Hillman Imp

The Hillman Imp, rear engines small car of the 1960s and 70s…


As a youngster watching the sports programmes on the BBC in the 1970s, I always enjoyed the rally cross events. It always seemed to be the Hillman Imps and the Minis that coped with the conditions the best. It must have been great fun bouncing them from the tarmac to the mud, powersliding round the corners on the edge of control. They were also often seen in the British Saloon Car Championships (nowadays I think that is known as the British Touring Car Championships).

The Imp was first manufactured in 1963 by the Rootes motor group. It was to be a rival to the innovative Mini but it never caught on in the same way. The original Imp had a small capacity (875 cc) rear mounted engine and a complicated system to overcome the problem of oversteer, a common problem in rear engined cars. There were several variants of the Imp including a van version which was available during the latter half of 60s, several luxury versions, sporty versions and what in our opinion looked like a miniature hearse but was in fact the estate version Рthe Hillman Husky.

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