The Imp Site

Operation Europe - memo to Elsey

Internal Memo

To: Mr. W. Elsey   From: Mr. Norman Garrad
  Copies to: Mr. I.D. Lewis
Mr. G. Ashby
Mr. S. Schofield
Mr. J.T. Panks
Date: 14th March, 1966
  for information: R.A.F. Watton (2)    


Operation Europe
with the Hillman Imp

You are aware that the original conception of Operation Europe was to improve on the time taking by a Humber Super Snipe to cover 15 countries in 90 hours.

We planned to add two additional countries to our new effort, but on reflection, as the original story was 15 countries, we have now decided to confine the effort to this number.

By caeful planning and improved road conditions, we find that, providing we have no trouble with the Hillman Imp, we could visit the 15 countries in 55/60 hours, showing a considerable improvementon the Humber run, and therefore, as stated, we will confine the effort to two stages, com[leting Stage 1, the 15 countries, in 55 hours, and the return journey again visiting the 15 countries in again the 55 hours, making a grand total of 30 countries non-stop in 110 hours. This we feel, would create the desired impact, that the Hillman Imp is a reliable, fast and economical car.

The plan will be as follows:

Pre-departure film shots will be taken at the R.A.F station Watton, to include Group Captain J>G.C. Hogan DFC etc. and the entire team taking part in the operation, i.e., Flt.Lt. J.A. Quilley, Flt.Lt. D. Carrington, F.O. G. Smith and one other (H. Mayes ?), also an informal shot will be taken of the Hillman Imp with a background if possible of aircraft or the ground at Watton.

The Hillman Imp will carry the R.A.F. roundels and all the countries to be visited as it did on the reconnaissance, which makes an impressive list, i.e. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy, Monaco, Spain and Andorra.

Programme of Events

The Hillman Imp driven by Flt.Lt. Carrington and Mayes will arrive at New Castle on Tyne on Saturday 26th March and be shipped aboard the vessel 'Braemar' which arrives at Oslo at 7.00 am, on Monday 28th March, where it will report to the KNA Club and the verification of the car will be completed by the President of the Club, and the Imp will officially be timed out at 5.00 am on Tuesday 29th March to commence its run, visiting the above-stated countries.


Flt.Lt. D. Carrington and his co-driver will take the car as far as Milan, non-stop, where at a pre-arranged point it will be taken over by Flt.Lt. J.A. Quilley and F.O. G. Smith, who will then proceed non-stop to Andorra, having had the log-book stamped at each frontier, so that by the time it reaches Andorra there will be 15 stamps in the book and the car will immediately turn around and return to Milan via the same route and again at the pre-arranged point it will be met by Flt.Lt. Carrington and H. Mayes and driven back to Oslo also via the same route - again with the log-book having been stamped at every frontier. Therefore when the car reaches the KNA Club, Oslo, the log-book will contain 29 stamps in all.

The car will be verified by the President of the KNA Club as the car that originally started on the run, etc. etc.

Naturally, after the car has left Milan en route to Andorra, Carrington and Mayes will rest whilst awaiting their take over from Quilley and Smith on the return journey, who will have a nights rest and fly back to London.

If the R.A.F. cannot fly the Imp back to England, the car will be shipped on the first available boat from Oslo to Newcastle on Tyne, which should be Monday 4th April on the 'Blenheim' arriving in Newcastle, Wednesday 6th April.

Film Arrangements with support car

Mr. S. Schofield already has filmed a certain amount of the operation between Monaco and Andorra, therefore it is essential that to add to film already shot at Watton, the loading of the car be filmed at Newcastle on the way out, and naturally he should film all the preliminaries at the K.N.A Club, Oslo, including the official start, and should follow the Imp in a car supplied by Kolberg Caspary as far as the first ferry, to link up with Copenhagen.

Mr. Schofield will then cross with the Imp on the boat, which will be met by British Motors, Copenhagen and he will be transported in one of their cars following the Imp as far as the final ferry leading into Germany.

Mr. Schofield could then return to Copenhagen, and whilst the car is visiting Germany, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and France, he could take an aerplane to Basle / Zurich or Milan and join up at the change-over point, where the support car will be waiting, which will have been routed to this point from England via Hanover, saving time and distance for the support car.

The support car (i.e. the original film car) will be driven by Tiny Lewis and Peter Brown who will then follow the Imp as far down as Monaco, and will again pick it up at this point on its return journey to Milan change-over point, and could stay with the Imp until it reached the ferry if deemed necessary.



Dealer participation

To create Dealer interest in this run, it is suggested that there should present at various points - a representative of each major Dealer and if Mr. Elsey agrees, a representative also of the local Press, as we should be able to time the arrival of the car at any given point to with 30 minutes e.g.

St. Moritz
Monte Carlo
Spain (from Madrid)
Andorra (from Madrid)

It must be remembered that these people should be alerted for the return journey also.

Lessons learnt from the Reconnaissance

It is not necessary to carry the four extra wheels and tyres, thereby diminishing the load carried by the Imp, as these were found to be an emcumbrance.

The feeding arrangements and the re-fuelling of the car will have to be carefully plotted.

The arrival time at Andorra will have to be accurately worked out, owing to the fact that the frontier there is not open until 9.00 am.

If the Club at Monte Carlo is closed the police station will provide the necessary stamp.

Two extra gallons of petrol must be carried on the Imp in one gallon cans.

The support car will carry one spare wheel fitted with S.P. tyre for the Imp.

Along with the other spares, two extra wiper blades should be included in the Imp.

The oil-filler cap should be wired in position.



Signed by Norman Garrad





R.A.F. Officers with the R.A.F. Hillman Imp
Flight Lieutenants J.A. Quilley, and D. Carrington (R.A.F. Watton),
Flying Officer G. Smith (R.A.F. Woodhall Spa) & Officer Cadet I. Stewart-Rattray (R.A.F. Feltwell)

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