The answer to 03/01/2011′s What Auto is This?? Quiz is the wimpy but kinda cool Hillman Imp. Made by the Rootes Group and than part of Chrysler of Europe tihs rear engine Micro-Car would sell over 440,000 units till its demise in 1976. Due to good power to weight ration the Imp made for a good race car its day and is a favorite in Europe for Vintage Car Racing.
Tag Archive: micro car
This little car was built between 1963-1976. it was a good seller for its makers “The Rootes Group” that group would become Chrysler of Europe. When production stopped over 440,000 were built. Not known for building Micro-Cars this would be this car makers first attempt into the very high profit Europeon market. Its cross town rival the Mini would beat it to market by three years.
It had a rear mounted 874cc engine with an all aluminum black and head. It also featured a single overhead camshaft unusual for this price range. The engine would be angled at 45 deg. to aid in rear deck clearance. The rumor at the time was the engine started life as a “Fire Pump” engine. Maybe the rumor was started by Mini. Another reason for the engines strange mounting was to aid in handling. rear engine cars IE: VW’s Beetle suffer from “Massive Torque Oversteer”
The set up did help somewhat but the Mini could still run circles around it. A factory race program did in fact have good success in Europe but could never match the Mini and BMW’s 2002. Also helping with handling was a fully independent rear suspension and swing arm front suspension. All costly items for a low dollar car. Its rear mounted engine and flat floor gave it larger than Mini interior space but a phone booth is larger than a Mini. Three body type were available.
A two door sedan. A two door coupe (named after a USA state) and a very milk truck like van. At one point in its long run it was Englands lowest priced car boosting slow sales for a short time. Very few revisions or upgrades happened during its long life span. One big upgrade cam in 1968 when a real dash board with Smiths gauges were standard issue. Sort of a Skateboard with doors and roof. What Auto is This??
Named after a place to dance rather than a car. This “Micro-Car” was produced between 1955-1969. Featuring a rear mounted two stroke air cooled two cylinder engine. Ranging in size from 250cc-400cc. The transmission was a electric pre-selective transmission built by Getrag. It was available in four body types. A 2 door sedan,2 door coupe or a small van. The final two years a roadster was offered. Over 280,000 were built during its lifetime. “What Auto is This??”
This “Little Mouse” was produced between 1936-1955. It was offered in 3 body styles. Two door coupe,a station wagon and cabriolet. Almost no changes we done to the car during its life span. Powered by a 13 horsepower 569cc 4 cylinder side valve engine. It was capable of doing a blazing top spped of 53mph. This “Micro-Car could deliver up to 40mpg while shiting its 4 speed manual transmission. During its life time over 500,000 were produced. “What Auto is This??”