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Imps 

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`the ex-Brian Cutting Maguire Stiletto'

BUILT : 1979-80 by John Maguire

CLASSIFICATION : Donington GT/ Wendy Wools special saloon

ENGINE : Hartwell Imp 998cc ( 1980s )

RACED BY : Brian Cutting  ( 1980-88 ),

Robert Knox ( approx 1995 to date )

CURRENTLY : alive and well in the south-east

NOTES : John Maguire Racing of Coventry built 3 spaceframe Stilettos to continue to success of his Mini Clubman cars.

This one took Brian Cutting to many 1000cc class wins including the 1980 Wendy Wools 1000, the outright Donington GT champion in 1982 and his swansong 1988 Castle Combe GT overall championship. Brian, a property developer from Bournemouth had 16 class wins that first season in 1980 and continued with his trusty 998cc Hartwell Imp engine out of his ex-Reg Payne version to retain the BRSCC-SW Championship.In 1981 Brian was class runner-up in both Wendy Wools and Donington GT with 1982 his finest achievement winning Donington GT outright 34 points to Jeff Wilson`s 31. After a spell racing a Lotus Elan he returned with the car now yellow for a swan song 1988 to win the Castle Combe GT crown before retiring fulltime. Brother Tony also raced an Imp at the same time.

Robert Knox has owned this smart Stiletto for the last 25 years and has been a regular competitor in the SEMSEC Sports + Saloons series based at Lydden , finishing 3rd in class 4 in 2013 and a few races in the CSCC Special saloons + Modsports series in 2014.

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`Rover V8 powered Singer Chamois'

BUILT : 1970

CLASSIFICATION : Road car / sprint car

ENGINE : Rover V8 3953cc

RACED BY : n/a

CURRENTLY : alive and well in Kent

NOTES : V8-engined Imps are extremely rare but this interesting example came up for bids on Ebay in February 2020. It didnt have any takers even at a reasonable start price of £2500. The advert states the engine is in need of rebuild and the owner is effectively trying to cut his losses. The car is actually a 4 headlamp Singer Chamois variant and uses the reliable old Rover V8 unit, Renault gearbox and group 5 style wheel arches. 

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`the ex-Mike Odell Championship winning Imp'

BUILT : 1960s

CLASSIFICATION : Special saloon 

ENGINE : Hartwell-tuned Imp 846cc

RACED BY : Mike Odell ( 1969-73 )

CURRENTLY : under going restoration in Ireland

NOTES : what a wonderful 'barn find' turned up on the internet in 2019 from Ireland, if something of a neglected case. Genuine championship-winning cars from the special saloons heyday are few and far between so this is historically important 'find'. 

Mike Odell ( b.1940 ) was the driver and this spelling is the one Autosport and race programes used not 'Mick O`Dell' as in the period CCC article on him ( see gallery ). Mike operated from his Simca dealership in Great Straughton, near St.Neots aided by his 2 younger brothers. 

Mike debuted the car in 1969 with 12 class wins ( only 2 drivers won more nationwide in the 850 class ) and then concentrated on the new-for-1970 BRDC Silverstone-based Triplex Championship. Described as 'fast and well driven' Mike took class runner-up spot to Greame Janzen with 13 class wins throughout the year. 

1971 saw Mike comfortably win the Triplex 850 class with 9 class wins from 10 rounds, enough to beat the other class winners to the outright title with 14 class wins in total from 16 races that calender year. Described in the programes as being blue/orange at the time the car was very light and the current owner mentions hundreds of small weight-saving holes drilled anywhere possible. The other reason it was light was the use of aluminium panels - roof, floor and side panels. This factor has also helped preserve the car from the full ravages of rust over the decades.

Fewer races in 1972 and 6 class wins noted in 1973 in what was by then the Esso Uniflo-sponsored championship and car described as being black/red. The french blue paint and front bib spoiler probably added after as the car slipped into unrecorded times. 

Latter owners have included Robin Human from the Imp club and Ed Newman in the mid-2000s from Gloucester.

A fabulous project, the car appeared in unrestored form at the Limerick car show in 2019. Let`s hope the new owner, whom ive sent some history to, can get the car going and enjoy a piece of Imp racing history. 

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