If you are going to continue the correspondence about the Hillman Imp, may I join in ?
Qualifications : mine is 4 years and 38,000 miles old, and was one of the first sold to an ordinary customer (in June 1963). Bad points first : the water pump (I’m now on the fifth); the never-need-greasing turning gear (one king-pin and both outer universal joints have had to be replaced); bad-rumble and body-drumming; a leaking windscreen; the undersized clutch the first one had to go at 30,000 miles.
Good points next : low tyre wear (the original C41s would have gone at least 30,000 mile’s to bare, but I had SP41s with tubes put on at 27,000 and after 11,000 miles these are showing little observable wear); low fuel consumption (average to date a shade below 40 m.p.g. on a combination of London rush-hour and fast cruising); the quite indefatigable gearbox, which is still as sweet as ever and takes the fastest change it is humanly possible to make; the unburstable engine (I regularly travel the whole length of M1 at sustained speedo readings of 85-90 m.p.h.—but not since 22 December!); the utterly predictable handling and road-holding—but what a difference SP tyres make to cornering speed’s; the suspension, which gets more comfortable as speed increases; the relaxed and comfortable driving position and convenient controls.
Sir, I could go on—I like the Imp —for a small car which has had the treatment that mine has, still to show no drop in performance after this mileage must surely be entirely to its credit. Oil consumption is now 600 instead of the earlier 800 m.p.p. and there is a big-end rumble—but who can blame it ?
For one who foolishly bought a radically new car at the time of its announcement I have been fully justified in placing my confidence in the Imp—and I have had very good attention from Rootes and their dealers almost without exception.
Special points : the original pneumatic throttle and auto choke are still entirely satisfactory, and tyre wear is so even that changing round every 5,000 miles is largely of academic interest.
Usual disclaimers. Next car ? An Imp, perhaps, but the Triumph 1300 looks interesting.
Ealing. W.5. C.J. Lisle.