By Maz Woolley
Photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.
Atlas Editions often source different series from different contractors. Here we have two Imps which are clearly from different sources. One is obviously derived from the Vanguards model as it still has Lledo engraved on the base. The other when looked at carefully has many features which differ from the Vanguards model.
Atlas Best of British Police Cars – Hillman Imp
Lledo and Corgi have made several versions of Imp Police cars: the Dumbarton twin set, a Renfrew and Bute car, and also a car in a set with a Triumph Herald.
Here Atlas have modelled a Kent car though the picture below shows that they have not matched it completely. In particular the spotlights should be closer to the main lights and there should be no over riders on the bumpers and the number plate should be moved up to the front panel.
The wheels are the same as the original Lledo and could do with being updated as they are a little clumsy by today’s standards. They could also do with white paint on the wheel to match the original car.
Atlas quality control is erratic and this is manifest in the roof box being slightly crooked.
In addition as the picture above shows tho old casting holes for the wipers are much too large for the photo etch wipers fitted for Atlas.
Overall this is a pleasant if not entirely accurate model. The Author wishes that someone had modelled a Coventry Police Force Panda car as they were significant Imp users.
Atlas British Touring Car Champions – Sunbeam Imp
Bill McGovern won the BTCC in 1972 in an Imp prepared by George Bevan shown below chasing a Ford Escort Mark One.
Bill McGovern at the 1972 British GP meeting
source: David Lawson @ forums.autosport.com,
This casting is significantly different to the one used from the Police Car with a plastic base and not a metal one. If it is compared to the Vanguards Super Imp it is clear that the heavily flared wheel arches and loss of overiders and number plate holder are not the only difference. The bonnet line lacks the clear indentation separating bonnet from body on the Vanguards model and the lights are plastic and not “diamonds”. The front panel with the Sunbeam Logo is simulated by printing. When the photograph is enlarged the Sunbeam script on red plate is perfectly clear.
As the views above show the windows are flush fit and have chrome surround trim printed on them front and rear. The front widow vent is printed on rather than being part of the casting as it was on the Lledo. . The B Pillar is much finer on the BTCC car too. Inside the roll cage and racing seat are well modelled. The alloy wheels with wide racing tyres have been very nicely made. The tampo printed advertising and racing numbers are very impressive.
At the rear the extra vents on the bonnet are modelled and painted matt black. Lights have been painted on and would have benefited from being printed in translucent colours over silver.
The picture above shows both the excellent flush fit windscreen and the neat plastic wipers used. Atlas would have been better using these wiper mouldings on the ex-Vanguards shell of the Police Imp to fill the large holes.
This is a rather more accurate model than the Panda Car and well done for a budget model.
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