Paul Emery at the end of 1977, aged 61, when he still competed - succesfully

The Imp Site

Paul Emery

November 12, 1916 - Chiswick, London -- February 3, 1993 - Epsom, Surrey (age: 76)


Emery had been well known for many years as a top Imp-tuning expert and champion competitor.

Paul Emery Cars had a selection of offers for Imp owners:

For the 875 he had

This indefatigable special builder from the 1950s built a wide variety of cars under the Emeryson banner, and competed in the 1956 British Grand Prix in an Alta-engined machine.

After WW II, Paul Emery took over Emeryson Ltd. from his father, George Emery, who had been building racing specials since the 1930s. His father, George (Georges René Emery [Emeri?], a Frenchman who served in the British Royal Flying Corps during WW1), built cars back in the 1930's. Emeryson Ltd was bought by American Hugh Powell in 1961. Emery agreed to stay on as the designer and designed the Scirocco car. For 1962 Powell established Scirocco-Powell Racing. 'Emerysons' were renamed Sciroccos and fitted with BRM engines. Paul Emery remained involved until the end of the year. He then turned his attention to engine-tuning, before developing Hillman Imps for racing, while his brother? son? Peter carried on the family tradition of building racing cars with the Formula Junior Elfin.

    Aspenlea Road
2 Aspenlea Road, London
    Paul Emery working
Paul Emery working on a 2.5-litre Connaught engine for a historic racer
    Engine shop
Engine shop
    Assembly workshop
Assembly and general shop

Paul Emery and Willy Griffiths (who came from Roger Nathan) went straight to work on the Imp and got a motor together that was very fast indeed.

After the Imp appeared in 1963, Paul Emery Cars specialised in making the Hillman Imp and Singer Chamois extremely fast. He announced in 1963 a rather neat little GT coupe, built round Imp mechanical bits and pieces. At the time of the article in CCC, Oct. 1965, they were in the process of making one for an American customer.
In 1964 they produced the Emery GTI. Paul Emery Cars prepared and tuned Imps to all shapes and sizes for road and competiton use, as well as marketing the GTI as a sort of complete car.

In 1964, he appeared at the Racing Car Show with a lowered, rakish line in hot Imps.

The machine shop, even though it's tiny, has a crank-grinding machine and a vertical mill: reboring is done on the premises. The Emery men tackle their own blocks, cranks and pistons, which are usually special castings of their own. Rootes pistons are rarely used, although in some capacities it fits nicely. In the 998cc engine, the Rootes 72.5mm bore is just the thing for the job.

Lowering the roofline is also done on the premises. They do it often enough to be very good at it, and the cutting and re-welding can't be detected.

For the Nürburgring race of early September 1965, the two Emery Team cars were prepared with a transistor ignition system, developed by Willy Griffiths and based on a system by Klinger Controls Ltd. This was expected to improve sparking over 6000 revs.

Tony Lanfranchi drove an Emery lowered roof line Imp, February 13th 1966 at Brands Hatch. He lost against Bernard Unett in a Fraser Imp, who set a new class record. (Club racing, All Saloon car meeting)

Paul Emery Cars were well-known for their rapid Imps, and apart from tuning and performance conversions of full-sized Imps also do the Emery G.T.I., which is basically a tuned Imp on which the body has been modified to lower the roof line by four inches, with special seats to provide full headroom inside, a shallower screen and more steeply-raked rear window, along with improved performance from the engine room.
As well as various stages of tune, Emery also offers a 998 c.c. conversion and is also prepared to open the engine out to 1,150 c.c. which, combined with the Stage 4 conversion normally applied for racing versions of the 1-litre engine, undoubtedly produces some real urge.
He could also supply suspension mods and glassfibre body parts, wide-rim wheels and front-radiator kits, including the rad itself, all plumbing and an electric fan.


Racing Car Show 1965

Paul Emery Cars - Stand 73
The Hillman Imp-based Emery GT is the main display; this little car made its debut at last year's Racing Car Show and created a great deal of interest.
Also on show was the full range of Imp tuning equipment, ranging from the modest head and manifold changes to full-blooded race conversions
2 Aspenlea Road, London, S.W.6. (Fulham 2763.)

Racing Car Show 1966

Paul Emery Cars Ltd. - stand 42

Since then Emery turned his attention to saloon cars, and exhibited a modified Hillman Imp at last year's show. This was the Emery GTI, with lowered roofline, which was raced towards the end of last year by Bill McGovern.
Shown this year is the Emery Super Imp - a low cost, high-performance car for the customer who wants a 'drive-away' purchase with no doing-it-yourself strings attached. This car is equipped with twin carburettors, modified suspension, including an anti-roll bar, and offers 90 mph performace and impeccable handling for only £ 40 more than the car's basic price.
Available for demonstration throughout the show is the Imp GTI (a 125 mph job), and a selection of proprietary accessories is also on view.

Employees at Emery Cars

Martin Robertson, mechanic at Emey Cars

Letter to Hot Car
from an Emery Cars mechanic, published Hot Car 1971, Februari. - p.9. - [Hot Car Write-in]

Imp best on price

Having read your used car analysis on the Imp last month, I must say that I agree entirely that the Imp is at least the equal of the Mini for sporty motoring. Personally I think my 1966 Imp is better than any Mini of similar price.

I work as a mechanic for Paul Emery Cars and bought this car from Mrs. Emery two years ago and have been very pleased with it.
the engine has an Imp Sport cam and twin 125CD Strombergs, but otherwise it is in standard tune, and it will do 85mph any time and still gives me nearly 40 mpg if driven normally.
The car has a 5/8 in. front anti-roll bar and 6 1/2in. Emery alloy wheels wih Dunlop SPs and really handles well. At least it doesn't go straight on at corners like the Mini!

Martin Robertson, Ewell, Surrey

  KUU 819D

Norbert Dietsch worked for the late Paul Emery. He also decided to enter himself as a driver and raced for around 4 years across the UK in Oval circuits where they averaged 16 seconds per lap on 1/4mile Oval circuit! This was either on a shale, tarmac or concrete track in a car that only had a 1150cc Hillman Imp Single Overhead Cam engine.

Graham Davies worked for Paul Emery. He came from Richard Miles (Downton, London), doing A40 tuning. On Downton Engineering Works he writes:

The best race of my life was @ Brands Hatch, it was the last race of the year & we had already won the 1300cc Championship. BMC asked if we would fit a 1000cc motor for this race to try & beat the Fraser Imps, that had been running rings around the Minis all year. We did ! After practice the grid was: front row the 2 Imps with the A40 in the middle & that's the way the race went. The people in the stands were standing & cheering on the battle. We came 2nd & all 3 cars were within a few feet of each other at the finish. When the car got back to the paddock area, you could see tyre marks on both sides of the body from the Imps. Great Race. Of course I then went onto work with Imps with Paul Emery. The above period was 1964-66.
Ron Parkes, of Marcos fame, used to work for Paul Emery on the Emery GT and Emery's version of the Twin Min and was by autumn 1966 either in partnership or working for Jeremy Delmar-Morgan.

John Markey (1938) first competed in motorsports in 1963. In 1966 he was Technical Manager of Fiat at Wembley and raced in England, and on the continent at Nürburgring driving an Emery GT.

Race results

Paul Emery @ Snetterton

Presumably Paul Emery himself in an Emery Imp at the Snetterton circuit - event and year unknown.

Lester Beedell, 7 June 2011:

Hello, I was involved with Paul Emery in the 1960's, firstly with the F1 cars and then with the Imps at Aspenlea Rd.
The photo which purports to be Paul at Snetterton in EME 52B is actually Bill McGovern.
Best wishes

1964 Nurburgring 500 Km

6 September 1964 - Nürburgring (D): Round 7, International Championship for Manufacturers (Division I)
22 laps of a 14.174 mile/22.810 km circuit - 311.817 miles/501.820 kms were completed
Weather: rain

Pos Car # Drivers Car Entrant Laps Group Group Pos
NRF 124 Jeremy Delmar-Morgan/Mike Walton/Geoffrey Oliver* Emery - Hillman Paul Emery 18 Prototype GT 1000  
DNA 123 Paul Emery/Ron Parkes Emery - Hillman Paul Emery   Prototype GT 1000  

NRF = Not Running at finish
DNA = Did not arrive

500 km Nurburgring 1965
poz. nr kierowca (nar.) samochd zesp? okr. czas poz. w kl. klasa
35 Bob Beavers (GB)
Laurie Hardman (GB) ^
Emery - Hillman Imp GTI Paul Emery 13     P 850
23 Paul Emery (GB)
Jeremy Delmar-Morgan (GB)
Emery - Hillman Imp Paul Emery 12     P 1.0

Two Emery Imps were entered in the Le Mans 24 Hour Endurance Race of 1965 in the 1300cc class. They were to be driven by Paul Emery and Chris Lambert. They were not accepted.

(What about competition numbers 90 and 96 ?? mention on the Merica site...)

1965 Le Mans 24 Hours Competitors & Results

Pos Clas-
# Team / Entrant
Car - Engine
Drivers, Nationality Engine
Group Laps
Reason out /
88 DNA 69 Paul Emery, GB
Emery - Hillman Imp
Chris Lambert, GB
1300 4 GT   Entry not accepted
89 DNA 70 Paul Emery, GB
Emery - Hillman Imp
Paul Emery, GB
1300 4 P   Entry not accepted

24 h Le Mans
Race: 13,461 km * 348 laps = 4677,110 km
20 June1965
12th round of the 1965 World Championship source

In entry list only:
Pos.  NO  Driver / Nationality  Car                   Entrant     Laps Time/retired    Group   Practice
      69 Chris Lambert / GB     Emery - Hillman Imp   Paul Emery        Not accepted   P1.3
1971, Stadium Saloon Car Racing

Emery Imp with Bill McGovern drivingAt the speedshow at the Walthamstow Stadium in January, in the evening racing started. The first of two rallycross 'races' with Bill McGovern in Paul Emery's Imp saw Griff Griffiths off in his VW-Porsche.
[Then more serious stuff: a couple of midget dices, Paul Emery and Tony Stubbs (both in Dastle Mk 7s) and Hot Car's Tony Bostock (Dastle Mk 3) showing up best.]

Stadium Saloon Car demonstration race at Walthamstow Speedshow saw the Emery Imp (with Bill McGovern at the wheel) lead the field of rallycross drivers.
This Emery Imp was said to be hot competition in Class A - 850cc to 1300 cc - probably also driven by McGovern.  

Barnard Racing Ltd.'s Short-circuit Chamnpionships
Organising body: West Essex Car Club
12 rounds (all Friday evenings, 7:30 - 10:30 p.m.)
Racing restricted to members of six invited clubs, incl. BRSCC and BARC; for each class there will be 24 selected top-rate drivers.  


an advert in Autocar, 26 November 1965:

Performance +

Imp & Chamois conversions !

Why not out-Imp and out-Chamois all your fellow drivers ? Show them something new and unexpected from a car like yours: a dazzling acceleration, a catch-me-if-you-can top speed. The secret's simple. A Paul Emery conversion gives your car a sporting chance.
Stage I to stage IV. Four steps up the high performance path give you the raciest little car you've ever owned. With conversions ranging from as little as £27.10.0 Paul Emery-upmanship is cheaper than you dare to think.
Why not write to find out more ?

2, Aspenlea Rd. Fulham W.6. FUL 2763

   advert CCC 1965 Oct. performance plus

Motor Racing issue Febr. 1966, advert next to Hartwell's on p. 71Do you want a hot Imp? We heat them!
Advert February 1966 Motor Racing


   Emery for Imps - ad June 1965
CCC, September 1968


Emery GTI. - Cars and Car Conversions 1965, March
Testing the Emery GTI

Testing the Emery GTI. - Cars and Car Conversions 1965, March

Cut 'n' shut / photography by Elisabeth Lewis; Max Le Grand. - Small Car 1965, February. - p.46-47
Emery Imp: Watch out, it burns (Road test)
4 photos: Elisabeth Lewis at Putney Reach, London and Max Le Grand at Brands Hatch, Kent

E is for Emery : improved (and how) Imps : the tuners. - Cars and Car Conversions 1965, October. - p.257-258

Imp improvements. - Cars and Car Conversions 1966, September. - p.185-188
About the accessories and equipment available for the Imp.
reprint in Unique Master Portfolio. - p.46-49
according to reprint dated 1967

Some converted Imps we have tried. - Car and Car Conversions 1966, September. - p.195-196
Emery stage 1; Hartwell stage 3 (CLJ 195C) ; Nathan's Impudence II (317 XOV)
Reprinted in Unique Master Portfolio, p.64-65 (quoted as from 1968)

The Paul Emery Group offer you ; [8 p.]
Paul Emery Cars; 2 Aspenlea Road; London W6; 01-385 8584
Catalogue: Paul Emery Cars LTD present their range of IMProvements. - E.&O.E. 9/68

Fit an Imp ! / Ken Currie. - Hot Car 1971, September. - p.67
Want a light-weight 'cammy' motor in your 'A' series car? Here's how to fit an Imp !
It is hard to catch a Dastle with an Emery 1100 Imp engine with a Ford 1300 Dastle. Hot Car tells how to fit a smaller engine, how to fit the Imp engine to a late series BMC A gearbox as fitted to the Spridget or Minor, and shows how to convert the bell housing and modify the sump to take the vertical installation.
It's a one page article (7 photos), saying Paul Emery can carry out the conversion or supply the parts.


Look-in on the Imp / by David Vizard. - Cars & Car Conversions 1972, December?, p.64-65
David Vizard continues the 'ain't no substitute for cubic inches' theme and looks at the Paul Emery way of increasing Imp capacity

Paul Emery. - Thoroughbred and Classic Cars 1976, June

Top Tuner's Tips from leading Imp expert: Paul Emery / RHE. - Car Mechanics 1978, Jan. - p.55

   Emery bikini ad Sep 69
1969 September


Paul Emery Cars


The Imp Site
   Imp Tuners & Builders
      Paul Emery Cars Ltd. (this file)
         Paul Emery Cars catalogue 1968, September
   Imp Specials
      Emery GT
      Emery GTI

© Franka
File version: 2 Apr. 2018

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Paul Emery - F1 / Designer
How Andr Pilette managed to fall into the Emery trap for the second time / Mattijs Diepraam
Racing and Sport Cars - Emery