Davrian Imp Sports
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 4
The Davrian Imp Sports sprang from the fertile and well-tutored mind of Adrian Evans who, by profession, was a structural engineer, but by nature was an entrepreneural motoring enthusiast.
While the Imp may have seemed an unlikely donor car, researching its origins will reveal that the Imp owed a lot to Mike Parkes
, a man with an impeccable motor-industry pedigree who at one time worked for Ferrari as a development engineer and who was also talented enough to drive cars in both Formula One and international sports-car races.
Imp components were designed and produced to the highest standards possible for a small, light car aimed at the mass motoring market - and Adrian Evans obviously felt that the proper utilisation of those components in a smaller, lighter motor car which had to make no concessions to the dictates of mass-market parameters would make the finished product exceptionally quick yet economical.
The Darian Imp Sports would quickly become successful with enthusiasts, the type who liked to tinker with their cars to extract every last bit of performance and better handling. For a time the Davrian story was one of constant development in the hands of a talented and trained engineer allied to easy access to a sub-industry only too willing to provide special equipment for tuning both the Imp engine and the car's original suspension
The Davrian Imp was basically an adapted monocoque centre section - complete with a contoured interior - on which the mechanical components were hung. Three major glassfibre mouldings were produced, these providing the undertray or platform complete with wheel arches, the interior pan and the one-piece outer section.
Smaller mouldings and the extensive use of polyurethane foam, injected into the body's cavities, ensure that the basic car is rigid, strong, easy to repair but, above all, light. A bonded-in engine support enabled the structure to carry the heaviest mechanical components in a neat yet practical manner.
Standard Imp running gear was simply hung on the very strong, light structure to produce a vehicle which turned the scales at 4 cwt under the all-up weight of the normal production Imp. All this made the Davrian considerably quicker than the standard Imp, and the road performance and competitive success of the Davrian proved it. These basic factors allied to an extremely good aerodynamic
shape and the minimum of extraneous equipment combined to make the Davrian one of the neatest, lightest cars then available to the enthusiast.
Some Mark VII Davrians were made to take rear-mounte' Volkswagen engines or mid-mounted Mini units but still use the same body type. The disappearance of many companies through merger or acquisition through the troubled 1970's brought about a situation in which anyone seeking to bring something fresh to the market place was forced to take advantage of the major research carried out by other, richer concerns. Through engineering circumstance, the major companies produced a catalogue of equipment which, when judiciously blended, could be made into a convincingly homogeneous creation which owed everything to somebody but, perhaps more important, something to everyone.