The Imp Site


Robin Feck's V8 Imp

From: Daniel Feck
Subject: A special Imp
Date: Sun, 4 Aug 2002


This car was built by my father, Robin Feck, a few years ago. It is a steel body Imp with basically standard suspension (Strengthed but original geometry). He has increased the power by mounting a 350 ci Chev V8 where the rear seat was originally found. The transaxle is out of a Renault Fuego. This car is very exciting to go for a ride in, as it accellerates on gravel at roughly the same rate as a Group A Evo 6. It also seems to handle surprisingly well.

I hope you find this of interest.

Yours sincerely,
Daniel Feck


When did your father build this Imp ? (what year, over how much time)
Why ?

He bought the car with a 1600cc Ford motor mid mounted in it. He then rebuilt the car with a 3.8 Holden V6 and a Renault 12 gearbox. It was still running with 13" wheels and didn't get any traction. This motor got overrevved and spat the dummy. A cheap 1500cc motor and gearbox from a Toyota Corsa was fitted. This was a drastic underpowering of the car.
Sometime in 1999 over a beer with his cousin, the idea to fit the V8 was dreamt up. Its intended use was to compete in events like the Race to the Sky (Queenstown, New Zealand). The car was drivable in early 2000. Unfortunately in the first event he entered, he had a huge crash. (The suspension bottomed out when he was flat out in top gear, putting the car off balance and flipping over the finish line.) Once Dad had his nerve back he rebuilt the car, (with heavier springs), and competed in The Race to the Sky event in Easter 2001. He still races it in events that suit the car.

Where is it ? (country, region, town)
Dad still has it in Dannevirke, Southern Hawes Bay, New Zealand. It has been parked up while he rallies his other car, a Toyota Starlet.

Who uses it for competition ?
Dad (Robin Feck)

How does it do in competition ? (bit of history)
Normally it is the fastest 2wd in most hillclimbs. He has the 2wd record for many roads he has raced on. In the Race to the Sky it broke a CV joint 500 or so meters from the finish but managed to trundle over the finish to gain third place.

Where were the photos taken (names of event, month&year, place) ?
I'm not sure as they were just from a pile at home. I think the overhead one is from the Race to the Sky. The others I think might be from events in Wanganui, NZ.

Which class has it been placed in ? (against what)
The car normally fits into the 2000cc and over 2WD class. It is often reasonably competitive for outright wins in many club level hillclimbs. (Even against 4WD's)

What does the V8 weigh ?
Don't know. It is an old cast iron 350ci Chev V8.

What does the Fuego transaxle weigh ?
Don't know. It is a 5 speed box. He initially ran it with a Renault 12 gearbox which has about a 1/2" dia. input shaft, and that wasn't even the bit that broke in that box. (And yes it did last more than 3 events).

What about other modifications ? (the bits on the roof, radiator, ...)
The rear bit on the roof is the air intake. It seems to be the least dusty place of the car. The front bit on the roof is a vent. It gets pretty hot in the cabin with the motor so close to your back and the radiator hose passing through. If you look real hard you might notice that the scoop parts are made out of old Imp door pockets.
Both the radiator and the battery have been mounted in the front to try and sort out the weight distribution and get the front wheels on the ground a bit better.

Do you know of other V8 Imps ?
I recently saw a project on the internet where the guy was going to mount a 3.5 Rover V8 in the back of an Imp. He was going to use a whole new back end. I also saw on the site a picture of an old car that had had the wheel base lengthend to fit in a Rover V8 with a VW transaxle. The closest thing that I have seen up close is a V8 mid mounted Skoda, in the South Island of New Zealand.

May or may not be related:

The Imp Site
Imp Specials

Graham's site
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