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Hillman Imp

Hillman Imp Published: 21st Dec 2015 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Hillman Imp
Hillman Imp
Hillman Imp
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Hillman Imp


Because everyone has a Mini, and the Imp is both cheaper and prettier than the car everybody remembers. Like the Mini there’s a full complement of models too, meaning there’s an Imp for everyone. They drive really nicely, they’re spacious, have a great hatch facility and there’s a fun scene behind them. If you’re young and you want a stand-out classic, they’re great bets. Everyone buys Minors, Minis and small Triumphs; Imps are still pretty scarce. And if that’s not enough, they’re easily tuneable.



There are standard Imps for those who like their small Rootes experience to be pure. Then there’s the twin-carb Sunbeam Imp Sport as a Cooper rival, and the plush Hornet-chasing Singer Chamois. A rare variant was the Chamois Sport – a Sunbeam spec engine in a Chamois for the ultimate upmarket Imp. Also available was a range of coupés across all specs; the Imp Californian, Chamois Coupé and Sunbeam Stiletto. There was a Commer Cob van, and a Hillman Husky estate too. In short, Imps for everyone!



It’s got a race derived engine and a low centre of gravity, which means that it feels more capable than a car of its size ought to. Compared to a Mini there’s only ever going to be one victor, but it’s surprising just how good the Imp is. It had an excellent competition history too, testament to its sweet handling and the surprising amount of power for a car so small. While the rear engine can act as a pendulum when the car is driven in a careless manner, a little thought can ensure you avoid any tail-happiness.



While parts aren’t quite as easy to source as they are for the Mini, the Imp is wellserved by classic specialists and by an active and friendly club. They’re compact enough to park in the smallest of garages, usable daily thanks to four seats and a big boot, and they’re economical too. Cheaper than Minis, you’ll get a better one for your money – and there are fewer hidden rot traps to worry about. Imps are too often overlooked in favour of small front drive BMC cars – time for this to change.



If you’re bored of the common small classics, look at the Imp. Like Minis, they make you smile and like Minis, they make everyone else smile too. But they’re cheaper, prettier, and rarer too. It’s time to embrace the Imp, the perfect city slicker. Much rarer than a Mini too!

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