Manufacture of the Hillman Imp began at the Hillman Motor Car Company Ltd factory at Linwood, Glasgow in Scotland in 1963, employing many former shipyard workers. Hillman was part of the Rootes Group of motor companies. The Imp was designed to compete in the fast-growing small car market dominated by the Mini and the Volkswagen Beetle, featuring bodywork by Dante Giacosa of Fiat. The engine was an inclined rear-mounted 875 cc (42 bhp) four cylinder unit with an overhead camshaft. The transmission was a four-speed all syncromesh unit with hypoid gear differential, built as a single unit with the engine. This basic engine was also used by other manufacturers such as Bond, TVR, Clan and the Greek Farmobil off-road vehicle. The Imp's powerplant proved to be a useful racing engine as it was derived from the Coventry Climax unit and Imps won 30 races in the UK in 1966 alone. The Chysler Corporation took a controlling interest in the Rootes Group in 1964 but the Imp continued in production until 1976.

This Hillman Imp engine, transmission and differential unit has been sectioned for display purposes. It was donated to the Museum by Rootes (Australia) Pty Ltd in 1965.

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