Classic Car

A heroic failure for Rootes, the 1963 Imp was the company’s attempt to tackle the Mini. And it was a great little machine, with a 37bhp alloy 875cc Coventry Climax engine mounted in the back. The all-independent suspension made it nimble on bends and the opening rear screen added practicality. Had it come along before the Mini, it might have been the big little star rather than BMC’s baby. However, reliability issues and suspicion about its unusual nature robbed it of sales and it never recovered, despite remaining on sale until 1976.

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