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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Classics at Beaulieu: 1963 Hillman Imp De Luxe

1963 Hillman Imp De Luxe
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Okay, this isn’t exactly rare, given that they built nearly half-a-million of them between 1963 and 1976. It is a bit unusual though, in that it’s a mass-produced rear engine car. The car at Beaulieu may be the first ever built, bearing chassis number 6 and body number 1.

1963 Hillman Imp De Luxe
Photo by Kate Tompkins
According to Wikipedia, the original version of the car, a saloon (we’d call it a sedan on this side of the pond), had a rear window that opened and a rear seat that folded down, features normally found only on bigger cars at the time. There were some problems with the earlier cars as they were rushed into production. While later cars were reliable, the damage had been done, and the Imp never became the rival to the Mini that the manufacturer had hoped for.

There’s an interesting article on the history of the Hillman Imp on the Telegraph site.




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