The Imp Site

Rally results 1963-1970, including...

Results of the Works Imps


At the end of 1963 Marcus Chambers was approached to replace Norman Garrad (Scarborough, 1901) as first man of the Competition Department: Competition Manager. He was appointed February 1964.

When the Simca 1000 Rallye turned into a successful rally car, Des O'Dell wanted to do the same with the Hillman Imp. But he needed a bigger engine, which Rootes' management denied him. So every Sunday O'Dell broke into the factory and replaced pistons and cylinder liners at the engine assembly line, and every following Monday the first 20 Imps produced had a bigger engine - while O'Dell took careful note of all the chassis numbers. Eventually Des O'Dell homologated a Hillman Imp for rallying of which Rootes directors never knew it existed!

Rootes made the mistake of asking Des O'Dell to run a touring car program. O'Dell decided that the roundy stuff was such a simple thing to do, he didn't need a highly paid driver: his friend and team head-mechanic, Frenchman Bernard Unett could do the job just as well - and the mechanic turned a triple British touring car Champ! The touring car world was turned upside down by Rootes and their rally improvisor director.
The opposition was shocked when in the pits they where lifting the cars having to pump the trolley jacks, only to witness Des O'Dell to come out with a compressor bottle to have his car sitting on 4 pneumatic stands within split seconds! Yes, this is an invention by Rootes' rally director!

In 1964 Rootes management was backing the Imp.



Rallies in alphabetical order

A - C - E - G - I - M - R - S - T - W


1000 Lakes Rally Finland


Tapio Mäkinen, brother of Timo Mäkinen (of Cooper 'S' fame), drove an Imp #23 - YouTube @ 05:29.

    Hillman Imp, GKV 799D, #64, Rally Acropolis
Michailidis? I think the 'IZ' indicates which Acropolis rally it was. The one from 1964 (12th) reads 'IB!'

Acropolis Rally

1966, May 26-29

in class
2nd: Rosemary Smith
3th: Rosemary Smith

Alpine Rally / Coupe des Alpes

1963, 20-25 June

Paul Rutland Barsby / ...? Bradney Hillman Imp #65, 3000 R, class: Tourism - they did not finish in time

Paul Rutland Barsby - Coupe des Alpines 1963
[source: - by 'berfarigoulette' posted 17-Dec-2008 @ 11:53:06]


Omitted by the Rootes Works team as it started on the same weekend as the Le Mans.

    British International Rallies Championship
The British International Rallies Club, which started life as the Monte Carlo Rally British Competitors' Club, announced in January 1965 a new championship, based on the outcome of 8 events.
  1. The Monte Carlo
  2. Swedish Rally
  3. East African Safari
  4. Tulip Rally
  5. Acropolis Rally
  6. Alpine Rally
  7. Spa-Sofia-Liège Rally
  8. RAC Rally
  These were the 6 rallies counting towards the F.I.A. European Rally Championship + the Safari + the S.S.L. Rally.

1965 July 19-25 (26th Coupe des Alpes)

This rally was put on video - The Rootes Group presents: "Miss Smith and her Imp, 1965". The narator is Rosemary Smith herself, which is unusual.
93 starters leave Marseille, 53 reach Grenoble, but only 32 complete this rally. It consisted of 2200 miles, mostly in the mountains, divided into three main stages: 500, 800 and 900 miles with overnight stops. There were about 60 special sections, which are practiced first, so pace notes can be used.
The other two Hillman Imps spotted in the video are a red one with a white roof, 104 and no. 108, 4525 KV, in the same blue as the Works Imp, but with standard wheels rather than alloy ones. Both of these are shown to reach the first overnight stop (in Grenoble ?).

GT up to 1000cc
1st: Rosemary Smith / Sheila Taylor in blue EDU 710C with 105
Coupe des Dames / Ladies Cup in Grand Touring category
1st: Rosemary Smith, codriver Sheila Taylor
Grand Touring Class
5th: Rosemary Smith / Sheila Taylor in a Hillman, 420 points
19th: Rosemary Smith / Sheila Taylor in a Hillman, 420 penalty marks
Rosemary Smith triumphs in the 1965 Coupe des Alpes; EDU 710C

Participating Imps in the 1965 Alpine Rally that DNF:
Thompsom / Rodney; Hillman #45 , class Tourism
Henry Ziegler / Harry Skelton; Hillman Imp #104 ?? class GT - DNF because of the front suspension
Margareth MacKenzie / Joseph Lowrey; Hillman Imp #108 4525 KV class GT - DNF because of an accident
John Evans / Rodney Spoke; Hillman Imp #109 class GT

1966, September, 5-10

All the Hillman Imps had trouble and did not finish:

Rootes Works Imps - Alpine Rally 1966
Robin Turvey; Peter Harper; Rosemary Smith; Valerie Domleo [much later: Valerie Morley]; Andrew Cowan; Brian Coyle
FRW 308C; 4525 KV; FRW 307C


9th: Andrew Cowan & Brian Coyle, Sunbeam Imp with no. 75 (2nd in group 3; class 2: up to 1300cc), 20h49'40"3
10th: Rosemary Smith & Margaret Lowrey, Sunbeam Imp with no. 83 (in group 3), 20h50'38"9
[other source]: no. 77; JDU 48E; 3rd in group 3; class 3: up to 1300cc ???
rally shield Alpine Rally 1967, no. 83

Roy Fidler & Alan Taylor, in Sunbeam Imp JDU 48E with #77 (group 3) did not finish - says one source, which supplied the times, too. But the photo says differently. Fidler and Taylor did drive #83, according to a photo of the rally shield that Guy Smith send me (24 Oct 2020), which may not be a 1967 shield, as it is so different from the stick on shields that Rosemary had.. They stopped with head gasket problems. Carles Bosch 02 says they drove JDU 46E

The 3rd works Imp at Coupe des Alpine 1967 driven by Andrew Cowan: registration JRW 702E.
(Information by Andrew Cowan himself, asked Ian GRINDROD) - source:, posted 05-01-2009 @ 20:34:05 by 2000RS (Keith)

The 1967 Alpine Rally - Roy Fidler at the wheel - source not remembered :-( but likely their
caption was in error, as this is actually Rosemary in JDU 48E

Alpine Rally - Rosemary Smith; JDU 48E
[source: - by 'berfarigoulette' posted 17-Dec-2008 @ 11:53:06] (photo ecots or JeanMarc06)?
According to a list of entries to 1967, No. 77 was attributed to Rosemary Smith.

Canadian KLG Rally


in class
1st: Rosemary Smith
General placement
1st: Rosemary Smith
8th: Rosemary Smith


8th: Rosemary Smith
Coupe Des Dames

Cork '20' International Rally
an Irish tarmac rally

In 1969 it was held twice, once in February and once in November. The first one was won outright by Rosemary Smith and Ricky Foot in a Hillman Imp.

International Circuit of Ireland Rally

1965 April, 16-20th

in class
1st: Colin Malkin
2nd: Rosemary Smith
3rd: another imper
Ladies' award
1st: Rosemary Smith

source: Fred Gallagher
4326(?)KV on the Orra Lodge stage on the last morning.
The most competitive Imps on the event - all entered in the GT up to 1300 class - were
#15 Tiny Lewis / Robin Turvey;
#20 David Pollard / Barry Hughes;
#37 Rosemary Smith / Sheila O'Clery;
#49 Malcolm Templeton /T. (Ted?) Cowell;
#50 Ernest McMillen / B. Metcalfe.

source: TeamDan:
Circuit of Ireland International Rally, 16th-20th April 1965
Hillman Imps driven by:
Tiny Lewis / Robin Turvey
David Pollard / Barry Hughes
Rosemary Smith / Sheila O'Clery


Four days. A rugged route through Northern Ireland and the republic, which included 50 'flat out' sections on rough privatte roads and tracks. Torrential rain and floods in the early stages. 86 starters, 33 finished.

in class: up to 1,300cc for G.T. cars
1st: Colin Malkin (Kenilworth) with R. Lyall (private entry)
2nd: Rosemary Smith (Dublin) and Valerie Domleo
3rd: David Baird (Belfast) with C. McMeekin
Londonderry Trophy
Colin Malkin
O'Connor-Rourke Trophy for victory in the ladies' section
1st: Rosemary Smith
the 4th successive year that R. Smith had won the Ladies' Cup in a Rootes car.


1300cc GT class
1st: Rosemary Smith & Susan Seigle-Morris
7th: Rosemary Smith & Susan Seigle-Morris
Ladies' award
1st: Rosemary Smith (for the 7th time in a row)

East African Motor Sports Club Rally

In 1953, the first East African Safari Rally was run to mark the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.


Up to 1300cc
1st: Cliff Collinge / John Dunk

Gulf Rally
Gulf London International Rally

1965, 24-26 June

£3,000 to be won, £1,000 for the outright winner. Gulf paid for everyone's fuel.
92 starters, less than 40 survived the first night in Wales (Dollgellau control); only 17 arrived back at the finish, 45 hours later.

14th; John Evans / Rodney Spokes; Hillman Imp; EBL 313C - possiby the same Imp as in the Alpine Rally
It arrived too late to finish. [source: 2000RS @, photo]

comp.# 10 Tiny Lewis / Robin Turvey; class 5 Hillman Imp

  7742 KV
Hillman Imp 7742 KV during a service stop on the Gulf Rally in 1965, Gulf Rally 40
Sticker behind the front wheel: Team 848 (Which is what?)
(237 - Photogr.: Michael Marchant, 28 Hayerstreet W.1. Welbeck 1989 / Ludgate 0254)
According to TeamDan, car no 40 in the '65 Gulf London Rally was a Sunbeam Rapier (Harry Skelton/Mike Lindsay-Jones). So either it isn't 1965 or TeamDan is wrong.
It IS the Gulf Rally, the sticker on the bonnet says it is.


in the 1600cc GT class
1st: Rosemary Smith
2nd: another Imp
3rd: another Imp

The Motor v.131 1967 Jul-Aug 5. - Page 46
... Barry Williams and Tommy Thompson rolled their Rally Imp although they managed to get it going again, and finished second in their class. ...

1967, June 27-30

From the entry list:
No. 35 - David Pollard / David Fawsett; Sunbeam Imp; Class 1
No. 46 - Harry Skelton / Mike Lindsay - Jones; Sunbeam Imp; Class 1
No. 52 - Colin Malkin / Vaughan Bond; Rallye Imp; Class 5;
No. 108 - Anthony Payne / Colin Briars; Rallye Imp; Class 5
No. 111 - Pauline Wynn / Venetia Sadler; Rallye Imp; Class 5
No. 117 - Rodney Badham / John Alcock; Rallye Imp; Class 5

Class 1: Groups 1 & 2, up to 1000cc
Class 5: Groups 3 & 4, up to 1600cc

source: Milan Fistonic at

Final Results:
#25 David Pollard / David Fawsett; Sunbeam Rally Imp; Class vii
#33 Barry Williams / Tommy Thompson; Hillman Rally Imp; Class v
#46 Harry Skelton / Geraint Phillips; Sunbeam Super Sport; Class i
#52 Colin Malkin / Vaughan Bond; Hillman Imp; Class v


   Andrew Cowan; Hillman Imp JVC 123E; Gulf Rally 1968
Hillman Imp JVC 123E - Andrew Cowan
Source: Thomas Lundevall at

GULF LONDON 1968, Andrew Cowan / Brian Coyle, JVC 123E [source: TR_tat, 11-05-2012 à 14:40:56 @, photo]

Irish Rally



in class up to 1300cc, GT
(14 started, 6 finished, 4 of these were Imps)
2nd: 'Tiny' Lewis
3rd: Rosemary Smith
5th: imp
6th: imp
General placement
8th: 'Tiny' Lewis
Ladies' Trophee
1st: Rosemary Smith


in class up to 1300cc, GT
1st: imp
2nd: imp
3rd: imp
Ladies' Trophee
1st: Rosemary Smith


in class (Production Cars to 1300cc GT)
1st: J. Eyre-Maunsell & P. Thompson
2nd: P. McConnell & B. Rickerby
3rd: P. Birch & R. Spakes
all were driving 998cc Sunbeam Imps
Ladies' Trophee
1st: Rosemary Smith & Margaret Lowrey (4th year running in an Imp)
also 3rd outright - 998cc Sunbeam Imp

Manx Rally


1st: C. Malkin

Imps in the Monte - by Carles Bosch / Alain Barbou
year Comp.No. Driver / Navigator car / registr. result
1964 #249 Ernie Hunt et
R. Mac
3933 KV 64e scratch
(56e Groupe 1, 5e Classe 3
#205 Maurice Gatsonides et
Albert Ilcken
2e scratch
(64e Groupe 1, 6e Classe 3
115 Sylve Rahm /
Knud Jensen
58 Erik Whitmore /
John Romer
50 Jorgen &
Steffen Nielsen
#32 Michael Frostick /
4525 KV aussi partants
#90 Andrew Cowan et
Keith Ballisat
4526 KV aussi partants
216 Lewis/
1965 95 David Pollard et
Barry Hughes
4525 KV 15e scratch
(2e Classe 1000cc GT
113 Rosemary Smith et
Margaret Mackenzie
7674 KV 22e scratch
(4e Classe 1000cc GT
124 Tiny Lewis /
130 Gudim/
145 Rowe/
178 Dinwiddy/
198 Ziegler/
1966 #136 Patrick Lier et
Henri Vuarraz
GE 106902 23e scratch
(20e Groupe 1, 1r Classe 1
#146 Tiny Lewis et
Tim Bosence
FRW 307C 62e scratch
(12e Groupe 2, 1r Classe 1
#162 Philippe Simonetta et
Bernard Dirren
GE 106900 70e scratch
(20e Groupe 2, 2e Classe 1
#107 Rosemary Smith et
Val Domleo
Nick Rowe 8305 KV aussi partants
35 ???/
MTB 217C aussi partants
92 Bolton/
FRW 948 C
161 Ziegler/
1967 #9 Rosemary Smith et
Val Morley (Domleo)
Patrick Lier et
Silvio Vaglio
1r Classe 1300cc GT
Peter Harper et
Robin Turvey
2e Classe 1300cc GT
Andrew Cowan et
Brian Coyle
1r Classe 1000cc Groupe 1 ou 2
1968 #45 Andrew Cowan et
Brian Coyle
JHP 100E 22e scratch
(1r Classe 851-1150cc Group 2)
#169 Rosemary Smith et
Maragaret Lowrey
also classified
#187 quipage? also taking part
1971 ? Theo Koks and
Rob Wiedenhoff
a Hillman Imp
of Simon Heindijk
2nd in class
when their dynamo
broke down
 Starting in London 7674 VC # 113
  Miss Smith and Miss MacKenzie setting off from the London start to Saint Claude. This year the British starting point was Chelsea (at 3.26 a.m.) instead of Glasgow.

Monte Carlo Rally

4160km; finish at Monte Carlo

1964, January

First major outing for the Imp. Works entered 8 Imps and 7 of these arrived safely back in Monte Carlo after the 3,000 (or is it 2,000) mile drive from the start. 3 of those were driven by Danes:

One Imp retired before the end of the opening stages at Rheims. Michael Frostik / G. Burgess started in Minsk in Hillman Imp 4525 KV with no. 32. Results unknown.

Keith Ballisat / Andrew Cowan started in Oslo in Hillman Imp 4526 KV with no. 90. They made it in good order to the special stages on the common route from Rheims to Monaco, even though the roads were icy. Results unknown.

I.D. Lewis / D. Pollard started in Paris in an Hillman Imp. They retired due to an accident

These Imps were mostly unmodified Group I entries. Of the eight Imps that were entered, seven drove the 3,000 miles from the Oslo start and arrived safely in Monte Carlo.
Maus Gatsonides finished 72 in his Hillman Imp.

The award for best performance was taken by another Imp which was a private British entry.

1965, January 15-20 (34th Rallye de Monte Carlo)

34th Monte Carlo Rally. Day- and night endurance; 2,600 miles, followed by 380 miles circuit; deep in snow, often with black ice. 35 cars out of 227 arrived, only 22 survived in the mountains.
Rootes Press Release
Other source: 274 entries, 237 starters, 35 finishers. Heavy snows were the main cause. Start cities were Lisbon, London, Paris, Athens, Frankfurt, Monte Carlo, Warsaw and Minsk.
The Death March of 1965 when only a few battered hulks made it to Monte Carlo. And that was before the start of the last stages which saw even more of the battered machinery give up the ghost before returning back to Monte Carlo and the distribution of the shiny tin cups to the various class winners.

Marcus Chambers said that this was the first event in which the Rootes Competition Department expected the Imps to make a showing. They had the 998cc engines and ran in Group 3. The dry liners were bored out and a thin shrunk-in liner was inserted. This increased the bore to 72,5mm. (Later on proper wet liners were to fitted, but as a temporary solution, it was worth a try. The cylinder blocks were not rigid enough to hold wet liners accurately, not for very long, so the dimensions had to be checked at every engine overhaul.)

See also the advert 'Rootes successes in 1965 Monte Carlo rally' on Russell's site.

Grand Touring cars up to 1,000cc; 4 out of 20 participants finished
2nd: David Pollard / Barry Hughes
4th: Rosemary Smith / Margaret MacKenzie
15th: David Pollard / B. Hughes in Hillman 4525 KV with no. 95. 8734 points; penalty marks: 8734.7360.
22nd: Rosemary Smith / Margaret Mackenzie in Hillman 7674 VC with 113,
(4th: Peter Harper / Ian Hall Sunbeam ...; penalty marks: 6193.6200)
(11th: Cowan / Turvey - Sunbeam ...; penalty marks: 7439.0022)
Ladies' award (Coupe des Dames)
2nd: Rosemary Smith (runner-up to Pat Moss-Carlsson)

'Tiny' Lewis with no. 124 retired with engine problems.

N. Rowe and D. Doidge had to retire their Hillman Imp. They had started from London.

1966, January 14-22

The 35th running of the Monte Carlo Rally, the first major event to be affected by the revision to Appendix J in the FIA 'Yellow Book'. Rather than the survival treks from the various starting points as in the past, the journey from the nine starting Lisbon, London, Monte Carlo, Bad Homberg, Reims, Oslo, Warsaw, Minsk, and Athens points () this time was more of an exercise more akin to a local TSD (Time-Speed-Distance) rally than the head-thumper the Monte usually is reckoned to be. So, lots of folks converged on the Principality for the 24-hour Monaco-Chambery-Monaco loop and then the 500km dash through the Maritime Alps and back to Monaco through Nice, all of which was designed to be a sort of triage sort out the walking wounded from the barely breathing.
All involved and more than a few teams were left in a lurch as to what was and was not kosher. The problem was not made any easier by the fact that the final draft for Appendix J was not released until mid-November. A small problem for BMC (British Motor Corporation) was that, although it had produced over 5,000 of the 1,275cc Mini Cooper S rocketships, the production was evenly divided between those carrying Austin badges and those carrying Morris badges.
The number of starters was down from last year to only 192 entries that actually departed the nine starting points. The Rootes team manager eyed the situation and decided to put the Sunbeam Imp entries in Group 1, since the Renault-Gordini was in Group 2 (more arched eyebrows), and the Sunbeam Tiger in Group 3. The Rootes team manager, Marcus Chambers, asked to run the Barracuda in Group 3, but Chrysler declined to support him on that little gambit 'why go look for trouble?' was their reaction.
The London starters also hit some serious snow, but few of the serious entries were affected by it. Lots of folks (157 of the entries) finally made it.
British Pathe video: Monte Carlo rally 1966. Oficials starting Hillman Imp, Rover 2000, Ford Cortina and Ford Corsair off from London airport, also shots of them taking roundabout at the airport as they leave for the rally
Monte Carlo 1968, GKV 799D, #196
Up to 1000cc unmodified production touring cars
1st: Patrick Lier / Henri Vuarraz
Up to 1000cc modified production touring cars
1st: 'Tiny' Lewis / Timothy Bosence in FRW 307C with no. 146
2nd: Phillippe Simonnetta / Bernard Dirren

Rosemary Smith and her navigator Valerie Domleo in FRW 306C with no. 107 performed well, too, but got disqualified ? Another Imp got supposedly disqualified: MTB 217C, with no. 35.
Both Smith and Lier drove standard Imps that you can buy at the local dealer, according to their claim in advertisements.

1967, January

G.T. cars up to 1300cc
1st: Patrick Lier/ Silvio Vaglio in a private Rallye Imp.
2nd: Peter Harper/ Robin Turvey
Production cars up to 1000cc
1st: Andrew Cowan/ Brian Coyle

The Works team for the 1967 Monte Carlo Rally comprised three Imps - JDU46E/ JDU47E/ JDU48E - all three were built at the end of 1966 and first registered in January of 1967.

    cc driver comp.#   afterwards rebuilt
JDU 46E Gp 3 998 Peter Harper   DNF - out with a carb fault on the last night, when 2nd in class and 46th overall

used by Peter Harper on the '67 Tulip and by Roy Fiddler on the '67 Alpine and by Rosemary Smith on the '67 RAC.

JDU 47E Gp 2 875 Andrew Cowan   Imp Sport; Cowan finished with a class win and was 22nd overall. it became a demonstration car until it was sold off with a 998 (to Peter Read? who used it in club rallies); it was not used by the Works team again. yes
JDU 48E Gp 3 998 Rosemary Smith 9 DNF - accident: crashed out on the last night when leading the Coupe de Dames. used by Rosemary Smith on the '67 Alpine; used by Andrew Cowan on the '69 Scottish Rally as a Gp 6 with 998cc - 2nd overall ! yes

P. Lier and crew made the first succesful use of radio equipment to keep a rally car in touch with its service vehicle. Guinness Book of Rallying / John Davenport

From the Sunbeam Rootes advert (Autocar January 1967. p.67, with photo):
(results subject to official confirmation)
Success for the Sunbeam Imp Sport the very first time it enters an International Rally! That's what Andrew Cowan's class win means for the latest Sunbeam model. Convincing proof of the Imp's performance and reliability. Again and again, the Imp wins. Choose a tough car, choose the Imp

1968, January 20 - 25th

37th Monte Carlo Rally
229 entries, 200 starters, 153 finishers.
Start cities were Dover, Lisbon, Warsaw, Oslo, Monte Carlo, Athens, Frankfurt and Reims.

851cc to 1150cc class Production Touring Cars
1st: Andrew Cowan & Brian Coyle, driving a Sunbeam Imp Sport 875cc, modified
Coupe des Dames
2nd: Rosemary Smith/ Margaret Lowrey, driving a 998cc Sunbeam Imp, 169
22nd: Andrew Cowan in JHP 100E with 45 says both teams Andrew Cowan/Brian Coyle as well as Rosemary Smith/Margaret Lowrey drove Hillman Imp Sports.

From the programme:

Departs de Monte-Carlo
45Cowan, Andrew Coyle, Brian BrittaniqueSunbeam ImpII2897
Departs de Douvres
169Smith, Rosemary (Miss)Lowrey, Margaret (Mrs.)IrlandaiseSunbeam ImpIII1998
174Darby, PeterLeslie, RobinBrittaniqueSinger ChamoisII2875
187MelvilleLacour, JacquesFrançaiseSunbeamIII1998
196Michailidis, Andréas Bosence, TimothyBrittaniqueHillman ImpIII1998
197Crawford, DavidBoyd, AdrianBrittaniqueSunbeam ImpIII1998


Andrew Cowan and Brian Coyle in JHP 100E at the Monte of 1968
Andrew Cowan and Brian Coyle in JHP 100E at the Monte of 1968, according to the programme with 897cc...
Andrew Cowan and Brian Coyle in JHP 100E at the Monte of 1968
 In their newspaper 'Arrow' of February 1968, Rootes write:

FOR THE THIRD year running, an Imp (pictured above) won its class in the Monte Carlo Rally. Andrew Cowan's overall position was 22nd - so how impressive was this performance?

Two factors stand out.
Firstly, the rally this year was run on a 'scratch' basis with no handicaps - and average speeds designed to penalise cars of twice the Imp's capacity.

Secondly, unusually dry road conditions enabled the more powerful cars to make full use of their speed - and offered no advantages to direct drive cars like the Imp with their superior traction in bad conditions.

Cowan, who was partnered by Brian Coyle, competed in the class for Group II Production Touring Cars up to 1150 cc. - In other words. he was driving a normal Sunbeam Imp Sport production model with only minor modifications.

His was the only car in this class of 15 starters - including seven rival makes - which achieved a penalty-free run throughout all the stages of the 3,400 miles event.

Andrew Cowan and Brian Coyle in JHP 100E at the Monte of 1968
Rosemary Smith and Margaret Lowrey; 998 Sunbeam Imp; JRW 701E
#169, Rosemary Smith and Margaret Lowrey in a group III Sunbeam Imp (998cc) in class 1; JRW 701E
 In their newspaper 'Arrow' of February 1968, Rootes write on page 3:

Rosemary Smith and Margaret Lowrey in the other Rootes entered Imp also successfully completed the rally, finishing second for the Coupe des Dames.

The two Imps were the only cars under 1000 cc. to finish among the top 40 places in the event.

"Everything considered. I think the result reflects great credit on the drivers and on the reliability of the Imp", said Mr. Marcus Chambers. Rootes Competition Manager.


1969, January 18-25; the 38th Monte Carlo Rally

John Chronidis started from Athens with a Hillman Imp (#154), but did not classify as a finisher. No points were listed.
The same with Andreas Michailidis, who started from London with Hillman Imp (#232)

Poland Rally (Radj Polski)

1965, August 5-7

18th: Thistethwaite / Youd (GB); Hillan ...; penalty marks: 4498,376

RAC Rally (the international rally of Great Britain)

  Michael Frostick's book on Rootes Works
A reprint of the 1964 publication, includes Works modification schedules for competitions, specifications of all Rootes Group models, advice on food, sleep and car comfort, team briefing and servicing arrangements.

1963, November

171 entries, 163 starters, 91 finishers.

Pos 	# 	Crew 			        Car 	    	Cls 	Pts 	Car reg
      152 	A.C. Kirby/ I.R. Martin	Hillman Imp 	2
      171 	Paul Rutland-Barsby 	Hillman Imp 	2 


3670km, finish at London airport

Production Touring Cars, up to 1150cc (Group 2)
1st: Andrew Cowan / Brian Coyle (Sunbeam Imp Sport 875cc modified)
14th: Rosemary Smith in 4525 KV with no. 20
Coupe des Dames
2nd: Rosemary Smith / Margaret Lowrey (Sunbeam Imp 998cc)

David Pollard / Tony Baines in 4526 KV with no. 67
another source says they drove 4525 KV


Tiny Lewis and Robin Turvey drove a Hillman Imp with 18.
Rosemary Smith and Miss Margaret McKenzie drove a Hillman Imp with 60

#121 G.S. Dinwiddy and F.P. Rutter Hillman Imp
#141 A. Wright and D.R. Edwards Hillman Imp

(Andrew Cowan and Brian Coyle drove a Sunbeam Rapier, 28.)

180 entries, 158 starters, 89 finishers
1964, November 8-..

1965; 14th RAC Rally
21st-25th November 1965

By 1965/1966 the works Imps were becoming increasingly modified. An example was the Imp driven in this rally by Rosemary Smith. EDU 710C was road-tested by Autocar soon after the event.

This RAC was particularly tough. Rootes and only one other factory team out of nine starters finished intact. All three works Imps survived, and Rootes received the manufacturers' Team prize. Due to snow, ice, fog and pouring rain, only 62 out of 162 participants finished.
The three Works Imps in this rally: 4525 KV (Andrew Cowan / Brian Coyle); EDU 710C (Rosemary Smith / Susan Reeves); 4526 KV ('Tiny' Lewis / Robin Turvey).

Ladies' Award
2nd: Rosemary Smith

source: TeamDan:
168 entries, 163 starters, 62 finishers

overallcomp.#  classtime
48J.D.L. Lewis/ Robin TurveyHillman Imp9579m53
68P. Burch/ G JonesHillman Imp9613m18
9Rosemary Smith/ Susan ReevesHillman Imp9620m37
 21Andrew Cowan/ Brian CoyleHillman Imp9 
 52David Pollard/ J BainesHillman Imp9 
 99J R Cotter/ W WardHillman Imp9 
 101Tom Huntley/ Peter JonesSinger Chamois9DNF
 105Michael Frostick/ M BHillman Imp9 
 125S Benton/ M HaywardHillman Imp3 
 134Harry Skelton/ Hillman Imp9 
 140S Turner/Hillman Imp9 
 147P Carver/ G WarrenHillman Imp9 
 156G Birrell/ G BirrellSinger Chamois3 
 157M Leeke/ M CotSinger Chamois9 
 162A Beattie/ I WoodruffHillman Imp9 

     Lewis and Turvey, RAC Rally 1966

Gerry Birrell's racer FUE 4C was the Imp that was best known for using a Climax engine.

From: Peter Valentine
Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2009

On the 1965 RAC Rally there was a 998 cc Singer Chamois driven by a great friend of mine, Tom Huntley with one Peter Jones co-driving.
They retired after the co-driver put the car off the road on an icy road section when the driver was having a sleep. To say that there was one unhappy driver would be no understatement.

1966, November 19-25

14th: Rosemary Smith and Susan Reeves in EDU 710C with no. 9
2nd in the Coupe des Dames
Rootes won the Team Prize
Autocar, 28 January 1966

Both 'Tiny' Lewis and Andrew Cowan had to retire due to transaxle problems.

The table on TeamDan has Rosemary Smith/Valerie Morley in EWK 573C, still finishing 14th overall, but with comp. no. 20 and in class 9. They supply the time it took for them.
That table also supplies that Peter Harper/R.Turvey retired (comp. no. 32, class 9). I.Lewis/T.Bosence in comp. no. 39; Andrew Cowan/B.Coyle in comp. no. 41 have a blanc, not an R.
Miss J Nadin/, comp. no. 93
R G Badham/J H Alcock, comp. no. 98
P Burch/G E Jones, comp. no. 103
W Sutton/C G Gilbert, comp. no. 124
H Mackie/J McKenzie, comp. no. 147
Major M Bailey/Major Cruickshank, comp. no. 151


From the entry list:

comp.# driver/ navigator car cc class entrant
2 G. Birrell / M. Leeke Sunbeam Imp 998 7 Claud Hamilton (Motors) Ltd.
46 A. Cowan / N. Cryle Imp Sport 998 10 Rootes Group
58 Miss R. Smith / Mrs. V. Morley Sunbeam Imp 998 7 Rootes Group
70 Mrs. M.W. Lowrey / Mrs. A.H. Watson Imp Sport 900 2 Mrs. M.W. Lowrey
72 P. Burch / G. Marlow Sunbeam Imp 875 2 Coombs & Sons, Guildford
83 C.M. Malkin / K. Billows Imp 998 10 C.M. Malkin
114 J.R. Chidroy / P. Langmaid Imp Sport 875 2 J.R. Chidroy
117 D.F.G. Cox / Miss A. Bertram Rallye Imp 925 10 D.E.G. Cox
122 P.R. Darby / R. Leslie Chamois Sport 875 2 P.R. Darby
131 R.I. Stewart / R.H. Alton Imp 875 2 R.I. Stewart


The newspaper the Sun was the main sponsor for the RAC 1966, '67 & kind of '68 and the first dozen or so were 'publicity entries'.

Cancelled little more than 12 hours before the start. It was replaced by a Camberly single stage event.

  overall   driver   rebuilt
JVC 123E 3rd Gp 6 Andrew Cowan the first Gp 6 Imp. Subsequently it won the ATV rallycross outright, again with Cowan. This car was very successful, particularly for Malkin taking him to many successes and the '68 Motoring News Championship. It is unlikely that it ever had an engine on an event bigger than 998cc given the state of development of big bore engines at that time. yes
JDU 46E     Rosemary Smith    

Rallycross Imp
Rosemary Smith, JDU 46E, 1967 RAC, TV stage
Photo for sale at

1968, November 15th-22nd

114 entries, 96 starters, 32 finishers

R.J. Iliffe and P.W.E. Bolton drove a Singer Chamois in class A (with maybe competition no. 19?). They did not finish?

Miss B. Burrell and Joan Pink drove a Sunbeam Imp with competition no. 113 in class 2.

RAC Rally of Nov. 1969 - see consecutive file

   Scottish Rally 1965; 4525 KV
Don Barrow: "I have attached a pic I took prior to the start of the 1965 Scottish Rally, it's outside the Scottish Automobile Club in Blythewood Square, Glasgow.
The 3 cars are L to R - Tiny Lewis & Robin Turvey 4526 KV - Andrew Cowan & Don Barrow FRW 3070 - Rosemary Smith & Valerie Domleo - 4525 KV
You have my permission to use the attached photo."
(click to enlarge: 1578x1057 pixels)

Scottish Rally Previous Winners

1965 June, 7-11

This rally is the main subject of the Rootes video "Highland Imp 1965". Only a few weeks after the Tulip. And only 3 days after the Acropolis Rally where three other Works Imps competed, only the crews being flown home to compete [source: Don Barrow]. The Works team had three Imps, driving with the engine lid agap: the third one being David Pollard with 11 - he wasn't shown to finish. The event lasted 5 days. It consisted of 1166 miles, mostly rough and muddy roads through forest area, and 52 special sections. Paddy Hopkirk (Mini-driver) declared it the roughest rally he'd ever been in. Of the 105 cars that started only 42 finished (according to the video). But the Imps were much in evidence.

From: Don Barrow - Rally Navigation Equipment
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2006

One of the RED private Hillman Imps was Harry Skelton, co-driven by a Swiss guy called Henri ???? (Ian Hall will remember his name) and I think it was a ???? KV Reg number.

Don Barrow
Rally Navigation Equipment Specialist

From: Don Barrow - Rally Navigation Equipment
Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2008

To help you complete a bit of your history, I previously mentioned for 1965 Alpine a private entry driving an Imp.

It was Henri Ziegler / Harry Skelton in Henri's car, this was part of an exchange where they swapped rolls for the 1965 Scottish, as Harry Skelton / Henri Ziegler in Harry's Imp.

Kind Regards,
Don Barrow
Rally Navigation Equipment Specialist ;

There were many privately entered Imps, at least six: ?
both green Singer Chamois
with large, sturdy antennas
Probably not
56red Hillman Imp (Greenward ? Greenwood ?)CJ5 165CProbably
72white Hillman Imp1LKJProbably not
83red Hillman Imp?Yes
93white Hillman ImpCWF 663CProbably

Grand Touring cars up to 1300cc
1st: Ian 'Tiny' Lewis, Robin Turvey
2nd: Rosemary Smith, Valerie Domleo, 4525 KV, 5
1st: Roger Clark/ Jim Porter, Ford Cortina; 3,153 marks
2nd: 'Tiny' Lewis / Robin Turvey, Hillman Imp 4526 KV with 8. 3,708 points
5th: Rosemary Smith, Valerie Domleo, Hillman Imp EDU 710C with 16. 4,932 points
Ladies' Cup (G.T.)
1st: Rosemary Smith /Valerie Domleo [my 1st source (don't remember who, what, where, but magazine 'Motor Racing' says it, too) said mrs. Sheila Taylor, but Don Barrow says it was Valerie Domleo]

And Lewis received the Scottish Daily Record trophy for driving the highest placed Scottish car. (Tiny Lewis repeated the Tulip trick of finishing 2nd overall.)
Only 40 of the 102 participants made it to the finish.

Andrew Cowan with co-driver Don Barrow drove a works Imp. They had the dreaded transaxle trouble and retired on Special Stage 13

Was 9 another Imp?

Motor Racing, August 1965 says that Pollard drove an Imp in this rally, but retired on the 1st day due to engine trouble. All the Imps were running in Group 3 trim, with all the engine and suspension modifications, and 1 litre power units. (p. 345) But they also said that Andy Cowan drove a Tiger.


in class: up-to-1300cc Grand Touring cars
1st: Rosemary Smith
2nd: imp
3rd: imp
3rd: Rosemary Smith in 4525 KV with 5
Coupe des Dames
1st: Rosemary Smith and Valerie Domleo

According to another source N. Greenwood won class 1 of the 1966 scotish rally in his Hillman Imp EAK 608D.


in class (1300cc GT)
1st: Rosemary Smith & Susan Seigle-Morris
2nd: Barry Williams & Tommy Thompson
3rd: G.J. Tripp & R. Turvey
4th: Rosemary Smith & Susan Seigle-Morris

Scottish Rayy 1967, FRW 308C, Smith & Seigle-Morris
Rosemary Smith & Susan Seigle-Morris in FRW 308C with comp. no. 5 in the Scottish Rally of 1967
source: Hot Car 1969, August, p.23. photographer unknown

Andrew Cowan drove JRW 700E with unknown results.
All Imps also Team awards Best Performance Three car team " " Ecurie Team


Special Touring cars up to 1300cc
1st: Imp
Production Touring cars up to 1300cc
1st: Imp
3rd: C. Malkin in Sunbeam Rallye Imp JVC 123E with
5th: Imp JRW 701E (?)
Ladies Trophy
Rosemary Smith (4th year running)

Three great little Imps beat some great big mountains (and great big opposition) to romp home in the Scottish rally. Cowan in LWK 700F had an accident and retired.
The Impers collected all three team prizes.
For the 1968/1969 regulations and class structure suited a more modified works Imp. On this Rally there were many modifications, including Weber carburettors, front radiators, Minilite magnesium wheels and air ducts mounted on the rear wing to feed the engine bay. The Imps were not powerful enough to compete with the new works Escorts and the Cooper 'S' on this and other events.

Latest successes of Rootes/ Chrysler cars is the term win of the Group 6 Sunbeam Imps in the recent Scottish rally in which 96 starters were reduced to less than half that number by the 29 rugged special stages. Colin Malkin was third overall while Rosemary Smith was fifth overall. Andrew Cowan also finished after rolling him Imp.

Ganging Warily on Scottish / as seen by Richard Hudson-Evans. - Hot Car, September 1968, p. 21:

Conditions: heat wave; bone dry; the most dreadful forest tracks; Very hard on tyres and shockers; lots of things came undone. The field of over 100 was quickly decimated by blinding dust and those enormous boulders. The floor wore away, the body shell looked like a cullender in places. We were absolutely black with dust. At times I was so blinded by dust and flying rocks, that I couldn't even see the track.
"With the battle at the head of the field going on between Ytterbring's S, Clark's Escort, Orrenius's Saab and a trio of Group 6 Imps from Rootes, the finest drive of the event to my mind was by Colin Malkin and John Brown in the leading Imp."


2nd: Andrew Cowan / Brian Coyle in JDU 48E with 3
Coupe des Dames
Miss Rosemary Smith / Mrs. Alice Watson

The works Imp's last international event.
Cowan suffered transaxle problems and replaced the unit with one from his own road Imp, kept on his nearby farm, and continued to finish second overall to Roger Clark.
JDU 48E was later owned and rallied by Steve Brew.

Melanie Fitzgerald-Smith (Irish) did the 1969 Scottish in what was possibly an ex-works car, although it had Irish plates. Her navigator was Venetia Sadler who had earlier been a 'Team HAS' co-driver.

Shell 4000-miles across Canada Rally

1st week of May, 6 days. Vancouver to Quebec City. An important victory in North America. More than 60 starters (big American cars and powerful competition from Europe. Only 30% of the route over main highways, 70% over paved, gravel or dirt surfaces. 8 closed test sections.


    Shell 4000 - Smith: bypass the bog
  "Say, where did she come from?" Rosemary Smith plays an Impish trick, and bypasses the bogged down competitors by taking to the undergrowth, in the Shell 4000 Rally. [source]
  Shell 4000 1966
Shell 4000, 1966
[source] Sunbeam Imp, 50898K,

Sixty drivers have ploughed through a 4,100 miles course coast-to-coast across Canada (the longest car rally in the world!) doing all their own own repairs and maintenance throughout a six-day marathon over roads that are largely gravel or dirt-surfaced.

in class: up to 1,150cc
1st: Rosemary Smith with Mrs. Anne Coombe (Toronto)
To conform with the Rally regulations R. Smith an A. Coombe performed all the service and maintenance work necessary on their Imp.
8th: Rosemary Smith
Coupe des Dames
1st: Rosemary Smith


    Shell 4000 Expo 1967
  Shell 4000 1967, Coupe des Dames award
  Shell News: Congratulations are hearty as Coupe des Dames winners Ann Coombe, centre, and Rosemary Smith receive trophies from Gerry Marchesseau who, as manager of Special Services, Head Office Advertising, is in charge of the Trophy.
  Shell 4000 Rosemary Smith Anne Coombe, drifting
  Canada Track & Traffic: Special Section - Rosemary Smith drifts the Imp
White letters on the bonnet: Ireland. Registration: 380-141


Class 1 - up to 1000 cc (61.02 cu. in.)

The Coupe leaders coming into the second stop-over at Red Deer, Alberta, were Ireland's Rosemary Smith and Canadian Ann Coombe in a Sunbeam Imp.

The Smith-Coombe Imp was maintaining the Coupe des Dames lead, and was up to 7th overall at Brandon, Manitoba.

Between Fort William and North Bay the picture changed dramatically and mostly in a large mud hole. In went a Citroen, a second Citroen went in to help; in went the MacLennan-Wilson Ford, and although Wilson helped to push the Citroens, 20 points went to the lead car.
With this set of stick-in-the muds only partially cleared, in went the Smith-Coombe Imp, which baulked the Schulz-Manson Datsun, causing it to stop. And with momentum halted, the car began to dig in.

The crews were all complaining of exhaustion and the mud and dust. Of Ihe Ontario section Rosemary Smith, still leading for the Coupe des Dames, said she was anxious only for the end of the Rally, never mind the Trophy...

The Smith-Coombe Imp, in 13th position overall with 761 points, took the Coupe des Dames and Class 1 (up to 1,000 cc) [...]

[source: Proving the point - in Canada. - AUTOCAR, 18 May 1967, p.52-53]

Rosemary Smith / Ann Combe, Sunbeam Imp
This crew, at whom the aforementioned sign is directed, are very heavily favoured to win their class, as they did last year and they might succeed in a bit higher position than last year (8th overall). They are without a doubt out to try for a repeat Coupe des Dames win, as they did last year when they put an end to Diana Carter's winning ways.
Rosemary won the '65 Tulip Rally in Holland outright, beating the best rally drivers in the world today with an Imp. In fact she has done so well with this car that she is becoming a legend with Rootes of England, and most certainly already synonomous with the trade mark 'Imp'.

[source: Broken Spoke 1967]

In the Ladies' Cup, Rosemary Smith performed impeccably as usual and had taken the Coventry-prepared Imp as high as eighth overall when she too got stuck in the 100-yard water-hole by Georgia Bay. Luckily the Imp was more easily extractable than the Citroen and she only dropped to 17th, finally recovering to 13th.
The area round Georgia Bay incidentally is the scene of the Canadian Winter Rally, by reputation a very tough all-snow event.
[source: CANADIAN SHELL 4,000 RALLY : rally review / A.E.A.K. - Motor Sport. July 1967. - p.610]

In a three-way battle for the Coupe des Dames, the Rosemary Smith/Ann Coombe Sunbeam Imp had already opened up a margin over English racing driver Anita Taylor and her Montreal navigator Terry Gillies, in one of the Ford team cars. And the Diana Carter-Polivka / Barbara Jean Jack team in one of the three works Ramblers.

The Smith /Coombe Imp also sank into the water - 'just like a frog jumping off a lilypad,' as one driver remarked. Other competitors pushed the Imp clear (they had to because it blocked the only navigable passage) and although the girls dropped to 17th place, they retained their hold on the Coupe des Dames.

Rosemary Smith, the chic Irish dress designer, stole the fashion show and with navigator Ann Coombe also won the Coupe des Dames for the second year in a row. They were 13th overall.

[source: A tough one / by Don Grey. - Shell News June/July, 1967. p.16-18]

All competitors were allowed a penalty-free run to the Westwood circuit where the high speed test was run. Best mark at the track was put up by the Lotus Cortina driven by Roger Clark. He lost four points, while teammate Anita Taylor dropped eight. Rosemary Smith, in her Imp, also lost eight points. Diana Carter Polivka, driving a team Rambler with navigator Barbara Jean Jack, lost 12 points, one more than teammates Jones and Siivonen.

At day's end, Rosemary Smith led the Coupe des Dames with 38 points, in 19th overall. Diana Carter-Polivka was second at 86 points, in 36th spot and Anita Taylor was third in 42nd with 117.

Diana Carter-Polivka was balked by a truculent cowboy who would not let her pass through his herd of cattle near Merrit, RC. He felt the rally cars were bothering his animals [...]

The Ford group's problems began early when Anita Taylor had tire trouble and had to drive a number of miles on a flat, collapsing a wheel and tearing out her front brakes. Waiting for the repair crew added to her points.

In the battle for the Coupe des Dames, Imp driver Rosemary Smith led with 56 points for 19th overall, Diana Carter-Polivka was second with 573 points and Anita Taylor third with 779.

In the Coupe des Dames, Rosemary Smith and Anne Coombe led with 62 points and due to some uncooperative mud, Diana Carter-Polivka amassed 537 points when she was forced to call a tow truck. To add to her miseries, the tow truck became mired and a second truck had to be called.

Anita Taylor dropped out in Northern Ontario. Diana Carter-Polivka was making time when she struck a non-rally car almost head on.
Rosemary Smith nailed down the Coupe des Dames with no competition left and completed the run in a shocking-pink driving suit.

[Source: Shell 4000 Centennial Rally ...over the mountains, through the prairies and into the mud / by Hugh McCall; photos by Robert C, Rasgdale. - Canada Track & Traffic (CTT) 1967, June. - p.17-21]

pos. no. Driver from Co-driver from vehicle points class retired where team
13 149 Smith, Rosemary Eire Coombe, Anne ON Sunbeam Imp 998 cc 762.9 G1L    
DNF105Frost, JimONHill, Kenneth G.ON Sunbeam Imp 875 ccretired - mechanicalP1Merritt 

[source: results 1967]

Hillman Imp, #105

I do not know who, when, where.
Competiton no. 105; no registration plate; steering wheel on the lefthand side; I can't read the writing on the door; vinyl roof, panoramic rearview mirror stuck to original mirror; engine lid open; across the back silencer?
photogr.: Colin Kent, Orpington, Kent


The 4,000 mile rally crossed much of Canada from Calgary to Halifax, 3-8 June 1968. (6 nights)
1968 results:

pos. no. Driver from Co-driver from vehicle points class
49 149 Power, Sean C. ON Lapp, J.C. (Jim) ON Sunbeam Imp 1795 P1
DNF 128 Hill , Kenneth G. ON Hockley, Philip ON Sunbeam Rally Imp   1

Ex-works (Rosemary Smith) Imp, owned by driver Sean Power of Toronto, was first in P1 class in 1968.
Problems: One flat tire, one hood hinge pin jarred loose and was replaced by a large cotter pin, and one bent valve. The valve was damaged when the car hit a tree stump at 90 mph on the path/route through Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba. The Imp was airborne and the rev counter maxed. Running on 3 cylinders for the remaining 2,500 miles of the rally, the Imp won the P1 class. And then the team drove the 3 cyl Imp 1,100 miles back to Toronto when the valve was replaced.
The two biggest co-drivers in the smallest car were pleased with the Imp's performance.
source: Jim Lapp

Two previously entered Sunbeam Imps will be contesting in Class 1. Both of the cars are from Ontario and were previously driven by Miss Rosemary Smith, the Rootes Rally girl who recently finished third overall in the group six Sunbeam Imp in the Circuit of Ireland Rally.
source: From the rally seat... / by Chris Dyer. - Spoke 1968 [Sports Line]

Southern Cross Rally (Australia) 2,200 miles


Up to 1000cc
2nd in class: Driver: Don Gibb; Navigator: Steve Purdy

Swedish Rally


107 - Tom Knowles / Jeffrey Entwistle ; Sunbeam Stiletto; Class II
114 Bronwen Barrell / Peter O'German; Sunbeam Imp; Class II
115 - Brian Storcy / Geoffey Eteson; Sunbeam Stiletto; Class II
source: Milan Fistonic at

Tanzanian Rally


1st: imp

TAP Rally of Portugal
Rali Internacional TAP

The TAP was first held in 1967. The 2nd one was in 1968; the 6th in 1972, 7th 1973, 8th 1974. After that the name was changed from TAP Rallye de Portugal to Rallye de Portugal Vinho do Porto. But the numbering was kept the same.

    Hillman Imp GKV 799D, #168 at TAP 1968
Hillman Imp GKV 799D, #168 at TAP Portugal 1968
 Imp, #168 at the finish line of TAP 1968
Imp, #168 at the finish line of TAP 1968


24-27 Oct. 1968, asphalt - gravel 2438 km

Hillman Imp GKV 799D with competition #168, took part in the TAP of 1968 and finished.

     JHR 100F
JHR 100F
photogr.: Foster & Skeffington, Hereford

1969, October

Robin Eyre-Maunsell / Norman Henderson (Ulster) finished 7 overall in a Hillman Imp. Group 9? Luis Cezar wrote on his blog (1.5.13) that on a tough rally like this one, it was an important result!

JHR 100F was first registered in Wiltshire, between August 1967 and July 1968.

Tulip Rally

1964, April 20-24 (16th Tulip Rally)

There was no overall winner under the new rules for this year.
There were 134 starters and 95 who classified (70.9%). In class 9 there were 8 starters (Grand Touring plus Amateur Trophy) and 4 (so 50%) who classified. Of the 47 starters in the Grand Touring classes, 12 did not finish.

David Pollard and A.(?) Baines drove a Hillman Imp, and so did Tiny Lewis and Robin Turvey. Lewis and Turvey retired due to an accident.

(Rosemary Smith and Margaret Mackenzie drove a Sunbeam Rapier and finished 4th in the Ladies Cup.)

No.NamesNat.CarCyl./cc no. in class wedstrp.bon. overall
Class 9: Grand-Touring up to 1000cc
44Kees van den Bos / Jan HulskerNLHillman Imp875      
47 Ian Lewis / Robin TurveyGBHillman Imp875      
48David Pollard / James BainesGBHillman Imp875 4 5087.8 19
Class 3: Touring cars 850-1000cc
127Erik Whitmore / Carl-Lund Svendsen DKHillman Imp875 9 5960.5 55


competition no. 444748127
  m:s: comp.
m:s: comp.
Time controls      0 0
Eliminating testsmeters        
Zolder3,0001:59 1:53 1:511112:27137
Francorchamps4,6002:50:5 2:31 2:30:5150.53:17:7197:7
La Roche - Samrée7,5005:30 
Col de la Charbonnière5,7005:43   5:113116:21381
Col de Herrenfluh4,0004:18   3:562364:34274
Ballon d'Alsace9,3008:57   7:54474;9.13553
Oppenau - Zuflucht7,1006:55   6:063667:38458
Eberbach2,8002:46:5   2:28:7148.73:04:1184.1
Zandvoort3,800    2:20:6140.62:54:3174:3
Special stagesmeters        
Col de Fochy7,9008:49   7:244449:01541
Aubure - Fréland6,0006:32   4:503095:59359
Col de Wettstein4,0005:08   3:142063:54234
Route Joffre7,9008:47   7:234438:31511
Nürburgring - Nordschleife20,80017:02   13:0290016:491009
Petit-Fays - Orchimont7,2007:24   6:004327:19:4439.4
Total      5087.8 5960.5

[source for the content in these tables: the official Results booklet]


  Hillman Motor Car co. ltd. proud about the Tulip outright win
Plaquette for Tulip Rallye on boot lid of Imp

1965, April 26-30 (17th Tulpen Rally)


In very bad weather (even blizzards); of 157 starters only 47 finished.
850 - 1150cc class, Grand Touring
Grand Touring class
1st: Rosemary Smith / Valerie Domleo
General placement
2nd: Rosemary Smith
1st: Rosemary Smith / Valerie Domleo in Hillman Imp 8305 KV with no. 35; index: 85,16
2nd: 'Tiny' Lewis / David Pollard in 7742 KV with no. 36; index: 85,76
(3rd: Saab; index: 88,75)
Both were on standard SP41 tyres (a bit deflated) and took the snow drifts in stride.
Coupe des Dames
1st: Rosemary Smith

The event was won on handicap with a complicated scoring system to make cars of different performance more comparable. Overall performance was judged by a driver's advantage or disadvantage compared to those in their class and classes above and below them. In unusually snowy conditions the Imps combined excellent traction and handling with class-leading performance to claim outright victory.

George Bishop reported in Motor 1965, week ending May 8:

Two British girls in a bored-out 998 c.c. Hillman Imp confounded all the experts by winning the 17th Tulip Rally outright, giving Rootes their first big international win since 1958. Team mates Tiny Lewis and David Pollard in a twin car backed them up with second place in the GT class.
People in a position to know said that the Lewis / Pollard car was debited with one minute too much on one climb, and had the error been righted the girls would have been second to the men. But it was all in the family anyway and a women's win is better for publicity!

IIRC, Rosemary told me about this and said there was no truth in it. Bishop's entire report (titled: 'Formula defeats Makinen') is a complaint against the formula that was meant to be an equaliser, like handicaps with golf.

8305 KV was subsequently driven by Nick Rowe (a works supported driver) who, after competing in the Monte Carlo Rally, sold it to Dennis Greenslade (Cornwall). He used the car in the late '60s in various motorsport events, including international rallies, speed hillclimbs and classic reliability trials.

7742 KV was preserved and seen in good state at the ARCC Millenium Rally. There's a lovely photo of it at the ARCC site.

    toe-in, toe-out
Nick Rowe and Stuart Turner in their Hillman Imp during the 1966 Tulip Rally - R 56658/C

1966, April, 25-29

1,750 miles through Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and France. 23 timed tests on racing circuits and mountain climbs. 117 starters.

in class: up to 1,150cc , G.T.
1st: I.D. 'Tiny' Lewis (Bristol) and Timothy Bosence (Honiton, Devon)
2nd: Nicolas Rowe and Stuart Turner (Torrington, Devon), Hillman Imp 8305 KV, private entry, Comp. no. 109
The Imp driven by Rowe was the same Imp in which Rosemary Smith won the 1965 event outright.
3rd: Simon Heijndijk and Nol Martini, private entry

Patrick Lier - ?.... Formige (Hillman)
source:, World Rally Championship; Rally History (part III)

1967, 24th-27th April

Pos Comp. # Crew Car Grp Pts  
10 89 Peter Harper/ David Pollard Sunbeam Rally Imp 2 / 3 3916.2  
27   S.Heijndijk Sunbeam Imp GT 3 4814.0  
R 110 Andrew Cowan and Brian Coyle Hillman Imp / Sunbeam IMP Sport ?     stub axle
  111 A. Maslen and Martin Holmes Hillman Imp / Sunbeam IMP Sport ?     stub axle

Tulpenrallye, April 24-29, 1967
Source: the swedish annual MOTORRET
Group 3, EM:
3. Peter Harper, Sunbeam Rally Imp do. 3916,0 (10 overall)
5. Simon Heijndijk, Sunbeam Imp GT, Holland, 4814,0 (27 overall)
Classe 1
1. Peter Harper, 3916,2

Welsh Rally

1964, January 3rd - 5th

1st in class: 'Tiny' Lewis
8th overall: I.D. Lewis / R. Turvey in a Hillman Imp


4th Welsh International Rally
10th-12th December 1965; 120 entries
There were two Welsh rallies in 1965

D. Thistlewaite / J. Youd; Hillman Imp


C. Malkin driving JVC 123E retired; may have been 9.

West German Rally
Stuttgart-Solitude, Lyons-Charbonnieres Rally)


In 1967 the West German Rally was round 4 of the European Rally Championship.
Patrick Lier finished 8th in his Hillman Rally Imp. Navigator: Tony Chappell.

FRW 303C the most reliable Rally car ever ?
Robin Eyre-Maunsell from Belfast, the only driver to have tackled all the Uniroyal/RAC rally championship events up to date of printing (July 1977) reckons that his Rallye Imp FRW 303C stands well in the running for this title. It has been used at least thirty times, and he has only retired three times, one through accident and twice through mechanical breakdown, and of these events, six were full blooded Internationals.
Robin's firm, A.S. Baird Ltd, have a stable of three such cars, two Group 6 cars - FRW and LWK 700F, and a Group 2 car WYH 934H. LWK met its Waterloo at Lock Eck-side on this year's Scottish, thus providing Austin Frazer (sic) with yet another exciting chapter in his Rallying book, and is currently being rebuilt. The Group 2 car is ex-factory, like all the others, but a little unwanted, as so many events stipulate Group 2 classes all the way up to 1600cc.
So far as the history of FRW is concerned, it started life as Rosemary Smith's Group 3 car in 1965, and only sold to the Baird empire in 1967. It was converted to Group 6 when the formulae changed in 1969, and has been used by Adrian Boyd, Robin and George Baird.

The Rallying Business / John Sprinzel. - Automobile year 13. - pp.147

"Of the smaller British firms who actively participate [in rallying], Rootes felt that national prestige had much to do with their rallying. In addition to pushing the name of their products (and Rootes have been fully involved with the sport for many years) they thought that the success of any British car helped to improve the image of all the nation's products."
"Rootes also felt dat rallying was the quickest way to find production faults - and drivers' demands were usually the quickest way to find an answer to these faults."

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File version: 25 Oct. 2020