Gillian's Nymph at Imp04
 Gillian's Nymph at the Imp04 I sat in the rear one evening when we went out for dinner and can testify it's still nippy when loaded down with four well-fed adults. ;-) My boyfriend drove it around for a bit, saying it's even more fun than driving an Imp.
 Gillian's Nymph at Imp04

The Imp Site

BS Nymph

Like an Imp, a Nymph can be mischievous. Plus a Nymph is fun, playful, pretty (or even lovely) and topless. Nymph-lore: nymphs are female nature spirits with magical powers, taking modest sacrifices of e.g. oil (and petrol). Flattery can be used to distract them from any mischief they might be considering. These seductive beings love to dance and hang about resort towns, looking for a good time. Water nymphs were often associated with rituals of healing and recreation. Among the nymphs were the important Muses, powers of inspiration.

The company Bohanna Stables (Peter Bohanna and Robin Stables) produced this kit car from 1975 to 1977, although by the end of 1975 there was only one runner.

Initially Chrysler envisaged to build it at Ryton in approximate numbers of 4,000 per year. This never happened as Chrysler U.S. killed off the Imp shortly after the Nymph's launch. This curtailed the supply of components and therefore the Nymph was destined to be a very limited production car. Only 42 cars were sold, usually in kit form. Marketing had of course been very low-key. They did advertise...

In 1976 it cost £387 including VAT (1975 and early 1976 it cost £378 incl. VAT).
Optional extras were

Spacers were supplied for the rear (standard) wheels, to increase track and to help fill the arches. Standard springs would give too hard a ride, so new spring rates were calculated.

Because it is so light, it can easily manage 50mpg, driven quite hard.


Bohanna Stables (1972-1977), Cadmore End, High Wycombe, Bucks.
Bohanna and Stables designed and developed the BS Diablo, which was later taken up by AC as the AC3000, a mid-engined sportscar (produced - after a lengthy gestation period: [1973] 1976-1984).

Peter Bohanna started out working on boats, then joined Ford Advanced Vehicles to develop Mirage from the GT40. He spent some time on windtunnel testing with Alan Mann before joining Lola on bodies. Then partnered with Stables (also working at Lola) in BS.     Peter Bohanna - Jan. 1976

The standard of design and construction is high. It's a g.r.p monocoque with all mechanical parts from the Imp - some of them quite ingeniously used. The engine is mounted on a simple rear subframe, the rear suspension just bolts to the moulding. Bracing struts are used to brace the front suspension. All steel parts are nylon coated - a technique that proved inadequate, but at least they tried.
The Nymph was launched prematurely. Although a prototype hardtop was made, they never did produce any doors.

R.M. Garrett. - Impressions Oct 1986

The Nymph - a brief history / from Graham Beddoe. - Impressions 1994, Jan. - p. 27-28
  photo: James Henderson
Graham's Nymph - Centre of England Run, 1997
Graham's Nymph - Centre of England Run, 1997

The BS Nymph was introduced in 1976 by Bohanna Stables of High Wycombe - the same team was responsible for the AC 3000ME of 1973. The design goal was to build the lightest four-searter production car of the period and, as such, the car weighs in at 420kgs.
The car was designed and built independently of Chrysler UK, but once production started, Chrysler showed an interest and agreed to supply Bohanna Stables with whatever quantities of engines, gearboxes, suspension etc. they required. Chrysler visualized a market of about 4,000 units a year and were looking to buy that quantity of shells from BS to produce a production car for sale in third world countries such as Jamaica, Barbados, Malaysia, and in Africa and the Far East as a direct competitor to the Mini Moke. Unfortunately at that time, Chrysler America pulled the plug on the Imp. Clearly this was a major anti-climax for the project, but it was decided at this stage to produce the car as kit-car. Over the next two years a total of 42 cars were produced including two prototypes and six cars sold fully assembled. Four or five cars were exported to Barbados.
Sadly after two years the project was abandoned, mainly because those involved were happier designing cars, rather than selling them.
Interestingly, 17 years on, some of the shells are turning up in barns and garages, still unbuilt. And I have come across one such case myself in the last year.
I have owned my 1976 car for a little over a year now, and it has proved itself a brilliantly practical fun car - There's something about being able to jump into a car without having to open the doors. Due to an effective heater, life in winter is quite bearable. The car is used daily and has covered 10,000 miles in the last twelve months. Due to its lack of weight, the car is relatively nippy despite its standard 875cc engine, and it handles extremely well due to its lower centre of gravity (no heavy bodyshell on top) Although the standard springs result in a very hard ride.
My thanks to Robin Stables of Bohanna Stables for passing the above information to me.

In the 1990s, the full set of Nymph moulds was donated to The Imp Club by Robin Stables of Bohanna Stables.
As well as all the fibreglass pieces, a number of essential metal parts are needed for strengthening and bracing - the Club has patterns for these as well.

Model Registrar for The Imp Club: Graham Beddoe (owns an orange Nymph: PWK 680R)
11 Nymphs of the 42 sold are known to The Imp Club register (started in 1994).

The Mk1 brochure contains photos of DDL 384C and 514 NPO (green) - the two prototypes ?

Kit Car Show 2008
Kit Car Show 2008
Photogr.: John Fenton

Gillian Hill sent me these two photos of Nymphs at the Kit Car Show 2008 May 4-5th.
Brown PPF 997E is John Fenton's, blue URE 783C is Gillian's.

November 2007 my boyfriend bought a Nymph via Gillian. Seen here at Gillian's, from where it
was collected after the National of 2009 to be the first Nymph in The Netherlands.
Nymph of Pieter at Gillian's, May 2008

Kit Car Show 2007
FKV 912D had already been spotted at the Kit Car Show of 2007. (Photogr. Jim Fraser)

National Kit Car Motor Show, Stoneleigh - The World's Largest!
At: NAC, Stoneleigh Park, Coventry, Warwickshire, CV8 2LZ

Nymph : stop press. - Hot Car 1976, February, p. 24
an advert on an entire page.

Due to unforeseen demand production mould capacity is being increased to speed existing orders and build up stocks - deliveries of production kits will start late February from our new premises in Reading. The order book is filling quuickly so don't delay - contact us now if you want a Nymph for the coming long hot Summer. We will send you all the prices at once and post the full literature on in February. We wiull also keep you in touch with progress and latest developments and inform you where and when demonstrators will be available in your area. Positions in the order book are reserved only on payment of £50 deposit. (This will be returned if you change your mind).

If you want a Nymph, but don't fancy the D.I.Y. bit - contact us anyway as we have a country-wide list of garages willing to build one up for you.

Latest hood / hardtop developments ensure quick and easy interchangeability and maximum versatility - use solid doors or slide screens with either hood or hardtop.

To see and drive a Nymph now - come and see us (but phone first) at 'Trevose', Cadmore End, near High Wycombe, Bucks. Tel. 0494 - 881232

Drawing of Nymph in hardtop


Now for the Nymph. - Hot Car 1976, January. - p.42-43
At last - a cheap fun car to revitalise Hillman Imp MoT failures
Reprinted in Impressions 2000, March. - p.34-35

Nailing up a Nymph : Geoff Phillips shows how he turned a rough bit of old tat into into a pretty little Nymph. - Hot Car 1976, November. - p.47-49
On the Nymph's construction, following a typical Nymph build-up using Imp donor mechanicals. This (blue) car is registered URE 783C. (Gillian Hill owns it now.)

BS Nymph / R.M. Garrett. - Impressions 1986, Oct

The Nymph - a brief history / from Graham Beddoe. - Impressions 1994, Jan. - p. 27-28

The Imp Site
   Imp specials
      The BS Nymph (this page)
         The BS Nymph Mk. 1 - brochure
         The BS Nymph Mk. 2 - brochure
         Now for the Nymph, 514 NPO
         Nailing up a Nymph, URE 783C
   Coollist archive: Sep 1998
   Imp Gallery
      BS Nymph

External links: 68 pic gallery

© Franka


Peter Bohanna also worked in the movies as a model shop supervisor (Dune, 1984); supervising modeller: action boats (The World Is Not Enough, 1999); prop making senior modeller (Die another day, 2002)

Peter Bohanna, Dune (models) 1984