The Hillman Imp, my first car, I had my UK drivers licence at the age of 17, the next thing was to buy a Mk1 Imp. I now realise that with my fifty (50) years of Imp experience, I may have some past tips on the Imp to pass on? Since then there have been many other cars and things with motors in them that have come my way, this blog is about some of them.
There is also a large inventory of Imp parts in stock, view the main blog on boats at http://ckdboats.blogspot.com/
Why not view our other blog at CKD Boats cc
Looking for info on boats? all sorts of stuff has been posted now on the first blog. Why not try Roys other blog, he has over 3300 entries in there. That blog is full of information and pictures,its really about one mans life. Designed for those who enjoy boats, cars, traveling , plus in some cases, finding out how to fix things yourself. We also started a third blog which is mainly about the two shops, my daughters started. plus odd ends about me and some I have known.
There was one around some years, I asked was it still available? it was, so I have now taken it into stock and serviced it.
The engines orginal packing crate can be used to ship the motor world wide.
This motor was made around 1930 but its still new, never had fuel in the tank and never run. I have checked the magneto and the spark at the plugs is just fine.They are the original Champion number 7 spark plugs.
With all the extra power available from the Sport engine, up from the standard Imps 38bhp to a much better 55bhp and at 6100rpm, the designers uprated the drive shafts.
The cast iron 3/4 inch shaft was beefed up to stronger 1 inch size, that has prooven strong enough for most engines, including the 998cc ones. The picture shows the competition drive couplings, note the red code paint on them, this denotes the better grade.
The change from the original Mk1 Hillman Imp to the Mk2 version was noticable, not huge but the change was there, there were many new engineering parts, plus the front wheels lost the adverse camber.
The release of the new Sunbeam Sport was a totally different matter, this was a smart car inside and out!
The car had new badges, the Sunbeam name, special stainless steel hub caps, radial tyres, a brake booster and softer brake linings by Mintex (M75), this car would reach 100mph and had the stability and brakes to stop it.
The inside of the car saw better trim, more instruments and also reclining front seats.
The engine was worked on too, the cylinder head had a higher lift camshaft and was specially ported, with larger inlet valves, plus double valve springs and an external oil drain pipe to take the oil away from the top of the motor faster. The engine also sported a special oil cooler, I have used one for years on my 1967 Singer Chamois, it does a great job.
The carburation became the twin Stromberg CD125s and there was a special water heated alloy inlet manifold. The exhaust gasses were handled by a new mild steel fabricated exhaust system with a four into two system and twin pipes into a special exhaust silencer. The car had more power, now up to 55bhp, so some thicker drives shafts were fitted.
The front bonnet also had a round Sunbeam badge emblem, this swung sideways and down, revealing a locking button. The engine bay had a special ventilated rear panel and was fitted with square number plate, which was lit by three bulb fittings over the single one on the standard Imps.
Later cars had twin head lights, any of the Sports from around 1966 are still the most collectable, find one if you can, as they only made 10,000 ! This is an amazing package over the standard Imps specification, we got a lot for the money back in 1966.
How hard can that be?
For the later Sunbeam Stilletto dash, check this link.
This one is probably based on the sports 108 series head, its a special head in that the valves are a lot larger and the combustion chamber has been profiled around the larger inlet valve.
Note the Wills Ring grooves.
My own race Imp had the same valve treatment, I shaped and ported the head myself, it sure worked!
Heads like this are never cheap, just the series 108 head can cost plenty, I have just been offered one this week.
My own full race 998cc Imp engine, based on the early Mk1 block and head, that was what I had and there was no way I could fund a Mk2 engine, Sport engines just did not exist in South Africa at that time, not any for sale anyway.
Now hard to find but they do turn up on Ebay from time to time, I wonder is someone reprinting them?
These are very special, as they are the originals and date from 1966 and The Earls Court Motor Show in London. The Rootes Car Co stand sold a car to a South African, he imported the car to South Africa. I later bought that same car and later found the owner still living here in Constantia.
He brought me all the sales documents, brochures and some used spares like shock absorbers, why he kept them for decades is a mystery but we are pleased he did!
New, no thats just not possible but Eric has been doing a rolling renovation of his 1967 Hillman Imp.
The car has just had a full body respray, this included the inside as well, the colour is what I would call a Pearl White, it really does look good. The front bonnet catch will have been adjusted by now, bringing the front edge in line?
This one is a recreation of one of the best known race Imps ever. Seen here in the center pages of Impressions. http://www.theimpclub.co.uk/
The George Beven built car as a replica but with very strong family ties, as his grandson built the car. In the race days, mid sixties to early seventies, the driver was Bill McGovern, he won most of his races and a number of British Saloon Car Drivers Championships.
As soon as I got back into Imp ownership, was it nineteen years back? I joined The Imp Club and I am still a member today.
The club has an award winning monthly magazine, named Impressions, this cover shows two of the South African Imps on it. The race car being Terrence Tracy up in Johannesburg and the bottom car on the driveway with our visitor from Scotland, Paul Couther, being our 1967 Singer Chamois.