Mid West & East Coast Buggy Get Together

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EMPI Imp Non-serialized - Tom Slider

I enjoy driving my Imp, especially as my daily driver. It gets great gas mileage, is easy to park, and gets a lot of stares from other drivers and pedestrians. The Imp is now strictly street driven and will eventually see some drag strip time at the local Pomona NHRA Drag strip with the 2786 cc Type 4 engine.

Tom's Imp


I found it down the street from my work. About eight months later my younger brother and I stopped by to see if they'd be interested in selling. The Imp was sitting in the driveway and it was obvious it hadn't been ran in a long time. That weekend my brother ended up buying it. We towed it home for a good cleaning and to get it started.

We had it started that afternoon, but replaced a lot of junky parts that a previous owner had installed. We replaced the carb with a new Solex 30PICT1 I had laying around, substituted a four spoke Formuling France steering wheel, a Gene Berg shifter, a K&N air cleaner, a Bosch 019 distributor, Type 3 distributor clamp, an Autometer Monster 5" tachometer with shift light, and removed the tacky bumpers. We also found a brown carpeting kit for a Type 3 (Squareback, Fastback, etc.) that we modified for the floor.

Later on we discovered that someone had wired the Imp with white 22-guage wiring and there was a short somewhere. The alternator was charging, but the good battery wasn't getting the charge. My brother rewired the car using an aftermarket wiring harness and that solved the problem. We also installed a Super Diff into the transaxle after losing a c-clip and ruining the stock diff.

It came with mismatched Baja wheels with brand new tires, 165SR15s in the front and 255/60SR15s for the rear. We didn't care for the white color, so my brother painted the wheels the silver color they currently are. While he was waiting for the paint to dry, he lowered the front end so it wouldn't stick up so high.

October 1998 I bought it off of my brother. So now the Imp is my pride and joy and I've got some big plans for it. I installed front smoothy wheels with the 165s. For the rear wheels, a friend gave me a set of stock wheels that have been widened to 7". I painted them the stock black and white and topped them off with the stock dome hubcaps. I'm also working on getting the engine detailed but daily driving makes that difficult.

Future Plans:

I've got a set of 4" and 8" wide 4-lug Sprint Stars that I intend on installing when I do a ground up rebuild. At that time I will install 4-wheel disk brakes, a Bus 091 IRS transaxle (maybe converted to 5 speed), and a 2786cc Type 4 engine with fuel injection. I will also have to fix the rear fender lips (a previous owner cut them for big off road tires) and the rear part of the body that a previous owner hacked at to make working on the engine easier.

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