sturdy wee Scot

The Imp Site

Bodywork & Interior

Windscreens; Mirror
Prevent rust
Panels; Doors; Bonnets; Spoilers

Graham Robson: [...] the body styling was altered after tooling commenced. Lord Rootes demanded that it be widened and increased in wheelbase [...]

Chamois coupé and Californians were originally fitted with 3/16" thick toughened windscreen and Stilettos ha 1/4" laminated screen. This of course means there are two types of windscreen rubbers.

One has excellent vision out of an Imp.
Total glass surface: 22 square feet (2.04 m²)

If you have major leakage problems:
Large amounts of water can't seep through, unless there is a collecting area behind. Consider where it might be collecting. Maybe it is running off the roof or bonnet. Water off the bonnet usually runs forward...
It is suggested that not all Imps have waterproof roof/body/gutter joints. Filling the gutters with sealant may help flooded front foot wells...

Window stays

rubber seals; head lamps - Mod 'n' mend your Imp
If the head lamps are disturbed at all, have a close look at the rubber seals. If these become defective, water will leak into the boot and possibly set up rusting.

Prevent rust
Use Waxoyl
or Black Knight rustproofer fluid (messy and smelly but good
or use Hammerite
or ...
but be sure to prevent rust
Remember that all rust-proofers are even more effective if re-applied annually, as they do tend to get blasted off by stones. Once rust gets a grip on steel, there's no way to stop it, other than replacing the infested area with new metal.
Prevent the rust in a bonnet by preventing the condensation from forming inside the lip's double skin by using Waxoyl or a similar rust preventative. Also make sure the rubber sealing strip at the front is in good condition (and preferably fit a new one with Waxoyl behind it). As for the rubber strip that is stuck to the rear edge of the bonnet near the hinges, some say that this is best removed (if still attached) as it tends to soak up rain like a sponge.


Newly made wings by Keith Lennox - photos

Wheel arches
Ford Fiesta MK1 rear wheel arches can be fiited. These are a close match to the originals, and go on very easily-they even have the right contour line on the top of the panel.
These cost 9 each, which is a darn sight less than the 44 each I was quoted for the genuine Imp arch. However, you must fit them in pairs, since they are slightly different, but they look quite good when fitted as a pair.

Many areas are double skinned. Inject waxoyl in as many as possible. (sills, rear wheel arches, front arches, rear wing quarter panels, rear cross member area). Drill hole, inject wax, plug hole.

Fibreglass panels
Fibreglass Front wings
Some of the Smith & Deakin wings have been inspected and they look to be well finished and of good quality. They come in a white jel coat.

Door reinforcement straps. Gary Harding; in: Impressions July 1997

Chrysler Imps had the door handles positioned ½" further back.

The 1969 doorlock was supposedly not as easy to pick. Because the doorlock (Hillman Hunter type) is totally different, you can't use a Rootes door on a Chrysler Imp or vice versa.

Door hinges
A solution to a worn door hinge (Gary Harding in Impressions, Jan. 1996)

The fibre glass bonnets are really intended for competition, where lightness is important, and consequently, the fit is not very good. However, there are differences. There was talk of Imp Service in Selsdon (Dave Botteril) having made proper ones:
• looking exactly like a steel bonnet from the outside
• including the double skin inside at the front onto which the release catch (etc.) can be mounted
Autocar said in 1965 of the Hartwell group 4 Imp: "We noted an excellent standard of finish on the moulded plastic boot and engine cover panels."

boot lid lock  The thingamajig on the 1966 Fraser Imp that kept the boot lid shut. Only on the right hand side.

From: Bob Clarke
Subject: perspex Imp
Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2005

As an ex Rootes man I have been reading your site with interest. I see that under 'Imp Exterior' you refer to a Perspex Imp but its whereabouts is unknown.

I can clear that up for you.

We were members of the technical department at Rootes Ladbroke Hall London. In addition to our normal day jobs we were tasked to develop our own Imps for competition work.
The first one was our Rootes London CP Imp.

The Perspex Imp in question ended up at Ladbroke Hall when the motor show finished and various promotion events. Sadly now, we dismantled the car and numerous parts were built into our first racing Imp (there were extensive parts that were chromed) which added to the image as such. So it no longer exists. To the best of my knowledge: what bits were not used, were destroyed.

The Perspex Imp also had a sectioned engine which the working parts could be seen powered electronically. I recall someone getting into the car on the show stand and forcing it into gear which caused the car to lurch forward until the plug got pulled out of the mains. The rest of the car bits that were not used either went to our training school or scrapped.

Attached is a photo that had the Perspex Imp chromed parts built into it.

Bob Clarke

Imp with expensive chrome bits

Rootes used to have perspex engine lids for shows. The Imp Club has one of these rare lids.
In the 60s, Rootes had an Imp with a perspex bodyshell. It's unknown where that one went... See the message from Bob Clarke to the right.

photo: TSPL. At the Scottish Motor Show of 1963

perspex Imp
Perspex Imp in a BBC series

see also: aerodynamics
 bib spoiler and a bigger one
H: pretty bib spoiler
L: possible of a Renault 5 Gordini ?

There are no spoilers now made for an Imp. You might use a simple strip of glassfibre glued along the front edge of the car. You might get one from Malcolm Anderson, Suisse Auto, Reg Patten, or somewhere else.
Or you could make or adapt one from another car. Anything which stops air getting under will help. Imps are very bad for airflow and can get very light at the front at speed. A spoiler works very well to prevent this problem.
Taken from the Editorial by Martyn Jones of Impressions Apr/May 1986:

I've had a few enquiries from members regarding the availability of fibreglass panels etc. This led me to contact Hatcher & Clement at 1a Maple Road, Winton, Bournemouth, Dorset. Tel. Bournemouth 523782. They do a high quality bonnet, boots, front ends, arch extensions and a front spoiler. A few years ago I fitted a fibreglass bonnet and boot to one of my cars. The total weight saved was almost ½ CWT ! Hatcher & Clement have managed to obtain the original mould for the Hartwell front spoiler. Anyone who has used one of these will vouch for a) its effectiveness and b) its appearance. It is a bib spoiler which looks the part on the Imp and should not be confused with others on the market. So, if you're fed up with wandering in the wind (and who isn't ?) fit one and marvel at the improvement.

Nick Lamb put a model in a university's wind tunnel. He also designed a full aerodynamic bodykit for the Imp. There's a 1991 report about this, suplying a lot of information about drag, lift etc. for the Imp.

For replacing plastic parts that are unavailable you might consider making them yourself. Make a mould using the old one and use a paste like Bond-o-fill. (Impressions 1988, no.5)

Underfloor sealing
Private and confidential Service Bulletin No. 0.34 (January, 1965) on the subject of underfloor sealing. Suppl. to advice previously issued. -- see: Impressions 8 (1988), no. 6
"When you are called upon to rectify water leaks into the rear or front floor, it is recommended that the following operations are carried out where found applicable."

At National Weekend 1998 Malcolm Anderson had Brand New re-manufactured Stiletto badges.

It is possible to mould existing badges, using silicone. (Eg. from a firm called Tiranti). The silicone costs about £10-20 for 1 litre.


Effects of driver side mirror type on lane-change accidents / J. Luoma, M. Sivak, M.J. Flannagan.
- Ergonomics (GB) vol 38, no.8, pp. 1973-1978:-
Based on 407 accidents reported to the finnish insurance companies. Flat, convex and multiradius mirrors - The study maybe implied that minimizing the blind spot is likely to be more important than providing an undistorted image. This would support the use of multiradius and convex driver-side mirrors.

New bumpers do not come complete with the irons. So you'll have to rescue the old ones, which is not easy.
(Grimes - £25 for one Sport type bumper; not many in stock).
Bumper bolts
If you can't undo the bolts, then break the nut from around it. Drill through it with a very small sharp drill (as close to the thread as you dare). Then use a chisel and hammer to snap off the nut, leaving the bolt intact.
Or tighten them up till they snap, which they do quite easily.
The bolts have a normal thread pattern (UNF), so finding a replacement nut should be easy.
If you can't reuse them, you will have to find four bumper coach-bolts.

After Market Cosmetic parts

Cosmic Car Accessoiries Ltd.
1964, February


Fitting rear mudflaps

Vinyl roof
The black vinyl of a Stiletto roof is of a much finer grain than Opel, Ford or Volkswagen used to use.

The fabric top on CPH 121B was sprayed on by an authorised 'Luxcoat' sprayer in 1968. SB (Insulation) Ltd. used to have a network of dealers. They themselves were located at 1281 Stratford Road, Hall Green, Birmingham 28.


The Imp Site
   Tech bits & pieces
      Imp Anatomy
         Imp bodywork (this file)
            In August 1960 Pressed Steel Ltd. made an estimate for the Apex, which showed the bodywork as it was then intended.

External links:
- Ex-Pressed Steel - promotonal video shows them making panels, also an Imp rear wing. They had a stand at Imp 2019 in Preston. Their 38 Imp panels. Club members get a discount.
- Radford Panel Company Ltd. - Their 33 Imp panels
- Fibreglass (Chris Farren):; Imp fibreglass gallery; - can also modify panels to buyers specification.

- The Imp Club forum: Imp Club spares

© Franka
File version: 24 May 2020