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Author Topic: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!  (Read 12388 times)

mogsy

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Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« on: July 22, 2010, 09:06:43 pm »

Have garage big enough for smallish classic car and thinking of something cheap, tunable (I used to weild the spanners for a Toca package race team), rare and unconventional perhaps. I've come up with the Hillman Imp. I'm thinking stripped out tuned race /rally replica.

Not too many available on flea bay or elsewhere at the mo and I dont plan on buying the first I view so I could be swayed.

Now I know the engines ended up in all sorts of weird and wonderful machinery from sports cars such as Clan Crusader and even small Hydroplanes but does anyone on our wonderful forum haver any Imp experience they could share ???     (PLEASE DONT TELL ME TO BUY A MINI INSTEAD - - - - - HAVE YOU SEEN WHAT THEY FETCH LATELY???) I've had loads allready anyhow.
Mogsy
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tonyH

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2010, 09:22:46 pm »

Why not go for one of the derivatives, such as the Clan, that you mentioned? Saves all the aggro of rust etc. I'm rebuilding a Ginetta G15 which is, as you know, Imp based and it's relatively simple. Should be fun enough for fast road, even on 875cc, with a sports cam and a Weber 28/36 DCD or, you could go bigger and add a pair of Dellortos. Not too expensive and apart from the front end and things like the fuel tank it's all Imp.

Have a look at www.ginettaheritage.co.uk

Tony
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triumphjon

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2010, 09:28:28 pm »

they had them in bond 875 s as well ! i  know they are tuneable BUT  have you ever tried to work on one in the car ? belive its almost impossible to do most jobs , they also have a reputation for overheating / head problems . there are lots of choices around that are british apart from the overpriced mini . eg  1100/ 1300 ,allegro ,  austin healy sprite / mg miget  morris marina / ital ,  maxi ,triumph dolomite  ( 4 engine sizes ) ford anglia even the mk1 fiesta is now a classic ! so yes there are lots to choose from ! ! remembering of course that anything that was made & registered before jan 1973 is also exempt from road tax ! and yes i also own a classic  , ......a triumph 2500 saloon . there is another site that is just classics for sale , ive used when i sold my bond & had very good response if your interested ill get you the link ? regards jon
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Bunkerbarge

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2010, 09:32:36 pm »

I was just going to make exactly the same remark.  A freind of mine had an Imp when we were at college and the engine was unbelievably difficult to get access to.

I've always had a bit of a soft spot for the Triumph Herald, or even better the Vitesse.  The Vitesse was a cracker for it's day with the two litre engine and far better access.  Many happy evenings going from pub to pub around Liverpool in a Vitesse full of merry students!
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tobyker

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2010, 09:42:18 pm »

If you drive an 1100 you have to wear a trilby and drive at 40 in the middle of the road.
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tonyH

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2010, 09:43:09 pm »

Aye, but if Mogsy wants a race/rally style, the Vitesse used to lose the back end v.nastily at times and I can't see a rally Allegro being a reality.  Dolomite Sprint would be good but loads of cars used to be pushed to the limit in the days of yore - don't forget that Graham Hlll started on Speedworth A35's!
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wesley

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2010, 09:48:23 pm »

How about the Sunbeam Stiletto, basically a fastback Imp much better looking in my opinion.

Or if you fancy a tuned Imp, this one has a 383ci Chevy stroker V8 in it!!!!
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tugmad

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2010, 09:56:20 pm »

I personaly think the Imp was a really nice little car, in the 60s when they first came out they could do 90mph with no modification  I worked at a Rootes garage for a while and could change a clutch in an hour , 4 bolts and the rear engine mount and the rear cross beam was out a few wires and the bell housing bolts and the engine complete with rad was out of the car, if you wanted the transaxle out as well all you needed was a couple of big jubilee clips for the doughnuts  another 6 bolts out and the gearshift clevis and you could have the whole lot out in no time, a coventry climax engine and provided you used water inhibitor in the cooling system they were fine , a water pump change took 30 minutes. alovely little car,APART from the kingpin they could be a "xxxxx" if they siezed.

Go for it you will be suprized how nippy they are.

They also did not have the horrible mini clutch and by pass hose   what a nightmare they were.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2010, 10:09:04 pm »

My Brother had a Hillman 'lump'and it was a bit of a mixed blessing although it did have its points being quite nippy. Like Bunkerbarge I liked the Herald myself. I had a lovel;y 12/50 with fabric sunfoof until I accidentally incinerated it when changing a fuel pump. Mind you the independent rear suspension swing axle could bring your heart into your mouth when cornering.

Colin
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tonyH

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2010, 10:09:23 pm »

Or, what appears to be an A40 in the background of the pic from Wesley!
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mogsy

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2010, 10:31:38 pm »

Oh bloomin wotsitts !!  Id just drafted a long reply thanking for advice and recalling passed motors. Diesel SD1 anyone?

I hit post and got a four replies have been posted message then...  gone.

Oh well bed calling as early start Friday looms,
Thanks for shared wisdom
Mogsy

Now a Triumph PI with subaru wrx running gear ......mmmmmmmm possible but best to try it with Rover V8 so not to upset purists!
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Shipmate60

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2010, 10:36:44 pm »

When I was younger a few mates had Imps and I used to look after them.
The Imp had a Transaxle.
The engine is only held on to the gearbox bell housing by 4 bolts.
takes about 1/2 hr to remove engine.
The engine is an aluminium block with cast iron inserts for cylinders.
The driveshafts used to leak oil as originally the oil was held in by a scroll.
The later ones had propper seals, much better.
The heater hoses are a pig as they travel the length of the chassis from the engine to the heater rad under the dashboard.
The speedometer was driven from the near side front wheel.
Easily tunable but need plenty of cooling as an alloy head.
Originally no head gasket (face-to-face fit), but the heads warped easily so a head gasket was produced.
Front suspension lightened up at speed so usually carried a bag of cement in the boot (at the front)
Any specific questions fire away if I can remember.

Nippy little motors and had Stromberg carbs fitted as standard.

Bob
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2010, 10:39:20 pm »

Ah yes, those convoluted heater hoses - thanks for reminding me.

Colin
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Perkasaman2

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2010, 01:26:59 am »

Hi Mogsy, don't bother with the imp, they spew oil, hardy spicers did'nt last 2 minutes and they were total rotboxes. How about a Reliant SS1............... came in 2 flavours 1600 Ford or Nissan 1.8 Turbo. Galvanised chassis is best choice and the Turbo version is a rocket. (Hardtop is an extra worth having for the winter months.)  :}

http://www.clickcars.co.uk/FullAdDetails.aspx~adref~YI021LAG4
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mogsy

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2010, 07:20:19 am »

Nice those. I know of a lock up locally where a guy is storing three, dont know which engine.
No, I think my car is going to be more 1965 to 1976 still British and not a TVR or Gilbern. Something generally smaller.  There's 2 x Imps come up on Ebay last night - suprising isint it one of them has engine removed!
Got to be no bigger than Imp really as I need space at back for boats.  The Imp appeals from my time going to Hill climbs and sprints years back , Im not saying for a minute I can afford a full race engine build etc but a nice fast road job would be my plan.
 I shall go and look at a few and join the Imp forum,

Meanwhile if anyone knows of one in S.Wales area thats up for grabs I'll take a look.

Mogs
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DickyD

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2010, 08:23:27 am »

I had an Imp [brand new] great little car, very nippy but a bit light on the front end even with a full tank of petrol.

Only trouble I had in the four years I had it was I needed anew water pump.

The rest, I agree with shipmate60.
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madrob

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2010, 09:07:43 am »

Ive had a few imps that ive used in race and rallys and never had a problem, these days you can buy better waterpumps and better headgaskets which will cure 99% of the overheating probs, if not have the block and head machined for something called wills rings ( sure that what they were called)

the first place i would go is here.....http://www.theimpclub.co.uk/viewforum.php?f=28
the second would be here.....http://www.malcolmanderson.co.uk/


have fun
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kiwi

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2010, 09:14:26 am »

Hi,
Having owned at various times since the early 70's more than 8 imps, in 4 countries, my recommendation would be "GO WITH THE IMP".
First imp in London, had to swap engines just a couple of days before Christmas, no garage, on the side of the high street, time from hopping out of car at kerb to driving off with new engine installed - one hour. Flat was on 2nd floor, so one trip up with old engine, back down with new. On me own.
Brilliant little cars, and will be getting another soon as housing sorted.
Enjoy
kiwi
ps
contact the Imp club, they are a great bunch of guys.
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Jonty

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2010, 10:43:44 am »

  The Imp is a great little car, much nicer to drive than the Mini. First job is to lower the front suspension pivots - don't listen to anyone who tells you to put a couple of paving slabs in the front!

  After that, find a 998 block and build a little screamer. It was a Coventry Climax engine, after all.
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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2010, 10:51:08 am »

Anybody remember the Imp engined sidecar outfit raced by a guy named Owen Greenwood? Way back in the '70's, I believe...the officials tried to ban it, but I do remember seeing it raced in several sidecar races...beat Chris Vincent a couple of times. Where is it now, I wonder...
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Patrick Henry

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2010, 11:51:34 am »

Found these...
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tonyH

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2010, 02:59:31 pm »

Good luck Mogsy,

Couple of points if you want to tune up . There are 2 thicknesses of drive shafts so look out for the thick ones. Also, the drive donuts from the old Elan are the same size but MUCH stronger.

Tony
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essex2visuvesi

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2010, 05:20:38 pm »

I had a ginetta G15 which had Hillman Imp Mechanicals.  If you do buy please do let me know as I still have a few boxes full of spares in england including heads, carbs, drive shafts, shocks etc etc
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funtimefrankie

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2010, 05:22:43 pm »

I can find you an MGBGT for a few hundred
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mogsy

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Re: Hillman Imps - Someone might be able to stop me!!!
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2010, 05:25:36 pm »

Nice try Frankie but I wont be swayed into something that sensible !
 ok2
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