Andy Dawson and LUP 62J - 2nd in 1972 Manx Rally
Prepared for the 1972 Manx International Rally, 1970 protoype LUP 62J surprised the rally world by finishing 2nd overall, driven by Andy Dawson with codriver John Foden. Beaten only by the full house works Ford Escort Mk1 of Roger Clark.

The Imp Site

Andy Dawson

As a tuning engineer Andy Dawson said (summer 1976) that he had been involved with


In 1965 Andy Dawson bought a Singer Chamois, which he used for four years in club rallies. The Chammy suffered eventful years, while Andy learned about rallying.

68 Bristowe, Andy Dawson
Bristowe 1968 - DTB 831E
Photo for sale at
  • body shell extensively lightened
  • suspension mounting points strengthened
  • front: different springs and dampers
  • rear: cross member modified to alter roll centre
  • brakes: Viva discs, Herald calipers, modified Imp stub axle
  • 998 engine; revs to 10.000rpm! - rigidity increased by a steel plate bolted across the bottom of the crankcase, below the main bearing line
  • oil pressure: 75 psi, to help engine life
  • rally gear ratios in a standard Imp box
  • front mounted radiator
  • lightweight 10-gallon fuel tank
  • all the normal rally accessories

Then things took a professional turn. The Imp was taken off the road and prepared according to Dawson's ideas.


1967, October 1, J. Andrew Dawson and Powell - Tucker did the Tour of Dean


In 1970 Dawson's Imp was under the banner of Aldon Automotive. Aldon being Alan Goodwin and Don Loughlin, two ex-BL research, design and development engineers. The firm specialised in everything for Sprites and Midgets. (5 Buttress Way, Smethwick, Warley, Worcs.)

The Rally of the Plains (of the Knutsford club), 1970: perhaps the most impressive result was Chrysler's Andy Dawson who came 5th in an Imp which is powered by an engine built originally for powerboat racing. Brakes are his worst enemy, as the dented back of Pierson's TC will testify.

Dawson's Zenith Imp

In the 1971-72 season of the RAC Rally Championship Dawson did rather well as a relative newcomer. His Imp, equipped with 40 DDH Zenith carburettors was prepared by himself, not by his employer Chrysler's Competition Department.
Many of the parts he used could be bought from the department by anybody.

Zenith (a German company) had a bit of an image problem at the time, and they thought sponsoring Andy Dawson might help. And he gave them results.
He was quite impressed with the 40 DDH carbs, reckoning that they


DriverCo-driverEventDateCarStartOverallSponsors / EntrantRegistration
J Andrew (Andy) DawsonPauline GullickTour of Dean1972, January 9Sunbeam Zenith Imp155Hoopers Bristol Rally and Tuning Centre 
J Andrew (Andy) DawsonKevin GormleyWelsh Rally1972, May 12Hillman Imp59  DFL 492C
J Andrew (Andy) DawsonPeter D. ValentineRAC Rally1972, December 3Alfa Romeo42 Bertorelli's Ice Cream 
    Andy Dawson and John Foden on the 1972 Scottish Rally
Andy Dawson and John Foden on the 1972 Scottish Rally
photo: Ian Fisher

Ian Fisher, 9 Aug 2000:
Andy Dawson rallied and developed several cars including the Imp and he ran the British Works Datsun Team. He's famous for The Zenith Imp which ran Zenith carbs instead of Webers.
I attach a photo I took of him and John Foden on the 1972 Scottish Rally. The Imp was very lightweight with no instruments or dash, just a moped speedo taped to the steering column and an oil pressure warning lamp! The door windows were Perspex with no winder mechanism - just a row of holes and a split pin on a string! The air cleaner was on the roof.

April 1972 the Imp had come through eight events almost without being touched. He won with a £700 Imp against competition worth two or three times as much.


Mintex Dales Rally (part of the 1973 British Rally Championships)
23rd-24th February 1973

Andy Dawson / Peter Valentine in Clan Crusader, with car number 6 [source]

DriverCo-driverEventDateCarStartOverallSponsors / EntrantRegistration
J Andrew (Andy) DawsonPauline GullickTour of Dean1973, January 7Clan Crusader5 Clan Motor Co 
J Andrew (Andy) DawsonAlex JardineWelsh Rally1973, May 13Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV399 OUR 230L


Bits & pieces

built-in split braking system with a double main cilinder - the dimensions from an article in CCC by Andy Dawson on how to do, article it circa 1979. It was about building a Group 2 rally car.

info on Imp spring rates came from various articles by Andy Dawson in the mid/late seventies (post dating Millington) when he had just left working under Des O'Dell at Humber Road.

Ian McKean, 27 Aug 2002
I have lost touch with Andy Dawson, who is no longer at Unit 2/3, Silverstone Circuit, Towcester, 01327 857729.

Literature - about Dawson

All sideways in Dawson's Zenith Imp / Rex Greenslade; Gordon Bruce. - Motor 1972, 1 April
DFL 492C
Reprinted in Transport Source Book 081. - p.97-98

Imp (Andy Dawson). - Cars & Car Conversions 1972, May. - [Rally Car Tests]

Tech literature - by Dawson

Dawson's Dodges / by Andy Dawson. - Cars & Car Conversions 1976, May. - p.67-69,71
How the experts prepare competition Imps, by the man who probably knows more about it than anyone else. This month Andy Dawson looks at the basics of screwing together 875cc and 998cc engines.

Dawson's Dodges, Part 2 / by Andy Dawson. - Cars & Car Conversions 1976, June. - p.39-41,43
A series on how the experts prepare competition Imps, by Andy Dawson, the man who probably knows more about it than anyone else. This month he ventures into engines of over 998cc's.

Dawson's Dodges, Part 3 / Andy Dawson. - Cars & Car Conversions 1976, July. - p.63-65,67
Part 3 in Andy Dawson's series on how the experts prepare competition Imps. In this concluding episode, the master deals with drive shafts, bodyshells and suspension.

Balance braking / by Paul Davies (with considerable help from Andy Dawson). - Cars & Car Conversions 1977, July. - p.62-63
...better stopping for the CCC Imp - and almost any car that needs adjustable dual circuit hydraulics.

   Andy Dawson

Andy Dawson had a column in Car and Car Conversions, dictating to Vicky. - 1977, July

The Imp Site
   Competitive Impers
      Rallying Imps
         Andy Dawson (this file)

External links:
Photos of Andy Dawson at Rally Retro

© Franka
File started: ?
File version: 27 april 2014

Non-imp stuff

The name 'Andy Dawson' is not uncommon. I have no way of knowing that the Dawson mentioned in the paragraphs below is the Dawson of Imp-fame.

Hoopers of Bristol is one of the UK's leading suppliers of motorsport tuning and competition equipment.
The first driver sponsored by Hoopers of Bristol, Andy Dawson was immediately successful locally and went on to be one of the fastest men of his time at higher levels of competition.

Piston Broke Racing 1973-1975
The suspension geometry was modified according to Andy Dawson's recommendations (Andy was a scribe with Cars and Car Conversions, that great British car magazine from Link House Publishing). The mounting points on the lower control arms were moved up and out on the cross member, and the front anti roll bar modified to pull the lower control arms forward (this raised the front roll centre, gave a little negative camber and positive castor, to reduce the adverse understeer that Ford was so fond off). A turret brace was fitted. Handling and braking was excellent.


The Welsh Rally in a Chrysler Avenger
The RAC in a Morris Marina for Cars & Car Conversions


The Tour of Deam in a Ford Escort RS1600 for Ford Motor Co
The RAC in a Datsun Violet


The Tour of Dean in a Lancia Stratos for The Chequered Flag
The RAC in a Datsun Violet for Sanyo/Glovers

Lancia Stratos
In Britain, a car was campaigned by Graham Warner's Chequered Flag team, and driven by drivers such as Per-Inge Walfridsson, Billy Coleman, Cahal Curley, Tony Pond, and Andy Dawson. Sadly the team were to suffer many misfortunes, including a fire which completely gutted the car during the Welsh Rally, although the car did win the Mintex Dales International Raly at the hands of Andy Dawson. In 1977, the Lancia factory competitions team was merged with the Fiat team, and the Fiat Group's marketing requirements saw effort being put into the Fiat 131 rather than the Stratos, and, by 1978, the 131 was being used almost exclusively, even though the Stratos still managed to win no fewer than 13 major events that year.

Stratos history
In Britain, a car was campaigned by Graham Warner's Chequered Flag team, and driven by drivers such as Per-Inge Walfridsson, Billy Coleman, Cahal Curley, Tony Pond, and Andy Dawson. Sadly the team were to suffer many misfortunes, including a fire which completely gutted the car during the Welsh Rally, although the car did win the Mintex Dales International Rally at the hands of Andy Dawson.


Rallying News - October 1977
The month opened with Round 11 of the RAC/Motors Championship the Lindisfarne Rally which used 14 stages in the Keilder Forestry Complex. Andy Dawson/Stuart Pegg emerged as winners after a problem free run in their Escort RS1800.
caption under photo: Andy Dawson followed up his win on the Lindisfarne Rally with fourth place on the Castrol '77. Using Dunlop A2 tyres he found that his Cariba backed Escort RS1800 understeered which required a little more commitment that Dawson would have liked.

Rallying News - March 1979
Ford were the only works team to make a full effort on the Portugal Rally, Round Three of the World Championship, and duly took a 1-2 victory, with Hannu Mikkola/Arne Hertz leading home Bjorn Waldegaard/Hans Thorszelius. However the early leader of the rally was Bernard Darniche in his Chardonnet backed Lancia Stratos, but the Frenchman retired on the first night with electrcal problems. Ove Andersson/Henry Liddon were third in a Toyota Celica and Andy Dawson/Martin Holmes fourth in a Datsun 160J

Rallying News - May 1980
Andy Dawson/Kevin Gormley had an uncompetitive run on the Welsh Rally with their Datsun 160J Violet housing a very tired engine. It finally dropped a valve in Clocaenog.


Wyedean Rally (02 Feb. 1985) J Andrew (Andy) Dawson and David Evans in a Renault 5 (FUD 146V). Start: 26; overall 36
Sponsors / Entrant: Rally Sport Magazine / DAD


The Coys Rallysprint 1998 was held at the Roger Clark Rallysprint track at Silverstone in July 1998. Two Stratos were competing. One driven by Bjorn Waldergaard, and the Chequered Flag example by Andy Dawson.
Andy Dawson, in the Chequered Flag car, did not do too well on this event. Andy previously drove for the Chequered Flag team in the late 70s, winning the Mintex International Rally in the Chequered Flag car in 1976, and was also first on the Donington TV Rallysprint.

The Westfield SEight
It's taken the DAD Motorsport team until now to reach that stage, but they have made so much progress with the car that its proper debut at Snetterton was nothing short of sensational. Mike Smith commissioned Andy Dawson of DAD Motorsport to build the car as a relatively economical way to create a machine with enormous performance for the GT Series. The team are quite happy to admit that the project isn't top of their list of priorities - Mike and co-driver Tony Lanfranchi are both very busy during the week doing other things - and they have no desire to spend huge sums of money on what is really their hobby.
Nevertheless, the car has been built to a top class standard, and with a few test sessions behind them, they now possess a car to threaten not only the other GT3 entries, but the whole field.
Andy Dawson designed twin wishbone front suspension [...]
Mike and Tony have discovered that the car handles amazingly well, thanks to Andy Dawson's skill as a designer and builder. [...]
Andy Dawson felt that with new tyres, the drivers could perhaps get down to a 1.11 during official practice. [...]

SEiGHT - Tom Green's Sprint/Hillclimb Car
the GT3 racer built by Andy Dawson [...]
Andy Dawson designed front suspension uses coil-over shocks with remote mounted reservoirs.

Dave's Scottish Ginetta Page
Shock absorbers. Standard fitment were Spax and as mine are now shot I've treated myself to a nice new set of Avo's. Some people dont like these as they had reliability problems for a while. This has now been sorted, they are fully rebuildable and not prohibitively expensive. Andy Dawson recommended these and that's good enough for me.
Andy Dawson - Suspension & Geometry set up - (01280 815055)

MPG Marathon
In the capable hands of former racing driver, Andy Dawson, the Toyota Hiace 2.5 D-4D completed the 465-mile course on just 10.82 gallons of diesel. That's 43.04mpg - an impressive figure for a van carrying half its 1095kg gross payload.
For Andy Dawson it was an altogether different driving challenge from what he is used to, requiring tremendous anticipation and excellent throttle control and certainly a stern test of any commerical vehicle's fuel economy on the varied road conditions.

LONGLEAT, September 21/22, 2002 (Woolbridge Motor Club Speed Events)
Ian Crocker was on record form aboard his Andy Dawson developed SEight, blitzing Tom Greens big kitcar mark on both runs


Wyedean Rally (07 Feb. 2009), J Andrew (Andy) Dawson and Martin Phaff in a Ginetta G20. Start 211; 104 overall

Tjeerd van der Zee:

World Rally Championship Results

Pos Year Rally Codriver Car Gr Pos
        Entrant Cl Pos
4 1979 Rallye de Portugal Vinho do Porto Martin Holmes Datsun 160J 2 2
        Team Datsun Europe 2/3 2
R 1979 Rally of New Zealand Kevin Gormley Datsun 160J 2  
     Team Datsun Europe 3  
4 1979 Critérium Molson du Québec Kevin Gormley Datsun 160J 2 2
     Team Datsun Europe 3 2
R 1979 Rallye Côte d'Ivoire Naguib Saad Datsun 160J 2  
R 1980 Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo Stuart Pegg Datsun 160J 2  
     Team Datsun Europe 3  
R 1980 Rallye de Portugal Vinho do Porto Kevin Gormley Datsun 160J 2  
6 1980 Tour de Corse - Rallye de France Kevin Gormley Datsun 160J 2 1
      3 1
8 1980 RAC Rally Kevin Gormley Datsun 160J 2 4
      3/4 4
R 1981 RAC Rally Kevin Gormley Datsun Bluebird Turbo 2  
     Team Datsun Europe 4  
R 1982 RAC Rally Kevin Gormley Nissan Silvia Turbo 2  
     Team Nissan Europe 4  

World Rally Championship Classifications

Pos Championship Points
14 1979 World Rally Championship for Drivers 20
32 1980 World Rally Championship for Drivers 9


EventCo-DriverMake ModelComp. #Position
1973 Rally of Great Britainn.a.Avenger#6024
1976 Rally of Great BritainMarriottNissan Violet 180B KP710#268
1979 Rally de PortugalM. HolmesNissan Violet 160J#114
1980 Rally of Great BritainK. GormleyNissan Violet 160J#238