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Linwood in Renfrewshire, Scotland

The remaining buildings at Linwood were being demolished during 1996. They started with the main assembly shed, and took down the adjoining engine/gearbox shed early '97. The main assembly line control panel, which remained intact until May 1996 or so, was removed complete, by the Glasgow Transport Museum, who wanted to re-construct it somewhere... probably at the Transport Museum at the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow.


September / October 1996 a TV production company shot a documentary for BBC Scotland's Art & Popular culture series Ex-S about the story/history of the Imp and Linwood. Some of the filming took place in and around the old Linwood site: the last chance to film Imps at their birthplace.
The production Linwood No More was completed by January 1997, and shown on tv in February.
Thanks to Alan Ramsay of the Glasgow Area Centre I got to see it. (Thank you very much for the tape, Alan !)

It isn't your average documentary, not businesslike, but maybe deliberate amateurish. It's kind of bittersweet. It gives the fond memories as well as the regrets and the anger; interviewing different people involved in building the Imp. Portraying the present state of Imp affairs several Scots give their opinion of what the(ir) Imps mean to the Scottish and/or themselves. Many scenes include the Imp that Highland Printmakers of Inverness bought and had converted into a work of art. It's bright blue and (for one thing) has silver antlers. It's remarkable, like the programme itself, which I would call an unusual piece of journalism, featuring many aspects of the Imp.
Nothing positive is said about Chrysler's management.


The debate over the production plant site (Glasgow -Linwood versus Merseyside or other English depressed areas.

By 1962, Rootes had injected 23,000,000 into this plant near Glasgow just to make the little Imp.

An overhead cam motor is expensive to make.
Die-casting an engine calls for a completely new plant.

In less than twelve months the contractors had got up two production blocks each covering 324,000 sqare feet, as well as building the die-casting plant. By December 1962 all the offices, canteens and the rest was ready. By January the whole million sqare foot project was finished. The whole affair floated on giant concrete rafts supported by 2000 concrete-and-steel piles.
November 1962 there were already 450 Rootes people working at Linwood. Spring 1963, when the Imp was born, he had 3000 servants plus 2000 more making the bodies at Pressed Steel.

The target rate was 150,000 Imps a year.

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