Hillman Imp

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BrianS
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Re: Hillman Imp

Postby BrianS » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:05 pm

Such a shame that the Imp and its badged derivatives never got developed properly before going into production. I remember that, decades ago, my parents had a Singer Chamois for a while but don't recall them having much trouble with it.

You would think that because it used an existing engine as a basis it wouldn't have had the problems it did but the old Coventry Climax engine had a very different purpose: as a fire brigade water pump I understand! So I'm guessing that it wasn't modified sufficiently for the different requirements of a car.

I think there may have been build quality problems as well with the Imp - it was made with much fanfare at a factory at Linwood in Scotland. Nothing against the Scots by the way, there was a period it seems when there were quality issues and industrial unrest over much of the UK.

Brian

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himerus
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Re: Hillman Imp

Postby himerus » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:03 am

My wife had one. It wasn't very reliable. Minis were much better.

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franfran
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Re: Hillman Imp

Postby franfran » Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:48 pm

We went to a car show on the weekend, and there were two Imps there. Here's one of them:

Image

And here's a link to a thread about the show:
http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/board/all-british-day-parramatta-t235122.html
Sure God created man before woman. But then you always make a rough draft before the final masterpiece.

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Re: Hillman Imp

Postby NickyJ » Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:37 pm

Hi Everyone, I have just got a Singer Chamois (luxury Imp). I googled Hillman Imp and found this thread.
I wanted a little car to take my 2 kids to school, it's not that far but I got fed up walking it every day last winter, hubby is a classic car fan so we started looking for a Mini but the ones we saw were either rusty or too expensive. Then we heard from a friend that this Imp was for sale , went for a look and bought it on the spot. It is a 1965 in green with a black interior, has loads of wood inside, quite luxurious, and is low mileage. I got it on Sunday and used it for the first time for the school run yesterday - I was so glad to have it as it was rainy and dull !
Apart from me not being used to a car with a choke and stalling it 3 times in my own drive trying to go without any choke at all, :oops: we are getting along really well!! I think I've got the hang of it though now so we will see.

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Re: Hillman Imp

Postby BrianS » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:12 pm

Hi Nicky, and welcome to the Motoring threads! It's great to read that you've bought a Singer Chamois - here's wishing you lots of pleasure with it. My late parents had a Chamois for a while (this was decades ago) and I drove it a few times and thought it a nice car. Seeing Fran's photo of an Imp in Australia reminded me just how pleasing they looked. I particularly like the amount of glass in the car, visibility is good and I think that the large windows help to remove any feeling of claustrophobia in such a small car.

Liked your comment about the choke! Ancients like me always had manual chokes in their cars, in fact my present car, a 2CV, still has this feature! Hopefully you will let the forum know of any notable experiences with the car (be they good or bad!).

Brian

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Re: Hillman Imp

Postby AnneCook » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:26 pm

Hi Nicky,

Sounds like a real find. While the weather is still reasonable why not learn to crank it. It might be a reall boon one January morning!

have fun

Gerald

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Re: Hillman Imp

Postby BrianS » Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:17 pm

Gerald

It's possible that Nicky would search in vain for the starting handle! Whereas the makers obligingly provided a hole in the bumper for said handle I think it was the case that the starting handle and maybe the dog nut on the engine were optional extras!

Brian

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Re: Hillman Imp

Postby AnneCook » Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:39 pm

Hi Brian,

As ever I would bow to your experience here, 1965 the chances are good though , don't you think?

G

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Re: Hillman Imp

Postby nbear8 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:52 pm

Funny I had a 1965 Green Chamois it was my first car black interior and wod as you describe . I would expect mine has long gone to the bone yard it needed a motor job when I traded it in Dorset for a Renault 16 . Light Blue Metalic

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Re: Hillman Imp

Postby BrianS » Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:39 pm

Nicky, I've come across this link http://www.imps4ever.info/family/chamois.html which I found interesting. So the Chamois was built from October 1964 till April 1970 which makes yours a very early one. At 45 years old someone has been looking after it I should think. I wonder how many owners there were before you.

Hope you are remembering the choke now!! Unless my memory is letting me down the choke lever is down near the floor and by the driver's seat isn't it? And does your hubby drive a classic car?

Brian

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Re: Hillman Imp

Postby nbear8 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:57 pm

Mine even with the choke liked to stall when cold and made a funny noise as you let the clutch in when it was cold

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Re: Hillman Imp

Postby NickyJ » Sun Sep 12, 2010 6:43 pm

Hello, and thanks for evryones interest and comments about my little Imp !
We (well Steve my husband) has spent this weekend going over it, he's had all the wheels off, checked the brakes, serviced the engine, and took all the carpets out - apparently looking for rust - but he couldn't find any! My six year old son was "helping" which was nice.
The car Is apparently a mark 1 , and has only had 3 owners in its life before me, the first lady kept it until 1978, then the second, again a lady until 1998, and then the guy we bought it from who had done some slight renovations, but for a 45 year old car it really is amazing. Steve doesn't have a classic car, he has a company Mondeo, but until he got that he had a 1600E cortina, it was a great car but not as nice as my Singer!
The choke is between the seats and yes I am remembering to pull it up, I am struggling to know when to push it in though, when I think it's ok I push it but then sometimes it will stall when I stop, I'm sure I will get used to it though.
I love driving a classic car, it's amazing how people turn and look as you pass, or come up and talk about it in the car park, I love it!

Nicky :D

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Re: Hillman Imp

Postby NickyJ » Sun Sep 12, 2010 6:47 pm

ooops, sorry forgot to say it has got a starting handle, I showed Steve the thread and he found it in the boot, and actually sarted the car with it! - I think I'll leave it to him as I couldn't quite get the hang of winding it up!!

Nicky

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Re: Hillman Imp

Postby AnneCook » Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:00 pm

Hi Nicky,

You are making me quite envious,

Here in the East Midlands some of my friends used to have a saying " Don't do owt sudden!" in other words don't do anything too sharply or quickly. That applies to pulling the choke out when the engine is running, or pushing it back in, the engine should tell you what it is comfortable with.

As you say you will get the hang of it.

Do persist with the handle in case Steve isn't around. It's much more about technique than strength. If you imagine a clock face, my Morris Minor used to catch between 7 and 12, whereas the hillman was between 10 and 2 ( Brian might have an opinion here too, but that was my experience.) The point is that it's there that you give the handle the ooomph lol

Anyway enjoy your little gem

Gerald

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Re: Hillman Imp

Postby billy69 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:26 am

Imps - crap to drive - no thanks even if it was free


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