Timo Saaristo 3/2007
IMP CLUB FINLAND presentation
IMP CLUB FINLAND was founded by a group of Imp enthusiasts In September of 1997 and club activity started at the beginning of 1998. The new club was very welcomed by other Imp enthusiasts in Finland and about 60 people joined for members in the first year. Nowadays the number of members has eshtabilized to around 100 members who own almost all Imps (about 250) still left in Finland.

The age category of the members is quite wide, about half of the members are older people and have been working or owned Imps on 60’s or 70’s and other half are born since the last Imp came out from the factory. We are very happy that the Imps are very popular also among the younger generation and we look confident the coming years keeping the Imps alive and running in future also in Finland

Tasks for the future
The basic principal of the club is to save the Imps running on normal road use. Normally these fine cars are used only in summertime on nice weather but we have also many members who use the car all over the year. To ensure the future of the cars we have kept several technical training coursesfor engine, gearbox, suspension etc. as well as spare part  knowledge for younger members who have found and rebuilt many “down” cars already in fine original condition. So it seems, that we can safely move towards to the 50 years anniversary celebrations in 2013.

Member meetings
The club has normally two main events per year, one in winter time and the other in the summer. The members also participate other general meetings for historic cars which are held especially on summer time. The main event is The Historic Grand Race in August. There is a special park for older cars which are driving as parade on the track betweenrace heats. Club members are naturally supporters for the Imp racers.

The meeting programme is normally in winter on ice track, where our members are racing for the club championships on standard, Stromberg engined and double-Weber engine categories. After the ice event there will be evening programme, annual meeting electing the new board for club and operating plan for the coming year ahead. The rest of the evening we naturally have sauna, dinner and “general fun”.

The summer meeting is held usually on some race track or sprint track and including clubraces and evening activities like in wintertime. Participation is normally verylarge due to cars and family members. Therefore we have special programme for wives and children to ensure our future to spend a lot of free time in our garages on winters.

Imp park in Finland from 20th to 21st century

Imps in active period of 60’s and 70’s have been sold around 12 000 cars. Ofthose are left 250 standard, race or rally cars. We expect to save several more cars being round from `forests´. Normally new projects are started 2-5 and have been rebuilt ready to use 1-2 per year. Thus we look trustfully into the future!

Club Magazine
Our own club magazine is normally published twice a year. Size is like “Impressions”,pages around 10-12. Editor-in-chief has been Matti Toivanen in recent years.

Museum registration for over 30 old cars.

We have special traffic legislation in Finland for cars over 30 years old. A car can be checked by specially approved inspectors and if the car passes this tight inspection, thecar must be as original as factory model, only very minor faults are accepted. Then passing the inspection the car is certified for registration of “Museum approvedwehicle”. The car has several advantages compared to normal registration, free of annualtax, can be covered by cheap insurance including 30 days use per year, this is normally enough to use car for meetings, parades etc. Also the value of the car rises much higher than normal registered car. Our club members have now 10 approved cars and few more are coming soon.

Imp motorsport in Finland

Motorsport has been connected to Imps ever since the first cars arrived to Finland. The pioneer of this is Mr. Ukko Kervinen from Oulu, northern Finland, at that time being Rootes dealer in Oulu. Ukko raced his first iceraces in winter 1964. His success added more Imps for rally, track and ice-track races.
Very famous names later known on their racing career have driven with Imps, only naming f.i. Leo Kinnunen, John Wyer Gulf Porsche Team driver. Rally driver Markku Alen, later Fiat and Lancia rally star. Keke Rosberg, F1 World Champion, 3rd on 1973 ice-race cup for group 1cars with an Imp and number of other our rally and race heroes.

Mr. IMP, Pauli Toivonen famous European rally Champion, Rootes importers M.D. who built up importers competition team, drove many years with Imps winning lot of championships on ice and track. Also Pauli trained his son Henri, later Talbot Lotus teamdriver, who sadly passed away in Corsica rally, driving a Lancia. Henri had his first experiments with his fathers group 1 Imp and soon with full race Imp on ice, sprint and race tracks already as young as aged of 6 -7 years.

We have nowadays very strong historic car boom for rallying and racing. Imps are naturally within that. Historic Rally Trophy series are the most important. Imps are competing in two categories, G1 for age period up to 1969, the cars are 998 ccm Stromberg engined, similar as Rosemary Smith has driven. The other is H1 for gategory up to 1971, having 998 ccm full race engines like Bevan Imp in early 70’s. Imps have won those both categories many times on this century.

In track racing is also driven Historic classes and Roadsport classes were Imps are doing well. Imps are existing almost at every happening as sprint, ice-race and rally competition classes for past FIA homologated cars.

When counting Finnish championships from 1969 to 2005 we find Imps winning thechampionship 54 times in different type of competition. Second and third places are101 medals all together. Later Historic competitions will still add these numbers.

To join our club
Just e-mail to our Member Secretary Jere, he will send information to you. The annual fee is 20 Euros per person, family members 5 Euros each. Website www.impclubfinland.fi

Organisation from 2008
Chairman: Jyrki Salovuori (jyrki.salovuori(at)elisanet.fi)
Tommi Leino (tleracing( at )gmail.com )
Matti Toivanen (mattimp( at )suomi24.fi)
Sami Kuikka (imp900( at )suomi24.fi)
Timo Apponen (timo.apponen( at )suomi24.fi)
Club organisation
Earlier Chairmen:
Jere Siekkinen 1997 – 1998
Reijo Nisula 1999 – 2001
Timo Saaristo 2002 - 2004
Matti Toivanen 2005 - 2006
Member Secretary: Jere Siekkinen (j-p.siekkinen( at )elisanet.fi)