The Imp Site

Andrew Bryson

Andrew Bryson

Andrew Bryson - a Scotsman (living in Bangkok) who keeps his racing Imp in Tasmania, Australia. His Imp was prepared for the 1999 Targa Tasmania by ImpWerks, NZ. The engine is 1120cc.

Tasmanian Targa

Run over public roads in Tasmania. 2,100km, incl. 500km of Targa stages run over closed public roads. A FIA approved international event. Split into catgories, depending on age (Imp: 1960-1965); further split into classes based on engine capacity (Imp: Class A up to 1600cc).


  Andrew Bryson
  Andrew Bryson

Andrew Bryson sent me a message on Thu, Feb 3, 2011, with 2 photos and a link to, saying:

Imps still rule !

Sunday, 30 January 2011,

Andrew Bryson and Jason Rowley have led from start to finish to win the Early Classic handicap competition, for cars built prior to 1966, in the third running of Targa Wrest Point.

Driving a 1964 Hillman Imp Rallye, Bryson held a 55 second lead at the end of the first day, and extended that advantage even further on day two to win by over two and a half minutes.

It's great to win, as I've been trying to for 30 years, Bryson said. The car went well, we thrashed it mercilessly and had no problems at all.

The highlight came on day one, overtaking a Porsche. I'm very much looking forward to the champagne now.

There was heartbreak for the 1965 Ford Cortina of Peter and Roslyn Killick, who had second place in the bag until mechanical failure one kilometre into the final stage forced their retirement.

This gave Jack Waldron and Vin Gregory second place in their 1955 Fiat Abarth, with Scott and Wayne Kent taking the final spot on the podium in their 1965 Ford Mustang.

Russell and Melanie Clark were fourth in a 1965 Ford Cortina, while David and Deena White rounded out the top five in their 1963 Austin Mini Cooper.

Bryon's dominance bodes well for the longer Targa Tasmania, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary when it gets underway in early April.

Early Classic handicap results after Day 1
1. Andrew Bryson (UAE) / Jason Rowley (SA), 1964 Hillman Imp Rallye
2. Jack Waldron (VIC) / Vin Gregory (VIC), 1955 FIAT Abarth 750, +2m33s
3. Scott Kent (TAS) / Wayne Kent (TAS), 1965 Ford Mustang, +3m42s
4. Russell Clark (TAS) / Melanie Clark (TAS), 1965 Ford Cortina, +16m27s
5. David White (TAS) / Deena White (TAS), 1963 Austin Mini Cooper, +17m12s


A quick introduction, I am Andy Bryson, currently living in Dubai. I have been racing & rallying IMPs for over 35 years and during that time I have lived in Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, China, USA, Australia, Indonesia & Thailand.

I built my current car in 1993 while living in Perth, Australia, mainly to race in Appendix J, but I got transferred and ended up doing Targa Tasmania in 1994 and have been hooked ever since.
My navigator is Jason Rowley, based in Adelaide.
The engine is 1040cc. Running a 410 cam on Dellortos with about 110 hp at 8000 rpm, it pulls strongly 4000 - 9000. The engine was built by Impwerks and I have had no problems at all, they last seven years! The gearbox is Jack Knight 4 speed with LSD.
Preparation was minimal just a change of transaxle as the CWP was showing signs of serious wear again. A thorough bolt check as the car had not been touched since Classic Adelaide 2009. In went my race box and the ratios were a bit high, especially 1st as it is good for nearly 50 mph. Stage starts were a bit difficult but the 2 plate Tilton clutch survived.
The suspension is quite standard with basically Monte Carlos and big Koni shocks. I run about 2 deg neg on the front and 1 deg neg on the rear. Handling is almost neutral with just a touch of oversteer. I am using 175/60 x 13 DZ 03G Dunlops. The tyres were well over a year old and had done Classic Adelaide 2009, also bought a new pair in case it rained.

The event is a two day event with 200km of tarmac stages 120 km on day 1 and 80 on day 2, with a total distance of about 400Km. The event is held south of Hobart in Tasmania in the Huon Valley. The Grant & Rodney the 'boys' in Tasmania though the event would suit the Imp so we decided to do this event as finally handicaps were set to give the smaller older cars a chance.

The next drama was with John Braham who did the preparation in Adelaide (Mount Barker) called to say flooding in Victoria had closed the main road. A detour was taken round the coast. All was well in the end as they made it to the ferry on time. This is a long tow Adelaide - Melbourne with another 300km from the boat in Devonport to Hobart.

On start up we had the usual Imp sound which always brings a smile to your face. I hadn’t driven the Imp for 18 months but jumped in the seat as it was yesterday. The service crew always knows when you are on the way!

Scrutineering went smoothly with no problems.

On day 1 we woke up to a sunny dry morning and and 18 deg C. Competition started with a warm up stage of 2.4km at which point we found out we had no intercom to read the notes, Jason had forgotten to replace the fuse! We made it through safely on hand signals seeing 100 mph in 3rd about 9000 and screaming. The Imp has been awarded best sounding car on a number of events, even against V8s and BDAs.

The first proper stage Tahune 1 which ran 23km into a state forest. We pushed as hard as possible and overtook a Cortina and Porsche 911 in the process. Quote from Jason “we are just about at the end of the stage no need to pass the Porsche”, like ****, foot further down and passed we went about 400m before the end!!(We have film to prove it)

We cleaned the stage on Handicap and won it by 15 sec. We then had an excellent tea break and time to compare times and stories with the competition, while all the other cars completed the stage and then did it in reverse, Airwalk 1. We repeated the previous stage effort and pushed hard, once again we were 1st on the time sheets. Next stage was Dover which is further south and along the water front. Flat out again, with a 9 sec penalty and winning the stage… again. We then had our only problem, the Joe Lucas Prince of Darkness alternator packed up. Luckily it was just before the service halt. From past experience we had expected it to fail, have now replaced it with a Marinelli one which bolts and wires straight in with no modifications hopefull it will last longer than 3 rally days which is all we get out of the Lucas. The fuel consumption was way better than expected 120km of transport and 68km stages, the car only took 17 litres at the service halt, an average of 30 mpg!

We then repeated the mornings first 2 stages broken by a truly excellent BBQ lunch. We were 1st on both stages. The first 5 stages really suited the IMP as they were medium fast averaging 105 km/hr. The last stage of the day was Longley which I had done previously and it is not one of my favourite stages as it is a bit rough. We equalled our previous best time from Targa Tasmania but only managed to finish 3rd. At the end of Day 1 we were leading by 1 min 40 secs.

So far there were no near things and I hadn’t sworn at Jason, this is VERY unusual on both counts.

The service crew of John and Grant gave the car a thorough check with no problems were found, then off for a few beers and dinner.

The Day 2 dawned bright and sunny again but rain was expected. The stages were previously used on Targa Tasmania and I was familiar with most of them. The first morning stage was a bit rough and tight which did not suit the Imp and we ended up 4th which was not good enough. Woodbridge was the next stage so full attack on the next few stages. We won Woodbridge by 9secs and won by a similar time on Oyster Cove & Cygnet. The organisation of the event and the times were posted on the internet so we could chart our progress. It became obvious no rain was going to fall so we left the old tyres. With 2 stages after lunch till the end we backed off slightly as we had a 2:40 lead. The last 2 stages were tense as we have had a number of last minute problems but this time all was well to the finish. The tyres survived the fronts were 50% worn and the rears 80%.

This is best organised event I have competed.

Beer was broken out at the finish and the champagne on the podium, followed by more beer & wine. We had booked dinner for 08:00 and had a little rest. One of our group did not and carried on and by the time of the meal was feeling very merry which was NOT the way he was feeling the next day or the day after.

Early Classic Handicap:

1st Andrew Bryson / Jason Rowley   1965   Hillman Imp Rallye  
2nd Jack Waldron / Vin Gregory 1955 FIAT Abarth 750
3rd Scott Kent / Wayne Kent 1965 Ford Mustang

The car is now back in Mount Barker being prepared for the big one Targa Tasmania which is the first week of April. Another gearbox change, harder pads and full service we should be ready. Targa Tasmania is 1500km of touring stages and 500km of stages over 5 days plus a Prolog, it is a VERY tough event. The Imp has only done all the stages once, in 1995 when we finished second. We are hoping to go one better and win.

Andy Bryson - 2011 Targa Wrest Point   Targa Wrest 2011
champaigne Bryson 2011 Targa Tasmania   Andy Bryson Imp
Andrew Bryson Imp Targa Wrest   Andrew Bryson Imp
    Pictures of engine & interior are after the event so it is a bit dusty as we had to do 12km on a dirt road
Andrew Bryson Imp cock pit   Andy Bryson Imp
Andy Bryson Imp   One on axle stands is car being prepared for Targa Tasmania in 1st week in April.


Handicap award (based on a minimum time for each targa stage; all categories and classes have a 'handicap' that is added to the Stage Minimum Time)
1st: R. Williams in an Elfin Clubman (Australian Lotus 7)
2nd: Andrew Bryson / Rodger Anders in an Imp with everything to full-race specification.
Bryson used a full race Imp, engine >1,100cc, Hartwell rebuild, with R20 cam and Carter head.
Rosemary Smith drove a Mazda MX5.

In the early 80s, he raced a space-frame Davrian Imp and a Rallye Imp in Malaysia. He won all the class events in the 998 Rallye Imp (class up to 1000cc), beating Mini Coopers, Toyota Starlets, etc. In the Super Saloon, he won the up-to 1000cc class several times competing with Mini Coopers, particularly one Cooper 'S' in a space frame. The one car that gave him a fight was a 1300 Toyota Starlet, Janspeed Datsun Sunny.
He sold the Davrian to the owner of the space frame Cooper 'S' and bought a space frame Sunbeam Stiletto.

A letter from Andrew Bryson, as published in The Impress, Winter 1999.
Used with Mr. Bryson's permission

Rallye Imp in Targa 99

From: Andrew Bryson; 30th November 1998

Please let me introduce myself; my name is andrew Bryson and I have had the Imp obsession for over 20 years. My Imping started in 1972 with a 1967 Super Imp that I used for road rallies in Scotland. The car was not very reliable but fun. The main reason for its poor reliability was my lack of funds, being a student at the time.
In 1975 I went overseas to work, ending up in Singapore. I have moved around a bit since then, and have lived in Malaysia, China, USA, Singapore (again), Australia, Indonesia and now Thailand.
I was member #132 of the club when living in Malaysia.

I have had my current Imp since 1978, but it is now on its third bodyshell, fourth engine and fourth gearbox - something like that. I first bought the car to compete in autocross in Singapore. I had numerous Fastest Times and won the class championship in 1981.

I then started using the car for racing in Malaysia in the Limited Saloon Class. The rules were very simple: the car had to remain standard looking with interior trim; standard suspension mounting. The engine had to look standard from the outside. After a few disasters, the engine blew up in Penang (1979) in my first race.
The car eventually became a regular winner in the up-to-1,000cc class and often finished in the top three overall.
I retired the car in 1988, as the regulations were changed to cars under ten years of age.
I changed the gearbox at some stage (1982, I think) to a Jack Knight 4-speed with LSD, as I kept breaking standard differentials!!

In 1988 the regulations for racing changed and the Imp was no ,onger eligible, as it was now more then 10 years old. This was unfortunate, as it was still very competitive in the 1000cc class, having the legs of Starlets and Datsuns.
As the car was not eligible to race, I prepared it for Stage Rallies in Malaysia. This was not a success, as the stages were too rough. This led to shell number 2. I did a few more rallies and then retired the car before it broke again. It competed in Car Park rallies in Singapore (more exciting than it sounds) and the Autocross series, in which it acquitted itself quite well.
In 1992 I entered the car for the Macau GP Historic Race and was leading my class when the gearchange broke. For this event, it was engine number 3, as the previous one was getting a bit old.

In 1993 I moved to Perth, Western Australia, taking the car with me. On examining the shell I found serious corrosion and bought a semi rust free shell in Perth.
The car then had a full rebuild, with the shell sand blasted (it is still coming out, four years later) to enter for appendix 'J' that has similar regulation to the Limited Class I ran in Malaysia. I installed the front radiator as per an article in Impressions, exhausting air through the rear of the spare wheel well. This has woked well, even racing at 100°F+, the main reason for this solution was to minimise external body mods, which are not allowed. I rebuilt the engine and gearbox and fully overhauled the suspension brakes. I rewired the car, using a new loom from Autosparks, and fitted a Works replica dash. I incorporated all the hard-earned lessons from previous rebuilds into this car.
I did almost a full season of Appendix 'J' with the car improving on every event. The biggest improvement coming from the tyres: 2 seconds a lap. The tyres being Bridgestone RE 1 S, size 175 x 70 x 12, but they are not suitable for road use, as they have little thread.

In October 1993 I transferred to Jakarta, Indonesia, but prior to this I had entered the 1994 Targa Tasmania. My entry to the Targa started with a West Australia Sports Car Club meeting. They showed a video of the 1993, and the event looked ideal for an Imp.
The event is a rally round Tasmania of 2500km with 500+km of Special Stages on closed public roads. I quickly prepared the car and shipped it to my friend Ponz Sabas in Tasmania, who called and volunteered to navigate. (I met Ponz as a lad in Malaysia.)

The 1994 event was a disaster.
The oil filter blew the seal on the Prolog, setting fire to the back of the car.
On Stage 1 the gear linkage in the gearbox broke. Do not use solid universal joints, as I am sure that is what caused the failure in Macau as well. We fixed the car overnight.
On Day Two, Stage 2, the distributor drive failed, leaving a dog in the engine. That meant the sump had to be dropped to clean out the oil.
On Day Three the car ran well !!
On Day Four the car overheated at the end of a 35km stage and I decided to retire before doing serious damage.

I entered the 1995 event, and because I was living in Indonesia, I sent the engine and gearbox to Hartwell for a rebuild. The engine has an R20 cam, a Carter head, etc. with everything else to full race specifications. The ignition was by points, as electronic ignition as not allowed by the rules. A rev limiter was also fitted, it was, and set to 7500 on Day One and raised during the event to 8000 for the last day. I cannot recommend enough fitting a limiter, as I found my rev counter lagged by up to 1500rpm when accelerating in First and Second. The gearbox was build with a new casing as the old one had cracked. The gears fitted on Ray Payne's advice were:
5.05 with LSD

Ponz put the engine and gearbox back in the car and prepared it. As he could not navigate this year, he was our team manager.

Rodger AndersMy navigator for the event was Rodger Anders. We met while in Singapore in the early eighties and he was now in Jakarta. As he had lots of navigating experience, he was an obvious choice.

Let me explain a little about Targa Tasmania. It is a rally run over public roads in Tasmania, with the origins coming from the Targa Florio in Sicily. The total length of the event is 2,100km, including 500km of Targa Stages run over closed public roads. It is a FIA approved International event. It is split into Categories related to age - the Imp was in Category 4 for 1960-1965. It was then split into classes based on engine capacity. We were in class A: up to 1600cc, which was not good !

There are a number of prizes.
The first is a Targa Trophy, which is presented to competitors who complete the course with no road penalties, and complete all the Targa stages within the maximum time. The maximum time being calculated for each Category and Class.
The next is the handicap Award, which is based on a minimum time for each Targa Stage. Again all Categories and Classes have a 'Handicap' that is added to the stage Minimum time.
The last is the overall for Category & Class based on total penalties for the event.

We departed on the evening of the 14th of April via Bali and Melbourne to Hobart. We arrived in Hobart at two in the afternoon, in time to sample the local beer.
On Sunday we worked on the car, fitting seatbelts and generally checking out the car; and in the evening pace noted a nearby stage.

Monday was a holiday. We calibrated the trip meter and tested the car at Baskerville race circuit (to the north of Hobart). The only problem being the fuel pump kept cutting out, but it was kept going with the assistance of a rock.

The next three days were spent pace noting the route, and in the process we clocked up 2,500km in a car kindly loaned at very reasonable rates by Bargain Car Rentals in Hobart.

We spent the next day fitting the dash around the new front section of the rollcage and sorting out the intercom. I also gave the car a complete spanner check.
On Saturday we drove 200km to Launceston with the Imp getting 35mpg running a 5.05 top gear.

I have attached the spec sheet of the car for Targa 99, but '95 spec is the same, apart from the clutch and gear ratios.

The car was scrutineered and we went out on the town for a few beers - finally returning at 05:00. We only managed to recce a few stages on the Sunday, much hungover. We spent Monday recceing stages we had missed on our original tour.

The Targa has a social event every evening and Monday was meeting of the Marques, that led to another very late night (we did not bother going to bed). The Prolog to determine start order was the following day. Our results were less than impressive, being 167. Rosemary Smith, who was driving a Mazda Mx5. Rosemary gave us much support during the event and was supposed to start in front of us. Normally we only saw her on the first stage and then she was gone.

Day One we took it easy, having the limiter on 7500 and conserving the car. We finished the day in the middle of the field, butr managed to clean all the stages on Handicap. The Imp averaged 125kph on one of the stages and it is only geared to 150kph. The car ran well, the only problem being we ran out of revs in fourth a lot. The clutch release bearing sounded horrible, so I only used it for starts.

Day Two the rev limit was raised to 7700. This section is run down the East Coast to Hobart. Most of the Stages are over passes with uphill sections, which did not suit the Imp, but downhill sections that did! We had to change rear brake shoes at the lunch halt, as they were down to the rivets after 500km !!

Day Three - the limit stayed at 7700. This section is run down the East Coast to Hobart. This was the easiest day of the event with only 190km total distance. It is run round the south of Hobart with excellent stages. The day was not easy for us, as we had our first problems. On the second last stage of the day, the car refused to go round right hand corners and a nasty rattling noise was coming from the front of the car. We managed to get to the end of the stage loosing only 10secs. At service we found the petrol tank overflow had come off and fuel was lubricating the LH front tyre. The rattling was our radiator fan falling off !

Day Four we upped the limit to 7800. The day is 470km, the first couple of stages are not too demanding. At simmons Plain we ran out of revs half way up the straight.
After lunch the rally starts to get serious with Long (38km) stages to finish the day. Again the car ran faultlessly, apart from the fuel pump (the replacement) which stopped 1 km from the end of the last stage. A quick change of wires got us to the end with two seconds to spare. The gearbox also appeared to be tightening up, and we changed the oil before the night halt. The tight gearchange was found to be a large rock, which had somehow found its way into the tunnel. The rear brake shoes were again down to the rivets and were changed. The front pads did the whole event without problem. The clutch release bearing was now really horrible.

Day Five - the longest day of the event with 510km and 150stage km. The rev limit was raised to 8000 and we went from 7 to 9 tenths trying. The weather was wet for the first time, which suited us, as we had selected the tyres for the wet. We were lying fifth on Handicap at the start of the day and hoped our pace would improve this position.
As the stages were long we were passing up to eight cars per stage, including Porsches, Ferraris, Jaguars and other exotics. On the stage before lunch a nasty rattle developed at the rear and we had to change a broken gearbox mounting.
The run to the finish was over the longest stage in the event at 53km on which we averaged 110kph. We made it to the end with the alternator not working, the clutch marginal and the rear bearings groaning. The release bearing made it to the finish ! Checking into the final control was a great relief.

We knew we had won our Targa plate, but were directed to the winners enclosure and were told we had won a major trophy. We had been classed 2nd outright on handicap - the only car beating us was an Elfin Clubman (Australian Lotus 7), who also happened to be in our class. The car and driver combination were too much to compete, as we could not get close to their times - Ross & Ruth Williams deserved their victory.

At the end of event celebrations most people were amazed that an Imp could do so well, as they are not highly regarded in Australia ! Not Imp Register persons.

I have entered for 1999 and made a few modifications, which will help reliability and, hopefully, speed. The class structure has changed and our class will be up-to-1300cc, so I look forward to beating the Cooper S's.

Press shots of Andy's Imp before the Targa 1999:


Specification for Hillman Imp Rallye

Year of manufacture: 1964
Specs for Targa 1999

Fully strengthened to Works Rally specs.
Safety Devices FIA Full Roll Cage (FIA) with intrusion bars
Laminated windscreen; FIA seats; LUKE 6 point 3" FIA seatbelts
Front mounted radiator; 2.5kg fire extinguisher

Front discs kit (8" diameter (from 1964 Vauxhall Viva [Holden Torana HA]) DS11 pads
Standard rear drums (8") with VG95 linings

Standard casting aluminium head with chain driven SOHC
Head modified by Carter: engine ports enlarged & polished

Camshaft: Chrysler special tuning rally cam R20 with 0.360" lift on solid carrier
Standard crank offset ground toughrided and balanced
Main: std.
Big ends: std.
Lightened, balanced shot peened standard connecting rods 11/16" Gudgeon pins with Cosworth 3/8" bolts.
Power ~100bph @ 700
Torque ~80 ft lb @ 5000

Jack Knight straight cut gears with rally ratios
Jack Knight limited slip differential
Original gearbox casing and CWP
Competition doughnuts

Special tuning front and rear suspension arms (Group 1) with competition bushes
Special tuning Koni large body adjustable dampers front and rear
Special tuning tarmac rally springs (Monte Carlo), 185 lb front, 550 lb rear

Wheels & tyres:
6" x 13 Revolution
185/60 x 13 Yokohama 032R

2 no 40DCOE Webers with Janspeed rally manifold & exhaust system
Inlet: 1.37" (34.8mm)
Exhaust: 1.21" (30.7mm)

Flywheel: lightened and balanced; specially made for clutch
Clutch: Tilton 5-½" sintered twin plate (7-¼" AP for 95)
Tilton hydraulic release bearing (ST STD type)

Lucas D25, fitted with Cooper S / Lotus Cortina points

kph @ 7500rpm
(6.3) 6.55
(5.05) 4.85

They did not finish. I don't know what happened.
Class/Category: 3LMSA

Targa Tasmania 1999, Tuesday 27 April 1999: Andrew Bryson/Rodger Anders (305) in the 1964 Hillman Imp did not start due to mechanical problems.

Targa Tasmania Classic Competition 2000; Classifications Outright - Progressive; Leg 6; Final Official Classifications
Vehicle number: 305
Crew: Bryson - Rowe
Vehicle: 1964 Hillman Imp Rally
Category/ Class: 3LMSA
Leg total time: 0:11.30
Prog. total time: 10:09.57
Overall position: 133
Overall margin: 9:49.35

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