Greetham RegisterChamois Imps mostly built in Chesterfield.
These notes were prompted by some questions in Impressions, February-April 2006 and responses from people, like me, who remember these cars. Firstly Chris Clark of New South Wales, Australia, asked about them. Grahame Pearson replied that he remembered seeing the line up (above) at The Imp Club's National Weekend at Donington Park 1985. He also added a few details, to which I have added my own recollections below and on the rest of these pages. I was also contacted by Paul Beadsworth from Chesterfield who is currently restoring one of these cars and remembers several others. Paul knows many of the original owners and we hope to publish some more of his information via this site. Allan Millington and Darren Boden have also added their input to this story and information about the restoration of HAF 699N.
In the 1960s a number of engineering companies recognised the tuning potential of the standard Imp cars. These included Nathan, Hartwell, Emory and Greetham Engineering of Coventry. The latter was mostly because of the enthusiasm and skill of Andy Chesman. The company produced conversion parts including a full-race specification 998cc engine, suspension, modified interior, spoiler, lamps, front radiator, disc brakes and servo, etc. A number of cars (six or seven) all Singer Chamois were thought to have been fully converted by enthusiasts in the Chesterfield area around 1966. A number of later cars were built to a similar but slightly more advanced specification. According to Paul Knight there were around 1 dozen in total.
Andy's interest in the Rootes Imp engine as a lightweight power unit of potential was nurtured while working for his step father Ernest Greetham who founded Greetham Engineering. He discovered he could lift one! Andy went on to win countless British and European hydroplane titles while Greetham Engineering became one of the household names of the Imp and competition world. Andy Chesman Engineering (ACE) was later set up at the same premises in Edgwick Road, Coventry and his customer base broadened to include such marques as Jaguar, BMW and Ferrari.
The Greetham Imps were built as very fast fully equipped road going cars. Following the original ones which were modified Singer Chamois Imps, HKO 161D, UNO 90E, BAL 910B and 184 DLH, a number of "replicas" were made. The lineup above shows some of them at the Imp Club National, Melbourne Loop, Donington Park, July 1986 and the photo below is from 1985 - yes I was there too. David Cooper from Tamworth also remembers this and put some similar photos in Impressions April 2006. I am from Heanor, near Derby, so have a long time interest in these cars, hence my photos mostly taken with a Leica IIIc 35mm camera are from the original period and others I have spotted over the years.
Note, to speed up downloads you have to click on the pictures separately.
The original cars were built from Singer Chamois Imps. What date? Why in Chesterfield? Who built them? Grahame suggests the original cars were built by the same person because of their similarities. We believe this may have been Paul Knight who has recently built another one, GUN 767D which is described in the register below. The photos above of HKO 161D show details of an original car. Sorry the quality isn't very good, it was indoors at the NEC c.1987. This was my favourite Imp!
We are not sure what wheels were originally fitted. They may have been Astrali or similar, such as 6x13" or 7x13" Shelby but there were a few variations.
Further information about the individual cars is given on the link below. We cannot give any personal information, but if you have questions or know about any of the cars listed or any car which is not listed please call me via e-mail to Bob Allan or on 01925 267084, 6-9pm. Thanks to Ian for entertainment and getting me hooked and thanks to Paul and Allan for some of the more recent info.
Click here to see the register and links to more photos.
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