Thursday, 9 October 2014

An export Hillman Californian classic car

The Imp Club tells me that they only made 10,376  of these cars, mine is an early Mk1 so one of the first and we know it came off the production line February 3rd 1967. I read they were first in production late 1966 but were only sold to the public from early 1967.

The web site Imps 4 ever quotes just 6100 made only, that is from  January 1967 to April 1970 which sounds a whole lot more probable.

The Vin plate is marked RCO, meaning Right hand drive, Coupe, Export, with the special petrol drain plug in the fuel line and a speedo in kilometers this car is one of only a few?

We know about 55 to 60 in total left of the entire production but just how many export cars are there left, I know of one other, its with Frank and down in Australia.

The Vin plate on that car is also the RCO code and reads 3441 later than my own car, with the Imp Club Spares man, Bob Allans car reading a few weeks earlier than my own, his was not an export car though.

My own car was found in a JoBurg police pound and had Mozambique plates on it back then, by  the time I found it the car was in Pietermaritzburg and thats when I bought it, now some twenty years ago.

The original engine block and standard pistons are still in the car, I rebuilt the motor with new bearings and rings, plus added sport 180 type head and Stromberg twin carbs and manifolds, sport exhaust also.

Reassembled on the bench its far easier to check what fits and where.

The entire front suspension and steering was removed for rebuilding, this includes a new set of front brakes.

The car is now on a full restoration and as the Imported parts arrive I will be fitting those as time allows.


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