Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 145,069 pages of information and 230,730 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Hillman: Imp

From Graces Guide

Revision as of 15:03, 31 July 2020 by Ait (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search
Reg No: SCT 706J.
Reg No: LDA 648K.
1964. Reg No: 520 GXW.
Oct 1966. Hillman Super Imp.
October 1968. Reg. No. SYX 490G.
October 1975. Chrysler Imp.
1975. Reg No: HHJ 772N.
1976. Reg No: PYA 241P.

Note: This is a sub-section of Hillman: Cars

  • Imp/Super Imp 1963-76. 875cc engine.
    • Imp Californian 1967-70
    • Rallye Imp 1965-67

In 1963, Rootes introduced the Hillman Imp, a compact rear engined saloon with an innovative all-aluminium engine. It was intended to be a response from Rootes to rival BMC's popular Mini, and a massive new factory in Linwood in Scotland was built for its assembly. The move to Linwood was forced upon the company by the British government, which had introduced the principle of "Industrial Development Certificates" (IDCs). By their use, it was intended to concentrate new factory building in depressed areas of Britain. Thus, Rootes were not allowed to expand their existing Ryton plant, but instead were obliged to build in an area of Scotland where there was a shortage of work. The Linwood plant was a disaster for many reasons - chiefly the Glaswegian workforce who had no experience in motor vehicle assembly, and the build quality and reliability of the cars inevitably suffered. Another problem was that the component suppliers were still based in the Midlands, and the company incurred further costs in transporting half-finished engine castings from Linwood to be machined at Ryton and returned to Linwood once they had been assembled - at the same time as completed Imps returned south again – in all a 600 mile round trip!

  • The Imp itself was underdeveloped, and the build quality and unreliability problems, coupled with buyer apathy towards the quirky design was reflected in poor sales. After a reasonably successful start in 1963-65, the Imp's fortunes in the marketplace went into terminal decline. Lost production caused by constant strike action by the Linwood workforce only added to the problems, and the mess was further exacerbated by crippling warranty claims.[citation needed] Rootes had no money left to develop its other models, which soon left the company in an uncompetitive position.

See Also


Sources of Information