A Lombardi Grand Prix based on the Fiat 850 Special.
Jim Tosen, Feb. 1969:
I hear an interesting undertaking is afoot at the Queensway H.Q. of F. Demetriou Ltd., importers of those pretty Fiat based specials with bodies by Vignale and Francis Lombardi. They are planning to Anglicize the Lombardi Grand Prix by removing the works of the Fiat 850 special and replacing them with the floor pan and running gear of a Hillman Imp Sport. Dimensionally the Imp and Fiat coupé are very much alike (the Imp has a 5 cm longer wheelbase) so it will not be necessary to make any substancial changes to the racy little Lombardi body.
So far Rootes have agreed to supply two sets of works, and two platforms and an engine have already been sent to Lombardi in Turin. From these he will build one complete fully trimmed car and a platdorm and body minus trim and mechanical components. This will be sent back for Paul Emery Cars to finish off and trim before the two methods of manufacture are compared to see which is the most satisfactory and economical. Either way it is expected to work out about £200 cheaper than the Fiat based car which brings it down to about £1.250 the price including, as with all Demetriou cars, the first year's full comprehensive insurance.
The standard car will be to normal Imp Sport specification, but all the usual Emery goodies up to full race standard will be offered as options, and a possible race entry is being considered.
Grand Prix ImpAutocar: Last autumn we had great fun dodging around London in the little Lombardi Grand Prix. Basically this little car is a Fiat 850 floor pan and engine, clad with an exotic Italian two-seater body. It is perhaps the ultimate in fun cars, with the right looks and just enough performance to out-drag all but the really heavy metal.
Now the F. Demetriou Group have brought in the British element, for a Grand Prix has now been fitted with an Emery-tuned Hillman Imp engine and gearbox. [...]
Since we drove the car, several improvements have been made: The seats have been lowered to give better headroom; and the central intrument panel has been on a slimming diet to give more knee room.
The price of the Imp powered car has not yet been finalised, but it is expected to be around £1,200. F. Demetriou Group are at Queensway, London, W.1.
|The louvred engine cover on this car hides a Fiat 850 Special engine; options can now include a tuned Hillman Imp single ohc unit or a worked-over Abarth 1300 mill.|
|Cinturato-shod Fergat cast alloy wheels add to the car's neat appearance; the single-arm wiper made driving in wet weather a somewhat bleary occupation|
|Sleeping Grand Prix - but at the press of a switch the eyelids opened slowly to reveal the headlamps|
|It looks like something from the stylists'department, but in fact the little Lombardi 850 Grand Prix is a pretty practical car|
Jim Tosen's Motoring plus. - Motor 1969, week ending March 1. - p.22
Grand Prix Imp - continued. - Autocar 1969, March 20. - p.45-47