photo.
Winner Imp saved from fading away
OKA 9M won the Cambrian Road Rally in 1974 with Ron Beswick at the wheel and Stuart Preacher navigating. It had Petrol Injection. Skip Brown (rally tuner / engine builder; he had a workshop), a good friend of Ron Beswick, had done all the competition preparation.
Skip Brown (†) rallied OKA 9M in the 1976 Cambrian Rally - 13th overall. Class A, no. 17, pos. 13.
Entrant: Howley Racing of Warrrington.
Driver: Skip Brown; club: Wallasey
Navigator: Richard Tomkinson; same club
Hillman Imp PI; 998cc; OKA 9M; green / orange - (metallic green with dayglow orange for the roof and below the bumper
The owner, 12 Aug 2009:
[...] OKA 9M [...] was [at the time - ed.] built up completely from a new Imp body shell.
OKA 9M Group 6 build detail documentation includes
Rootes body shell Parts Data Information Sheets, dated 12/68, Section 2.G,
Data Sheet 368, Distribution Code Letter D&F 'PRIVATE and CONFIDENTIAL' which
'In order that you may be able to service Pre-Facelift
(pre-anti burst door lock) models, we have had arrangements for the
manufacture of a Special Body Shell which is the latest Burstproof
lock condition fitted with the earlier facia.'
It then goes on to list 'modifications to be made in your own workshop to bring these
Special Body Shells to complete pre-facelift condition'. There is little doubt in my mind that these 'Special Body Shells' were only available to 'serious' (i.e. those competitors known to the factory - such as Skip Brown) competitors to use as a basis for competition Imps.
Later on it got rallied by Dave Richards (codriver)
Ray Sheratt sent all the logbooks to build the car to the present owner.
The Ron Beswick Imp PI [Competition Car Test] / David Thomas; photo courtesy of Ian Jones. - Rally Sport Magazine 1974, Oct./Nov. - p.4 + 26
David Thomas was the clerque of the Cambrian Rally course. He is now the general secretary of the North Wales Car Club.