In 2009 I purchased my Singer Chamois coupe twin headlight model, almost as a must rather than a want. After being involved in an accident in my previous Super Imp, the need to get back on the road and wanting it to be an imp was still there. I came across the car I was after and bought it there and then, liking the car but not feeling overly in love with it. Oh how that changed over a matter of time! When talking to members of The Imp Club I found out how rare the car was being the 4 headlight coupe model, I got slightly excited by this, and have only in the last month found out how rare the car is to the Imp Club. This example is one of 7!!!
The imp is a great small car that I decided upon as my first car, never really thinking I’d still have one aged 22 and I doubt I’ll be without one for many years to come! Imp’s have kept me on the road since I passed my test aged 17, not saying that they haven’t made me curse and swear but they got me there (most of the time). With the small standard engine, the imp runs well, giving great MPG, cheap classic car insurance and some being tax free, it all helps, but I think the biggest reward is seeing peoples faces as you drive past in a car they haven’t seen for years!
The car has done some serious miles since I have come into ownership of it, doing 1200 miles in just over a week with my girlfriend, from Manchester down to Newquay and back again. There were no breakdowns and got an average of 53mpg over the trip. I have travelled to every national Imp meet around the country and it has been reliable through my days at university and home. So yes I may of had to do some work on the car, with new parts but this is only the same as any other forty year old car.
The Singer is great to drive, being light weight with a good suspension set up and the right engine modifications. My car has had Monte Carlo lowering springs fitted all around the car, which stiffens the car up and improves the handling making it great fun on those country lanes, but also comfortable for everyday use. I have also upgraded the rear shock absorbers to protech all aluminum units which help the balance. As it is rear engined this helps the handling at high speeds. Nissan Micra disk brakes are a good modification to have if the car is to be used in anger or for just everyday use, these are brilliant. I fitted the brake disks as they can be fitted under the standard 12″ steel wheels. However, since they have been fitted I have now added some Mini light wheels, which are 6×13 on the front and 7×13 on the rear. The 7″ wheels on the back make the stance of the car much better, filling the arch.
The Engine is a very standard unit being an 875cc unit with a single solex carb. It may be slightly under powered but it works well, very smooth and reliable, with the electric lumenition pertronix ignition making the engine very reliable and maybe the best modification I have purchased for the car. I do have a 930cc engine that is sat in my garage waiting to rebuilt and fitted. I managed to come across this engine a few years ago and couldn’t say no. I have part stripped the engine and am about to take the pistons and crank out so can have the block soda blasted, have the crank refitted with new bearings and piston rings, a ported sport head and a high lift R17cam, then I shall be fitting a weber 28/36 along with a stainless sports exhaust system to finish it off.
The car will be going in for a full body restoration over this winter replacing the wheel arches and the sills, not because it is in awful condition but more to make it better for shows.
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