Registration 961 KOR: Hampshire C.C., 1964
Made by a London manufacturer.
The alloy body is a full foot lower and three hundredweight lighter than the ordinary Imp shell.
The prototype, fitted with a Nathan-tuned Imp engine, has a top speed of 115mph-plus with roughly 70bhp.
Peter Sheen, a Surrey wine trader, wanted to prove you didn't need Italian body designs or British survivors of the quality coachbuilding trade. He himself designed the body shape, an Abarth-style coupé. Then he took an Imp to Robert Peel at Kingston, who made his design reality in aluminium on an Imp floorpan.
Willy Griffiths of Roger Nathan Tuning gave his attention to the engine.
According to CR of The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile by G. N. Georgano, two engine choices were intended to be offered: a 70bhp Nathan-tuned version and a 105bhp 1147cc Emery version with a 5-speed gearbox. Production cars were to have had fibreglass bodywork. But Rootes was unwilling to supply Imp parts. Only two aluminium prototypes were ever made.
The company was bought by another manufacturer, but the project was shelved before the fibreglass bodied car went into production.
|Imperator GTS - Nathan-tuned||normal Imp|
|a special cylinder head|
with improved gasflow
|bigger valve inserts|
|a sporting 25/60 camshaft|
|double-choke side-draught Weber|
|compression ratio: 10.5 : 1||10 : 1|
|peak power: 70 bhp (for the road-tuned version)|
|max. power @ 8000 rpm|
safely runs upto 9000 rpm
Robin Human purchased the Imperator GTS (961 KOR) in April 2003. He said it is in need of
complete restoration and he plans to have it ready for National 2004.
He says another Imp Club member says that they have seen the 'other' Imperator. The write up from 'Small Car' mentions that two cars will be raced in the forthcoming season, so it is entirely possible that another exists.
|Peter Sheen, designer of the Imperator, just after its completion in 1964.|
As far as Robin Human knows these photos were taken in Abinger Common, a village near Horsham in Sussex.
|The Imperator's bodywork was completed
and prepared for paint May 2004
Abarthtime : Gents! at £950 it's the slickest quickest Imp yet / photography by Albert Foster. - Small Car 1965, February. - p.32-33,35
Peter Sheen's Abartesque Imp (Road test)
3 colour photos; 5 B&W: by Albert Foster near Wisborough Green, Sussex
Small car tested the prototype with a bare interior. They call it the 'road-tuned version', implying they think other versions exist or are planned... They say 'in its present state of development', implying development isn't finished yet...
The Imp Site|
The Latin word imperator (roughly equivalent to 'commander') was the title given, in the time of the Roman Republic, to generals who had won an especially celebrated victory.