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 subject of our Video of the Week this week is a Singer Nine from 1933. The Singers are cars that most people don’t know much about, if they know they exist at all. And yes, cue the sewing machine jokes. And the confusion that they are not MGs. Singers are gorgeous and fascinating cars in their own right with their own storied history. This example is a 1933 Nice Sport. To quote the video, Singer’s first sports car was introduced at the end of 1932. It featured cut-away doors, louvered bonnet and scuttle and distinctive helmet-type front wings. Under the bonnet was the classic 972cc single overhead camshaft engine and close ratio four-speed gear box making it especially suited to trials work. A Sports Nine achieved a notable success in June 1933 at the Le Mans 24 hour race. […]