The Imp Site


In rallycross too, the Imp performed well with Andrew Cowan or Colin Malkin behind the wheel.
And not in the least Peter Harper (sometimes Fraser Team)

The first Rallycross in England was run in 1967 at Brands Hatch. The RAC rally was cancelled because of Foot & mouth-disease. All those rally cars and no rally -- so Rallycross was invented. Peter Harper was watched to line up alongside Graham Hill in a works Lotus Cortina, Paddy Hopkirk in a works 1310cc Mini Cooper and Rauno Altonen in the same. Four laps. Harper was the first away by about two lengths. At the end the Imp won by about half the length of the track.
Imps reign supreme !
Check for alternatives: how rallycross began in Europe

    ITVs World of Sport Rallycross Championship
- round 1: 23 September 1967
- round 2: 7 October 1967
The series was run over a total of 6 rounds (3 at Lydden and 3 at Croft)

16th September Lydden Hill, 1967
A works Imp won, Paddy Hopkirk came 2nd. The event being one in a series of 6 sponsored by I.T.V.'s World of Sport, whose overall results counted in their Rallycross Championship. Minis had a 5 gallon can of water in the boot, the contents of which were pumped at high pressure on to the windscreen to blast off the blinding mud thrown up by other competitors.

I.T.V.'S World of Sport Rally Cross from Croft Autodrome on February 3rd, 1968. John Rhodes in a Mini won the event outright in the face of extremely stiff opposition from the new works Escort and Hillman Imp of Peter Harper.

The Lynton 998 twin-cam engine was used to rallycross at Croft. It was first used December 1968, just after Christmas for 'The World of Sport' tv programme. Driven by Bernard Unett, it made a pirouette and wasn't mentioned in the results, though it was obvious the engine had the potential to win.


Kenneth Bank's 998cc rallycross Imp (Snetterton, July 1974)

Tom Corrie's V8 Imp (!) at a rallycross meeting at Knockhill, May 1977; Another view of Tom Corrie's V8 Imp at Knockhill

Eric Hassell

    rallycross at Lydden - John Homewood
  Rallycross at Lydden
Here comes Homewood
  Lydden, Wills Rallycross John Homewood
  Lydden; Wills Rallycross championship final round, 1972
"Although the Imp isn't actually dead, as far as rallycross is concerned, the rear-engined Chrysler cars haven't shone this year. Quickest has been John Homewood in his 1.0 Imp here at Pits."


Theo Koks started to rallycross in 1971. It started in Venlo. The first year he was using a Hillman Imp of Simon Heindijk.

Juhani Kynsilehto, Oulu (Northern Finland)
A kind of pioneer in the Imp's rallycross history: First Finn to drive a rallycross in a factory team.
He had been the Finnish motocross champion. In the late sixties he was employed by the Wihuri concern, the importer of Imps in Finland. No wonder this keen competitor with motorcycles, rally and race cars got the privilege to drive the Imp's rallycross-specials for Chrysler U.K. in England. Then and while he had some cars visiting Finland too; one race/rally Imp by British register REG-3 was here about 1970. That one had 110 hp at some 10500rpm.   - [Kari Tossavainen, 4 Feb 2001]

Pete Lewis, 1565cc Sunbeam Imp photographed at a rallycross meeting at Snetterton in Norfolk, July 1974

Unknown Imp Calfornian driver enjoying himself. (Darcy's site)

   EKE 168C
   LGH 460D and AKK 599b at Autocross, championship 1967

CCC January 1968 (p. 414-416):
The Player's (John Player and Sons) No. 6 National Championship was divided into four areas. It started on a rainy Sunday in May and finished on a rainy Sunday in September. One of the southern area points scorers was Dave Lambert in his fuel injection Rallye Imp.

The author of this article did not write for people who weren't already in the know. The captions were either not there or not descriptive.

Pitmen - CCC Feb. 1970

CCC February 1970 (p. 123) - Rallycross Round up:
John Cockerill's Meadowfield Garage 998 Californian was due to appear in race trim, but acquitted itself well, with Tripple C stickers knocking seconds of its 0 - 60.

    Mike Ranger
Mike Ranger

At the second ever Rallypoint, staged by Castrol and Owen Org's Motor Club at Long Marston, Stratford - 1977 - Spring or Summer ?.
Photo by Dave Gray ?
Mike Ranger screamed his Californian away from spinning opposition.


Paul Emery Imp - The CCC autocross Imp, summer 1968


Rallycross Imp
Rallycross Lydden Hill - JVC 123E
Photo for sale at

By autumn 1974 the great rallycross-days of some Imps were already over. Juhani 'Jussi' Kynsilehto kept at it. During the 1970s he was a regular rallycross participant (European Rally Cross Championship and other international events all over Europe) with various factory backed Imps.
Photograph (during the 1978 Austrian ERC round at Melk) by Eddi Laumanns, writer of the ERC24 column Apropos, who goes by the nickname rx-guru at
JussiJuhani 'Jussi' Kynsilehto with his Singer Chamois Sport, 1978, Austria
Lovely, lovely photo with the Stift Melk monastry in the background.

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