Launched in 1963 as competition to the highly successful BMC Mini, the Hillman Imp was the Rootes Group foray into the small family car market and, in some ways, actually superior to the Mini.
Had it not been for the numerous problems the car suffered as a result of it's hurried development, it may have given the Mini much more of a run in that market.
Despite it's early problems, the Imp was a decent car. Agile and with a much slicker gearchange than the Mini the Imp was a good drive and production lasted for 13 years with more than 400,000 units produced. Along with the Hillman Imp were various badge engineered versions under the Singer or Sunbeam name - along with a neat little coupe/fastback version.
Around the time when I was passing my test the Imp was a favourite choice of newly qualified young male drivers who often considered the standard Mini 850 a bit "girly" and was often tweaked and tuned to improve performance, though I have to say I never came across one that matched my Cooper engined Elf - and they didn't have leather seats or wooden dashboards either!