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1970 Hillman Imp (Ex-1976 Rac Rally Car) – Owned By Adrian Hardy

1970 Hillman Imp (Ex-1976 Rac Rally Car) – Owned By Adrian Hardy
Since the mid-1980s, Adrian has been participating in road rallies and single venues, where he first started out in an Austin Mini. Adrian later used a Hillman Imp after a friend persuaded him to try out the rear-engined Rootes Group supermini.

It didn’t take long until Adrian had developed a passion for the car, which one day led him to discover a laid-up ex-1976 RAC Rally Hillman Imp sitting in his friend’s garage. As for how it was found after many years unused since 1982, Adrian explained:

“My friend Mick had the Imp stored away in his garage but he didn’t know the history of the car. I offered to buy it a few years later, though it sat in my garage for more than 10 years before restoration work finally began.” 

Although Adrian’s Imp was built in 1970, it was equipped with interior upgrades from a 1976 model as it competed in the rally held that year. When he acquired the Imp it was missing its engine and gearbox and required a fair amount of body restoration.

Adrian added: “As you would expect rallying is hard on cars so there was extensive damage underneath from where it was driven on forest tracks. In 2012 I had the Imp’s shell sent to Mike Hanna, who is renowned for his attention to detail and could restore it back to its original condition.”

The car was then sent to SOS Workshop, the car restoration workshop co-owned by Fuzz Townshend and Tim Shaw, who present National Geographic’s Car SOS TV show.

Adrian added: “At SOS Workshop, my Imp had an etch primer coat before being returned for me to begin dry building the car back to its original condition. Once restored, my plan is to take it to sprints, hill climb events, a few shows and maybe the odd rally.” 

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