Dave Leggett | 10 April 2007
I was chatting earlier on the phone to regular just-auto contributor Mark Bursa. He's been to India recently, Mumbai to be precise, as a guest of Renault (read Mark's article). It was a bit of a flying visit but Mark managed to squeeze seven curries into his 48 hours inside the country, eschewing Western food options at every opportunity. Good lad.
Mark also got some time with Anand Mahindra and an article is coming. He sounds like an impressive individual.
We also got on to the subject of automotive oddities and Mr Bursa let slip that he used to own a Hillman Imp. He loved it to bits, but the car was a sad case of like the thinking, can-see-where-you're-coming-from, but it's all gone horribly wrong in the execution. It was Beetle thinking, engine at the rear, married to 'red jocks' - it was made in then economically depressed and staunchly militant Glasgow, Scotland.
From what I can gather, it wasn't exactly a labour of love.
The car had lots of niggling faults and quality/reliability glitches and cost more to buy than a Mini (Imp was in production 1963-76). Interesting though how almost any car, however bad, gets its fans with the passing of time. The Austin Allegro ('all aggro') even boasts an active owners' club ('Vanden Plas' trim and early models with the ill-faited 'square' steering wheel are much sought after).
Anyway, there's an Imp on ebay begging to be restored and the bidding's at just £215. Go on Mark, get in.
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