Hartwell's tuning magician - Ray Payne in his very successful Imp
Before March 1969

The Imp Site

Ray Payne

1929? - November 8, 2004

Ray Payne started his racing career at age 38. In his first season of racing he won the 850cc class in the BARC (Osram GEC ?) Saloon Car Championship 1967. It cost him £300. He took nine first places, one second, had two shunts and set nine lap records. In 1968 he won his class in the same champioship and in 1969 he was out in a one-litre Imp, which was prepared to the usual Ray Payne of Hartwell standard: immaculate.

His first job was with Hartwell and he worked there for twenty years. He prepared competition cars, rally and racing cars, first for George Hartwell, then for Alan Hartwell. Then he prepared them for himself...

For 20 years Ray yearned to have a try at racing, but he could never justify himself asking the boss to be given the chance.
Early 1965 Alan Hartwell wanted a 1963 Imp tuned mildly to use in hillclimbs. He also used the former demonstration Imp in the six-hour relay race of 1965. When it came back at the end of that season, it just sat under a sheet in the workshop. Seemingly forgotten, except by Ray, who saw a way to realize his wish.

  850 Imp outright winner
CCC, Jan. 1968

The BARC Saloon Car Championship of 1967 was won outright by Team Hartwell, by Ray Payne in the 850 Imp. It took ten 1st and one 2nd. And 9 lap records were involved. In January of 1968, Hartwell advertised the coupon to the right.

July 1969 he was back at work after his nasty stuffage at Castle Combe in the Formula Four single seater. (Vixen ?)


Photo: Nick Cleak
Early 1970's
On the Hartwell trailer: Ray Payne's Imp when he raced it at Castle Combe many years ago. It is in it's original colours: orange and white.

Photo: Nick Cleak
CCC 1970, December:
Almost every weekend during the season, Ray Payne and the Team Hartwell Imp can be seen giving the rest of the small saloons something to think about.

Payne and John Norman at Thruxton

The 998 Imps of Ray Payne and John Norman chase each other round Thruxton. (1970, October 11?) Photo: Hugh Bishop

If this was indeed taken at the final round of the BARC's Osram-GEC championship on October 11 at Thruxton, then they both lost to John Turner, who won both the 1000cc for that event, as well as the championship.

1973 - Saloon-Special (Forward Trust 851-1000cc) championship, Hillman Imp 998cc

Ray Payne retired in 1995 (Hartwell's shut in 1996).

Photo: Nick Cleak
The Imp that Ray Payne, sponsored by Hartwell, used to race in the late 1960's. At the wheel: Peter Stride. Picture taken at Castle Combe Circuit about 1994.

From: Nick Cleak, Bristol
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 1999 16:31:23 EDT

I saw Ray Payne on the weekend overlooking a certain Peugeot 1300 powered Maguire Stiletto (Gary Prebble's). It goes very well, and had a terrific battle with one of these new Radical race cars (1100cc Kawasaki power). However it's not the same without an imp engine.

Ray Payne (and Peggy Higham in the Mini)
Discussion between Ray Payne and Peggy Higham in the Mini. Photo published in an advert for administrative personnel for CCC staff - consistently called 'birds'.

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