Fry dons shorts to reveal Imp’s styling inspiration

That icon of car culture, the Hillman Imp, is getting an appreciation via a 30-minute documentary from BBC Scotland. And who is the second star of the film, after the car itself?

That icon of car culture, the Hillman Imp, is getting an appreciation via a 30-minute documentary from BBC Scotland.

And who is the second star of the film, after the car itself? Why, it’s Smallfry chairman Tim Fry.

For those readers too young to remember the Fifties, the Hillman Imp was built by Chrysler Roots to a 1955 design by the then 20-year-old Tim Fry and collaborator Michael Parks, who later went on to become a Formula One driver.

The story goes that Fry and Parks approached the Roots brothers to tell them their products failed to meet the needs of the marketplace. Rather than give the pesky kids a slap, the Roots told them to “get on with it then”.

The Imp went on to racetrack and rally success and a cosy spot in Scotland’s collective nostalgia. It is regarded, says Smallfry managing director Steve May-Russell, as “almost spiritual testimony to Scottish manufacturing ability”.

The film crew was very glad to see Tim – Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker (a member of the owners’ club) had failed to turn up the day before.

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