The prototype was built by a company called Wilkinson Automotive Developments in Hertfordshire in 1965-66. It was commissioned by Alan Fraser with the view to producing a production sports car built from Rootes bits. Apparantly Alan Fraser had commisioned several prototypes at this time, his chosen car was designed by Tom Killeen (the K9?).
This is what Neil Beadle (Colchester, England) told me [21 June 2011]. At the time he was looking for more information about this Imp-based prototype car a friend of his built in the mid 1960's.
He answered my questions and gave me permission to put these photos on my site for the purpose of gaining information.
Scrimp was a nickname given to the car by Mr Wilkinson, it was never an official name, I don't think the car ever had a proper name.
Yes, Mr Wilkinson who built the car is a very good friend of mine.
Mr. Wilkinson had a small number of staff working for him at the time as far as I know. I will ask him for more details when I see him next.
The car was delivered to Mr. Fraser as a non runner, as far as I know. One of his engine people made the engine run backwards as the Imp engine and box was reversed in the car (i.e mid engined instead of rear engined).
The car has a steel monocoque chassis with aluminium panels.
It was British Racing Green.
The wheels I think are Hillman Imp, although I may be wrong. The rear lights were Hillman Hunter. I think the brief was to use as much from the Rootes parts bin as possible. I will ask Mr. Wilkinson more about where the parts came from when I see him.
Mr. Wilkinson and I would love to know what happened to the car. It does seem as if no one has heard of it.
Neil Beadle: photos that I got from Brian of the car when it was new. The man in the photos is Brian.
Neil Beadle to James Hawkins (Apr. 6th and April 13th, 2021):
I worked with Brian Wilkinson for several years at his 'Zealia' business in Suffolk building replica Lightweight Jaguar E-Types. He spoke quite often about the Scrimp and he did want to know if it was still about.
Sadly, Brian passed away in 2014.
From memory: I know the car was built using new components from the Rootes Group 'parts bin' including an Imp engine, re-engineered to run backwards. It was commissioned by Alan Fraser and I believe it went with him when he went to the Canary Islands.
I haven't found the notes I made yet. [...] I can tell you a bit more about Brian Wilkinson though. He was a New Zealander who trained as an aircraft technician before he came to England in 1960 to work for Lotus. He also worked for Tojerio, Aleybars and Ogle. He started Safety Devices (the rollcage manufacturer) in the early 1970s (maybe late 1960s). His retirement was spent building Zealia Jaguar Lightweights, based on the remains of very rusty E-Types.
He often mentioned the Scrimp and I think he bought his Porsche 914 as it is a similar car in its layout and design.
Original old photos that Neil Beadle scanned and supplied to James (cc to me), so likely given to him by his friend Brian Wilkinson.
Can anyone identify these people?
Robin Human says [August 2011]
According to his log, John Barton thought that
James Hawkins contacted me (April 2nd, 2021), having recently inherited what his family called the Frimp (from Fraser Imp). His father purchased it in the early 70s and it has been with him since then, although not running.
From his correspondence to Neil Beadle (Apr. 5th, 2021): "Dad always called the car the Frimp for Fraser Imp. We have the log book calling it a Fraser imp special, built in 1968 from new parts.
For me the car has always been around - I was born in 1980 and have photos as a child playing in it. I have never seen the car run, although in the main seems complete if needing full restoration. It was always something he wanted to get around to, but other things always took priority."
(Apr. 6th, 2021): " I am not sure the car ever went to the Canary Islands. The log books shows a few owners in Kent - so would have been local to its build location from what I understand. My parents grew up in Kent and my dad bought it from a friend (who worked for a finance company).
We believe that the car was taken as some kind of financial settlement and that they just were moving it on.
The car has been in Somerset since purchased. Dad painted it yellow, but that's as far as he got with working on it. It will need full restoration, so likely the car will need to find a new home as I have a few other cars also to work through.
I am confident that the car is solid enough to be saved. I know for sure the windscreen and seats are intact. I have yet to sort through his workshop so may find some of the missing components."
(Apr. 13th) "I actually went through a few boxes of parts over the weekend that seemed to be for the car. The pictures confirm this so I have lights, the light covers, seats, windscreen, engine components, door fittings, etc. that are not currently on the car.
As a family we discussed the future and decided that the car will need to be sold and hopefully find a new passionate owner who can bring it back to life."
Photos of photos. Original pictures taken by James Hawkins' father of what they called the Frimp, with James as a little boy.
Photos takes by James, April 2021, © James Hawkins
Unhappy car, begging for restoration
Log book vol. II / J.C. Barton. - January 1967 - . - 100 p.
John Barton was the engineer employed by A. Fraser (A.F.E.) to finish Wilkinson's delivered Cub.
On April 20th 2021, James Hawkins wrote: "I am in contact with Michael Ware who contributes to the lost and found article for Classic and Sports car. He is very keen to feature the car [...]"
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Imp Specials - Imps in Character
The Scrimp / the Cub / the Frimp (this file)
file version: Apr. 27, 2021