Chris Humberstone of Woking, Surrey, designed a luxury kit, based on the Imp.
Chris Humberstone offers a design service. The 4O8 illustrated is one of many products of his very individual design work.
The 408 is an attractive 2+2 body featuring detachable gullwing doors, which are stored in the boot, when open-air motoring can be enjoyed. Re-fitting the doors takes only a minute, and besides being much quicker than a hood, they are watertight and permanent. Other features include retractable headlamps that cleverly provide daylight-flashing even when lowered, and a new type of built-in front aerofoil duct. The interior is in keeping with the rest of the design, being to a very high standard and of advanced, professional appearance. Full instrumentation is provided for, and four matching, luxurious, attractive seats and a leather-rim steering vheel are included in the kit, and all are specially designed for the 408. Detachable bumpers blend into the styling and are normally finished in a reflective colour.
Work starts by bolting strengthening members inside the car. It is possible to still use the car with these fitted. Next, remove doors, disconnect eight items, and then cut the top of the body off just below the waistline. The new body then fits on to pre-drilled mountings on the strengthening members. Wipers, washers, heater and instruments are then re-fixed. The bonnet, boot, doors, glass, existing wheels and tyres, seats, trim, steering wheel, bumpers and roof etc. can then be sold, either for scrap or for spares. The ideal basis is a recent Imp Sport with a damaged roof.
the whole character of the Imp with its race bred engine and responsive controls are ideally suited for the 408 project. Later, the 408 will be offered with its own chassis, and as a ***? car with *******? power *****?.
Other Designs: Illustrated on the back page is a photograph of the 408 in its early prototype stages, and a model of a new projected car 'Savannah' which has an exciting specification, to sell at around £3,500. Besides outside design work on cars, special purpose vehicles, houses and home extensions, Chris also pursues his own projects.
Favourite is the Quartette, featured by the 'Telegraph' and exhibited in model form by IBCAM on their stand at the 1970 Earls Court Motor Show, where it created a lot of interest and speculation. It is a full four-seater of unconventional design, with a mid-mounted power unit and lots of space for luggage - all in very compact dimensions. One for the future.
Maybe ? cars were made.
|The Imp Site
The Allard J2X Story / By Michael J. Fuller
Chris Humberstone was a designer with a flair for tackling and managing complex engineering projects. Over the years he had worked at various racing teams and manufacturers, accumulating an interesting resume; Beatrice / Force F1, Benetton, and Brun Technics. In the late 80s Humberstone approached Alan Allard, the son of Sidney Allard, about licensing the family name for a future road car project. Though delayed a number of years, in the early 90s Humberstone finally formed Allard Holdings with the intent of moving forward.
In the meantime, Humberstone began to bring together a group of young, enthusiastic, if somewhat inexperienced, designers and engineers. Humberstone approached Hayden Burvill and began forming the core of the design staff, starting in late 1990.
Jaguar estates / Barto
Chris Humberstone is the designer of the Jaguar Owen Sedanca, the XJ12 Rapport Forté, the Triplex Ten Twenty Special show car, and of many others. He managed his own company, Chris Humberstone Design Ltd, specialized in one-off conversion for rich and famous. In the 80’s he worked as a freelancer for several years, notably as a consultant to several Formula 1 teams, including McLaren and Benetton. In 1989, he decided to capitalize on the resurgence of interest in the Mini by reviving the Harold Radford name. In 1992 he designed the innovative Allard J2X Group C Le Mans racer. He later became managing director of Spice Racing Cars in Australia. His career was cut short by his untimely death a few years later.