My LHD Imp Saloon - ex-Austrian

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hazzah
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My LHD Imp Saloon - ex-Austrian

Post by hazzah » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:34 pm

So after much deliberation and patience by both the seller and buyer... she is now in my possession. It all came about by chance. And happy coincidences. I already had my Imp ownership road-map sorted. But one afternoon, I searched google for Imps for sale, restricting to Austrian sites. And just a few days previously, on a simple ad site, one was listed. Via a German friend I made contact and we went to see it one Sunday afternoon, about 300 km away. I didn't have very high expectations, but just a fun trip with a friend.

But the car was a good one. So my outlook has changed. I want to enjoy driving and owning imps. I am happy to maintain them and keep them above a certain level. But bringing them up to that level from poor or basket case condition? Not any more. So this car fitted the bill.

MK II, first registered in Vienna in March 1968. Officially designated Sunbeam Hillman Imp. Original except for the pancake air filter. The gentlemen I bought it off, obtained it in 1983 and spent 21 years restoring it (and almost gave up and scrapped it a few times.) There is always the risk of restored cars about the quality of the restore. Recently restored might have problems showing only after a few years. Well this car has been on the road 13 years and there are no major problems. And the full body paint job/protection sealing was a quality one.

It is a straight and sound and rot free car. All the window and door seals are good. It comes up very nice.

The previous owner spent a lot of time and money in the last few years on things that needed to be doing, a Malcolm reconditioned engine being the biggest expense. The body is 90000km, the engine less than a 1000km. Current Austrian MOT.

Work needed,
  • New carpets (driver side wear holes)
    Headlining (a few splits)
    Driver seat repairs (gone on stitch lines only, so repairable)
    Front badge surround
    Top steering column bush
    Seatbelts
The plan is to keep it totally original, but I will fit disk drakes.
IMG_20170614_160517.jpg
bks974c
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Re: My LHD Imp Saloon - ex-Austrian

Post by bks974c » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:48 pm

Stunning looking car. lucky man,

Scott
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hazzah
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Re: My LHD Imp Saloon - ex-Austrian

Post by hazzah » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:38 pm

bks974c wrote:Stunning looking car. lucky man,

Scott
Thanks, well I still have to find the cash and time to put it on the road here. It isn't cheap or easy. Not a priority at the moment.

I just didn't think I could pass up on it when I saw it...
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Re: My LHD Imp Saloon - ex-Austrian

Post by Dion » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:11 pm

What a nice car. Must be one of the last to wear that badge at the front. Love the red interior.
If it still has the original carpets please can I have them :lol: as the original are much nicer than aftermarket types. If it just a wearing hole for the driver, why not put some overmats on top of it?

I do have a front badge surround but it is in quite bad condition and should be rechromed really.
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Re: My LHD Imp Saloon - ex-Austrian

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:22 pm

Lovely , dont bin the factory carpets , they actually fit , these can be recovered , check out my news here , half way down the page

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Re: My LHD Imp Saloon - ex-Austrian

Post by ImpManiac » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:00 pm

What a lovely original Imp! :mrgreen: Well done on the acquisition of the car.

IM 8)
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Re: My LHD Imp Saloon - ex-Austrian

Post by Richard Claydon » Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:51 pm

Very nice. We did a similar trip in March down to the Swiss German border to collect this one.

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hazzah
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Re: My LHD Imp Saloon - ex-Austrian

Post by hazzah » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:47 am

Dion wrote:What a nice car. Must be one of the last to wear that badge at the front. Love the red interior.
If it still has the original carpets please can I have them :lol: as the original are much nicer than aftermarket types. If it just a wearing hole for the driver, why not put some overmats on top of it?

I do have a front badge surround but it is in quite bad condition and should be rechromed really.
Thanks Dion. Yes 1968.

Of course when I went to see it, I had no intention of buying it. Now I have it I just said I would store it for a while. And of course I want it on the road.

The first two rules of Imping. Never go to see a car because you will buy it. Never buy it because you will want to use it.

It is strange that new when compared against a Chamois the interior was spartan. Now? The bright red really works well with the white. I appreciate the basic feel. Period. Trying to think about white wall tyres, because I think they would make a difference on this car.

Well honestly I am in no great rush re carpets, so overmats on the driver side may be an option. Yes the original carpets where one of the good things with an Imp. It is so difficult to create that worn tufted feeling that they have.

I might come back to you over the badge. A friend might have one, I'll find out on Saturday. Rechroming is not an issue.
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Re: My LHD Imp Saloon - ex-Austrian

Post by hazzah » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:57 am

Dave ' Linwood ' Lane wrote:Lovely , dont bin the factory carpets , they actually fit , these can be recovered , check out my news here , half way down the page

viewtopic.php?f=33&t=9107&start=4240
Thanks Dave. Yes, good idea. I was thinking of something like this as an option. It is only until I take them out an inspect that you can get an idea. But everything looks good. My friend here in Hungary had someone do something similar to his Imp. I wasn't too keen on the choice of carpet material (too synthetic), but the workmanship was excellent. And much cheaper than the UK. These are the sort of jobs you can off load here without thinking. They would also repair the seats at the same time.
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Re: My LHD Imp Saloon - ex-Austrian

Post by hazzah » Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:10 am

ImpManiac wrote:What a lovely original Imp! :mrgreen: Well done on the acquisition of the car.

IM 8)
Thanks...
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Re: My LHD Imp Saloon - ex-Austrian

Post by hazzah » Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:17 am

Richard Claydon wrote:Very nice. We did a similar trip in March down to the Swiss German border to collect this one.

Image
Thanks Richard, yes Andy here in Budapest already mentioned that one. I am not sure if you were trying to put temptation in his way. Looks sound. Reminds me of original Hot Wheels colours from my childhood.

Andy will come to have a look at this one when we can a find a common time. There a few things mechanically that will need to be sorted and his opinion will help. Though he did say he was going "cold turkey" on Imps :) Is there an Imps Anonymous support group?
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Re: My LHD Imp Saloon - ex-Austrian

Post by John Simister » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:58 am

hazzah wrote:The plan is to keep it totally original, but I will fit disk drakes.
Why? The drums work fine, especially in a standard car.

Lovely car by the way, and a great find.
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Re: My LHD Imp Saloon - ex-Austrian

Post by Lars Hagermark » Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:12 pm

hazzah wrote:... The first two rules of Imping. Never go to see a car because you will buy it. Never buy it because you will want to use it.
:D
Lovely find & acquisition.
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Re: My LHD Imp Saloon - ex-Austrian

Post by hazzah » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:08 pm

John Simister wrote:
hazzah wrote:The plan is to keep it totally original, but I will fit disk drakes.
Why? The drums work fine, especially in a standard car.

Lovely car by the way, and a great find.
Thanks, one to keep for my old age. My sons will call it the "old git"-mobile I'm sure.

Drums work fine, but once you have sampled Imp with disk brakes? You are corrupted :) My beige Imp has disk brakes, and it is like driving a modern car.

One main reason is I live in Hungary, and if you see how they drive here... gaps here are always filled, so it is always a compromise about safe distances to keep. In the UK? Well driving in the UK is so variable nowadays, sometimes you just have no idea what people will do. It is a mix of over caution and over confidence, with too many cars - not a pleasant mix.

Generally though cars are faster to accelerate now, with better brakes. Also people are hermetically sealed off from the road space so are less aware of the consequences of their actions.

Driving this white one, you sometimes get that pressure equilisation effect under baking, and its just a bit dead. I drove an Imp for many years with drums. But if there is one upgrade I would recommend without hesitation it is disk brakes. If the plan is to use the car often, and not just on a Sunday morning run.

It isn't just safety, also that an Imp could never really afford any front end shunt. And now with your 50 year old pride and joy especially.

However, I would have no problem using a car daily with drums. In the end a good driver should always drive around what they have.
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Re: My LHD Imp Saloon - ex-Austrian

Post by John Simister » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:24 pm

Few cars need front disc brakes less than an Imp, given how little work the front brakes need to do on a car with so little weight on the front wheels even under braking. I've had Imps with two different disc-brake set-ups, one with the Fiesta conversion, one with Viva brakes with the larger of the two permitted piston sizes as mandated by the MSA. Both were too powerful which made them tricky on a wet road with the front wheels too easy to lock, the oversize Viva-caliper one to the point that I got rid of it and converted my Stiletto back to drums. Now it stops safely and predictably, even in the rain, and very smartly too if needed - as it was a few months ago when a sheep wandered out in front of me. It wouldn't have stopped any more quickly with discs, probably less quickly if the front wheels had locked sooner.

Of the disc conversions, the Micra disc/XJ40 rear caliper system seems to replicate the original front-rear brake balance the best. If I had a really quick Imp, that's what I'd use. But drums, albeit with servo, are fine with my Sport-spec 998.
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Re: My LHD Imp Saloon - ex-Austrian

Post by hazzah » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:47 am

Lars Hagermark wrote:
hazzah wrote:... The first two rules of Imping. Never go to see a car because you will buy it. Never buy it because you will want to use it.
:D
Lovely find & acquisition.
Thanks Lars, actually I was wondering on road switching day in 1967 where there many RHD cars? When did people stop buying RHD cars? Are there many original RHD cars around? Do people pay attention to original RHD vehicles at all?

What people forget here in Hungary, and that includes Hungarians, Hungary was left side driving until 1941. The German alliance made the switch necessary. However most vehicles where LHD.

As far as I know there is no Imp "sub-category" for LHD owners?
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hazzah
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Re: My LHD Imp Saloon - ex-Austrian

Post by hazzah » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:18 am

John Simister wrote:Few cars need front disc brakes less than an Imp, given how little work the front brakes need to do on a car with so little weight on the front wheels even under braking. I've had Imps with two different disc-brake set-ups, one with the Fiesta conversion, one with Viva brakes with the larger of the two permitted piston sizes as mandated by the MSA. Both were too powerful which made them tricky on a wet road with the front wheels too easy to lock, the oversize Viva-caliper one to the point that I got rid of it and converted my Stiletto back to drums. Now it stops safely and predictably, even in the rain, and very smartly too if needed - as it was a few months ago when a sheep wandered out in front of me. It wouldn't have stopped any more quickly with discs, probably less quickly if the front wheels had locked sooner.

Of the disc conversions, the Micra disc/XJ40 rear caliper system seems to replicate the original front-rear brake balance the best. If I had a really quick Imp, that's what I'd use. But drums, albeit with servo, are fine with my Sport-spec 998.
Interesting John. And I guess times have changed for you. Braking performance is not really a differentiator on new cars any more. Interior quality or If it has blueooth or in-car Wifi, seems more important in word counts.

I can only go off the driving styles of myself and my brother. And I think a number of other Imp drivers. Also perhaps it isn't the power that is important, but the lack of power. The tendency to use the excellent handling to keep the speed once you get there :) Hence, Imp owners enjoying roundabouts being one instance.

Also perhaps you are used to using so many cars in your line of work, it is natural to work around the brakes you have. I think for many switching between our main car and the Imp, I appreciate the same feel and effects. Not least because I live at the top of a steep hill with a T-Juntion at the bottom :) When your brain switches to automatic mode, I think it helps if the brake feels are similar, certainly in the first 5mins of driving.

But as you say, I do have the Micra/XJ40 conversion which I can only say feels just right. I don't have experience of others. Coming down the snaking hill in the rain it stops as it should.
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