photo: Andrew Manston forest rally 1991

Kent 1991, Forest Stages

The Imp Site

Autumn 1995 when I searched the web for all things Imp, this photo was all I found. Much later, when I had built The Imp Site, I received an e-mail from Andy Juniper:

Kevin Smith
& Andy Juniper

Kent Forestry Stages, 1991

Hillman Imp.
Driver/owner: Kevin Smith.
Navigator: Andy Juniper: ...

"This particular event was our first stage rally and we finished about third from last." "We have done several other stage rallies since, with several third in class placings. On one event we actually set fastest in class (up to 1300cc) stage time, against a group B Talbot Samba amongst other things."

The car has a 998cc engine, running an R23 camshaft and "the biggest valves which will fit into the head". It runs DCOE 40 carburettors and last time it was on the rolling road it had an estimated 100bhp at the flywheel. It has a front mounted Austin Montego radiator and a rear mounted oil cooler. The bottom end of the engine is lightened and balanced. A big bore silencer is hung across the rear bumper. The gearbox has (I vaguely remember) a set of close ratio gears, but unfortunately no LSD.

The front brakes are Herald or Viva (I'm not sure which) front Calipers, and standard Imp rears. The kingpin carriers have been modified to give more negative camber, and the car runs on rally springs and shock absorbers all round.

The bonnet and boot lids are fibreglass and the side and rear windows are perspex.

The last outing for the car was April 1995 where, just after being baulked by a Toyota Corolla GTi (FWD) we hit a tree square on between the headlights. Although this didn't break anything at the front of the car, the shock sheared the flywheel mounting dowels and we were forced to retire with a loose flywheel soon after. Unfortunately, Kevin Smith who owns and drives the car hasn't got the money for repairs and thus we haven't been out on any events lately.

More photos and text
The Imp Site
© Franka