The Coolest Project Car You’ve Never Heard Of
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  • Mike Clewes
    Mike Clewes

    I had one in the 70's, bored to 940cc, 28 thou off head, twin dcoe carbs & R17 cam. Rally gearbox, team Hartwell suspension. Full cage. Very quick, needed weight in the front or no steering when on power. Good fun. It met a sorry end on the North Wales Rally when it hit an oak tree sideways at around 60 mph .Sad day.

  • explornation uk
    explornation uk

    Now that's a car none of that computer driven crap. What a build.

  • Sacral Bearman
    Sacral Bearman


  • Phil Boardman
    Phil Boardman

    Love these little motors, a great friend of mine used to race them, fantastic little motor, thanks for showing us.

  • John Smith
    John Smith

    Reminds me of a couple of guys (a Pom and a New Zealander) in Singapore in 73 who modifed the chassis of a Cosworth powered Elfin F2 car to the point they could comfortably fit a Hillman Imp body over it and circuit race it on the local circuits. From memory, the workmanship was first class. It was undergoing shakedown and further development when I finished my posting and left Singapore. Always wondered what happened to it. You still around Mick, Jim?

  • Phillip Alcock
    Phillip Alcock

    My first car was a (very) used Imp. Basically rusted away!

  • paul dick
    paul dick

    stroppy little wanker knows nothingabout the history of the imp......should have stuck to his nova

  • Dean Beeston
    Dean Beeston

    Absolutely awesome, reminds me of my wife’s first car she had the singer version

  • Tony King
    Tony King

    well done a motor with class.

  • Derek Taylor
    Derek Taylor

    Maybe Rootes should have built their Imps like this one in the 60's. The last ones in the seventies were well sorted, I should know, I had one. Loved it.

  • Randhir johal
    Randhir johal

    Nice who did all the work

  • stephen huskisson
    stephen huskisson

    a lot of imp engines was used for sidecar racing at one point

  • michail okeefe
    michail okeefe

    That’s how it should have been back in the day

  • robert smith
    robert smith

    Love it mate

  • Mark Osborne
    Mark Osborne

    Ali heads, metal block meant lots of HGF. 😱😱😱😱

  • Andy Wright
    Andy Wright

    Looks just like the club racers from the 70s. I marshalled some races at Brands Hatch. The imps embarrassed the minis every time, their Coventry climax engine revved to 9-10k rpm as opposed to maybe 6.5k for the mini.

  • todd Sween
    todd Sween

    Love this. Had one in 67. Not like this though 😂

  • John Schofield
    John Schofield

    Mate had one in the day with a Hartwell engine revved to god about 10,000 rpm and made 146 BHP very good car for scaring people.

  • John Davenport
    John Davenport

    My father-in-law bought one in "tomato soup" red. It was a weird design with lots of peculiarities - fuel filler inside the front boot so any accidental spill soaked whatever was in there. The back bonnet didn't lift up fully so working on the engine meant squatting down and rummaging about like you are looking for your documents at the bottom of your suitcase at the airport. On holiday in India our tour group laughed at how they build trucks with water pump engines till I pointed out that the engine in the Imp was first designed to drive auxilliary pumps in fire engines. My sister bought a green California version that never seemed capable of working from one weekend to another it was the embodiment of unreliability.

  • A J Wright
    A J Wright

    100% Stunning.

  • Pete Nikolic
    Pete Nikolic

    Chessman 998cc R23 cam twin DCOE 45 Wills rings instead of head gasket then you can have some proper fun in an Imp cracking little cars

  • #N17WHL angelo
    #N17WHL angelo

    Super cool IMP.... very nicely done too

  • Dangerous Dan
    Dangerous Dan

    I'm disappointed that it didn't have a bike engine in it! missed a trick there lad!

  • zulu buzz
    zulu buzz

    Awesome build.

  • Razz

    Looks like a Simca rally

  • leonard clarke
    leonard clarke

    did you say rebuilt by ben bolt or bent bolt

  • Tom Hughes
    Tom Hughes

    Love it!

  • Nigel Gent
    Nigel Gent

    I had an Imp and a Siger Chamios back in the day. Great little cars.

  • Ian

    What an Awesome car

  • David

    BINKY IS THE COOLEST PROJECT CAR but i heard of it already so this might be true after all

  • yta

    Banging on about the steering wheel and pedal position - should try the Beetle - even more offset and many small cars of the era were this way.

  • david glenn
    david glenn

    I love Imps! They were sold here in the States under the Sunbeam label, in very small numbers. Back in '69, my best friend's mother had one as a loaner, when her Chrysler 300 was in the shop. We were Seniors in High School at the time, and he had lost his license (in Michigan, if you got a ticket in the first year of your license, you lose it until you turn 18), and she would let us use her car, if I drove. We routinely drove groups of Sophomore girls home, after classes, in the Chrysler, and when they saw they saw the Imp, they loved it, and wanted a ride. We discussed the logistics necessary to make it happen (there were 8 of them that day!). We decided to see if the Imp could hold them all (mostly petite, and mini skirted). Four in the back seat, three in the boot (hatch window open), facing out, and one between us, in front (straddling the shifter). After a couple of stalls, (very early in my manual shifting career) we proceeded to the next stop sign. When traffic cleared, I slipped the clutch as much as I had found was required, previously, and the Imp refused to progress, accompanied by a ride odor coming from the clutch area! When they designed it as a 4 passenger auto, they apparently were quite serious! The girls took the bus home, as did my friend's mother, after work, and we rode with the tow truck, to the repair shop, walking the rest of the way. I wish I could find another Imp, would make a great vintage racer! 🤭👍

  • Andrew BMX
    Andrew BMX

    That its hella clean

  • Ian Black
    Ian Black

    I had one of these in the late 80's. I bought it wit a spare rally engine which i Put in the back with the seats folded down. It wheelied going over a hump back bridge due to the lack of weight in the front. You could squeeze into tight parking spots and climb out of the back window. Choke is on floor next to handbrake and heater hoses ran the length of the car so water would cool in winter on way to blowers. Used to have to leave heating on in summer to prevent engine overheating. I loved it! It eventually conked out and I gave it to a local garage. Last time I saw it was on Top Gear being used as a trials vehicle.

    • Ian Black
      Ian Black

      They were originally called Roots Imps, Hillman eventually became Chrysler in the UK

  • Wiktor Listkowski
    Wiktor Listkowski

    not cool sorry

  • Matthew Brown
    Matthew Brown

    What a fantastic little car, beautifully thought out too. I like to see something a little different, and you can tell James loves this car by the attention to detail he's lavished on it. Also, the imp engine, when built correctly, is a lovely little unit, and being all alloy and OHC, it was way more advanced than the ageing, all iron A-Series, in the Imps main rival, the Mini. I believe it was actually the first, all alloy, engine fitted to a British production car. It's just a shame that the Rootes Group suffered from the same, rush it into productionitus that BL did. Otherwise, if it hadn't been plagued with issues from the start the Imp story could have been very different.

  • jackson ;
    jackson ;

    the Hillman SuperMinx is a proper sexy little thing n all, one up my street in baby blue

  • vaso opel
    vaso opel

    I went to the bank yesterday and there was a grandpa waiting outside,his car was one of these Hillman Imps, all original and mint! :-D

  • Mike Hostetler
    Mike Hostetler

    It's like a BMW 2002 got schmooched and I love it

  • Josh Kemp On Cars
    Josh Kemp On Cars

    Very cool! Singer should employ him, the interior is amazing! 🤯

  • mookyzook

    Had two of these in the early seventies. With a set of wheel spacers and little tweaks on the suspension it was pretty fast around the corners compared to my mates mini cooper. Did blow the head gasket regularly with the aluminium engine but was an engineering student at the time so just skimmed it. In the end went for a Hartwell conversion, bored out to 915 cc, radiator moved to the front. This of course meant I broke the pipework running underneath the car on a rough road, still was a cool car. In the summer used to drive with the back window up for more ventilation but eventually grew out of my boy racer days. Not surprised Alex had trouble with the gearchange they were notorious for wear and even when new there was far too much linkage from the middle of the car to the gearbox. I even started mine a few times with the crank handle..

  • Joseph Rowland
    Joseph Rowland

    will you buy a classic mini for your project car?

  • frogs

    I cousin had one with a 1.6 twin-cam engine in it around 120 bhp and it was a rocket ship. I remember the engine came right up to the back seats and it's was too noisy for any journey over a mile :) but everyone loved it.

  • Susan Pilkington
    Susan Pilkington

    Please remove Alex from these vids. All he's interested in is thinking he's massive. Like the school bell end everyone hated.

  • Brad Butcher
    Brad Butcher

    Love it.

  • Mainly things with wheels
    Mainly things with wheels

    what a first car 😍

  • Thomas Kinkade
    Thomas Kinkade

    Spoiler = Japanesey? Most performance cars and even family sedans will have a spoiler on em regardless of where they're from. Are the windows Japanesesey too? If anything, duck tails are Porsche's domain. Overall the car looks Vaz 2101 and Lancia Delta Integrale. I wouldn't say there is anything particularly Japanese about that car.

  • Andrew Barnes
    Andrew Barnes

    What a cool little car. Love it, nicely done.

  • Roel Hellemans
    Roel Hellemans

    What ever you heard about engine builds they were all build in Coventry at the Rootes factory; I know I was there. Things often forgotten about the Imp were that the Imp project manager was Mike Parkes who went on to engineer and drive for Ferrari and that the engine's design was based on a Coventry Climax design found in the early Lotus cars (6 and Elite). Yes build quality was not great; had one loved it......

  • Tommy T
    Tommy T

    I like that he's just done whatever the fuck he wants

  • Ryan Crow
    Ryan Crow

    Great car apart from the silly air bags, why ruin it and it's not even that low 😂😂

  • Jeff Keeley
    Jeff Keeley

    My first car in 67.I thought it was cool,but nowhere as cool as this unit-LOVE it.

  • Colin Miles
    Colin Miles

    Ha Ha! Such a great little car! I hated Imps 'cos my girlfriend had one in the 70's and it was always going wrong (nearly killed me but that's another story!) Great video - thanks!

  • John Hunt
    John Hunt

    He has made an amazing job of that it looks real cool and having it go up and down makes it good.



  • James McCabe
    James McCabe

    So cool seeing my knob in this car.

  • Steve McRichards
    Steve McRichards

    Every Civic driver in the world: just nods. Driving a slow car fast is where it's at. That is indeed a well polished knob. As you said what a truly unique ride that is a fusion of racing designs and car scene modifications all applied to his vision and made into reality. That's what car culture is all about people!

  • Aidar Sharafullin
    Aidar Sharafullin

    Very good taste, something you don't see a lot nowadays. Martini stripe is a very nice touch. Always thought it looks good

  • Dawid Ruben
    Dawid Ruben

    Trabant tunat

  • wordreet

    I absolutely love it!!! And the knob!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😎

  • brett hastings
    brett hastings

    I want that car so bad if he ever needs a kidney or a testicle anything tell him I'll happily swap

  • Question

    @5:10 reference to singer - my Grandmother drove a 'Singer Chamois' which was the posh version of this car. The coventry climax engine was first used as a generator in the back of a bomber, then used by the fire brigade as a pump! a version of it was also used by Jack Brabham to win the Formula One world championship in 1959

  • Graham Langley
    Graham Langley

    A bit of confusion over BHP figures. The original Mk2 engine produced 37 and 39bhp in low and high compression versions. If this engine is 930cc it suggests could use bits from the 928cc version used in the Sunbeam 1.0 but I'm surprised it's not using the 998cc wet-liner block which gave 65bhp@6000rpm.with twin Strombergs etc. from the Sport..

  • Jahandad Shaban
    Jahandad Shaban

    We have a nice little Hilman Minx. Needs to be rehabilitated though. Its hard to find parts for it in Pakistan 🇵🇰

  • Spark king 4629
    Spark king 4629

    Really I’m fine thanks. Don’t particularly like them.

  • kennedy singh
    kennedy singh

    I live in Jamaica and I still have a 1969 model which I would love to restore. I ran a rally cam pluss twin Stangberges 930 cc with big valve port and pollished head and it was fast and very good miles. Radiator in the front.

  • Jay

    Really cool. Love the attention to detail

  • cali818

    it would be nice if car companies can still build cars like that

  • Galactic129

    What does martini smell like though

  • gavin Hh
    gavin Hh

    Super cool

  • connorpoole

    My first car was a Hillman Imp. Been regretting selling it for the last 5 years but the prices just keep going up 😢

  • Car Obsession
    Car Obsession

    What a cool little thing 👏

  • FixDriveRideFly

    I love Imps, such a gorgeous car, and this one is top draw!

  • Andrew Last
    Andrew Last

    That Imp's cool, I like that a lot. Probably wouldn't have the Martini vinyls.

  • Bugra Aytac
    Bugra Aytac

    Kudos to guys leatherwork skills. Lovely stitching all around.

  • - ̗̀A Bacchus ̖́-
    - ̗̀A Bacchus ̖́-

    *Alex: "Be different, don't try and follow trends, do your own thing"* *Next video: "Let's roast your cars..."*

  • Michael Baldwin
    Michael Baldwin

    I had one back in the day, as a teenager, it was a sunbeam stiletto fastback version with a little fat donut steering wheel and decambered front handled like a go cart ! The only problem is if you didn't put the cooling at the front of the car like this guy has done , it would overheat, as standard the rad was in the rear with the engine (design fault).Then the aluminium head would warp and the head gasket would blow (Common fault). My dad (RIP) used to service them as a hobby and in the end could wip out the transaxle in as little as half an hour..many a time he got a call from , the head gaskets gone, please come and rescue me ! :-)

    • Graham Langley
      Graham Langley

      Never had an overheating issue with my '66 Super, but then I did make sure the rad was always clear of the leaves the fan vacuumed up and fitted the better QH waterpump. Head gasket issues went away if you used a Reinz (sp?) gasket, over-torqued the head bolts by 10% using new ones each time, and re-torqued them three times over the first hundred or so miles.

  • Gavin Ivers
    Gavin Ivers

    I think the back story to getting his job, he took the car along and showed the boss of the company. You would give him a job on the spot!

  • will. k
    will. k

    My grandad used to buy these for 50 with a blown head gasket because of the aluminium it would expand as it got hot

  • Nicky Long
    Nicky Long

    Great video, love your enthusiasm for it Alex. Quality cool car, brilliant attention to detail, fair play to the owner.

  • drag vasetti
    drag vasetti

    great build dude!

  • Tony Brenton
    Tony Brenton

    Ideal donor car for a trike. That might be Car Throttle's next project.

  • Michael Hayes
    Michael Hayes

    this is actually quite well known car same as the green one that i believe is static?

  • mscustomlures

    Wicked cool car

  • Martin JB
    Martin JB

    Amazing. Simply beautiful... not in the rain 😩

  • Elli P
    Elli P

    Sweet! Gotta love an Imp. More fun than an Imp-reza. You just know that if Hillman had been an Italian company the Imp would have been a tarmac rally special with an Abarth badge and a screaming engine red-lining at 9,000 rpm. Oh yeah...

  • Oliabi D-Price
    Oliabi D-Price

    I have owned and competed in mine since 1988 (first car, and I passed my test in it). Driving position and gearstick position are excellent due to the car being designed jointly by Tim Fry and Mike Parkes. Parkes was a successful racer and became a Ferrari driver. The Coventry Climax derived engine loves to rev when tuned right and also powered world championship hydroplane racers - look up Andy Chesman. My engine is an ex hydroplane built to run a continuous 10500 rpm in its day. George Bevan won the BSCC three years in a row in the same Imp. Seriously underrated cars these days...

  • Joe

    That guy looks like tim shaw

  • bunter6

    Imp engine is derived from the Coventry Climax fire engine pump engine. It's a little screamer of an engine.

  • Abo999

    Love Imps for some reason, this one looks great. Stick a bike engine in it :)

  • Chris Field
    Chris Field

    My mum had one of these cars, never sounded like that, but was a reliable car. My dad had the van version, called the Husky.

  • dark matter
    dark matter

    It's nice!

  • Haresh Shivaprakash
    Haresh Shivaprakash

    The car looks sick

  • Jack Glover
    Jack Glover

    A Renault 5 gt turbo would be a good engine swap, small little 1.4 nothing to fast but easy to get to 200 brake

  • etyres

    How much cooler is this car than any new one?? 👍🏻

  • Mark C.
    Mark C.

    Nice car, looks wank on bags though.

  • Viktor Stoykov
    Viktor Stoykov

    This is before mini coupers were cool

  • Jacques Burger
    Jacques Burger

    I have a 76 Hillman Vogue, was planning to keep it original but now I'm not so sure...

  • PiDsMedia

    Just needs two changes - correct sized tyres (so they work properly in corners) and a tilt-extension to that wheel. Looks like it's got just enough power to be fun, rather then over-powered,... and that interior, is so good....

  • Clive Williams
    Clive Williams

    It looks amazing. If u do another drop a r1 engine in it with a reverse gearbox.