To make a little more profit from the castings, Corgi extended their Monte Carlo Rally sequence of cars with two more ‘Imps’, #328 and #340. The latter was really a Sunbeam Stiletto but it is called a Sunbeam Imp.
This is #328 and is the same baseplate as #251 with two jewels added at the front and No. 107 and some decals. All these models are dark metallic blue with a cream interior, markedly different to the brighter blue and yellow of the normal saloon version.
The rear window opens and the rear seat can be folded down. I can just hear the conversation in the Corgi Board Room.
“So the rear seat folds down?’
‘‘Nice. Let me try. Oh yes, pushes down very smoothly and lies nice and flat too. OK, now how do I put it back up again…? ‘
‘Ah. Er, maybe we need to look at that again…’
With No. 77 on the side and six jewels running across the front this is the later ‘Imp’ model. #328 was also just some updates on the old Hillman baseplate whereas this has a new one bearing the strange Sunbeam Imp name.
With cast wheels and the same blue metallic colour this is a similar car and easily confused, especially as neither sold that well.
The suspension often collapses on these as to make the rear seat back rise you had to press down and either push or pull the car. It was probably simplest after a while just to leave the seat flat!
Two great examples of unusual models.