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Hillman Imp DEG 532C


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Whilst Hirst started up the Autoshite news 24 thread to take away people attention from a spat between several forum regulars and get the attention back to cars, I think it might be nice to see people put their projects back up here again, under their own threads so we have proper car threads for people to see. Might make more threads for people to read and dilute the stuff some people don't want to read. Make it more car based.

This resto goes back to the beginning of time (and has been on hold for 11 months again due to a house move). I got this Imp (Singer Chamois) in 2003. I sold my GT6 as it was broken into a few times when I moved up to Leeds and lived in the open in Headingley.



so the same day bought the first Imp I could find off e-bay.


Was a bit ropey. Rusty round the arches, the roof was bubbling (probably used to have a vinyl roof). Paid £670 for it, which quite frankly was a lot but I had my heart set on it. Auction on e-bay finished at 3pm in the afternoon and I got on the train that night to Birmingham and went to pick it up.

Drove home fine. Engine was a bit tired but pretty good. Did not overheat which is unusual for an Imp. ;-) I used it as my everyday car (despite buying a Pug 309 at the same time) for a year and the only problems with it were the brake master cylinder expiring (resulting in having to drive home with the handbrake) and the local garage crashing it slightly when I took it in for a professional service.

However in 2004 the gearbox went at the Chatsworth House junction of the M1. Gutted, especially as Lancaster insurance said I had opted out of the AA cover on my policy (WHY WOULD I DO THAT? I DRIVE A 40yr OLD CAR) so had to pay £200 to get home to Leeds. So when I got back the engine came out:


However as i took the engine out and had a look it became apparent the crash at the garage in Headingley was not the only crash it had ever had.....The entire offside rear quarter had been repaired badly at some point. I say some point. It was about April 1989 as that was the date of the newspaper i pulled out of here:



Cue massive dread and no activity for a whole 4 years until I finally built up the guts to give welding a go.
Had a few pretty bad practice runs on the bonnet edge:



Which pulled off due to non penetration.....

So in 2008 I finally started restoring the car properly. By this time it looked like this after several attempts at bodging and filler as I found my way.



However I now had my welder.

I did several bits which I since did again as i learnt (I have been round the car 3 times now). However the first bit I did which has remained unaltered was on the rear quarter. Here is the progress I made:


Then I turned my attention to the rest of the car.

rear window had been leaking for years:
I took off the overlaying metal strip that seemed to be added just to hold in moisture:
At the same time I noticed the arches were a bit odd looking. Upon investigation:
Yeah, the suspension mounts were wobbed up. Fucking fibre glass! on a structural point. Brilliant.
It was the same on the other side.

The people who know Imps might have noticed that I forgot to put the holes in that the rear seats fit into. Will worry about that in the future......

I worked my way round the rest of the car a few times (selected highlights)
Errr, is that not meant to be straight?
Hole cut
I am pretty sure the turtlewax has been used on another car. I cant remember polishing this one that year.....

Then I turned my attention to the floor. It was decided to roll the fucker. It only took 2 of us. I rolled it onto cardboard and suspended it by a rope thought the garage rafters. Managed to fit 2 cars and a bike in the garage..... ;-)



So we looked at the floor. Not good TBH. We rolled it and prodded it and it seemed solid.
However it had been BADLY repaired in the past. Some of the metal was actually held in with underseal.
If anything the bottom half was worse, but it came together okay
And finally looked like this:

But then i rolled it over again. And took it back to bare metal as did not know what to expect after finding rot in some of the places i did. The best thing was after 16 months of lying on its side on cardboard it did not have a single dent.
Found some reasonable rot with the pull back to bare metal but the only biggies was the A pillers were filler so I repaired them.......



and a few more bits over the body.

Last time I saw it, it looked like this:



That was last December. Its not been touched since.

Once we sell the Sera and make some cash and I can sell the DAF, finish the GT6 and make enough cash for a proper respray, I can finally finish the Imp. I will update this as and when I get the Imp back from storage. I do check its still in the lock up every few weeks.

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reading that was like watching a favourite t.v programme.. i was really getting into it... giving ooh's when the rot was revealed and ahh's when it was repaired and painted white... then seeing the car going away on a truck was like the end of the t.v series and knowing you have to wait until the next series comes around but you don't know when :lol:


thanks for having me on the edge of my seat :lol:

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Yeah top stuff Mr Imp!

Flash Gordon t-shirt was a highlight for me as well!

All makes me feel a bit better about the 323 sitting in my garage - dented, sorned and unloved. Cash issues...

Still, getting pulled by Vosa in the transit yesterday may well have a posi impact on getting E166 rolling again. Eventually.

Looking forward to part two dude!

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Super stuff! It's becoming painfully obvious that I need to weld. I've had a go at many jobs on my fleet, but not bodywork. Other than spraying a bit more paint on the 2CV in the hope it'll keep the rust at bay for a little bit longer...


Great thread idea too. I'll update the BX one at some point, though there's not been masses of 'photo based' excitement lately.

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Great work Mr Imp.


I think I remember it being on its side in the garage when I collected that block for Frank.


The fettled bits look really smart when painted up in white.


I really, really should learn how to weld and do escRot properly. The sense of achievement must be massive...

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Ta for the compliments.


I am also for instant gratification Boobydoo, unfortunately my bank manager disagrees. :cry:


Learning to weld was definately worthwhile. As I picked it up and got better it meant that I had to revisit all the bits I did earlier. Some bits of the car have been done 3 or 4 times now. Whilst I am not going to win prizes for the work I am happy that the car is structurally sound now and does not have any actual rot on it at all anymore. As you can see, instead of making a piece of metal that fits the whole area I am welding, I have instead done a bit of a patchwork quilt to get it the right shape. Filler will hide the imperfections :oops:


As I am painting the car white, I am considering doing it myself. As I said on the Maxi thread the other day, if I do I am going to paint it black first to spot where it looks odd so that I can get a good finish. If I can get it looking pretty good in black it will look really good in white. However I am also quite keen on getting a professional job as it will invariably be better.


Next step it to get the brakes working on it and haul it up my drive (the drive is about 45 degrees) into the garage at home where I can prep it for painting. Plan is that i HAVE to spray it and get it back together next summer as its been off the road too long, Whether it is me that sprays it or someone else I am not yet sure.


I have put all new pipes on but the bleed nipples have seized. Bit annoyed I did not check them before I put everything back together as its awkward to get at now. However I am looking at doing this in the next few weeks with any luck. Once it is back at my house I will be a lot happier.

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Great story and pics, I had a 1968 Chammy up to 3 years ago, twas a great car and missed greatly. When on my travels round Leeds I met a guy who has a 14,000 mile from new Chammy thats still sat in his garage Seacroft way. Very tidy but engine seized from storage. Tried to tempt him with some folding stuff but wasn't interested. Maybe one to vist again as it's been a couple of years now ;-)

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Great story and pics, I had a 1968 Chammy up to 3 years ago, twas a great car and missed greatly. When on my travels round Leeds I met a guy who has a 14,000 mile from new Chammy thats still sat in his garage Seacroft way. Very tidy but engine seized from storage. Tried to tempt him with some folding stuff but wasn't interested. Maybe one to vist again as it's been a couple of years now ;-)

And there's a thing - how DO we pronounce Chamois? Is it Shammy, or Shamwah?

One of those words guaranteed to make me look a pillock (no offence Pillock!) when i say it!

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Excellent stuff!


It's great that you've taken the time to go around and redo your work to get it up to a really good standard. Most people would probably just take the 'PaulDaf' route and bodge up the not-so-great repairs and hope no one notices. Can't wait to see this in paint, since I've been on this site I've been looking at pictures of this on its side in the garage so it's nice to know that it's all coming together at last. Well done!


Edit: 'Sham-Wah', Shirely?

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Top post , as you may know ive got a few Imps , perhaps I should start a thread on my Imp van :idea: .

They can be real bastards to do bodywork on so AAA+++ from me

keep us all updated .


You should do that. It would be an epic post too would it not? War and peace styleeeeee.

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Hey Scotty, glad you're persevering with this and that a quick look at my Imp's braking system (now M'Coli's) helped you out somewhat. At least, I hope it helped you out, as I routed much of the brake pipes whilst on my back underneath the car (in preperation for use as my car wedding less than 2 weeks later) and remember I got something wrong around the nearside rear wishbone, though the grumpy-yet-helpful MOT man in Barwick re-routed it for me. I was another one to visit your garage and see it on it's side. Judging by the location in those pics I'm assuming you hadn't been there more than 2-3 years but you'd managed to get that 'old garage' look down to a tee!

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I only wish I had the skills some of you blokes have.


Look at in in the sense that you just have a bit less money and a working car.


TBH, if I had spent the money i spent on storage for it over the years i could have probably paid for the restoration. But it will be a good feeling next year when I (hopefully) get it up and running.


Judging by the location in those pics I'm assuming you hadn't been there more than 2-3 years but you'd managed to get that 'old garage' look down to a tee!


I think the total time I had been in that house was 2 years until last December. Did not take long for that garage to look lived in eh? It was helpful popping over to yours, only because it made me realise that it would be easier to buy some pipes that were already cut and flared..... :wink: Looked like it was something i could easily make a mess of.

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And there's a thing - how DO we pronounce Chamois? Is it Shammy, or Shamwah?

One of those words guaranteed to make me look a pillock (no offence Pillock!) when i say it!


It depends on who you are and where you come from, for example, I'm sure the Rootes board pronounced it Shamwah, but the shop floor would have called it a Shammy.


Picture, if you will, the scene in October 1964 when the Singer Chamois was launched. A woman from Kelvinside in Glasgow - a place of such poshness that sex is what you get your solid fuel delivered in and a creche is a collision between two motor vehicles - is driving her new Chamios into the centre of Glasgow to show it off to her sister. At a set of traffic lights a couple of workmen spot the new car, but can't decide on the name of it, so they ask her:

"Haw, hen? Is that no' wan o' those posh new Hiwman Imps? Whit d'yiz ca' them again?"

"That's correct," she replies, curling her nose in polite disgust, "it's a Singer Shammwaah."

"See, Ah telt yiz," says the workman, turning to his mate "it's a Singer Shammy!" :lol:

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LOL at Sex. :lol:


Anyhow to clear up the pronounciation:


The English name is from the French chamois. This is derived from Latin camox, borrowed from Gaulish, itself perhaps a borrowing from Iberian or Aquitanian, akin to modern Basque ahuntz, "goat".


The usual pronunciation for the animal in British English is /ˈʃæmwÉ‘ËÂ/, or in American English /ʃæmˈwÉ‘ËÂ/, approximating the French pronunciation. However when referring to chamois leather, and in New Zealand often for the animal itself, it is /ˈʃæmi/, and sometimes spelt "shammy" or "chamy". The plural of "chamois" is spelled the same as the singular, and it may be pronounced with the final "s" sounded: /ˈʃæmwÉ‘ËÂz/, /ʃæmˈwÉ‘ËÂz/, /ˈʃæmiz/. However, as with many other quarry species, the plural for the animal is often pronounced the same as the singular.


The Dutch name for the chamois is gems, and the male is called a gemsbok. In Afrikaans, the name "gemsbok" came to refer to a species of Subsaharan antelope of the genus Oryx, and this meaning of "gemsbok" has been adopted into English.


What the fuck /ˈʃæmwÉ‘ËÂ/ means I will leave up to you.

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  • 6 years later...

Some of you might have forgotten (or may never have known) that I am called Hillman Imp as I actually own one, well a Chamois but you know what I mean.


In December 2010, after working on the car for 2 years I put the Imp i my rented lock up for a few months. This was only going to be until I got back on my feet after spunking every penny I had and several thousand pennies from my dad and Zopa loans on a house of my own.




Previously the DAF had been in here (this will become relevant later) but it made sense to keep it at my house (as it worked most of the time) and keep the Imp in here for a bit. Not long though, obviously.




Sadly, the cost of running your own home was a bit more than expected and any disposable income I had before I moved vanished along with my plan to get enough money together to get the Imp painted. I had dalliances with some other cars, but they were either daily drivers or investments to keep my head above water.  


During this time, we sold the DAF. Sadly, as the DAF used to live in the lock up, the keys for the lock up were on the keyring for it and went with the DAF. This wasn't a big problem until I lost the other set of keys before I got copies and as such the Imp had to stay where it was until I got off my arse and broke in but I honestly didn't have any reason to as there was nothing I could do with it when I did get in as I was brassic so MEH!.


My financial situation got better once I got myself a missus but my priorities changes as we moved into a falling down house and I got her up the spout, although it does mean I have a little 'help' with the cars every now and then.





Although, I don't think his Mum is impressed by the state of his hands.




Anyhow, in December I sold the house I had bought all those years ago. I'd moved out of it a few years earlier and had been renting it for a bit as I had not been able to sell it at the time. Back then I was selling it for a loss but since then the value had gone up a fair bit and I ended up doing quite well out of it, which is unusual for me as I have always been absolutely flat broke no matter how much money I have coming in. I honestly don't know how I do it but there it is. 


Here is a photo of the old house from Google Maps as it looks pretty damn cool with the cars outside. No other reason for posting this picture.




Sadly despite getting all this dosh, my financial situation didn't change as the money from that house 'absolutely had to be' put straight into the family home. Boooo! However, I negotiated a deal where I could take a chunk of it to sort out the Imp. YAY! 


So here we are. House sold. Money for Imp. 


Whats stopping me?


Situation is, I have too many cars of which only one is on the road. I need to decide how to get all these sorted in the most sensible way possible.


Visa is the easy win as there is nothing wrong with it except the lack of MOT and a flat battery.

MR2 just needs new brakes, exhaust and a light tickle from the sparkly stick to get through its MOT.

GT6 has had new sills, inner sills, floor on one side and just needs a new floor on the nearside and some work on the A pillar and it will be ready for painting.

Imp is a rolling shell with bits stored all over Yorkshire and is in an unknown condition as its in a lock up that I've not been inside for 5 years.

Shaguar - Daily driver.


I had idea of what I planned to do but last weekend I was watching 'Wings Oh! Oh!' (Super Wings) with my lad and it suddenly occurred to me that I had not seen any money going out of my account for the lock up in Adel for some time. A quick look at my account said they stopped collecting it last August. 


I jumped straight into my car and drove over there. I felt sick as I was approaching it, I'd not been over there for months. However the garage was fine. Still locked up with my locks and a peek under the door and you could see my stuff. That's okay then. 


Monday morning I rang the Landlords but it seems they had sold it but they have no contact details other than the name of the new landlords. I look up the company and there is no contact details other than some PO boxes in Manchester or Wetherby.


Looked up the new owners and there was a fair bit about them online. I reckon they might have Dom Littlewood getting on a stool to ring their doorbell any day now in Rogue Traders.


I started panicking a bit. What if they were about to pull them down without notifying me? Would they enter the garage and take whats in it? I had to say my head was in a spin from the state it was in.


So I went over to the garage last Tuesday. 




I got through the first padlock in 30 seconds with a hacksaw, the other took some bolt cutters to the hinges of the bit I was padlocking but I had done it within 3 minutes. I may have missed my vocation as a petty thief.








So I rang up my local car mover person and arranged for him to pick it up the next day. Sadly the snow arrived. This was my street.




I explained to the car mover guy that we are above the snow line and its probably okay down the road, so I popped some (relevant) weight over the back wheels...




and went to see how bad the roads were. 


Turns out, they were bad. There were so many abandoned cars in the village I had to drive an extra mile down the hill to find somewhere to dump my car. Mrs Imp had said it was a friggin stupid idea and for the first time in her life she was right. I IZ IDYOT.


That was Wednesday. Yesterday was a total loss but today, the roads looked a bit clearer. 


Arranged to meet Steve at the garage and the Imp say daylight for the first time in just over 7 years:






Its got a bit of surface rust and one of the rear sills looks a bit grotty but other than that its okay. I smothered it in Hydrate 80 when I put it in the garage and it seems to have done the job.


Its now at home and is top of the list with regards to repairs. Will sort out any issues and send it to the paint shop as soon as possible.




I have managed to get an agreement for 'Imp time' on Sundays which me and Imp Jr. can use. 


I hope this goes forward and I get my Imp back.

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What a great thread. It must have been a horrible feeling when you approached the garage block, not knowing whether your car would still be inside or not. Just as well you got it towed back home pdq - at least it’s safe now! Is your GT6 being done when the Imp is back in one piece, or is it a back burner project? Still like them...

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So do I, I've always wanted one and still regret not buying a brown one that was for sale for £75 what seems like yesterday but is now more like 15 to 20 years ago.


I paid about £650 for this and was by far the worst but most expensive Imp I'd ever owned. They are worth big coin there days. Whether the market crashes or not, we will see but I don't plan on selling this one.


What a great thread. It must have been a horrible feeling when you approached the garage block, not knowing whether your car would still be inside or not. Just as well you got it towed back home pdq - at least it’s safe now! Is your GT6 being done when the Imp is back in one piece, or is it a back burner project? Still like them...


Original plan was to do the GT6 first. Its pretty much done. It's roadworthy, just not tested. I'd been umming and ahhing about selling it for years, mainly to pay for the Imp to be finished but now I can keep both so it will be dragged out soon. Its performing better than my pension so I'm happy keeping it for now. The guy who moved the Imp today was trying to buy it off me, no chance pal.



Good tale, glad you managed to rescue it . Getting a bit of car time when you’ve got a family can protect your sanity . It takes fucking ages to get anything done though .


Getting the kids to help you with the car is GR9 if you had planned to go out and stick a screwdriver in the radiator. Other than that, it's not so good.

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My first proper car was an Imp  - the first car I crashed and the first car I had a shag in (events not related).   Great memories (not the crash, though or the other bit TBH) and I always regret not doing one properly (the Imp, not the other bit) as I reckon a sorted one would have been a lot better car than some of the things I had afterwards.   Much more a proper car than say a Mini or a Beetle and it always pisses me off to hear them slated for this and that.   Nice work so far, I really like the Mk1 Chamois too.

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