The Hillman Imp
3.5
1 votes
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  • I like sports cars, or cars that are similar to sports cars in terms of performance
  • I can recommend the Imp on the grounds of petrol consumption
  • Petrol wasn’t a problem when it was made, but it didn’t have a high mileage pre gallon
  • You may opt for the ‘wind in the hair’ experience
  • As you might hope, the parts for the Imp are still available and they don’t cost the earth, either

    • by Anglecynn
      TRUSTWORTHY

      all reviews
      I like sports cars, or cars that are similar to sports cars in terms of performance. Now the car I am writing about is a specialist model. It’s a small car with terrific driving performance and very few people know about it. What could be better?

      Back in the Sixties, the Mini was the rather cute little car that spawned the film, ‘The Italian Job’. It was small and versatile. It could go where no other car could go. It had performance that no other small car had. Right? Wrong!

      In the Sixties, the Mini was the height of Cool. It was Carnaby Street and Twiggy. It was the Beatles, with a Union Jack on the roof. It was driven in 1967 by them and by other fashion leaders, just as Tom Jones drove a Jaguar E-Type and James Bond drove an Aston Martin. However, there was a competitor hiding in the undergrowth that was also a big seller that few outside the UK ever even heard of! It was the Hillman Imp.

      It is quite likely that very few who read this


      will have heard of the Imp. It was a cheeky little car which had a flatter, perhaps more angular shape than the Mini. If so, that didn’t detract from its appearance. It simply gave it a shape that was quite unique. It was a small car. It didn’t look as if it could fit adults inside, but it could. In fact, it was a pretty powerful little monster and could out-perform most of the Mini range. Having learned to drive a Mini 1000 when I was a learner, I soon discovered that this was a veritable beast!

      I can recommend the Imp on the grounds of petrol consumption. It wasn’t (and isn’t) a gas guzzler. Petrol wasn’t a problem when it was made, but it didn’t have a high mileage pre gallon. It is still a pretty reasonable car when it comes to any of the main bills that car drivers expect to pay. It hasn’t a high insurance profile, because it doesn’t carry a ‘high performance’ tag. It doesn’t look much (neither does the Mini), but it has a certain charm,


      • in part because it’s unusual.

        What makes this car special? Well, it’s the whole thing, really. It has room that you just don’t appreciate from outside. It looks tiny and, frankly, under-powered. That’s OK, unless you want a car with cojones hanging out, like a Ferrari. This is just a quiet little number that is specially adapted to the roads of small countries with narrow, spiralling heights to be climbed. That may not suit Pennsylvania, but it certainly does suit the Old World countries like Scotland and Spain!

        Now driving is more than just getting there, right? It comes down to the whole experience. You may opt for the ‘wind in the hair’ experience. You know the kind of thing. This isn’t an open-topped car. It isn’t an E-Type 4.2 Litre, drop-head model. What it is, is a smart little car than has speed and performance. It can turn on a sixpence (or a dime, if you’re in the States) and race to the next hill-crest without flagging. It doesn’t consume a lot of juice, it costs next-to-nothing and it has an insurance

        profile that is as close to zero as you can find. Extraordinarily strange is the fact that it is actually rather comfortable! This isn’t some sort of macho machine. It will fit two normal-sized adults in the back and two in the front. The gear shift (it’s manual) is simple. There’s no fifth gear. The clutch can give problems – I remember having a problem with mine in fourth at one time, but it will soldier on in third if it has to.

        As you might hope, the parts for the Imp are still available and they don’t cost the earth, either. It’s a mechanical car, so repairs are quite easy and don’t require an electronics expert at any time! It is a car built for a domestic market. The boot isn’t huge, but people didn’t tend to go to the Continent for their holidays way back then. It doesn’t tend to overheat and it is a sweet little mover. It is family-friendly from the days when that phrase meant nothing. It does the business in most ways and certainly gets my vote!



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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in June, 2010. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 917061146830230/k2311a0617/6.17.10
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