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HILLMAN IMP

Hillman Imp - 251

page last updated: 01 December 2012

 


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After the exotica of the other recent models a British mini-car seems a bit mundane, but it's true to the Corgi brand with fine detailing and a new unique feature in the opening rear window - mind you not many cars had such a thing to model - and the second set of folding rear seats released in the year.

The Hillman Imp was released in November 1963. It remained in production as a civilian car through to 1969, so a good long run for a Corgi. You will see it in shades of metallic blue and in bronze with a white side stripe. The bronze one is harder to find and will cost you more than a blue one. There is a very rare version made for Jensen's department store in Denmark. These are pale blue with Jensen's decals, they are priced well over 1,000. You will also see this casting used as a Police Panda car.

CORGI TOYS

FOLDING REAR SEAT

OPENING REAR WINDOW

SPRING SUSPENSION

SEATS AND

STEERING WHEEL

I've placed the Dinky offering alongside for comparison and for once it matches Corgi punch for punch. Of the two, and this is the first time it happens, the Dinky is the better model. Corgi hasn't lost anything at all - it's just that this is one of the very best Dinkys ever. It is worth spending time looking at these two, they are both excellent without being flashy. And they both came with luggage...

The bronze one below was bought with a very familiar problem, almost all playworn Imps come with broken suspension, in this case it is rear only., it can be both front and rear. The suspension on the Imp (and Batmobile, MGB, Mustang, Marlin, Ghia, etc) is provided by a plastic moulding which is part of the interior seats detail. Plastic eventually breaks and you get sag, on the rear it is a real problem with the Imp as it means the tyres are continually dragging on the mechanism for folding the rear seat.

I've fixed a couple of these now by removing the baseplate (drill out the rivets) and then removing and discarding the plastic suspension, on this one I cut away the front suspension even though it was still working as I wanted to provide a replacement which would last.

I use wires sourced from Flowers cut to length. To make room for them and to hold them in place I cut slots in the underside of the interior unit with a Dremel. You can see it below marked in pencil and after cutting. I use a machine vice to hold the unit still and take great care to follow the marks. In this case I was able to make the grooves without cutting all the way through. The baseplate is replaced with 2mm machine screws and we have a car with working suspension.


Corgi: Dark metallic blue, yellow interior

 

Dinky Hillman Imp for comparison

Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251   Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251
Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251   Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251
Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251   Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251
Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251   Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251
Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251   Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251  

Corgi: Metallic bronze, white side stripe

 

Corgi: Dark blue

Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251   Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251
Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251   Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251
Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251   Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251
Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251   Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251
Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251     Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251 Hillman Imp - 251

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