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mgf
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just seen a Hilman Imp for sale and it looks a riot - should I buy one ? Has anyone got one or any experience ?

Best!
Alistair.
 

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mg_zt_t
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Just seen a Hilman Imp for sale and it looks a riot - should I buy one ? Has anyone got one or any experience ?

Best!
Alistair.
My younger brother bought a new Singer Chamois Sport back in 1968, a higher spec. sports version of the Hillman Imp. I even got him a decent discount back then... Great little car with very willing relatively high spec engine for those times. Nice to drive, nippy and economical too.

One time, we parked it on the sands near Brean Down ( Weston-S-Mare) and failed to notice the tide rapidly coming in ~ we only managed to recover it to firm ground just in time before the sea would have recycled the little car forever! Great memories.
 

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Hillman Imp - now that's a blast from the past!

Hope the engine is ok - they used to overheat like hell!
 

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rover_45
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Would advise you to proceed with caution and if possible take someone along with you who knows a bit about them.

My first (two) cars some 30 odd years ago were Imps and between 3 of us we got through 7 of them (and their variants) in 3 years.

From about 1970 they had better suspension and did away with that barmy looking negative camber on the front.

The bodywork can be pretty abysmal and the usual rust spots are where the front scuttle (below the front screen) joins the wings. Engine's in the back of course so the front 'crumple zone' includes the heater blower motor and fuel tank!

Radiator is tucked away in the back and hence the reputation for overheating but in fairness if the cooling system's in good order it shouldn't be a major problem. One mod was to plumb a second matrix into the heater circuit and mount it in the cold air box on the front of the car.

Engine is all alloy (a development of Coventry Climax unit) canted at 45 degrees - any head gasket problems and you'll probably need some helicoils to hand.

Came out of the factory with an 875cc engine with single Solex or twin Strombergs on the Stilletto/Sport versions and a few factory 998cc were also made. One of the main performance specialists was Skip Brown in Cheshire, I'm pretty sure they're still in business as Peugeot specialists.

If you buy it pm me - I might still have a workshop manual somewhere!
 

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That's some great and detailed advice from Impressionist.

I obviously don't remember, but I think I was brought home from the hospital after I was born in a Singer Chamois, so I'd be all for buying it. :D
 

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They also have a gearbox that appears to contain nothing but marbles and springs that are fighting to escape.

Great car though, and as has been stated the somewhat delicate engine is a real stormer if looked after correctly. I always liked the twin headlamp model myself.
 

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Funnily enough, I saw one in Ryton today.

It wasn't concorse, but it wasn't in bad condition. I went to see a house that was for sale and found the Imp parked in the drive.

Thought I might put in an offer on the house, but with the condition that the imp was thrown in...
 

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mgf
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sadly it went... In a bit of a grump about it as I had even convinced the other party that it would be a good idea for the weekends.

But I'm now interested in maybe picking one up ! Keeping my eyes open for one or another little classic - however I can think of any apart from the mini!

Best!
Alistair.
 

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other_manufacturer
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Don't be grumpy. If you are convinced you can't live without an Hillman Imperial, then much luck to you. Personally I would buy a Minx. Or a Herald. But that's beside the point.

You want what you want. Have it.
 
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