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Imps in Pics

Hillman Californian

The Imp Californian model was introduced in late 1966 but didn't go on sale until January 1967. It continued in production for only a short while until February (or April ?) 1970. During that period approximately 6100 were sold to the public in Great Britain. It is difficult to say how many went abroad.
When the Californian first went on sale it could be bought for £650 (£71 more than the Super Imp), in 1970 it was fetching about £715. As fastback versions of saloons were uncommon in British motor industry, the arrival of the little coupé was news indeed and it did not really have any competitiors.The styling (Bob Sayward's saloon modified by Ron Wisdom, who later moved on to the Rover styling dept.) was its only reason for existence. It was a sporty looking Imp, being a (single headlight) coupé. But it only had the standard engine, not the new Sport unit.
Said styling involved more than altering the rear roofline, though. The windscreen was less steep; the roof was 1½" lowered; the steering column was lowered a bit too. Michael Parkes, half of the Imp designing duo, had insured that there were enough means of adjustment for taller people (he himself being over 6ft tall). The rear window has been so angled that it stays free from road dirt. The opening rear window of saloon models was sacrificed.

Trimwise there were two distinct models, both adopting the same trim as fitted to the corresponding Mk2 and Mk3 Imp Supers. The front seats were reclining and it did have one innovation that has since then become quite common: a split rear seat. It was thought that this would compensate a bit the inconvenience of not having an opening rear window.

Random Californian Picture

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1 January 1967


31  July 1967

 GBX 648 E

 GNE 837 E


 HBK 124 E

 KDG 119 E


 KKP 868 E

 JEL 136 E

 KVO 774 E

 LAC 369 E

 LFN 479 E


 ONP 985 E


 RMT 320 E

1 August 1967


31  July 1968

 AMJ 382 F

 CKX 828 F


 JCO 141 F


 JFC 706 F


 KDO 385 F



 KFR 53 F

 KVJ 423 F


 LEL 942 F


 MPM 791 F


 OVB 995 F


 OVB 995 F


 RMY 776 F


 VPO 445 F


 VWE 180 F


 RME 239 F


 THX 88 F

1 August 1968


31  July 1969

 CPO 444 G

 DVG 77 G


 GCN 321 G


 GNK 849 G



 LFY 259 G

 OKM 154 G


 MUN 640 G


IMG_7547.jpg picture by andy697g

 PTT 906 G


 RAY 450 G


 UHS 707 G


 VUY 68 G


 NDL 518 G

Bob Jones

 SLO 105 G


 WPB 615 G


 XPB 535 G

1 August 1969


31  July 1970

 FTW 934 H


 RDU 556 H


 SEL 450 H


 RRD 689 H

 UVF 987 H


 WOT 360 H

1 August 1970


31  July 1971

 ATB 363 J


 GYL 322 J


1 August 1971


31  July 1972


 DF 241


 96 61 HT




(c) Andy Smith 2024