Saturday, 27 October 2012

Ferrari , the Hillman Imp connection

Can there possibly be such a connection, indeed there can be and here is the proof, Mike Parkes was an engineer working for the Rootes Group Scotland Hillman Imp project, he later left and moved to Ferrari as an engineer and driver.

My thanks to for the use of their picture.

There was also a Dutch / South Africa connection as well, Willhelm Kool, who was a HBYC member told me that his brother had worked in the Rootes Scotland factory. He had seem aluminium castings made there for an Italian car maker. We expected it was the Mike Parkes connection but he says he thought they were for Lamborgini?

This 330GTO, chassis number 3765A, is one of three 330 GTOs and features a modified 400 SA chassis and a 400 Superamerica engine, along with the GTO body style. In 1962 it finished second overall at Nurburgring driven by Willy Mairesse and Mike Parkes and then raced at Le Mans. Later, fitted with an earlier 3-liter GTO engine, the car ran various events, including the Targa Florio. Assigned to Ferrari Engineer and racer Mike Parkes factory F1 and sports car ace Lorenzo Bandini, Mr. Jaeger's 4-liter GTO appears as it did on June 23rd of 1962, when gridded seventh at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It never made the finish at Le Mans that year because after 56 laps it retired with overheating due to an accident and did not race again until 1965. By then, the new owner had installed a three-liter V-12 engine scavenged from a Ferrari prototype. This swap allowed '3765' to compete as a GTO in Italian GT races.

On June 13, 1965 new owner, Ferdinando Latteri, scored five straight class wins in Italian hillclimbs after retiring from the Targa Florio in May. He ended the car's competition history with a class victory in the Coppa Gallenga Hillclimb in March, 1966.

In 1967 '3765' came to America. Jim Jaeger took possession of this prototype GTO in 1985 and began a historically fastidious restoration. Once he had obtained the car's original 4-liter V-12 engine block, Jaeger returned the car to its original 1962 Le Mans livery. Today '3765' wears the number seven, just as it did 50 years ago at Le Mans on Saturday afternoon, June 23, 1962

The Hillman Imp connection?

Its well known that the design of the Imp was done by Tim Fry when he was 23 and Mike Parkes when he was 26, its the same Mike Parkes!

How great is that!

Official Ferrari factory issued postcard of Michael Parkes. One exists that is signed by Enzo Ferrari on 12 May 1963

Read about Mike in this link to Imps 4 ever web site.