Mark's 1971 Hillman Imp

In 1955 some men got together in a shed and decided, let's see how much performance we can get from a super cheap, super economical car. Something that could compete with the BMW 700 and the Citroen 2CV.

With access to a heavily de-tuned 750cc race engine, the car instantly had decent pedigree, with the aluminium lump hanging over the rear axle and producing a staggering 39hp.

Styling cues were gathered from the substantially larger Chevrolet Corvair and the Imp began to take shape. The opening rear window was an unheard of innovation and coupled with a folding rear-seat, luggage space was plentiful.

In 1963, this unique, right angled little car was launched and 57 years later, Mark's example is still going strong. Years of patina have added personality and made this car just as loveable as it was in the mid sixties.

Mark has worked on putting his own touches on the car too. It's been lowered on custom coilovers and sits over fat JBW wheels, giving it a period correct motorsport inspired look. Other gold coloured aftermarket parts accent the wheels nicely.

Cars like this stand out a mile on Irish roads today. They're tiny. But this is why they're so enjoyable. The driving experience is raw and go-kart like. The character this little car has is instantly attractive too.

Mark and I made a little film of this 1971 Imp, which you can enjoy below. If you do, drop a like on YouTube and hit subscribe!

Owner: Mark Phelan (@mark.phelan)

Location: Dublin Mountains