Imp Standard 1963 to 1964
Hillman Imp Standard 1963 to 1964
Hillman's technically advanced, rear-engined small family car.
Originally fitted with a 550-12 crossply, a suitable radial replacement would be a 145SR12.
The Hillman Imp arrived in 1963 in basic or DeLuxe forms. With its eager 875cc rear-mounted all-alloy engine and slick four-speed manual gearbox the Imp was great fun to drive but badly built so it never realised its sales potential.
In 1965 an Imp Mk2 debuted in Deluxe or Super forms; a Rallye Imp reached showrooms soon after. This was essentially a motorsport-ready Imp with a 60bhp 998cc engine, but some road cars were made. All Rallyes got lowered, stiffer suspension, a new instrument binnacle and extra slats in the engine cover to keep the Coventry-Climax powerplant cool.
The smartest Imp yet debuted in 1967: the Hillman Imp Californian, with fastback styling and four headlamps. Below the waistline it was the same as the regular Imp, which was facelifted in 1968 to become the Mk3, with new instruments and improved trim.
The Rallye Imp was killed off in 1967 and the Californian in 1970, leaving the regular Imp to soldier on until 1976, by which point Rootes had been taken over by Chrysler.