Caledonian Project - case study

History

This Caledonian  was one of the last off the production line in late March 1976. The car was sold by a local Chrysler dealer Church Brothers in Greenock to a local couple.  This was the third imp the couple had purchased from the garage and the owner and his wife had many happy times in the red imp.  When the came to trade it in after three years in 1979 the imp had ceased production and the garage had become a Peugeot dealer so the couple bought a Peugeot every three years until the owner sadly died in 2011.  Their old imp however changed hands three times locally in Greenock with one short trip to an owner in Wymess Bay, before being purchased in 1983 by a chap in Paisley.  The Caledonian was the chaps 3rd imp also however shortly after purchasing the car he was in Greenock when the engine blew up.  The imp was transported back to his home in Paisley and put in the garage. It never moved again until it was discovered by an imp enthusiast in October 2012. The owner kindly agreed to part with the car and so its new life was about to begin after a 29 year hibernation.

The rescue operation

The Imp had been put in a single garage in 1983 and was covered in cardboard, foam and sheets to protect it.  Lots of imps spares had been piled up on top of the car so it took some time to dig it out. Once the imp was visible it was aparent that the dry storgae had helped preserve it. The car was then jacked up and all the tyres were inflated and the wheel hubs freed so that it would turn.  The car then rolled for the first time in 29 years.

A few days later a recovery truck collected the imp and it was rolled out into daylight and taken to it's new home for restoration.

Arriving at its new home, where the restoration will take place.

Awaiting restoration.

The restoration

 The restoration started in Janaury 2013.

NNS 872P makes it's first trip into daylights since 1983.

March 2013 -restoration update

The imp has been stripped and is in a bad state but restoration is now under way. It won't make it to the road for 2013 birthday celebrations but it will be saved.

Surprisingly it looked not too bad after a polish, but the underside hasn't fared so well.

Inner and outer sills have disintigrated. Floor has split. Some major structural surgery is required.

August 2013 - Update

Malcolm Anderson Imp Specialist in Somerset has provided 2 new front wings. Rear arches and full sills have also been aquired as has a new battery, new hoses and various other peices.  The car has been stripped down to a bare shell and the welding will begin in late summer.

December 2014. 

Like many projects, the actual work involved has been much more than first anticipated. Do date the following panels have been welded in: 4 arches both inner and outer, suspension cones, floor pans (sections), inner and outer sills, all four corners.  The engine is seized and has been removed for rebuild.  The shell is now solid. Next job is to strip out all the glass and headlining, mirrors, fuel tank etc and have the shell prepared for a re spray.