Return to Hasbeen's garage

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Published on 10 October 2019

I drove an Imp in the Bathurst 500 in 1964. Kevin Carrad & I detailed the car for the race, & found the main reason they were so bad. The disgusting standard of Pomy unionist workmanship at the time. All 7 imps in the race had similar experiences of dreadful workmanship, & one even found a couple of nuts, of a type not used in the car anywhere in the gearbox, obviously industrial sabotage. The thing had done only 24 miles when we stripped it, but we found the surface area of both main & big end bearings reduced by 50% by extreme scoring. As we cleaned the thing we found 3 table spoons of machining swarf in the sump, another half a table spoon in the crank oil ways & a further spoonful in the can shaft. It is incredible that any of them ever did more than a few thousand miles. Once detailed to a reasonable degree every one of the cars completed the race with no problems. If they had reasonable build quality & a slightly bigger engine They would have been brilliant. They were definitely the quickest car down the Bathurst esses that year. Leading Spencer Martin in the Viva through Murrays. Which would you rather have been driving?