Our video this week features a car you rarely see anymore, especially in the US, the Hillman Imp. The video takes a look at the production of the Hillman Imp at the plant in Linwood, Renfrewshire, Scotland. The program includes interviews with past members of the Linwood workforce. It also examines the wider workforce, trade union, management and government relationships which existed throughout much of UK manufacturing in the 1960’s and 70’s. The Hillman Imp was a small economy car made by the Rootes Group and its successor Chrysler Europe from 1963 until 1976. It was made in many different forms and in addition to the Hillman marque was also marketed as both Sunbeam and Singer. Unveiled in 1963 after much advance publicity, it was the first British mass-produced car with the engine block and cylinder head cast in aluminum.
The Rootes Group, although only achieving a 10-12 per cent market share, were the sixth largest British car manufacturer: more importantly, during the 1950s, more than half the cars they produced were exported. Rootes Cars of the 1950s, 1960s & 1970s – Hillman, Humber, Singer, Sunbeam & Talbot by David Rowe is a new reference to these cars. With every model produced from 1950 onwards featured in full colour and with detailed information – including colour schemes, optional equipment, technical specifications, plus other manufacturers’ cars built using Rootes components – this is the ultimate book for all Hillman, Humber, Singer and Sunbeam enthusiasts. Cars produced by Chrysler/Talbot and Peugeot after their acquisition of the Rootes Group are also included. This book includes hundreds of original photographs, taken by the author at many car shows over a number of years, and […]
We are going a little more rare and esoteric this week, though when they were new they weren’t that odd. Our Video of the Week returns again to the BBC series The Car’s the Star with an episode on the Hillman Imp. The Hillman Imp was also badged as the Sunbeam Imp, and there were other variations as well. The Hillman Imp is a small economy car made by the Rootes Group and its successor Chrysler Europe from 1963 until 1976. It was the first mass-produced car with the engine block and cylinder head cast in aluminium. Being a direct competitor to the BMC’s Mini, it used a space-saving rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout to allow as much luggage and passenger capacity as possible in both the rear and the front of the car. It used a unique opening rear hatch to […]