Vintage Race Car Project: 1966 Sunbeam Imp

1966-Sunbeam-Imp-race-car-project

This 1966 Sunbeam Imp started the process of becoming a race car, but the previous owners were never able to finish the task. A roll cage has already been fitted and it has been painted, but all the mechanicals still need finishing. It may take a lot of work, but the fun you will have with this rear-mount rear-wheel-drive toy should make it all worth it. Find this project here on eBay out of Seattle, Washington with bidding currently at $355 and no reserve. Thanks goes to Jim S. for this submission!

1966-Sunbeam-Imp-race-car-interior

We love these little Imps. Their styling is very unique and the engine was derived from the famous Coventry Climax engine. The seller of this car is including a 902cc sport engine but it is not installed. The transaxle is going to need a rebuild and there is no interior. There is a fuel cell mounted out back though and new suspension underneath.

1966-Sunbeam-Imp-race-car-rear

Yellow is our least favorite color on automobiles, but we think it works well here with the white stripes and number circles. The seller mentions that it looks like the body was bead blasted before being painted, but there are a few spots where the paint has already flaked off. We would just touch those areas up, get her running, and throw a seat in there for some track day fun. Anyone here up for an Imp of a project?

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Comments

  1. David

    I think I’d rather have the Volvo troop carrier 🙂

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  2. Rick

    That’s pretty cool. And pretty cheap.

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  3. Dolphin Dolphin Staff

    The Imp was about the smallest of the Rootes Group cars, smaller than the Alpine & Tiger and with the smallest engine of the three. Despite the small engine size and the somewhat ungainly look, Rootes promoted the Imp’s participation in racing by making racing parts and Factory support available, and Imps were successful. Bill McGovern won the British under-1000cc ‘Saloon’ class championship in 1970, 1971 and 1972.

    The engine was derived from the famous Coventry Climax fire pump engine that did so well in small British race cars in previous decades. Pretty good for a little Brit economy car.

    The fact that this one comes with a Sport engine is a plus. Better plan on completing this one as a vintage racer, because it has no papers and doesn’t look like it will be running down to the corner store for groceries anytime soon.

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  4. Webby

    I’d throw a modern FWD engine & transaxle at the rear. It’d go like stink with a 2 litre behind it.

    Not so sure about the handling side though…………

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  5. Phil

    Could be a great historic race car project! Forget Webbys front engine and tansaxle theory, it’s much to valuable for that.
    But why the fuel cell stuck in the rear, when logic says in front!

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  6. FRED

    COOL LITTLE THING .MY BIG ASS WOULD NEVER FIT IN THE THING THOUGH.. THIS WOULD BE SOMETHING I WOULD HAVE FOR THE GRANDKIDS TO DRIVE ON THE TRAILS MY SON AND HIS MOTORCYCLE/FOURWHEELER FRIENDS BUIT BEHIND THE HOUSE. THE TRAILS LED TO A HUGE FIELD THAT THEY MADE A DIRT TRACK .IT HAS KEPT A LOT OF KIDS OFF THE STREETS OVER THE YEARS.

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  7. erikj

    “O” Crap, I got that itch to buy again. That imp looks preety cool, possibly not a lot to make it a little track star. I will check out the bidding, I might just git in on it. By the way i live only 50 miles away. Add that to my bought threw barnfind additions; 66 sport fury 72k stored in garage for over twenty years and the tiny 57 berkely sportscar( wife doesnt even know about that one!)

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  8. Rancho Bella

    Ever watch a properly set up Imp race?………..they are quite something.

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  9. Grant

    Great little cars with a great if tempramental engine.

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  10. philip

    Had an original Hillman imp sport back in my college days try keeping it in a straight line on the highway at 70 mph was hell the front got so light it was frightening so why a fuel tank in the back astounds me . The demise of the imp was surrounded by six fire engines and a burnt out car after one of the twin Stromberg s developed a leak and they are positioned directly above the exhaust!

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  11. RickyM

    Love these cars ! First car I ever bought, when I was 15, was a Hillman Imp. Brilliant fun !

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