Latest Imp News
This page was last updated
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
- February 6, 2007
- I've got a few things in the works for this site. I know that this site is in dire need for a facelift, at least on the programming end of it. I can't say that it will be anytime soon, but I'm brainstroming right now. I'm also working adapting the original Imp and Sportster art work and using them to offer t-shirts and other goodies via CafePress. I'm not looking to go into business doing this, I just want to have some cool Imp/Sportster goodies for us and to help subsidize the cost of running this web site. I will make a posting here when the items are available.
- February 5, 2007
- It's been quite a long time since I've posted something here. That doesn't mean I haven't been thinking of the site, it just means that I've been a busy guy!! Yesterday I took my girlfriend Kristina out for her first ride in my Imp. She was grinning from ear to ear after our ride. If the weather cooperates next Sunday, we are planning on taking the Imp over to Fairmont Park in Riverside. That is the same park that EMPI did a lot of their original marketing photos. Cool, eh? I also hope that everyone is stopping in at my Imp/Sportster message forum and saying "Hi"! I'd like to get more people there, helping each other out with our favorite buggies and learning from each other. It's a great place to learn more about your EMPI buggy!
- November 14, 2005
- Over the years, I've gotten email from many of the visitors here. I really do enjoy talking Imps and Sportsters, so it's been quite enjoyable. Occasionally I get emails from well intentioned Imp/Sportster owners who are selling their cars for one reason or another. They want to know if I want to buy their buggy. I want to let everyone know that I'm not interested in buying another car at this time. I've got my hands full at this moment with way too many projects and no where near enough money for any of them. I'd love to own a Sportster, but unless you are willing to give me some land here in SoCal with a shop to store it, don't ask me if I want to buy it. Someday I will get a Sportster, but my Imp is enough for now. If you have any questions about your EMPI buggy, feel free to email, but please don't try to sell me your car. You might try posting an advertisement at Shoptalk Forums or at the Samba if you are interested in selling it to a VW fan.
- August 25, 2005
- Well, I just wanted to stop in and let everyone know what's going on. The forum is still going, though only a few threads are currently posted. If you are a new Imp/Sportster owner, stop in and say hi. If you have a question, that's the play to ask. I've been quite busy lately, doing many things. In the back of my mind are some updates for this site, but finding the time is proving difficult. I will try to get some updates done when the time is available. If you have any suggestions for the site, feel free to email me or use the nice new forum. Either way, I hope to hear from you soon.
Another bit of news. Unique Supply, the company that was making the Imp reproductions, has been sold to a new owner. The new owner is an offroad guy, especially sand sports, but I haven't heard yet if he's going to continue with the Imp bodies. If you are interested (even remotely) give them a call (909-793-0212) and let them know that their is interest in it. If they don't hear from you, they won't know it's wanted. I can only tell them so much. :-)
- May 16, 2005
- I'm proud to announce that I've ditched the old Message Forum software for a new software version. This forum is a much nicer experience and allows you to customize your info/settings. I hope to see all of you on the new forum soon!
- June 24, 2004
- Wow, it appears that it's been a while since I last posted an update here. I've been spending my time and money concentrating on my Type 4 engine web site, as well as dealing with personal and family issues. This does not mean that I've been neglecting the Imp. First off, I'm currently collecting the parts for my Imp's next engine. This engine, 1679cc Type 1, will be a basic big bore Type 1 with the usual stuff. What will seperate this engine from the rest is my collection of "retro" parts. These parts include an original EMPI deep sump, Bosch 010 distributor, Treuhaft bolt-on valve covers, Treuhaft dual port intake manifolds for Kadron carbs, early style Kadron air cleaner assemblies, and a Deano DynoSoars full flow oil pump cover. I was planning on using a Santana crankshaft pulley, but it was cut for sand seal and had cracked at the keyway. In other words, it's good for display purposes only. If you have a good condition, stock diameter Santana degree pulley, I might be interested in working a deal with you. I'll try to keep you updated on the progress of my latest Imp project.
I have a bunch of pictures and information that need to be added to the site. I am still working on the Sportster plans, and no, I will not release a copy until the images are ready. Once the images are done, I will post them for you to view. I'm also going to try to publish these plans in Adobe Acrobat PDF format so you can peruse them off line and print them, if you have access to a large scale printer. Please don't email me about these, as I will post a comment here when they are available.
- December 15, 2002
- Frank Ansaloni and Eliot Hewitt are the newest members of our Photo Gallery. Frank's '69 Imp is from Italy and is a prime example of how the Imp was originally built. Eliot's '70 Imp is a truly fun, as he uses it to dune around the nearby sand spots and to drive around town.
I'd also like to take a moment and thank Sterling Williver for sending me a copy of the original 2-seat Sportster fabrication and assembly manual. I'm going to try to free some time this holiday season and work on getting this resource posted on the site for all of you Sportster fans.
- October 20, 2002
- Rick Carter is the newest member of our Photo Gallery. Rick's a longtime Imp fan and this is his second Imp. Check it out! To the rest of you Imp and Sportster owners, I'd like to issue an invitation. If you'd like to see your EMPI buggy on our Photo Gallery, just send me some good quality digital pics of your buggy along with information about it. I hope to hear from you soon!!
- September 19, 2002
- Well, it's been awhile since I've posted anything new at this site. A few family issues have come up and I haven't had the time to devote to this site. I'm hoping that now since these issues have matured, I will be able to continue expanding this site and improving it.
I am still working on the new Sportster site, along with the Sportster plans and the Imp assembly manual. The plans and manual require a lot of fine hand work, as the originals weren't in the best of condition. I will post an entry here when one of these is running.
Yesterday evening I was able to stop in to Unique Supply and see how they were doing. For those of you who don't know, Unique is producing an Imp replica. They are offering the body, hood/dash piece and the optional side pods. Call them at 1-909-793-0212 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and to get a quote on shipping. The feedback that they were getting was very pleasing and they were very happy to talk to all of the Imp fans that asked about the Imp reproduction.
- April 22, 2002
- Although I know it's a bit late, I figured it was still worth mentioning that the March 2002 issue of Kit Car magazine ran a two page article on EMPI, the Sportster and the Imp. They even included a few links to websites about the EMPI buggies, and this site was included! The author holds the EMPI products is high regard and states "The EMPI products were unique and important vehicles, and deserve to be restored and maintained in original condition whenever possible." He also states "..the Sportster and Imp are original, well-engineered examples of the dune buggy genre. Classics all." I couldn't agree more, but than I'm a little biased.
- In other news, I will be sharing with everyone pictures of the EMPI Imp model that is currently available. My younger brother gave me the model, assembled and painted the same yellow as my real life Imp. The 5 lug Sprint Stars are great, along with VW motor with twin Weber 48IDA carbs or the optional Corvair flat 6 engine. If you've wanted an Imp but didn't have the money or the room for the real thing, this model can be a substitute until you do.
- April 21, 2002
- Well, the weather is warming up here in southern California, so I'm looking forward to driving the Imp again on a pretty regular basis. I stopped driving it in December, as the weather was getting wet and cold and the starter was giving me problems. Well I've got the starter out now and hope to have a new one tomorrow afternoon. The plan is to install it tomorrow night and start driving it Tuesday.
- On to other news, I'm planning on spinning the Sportster off into a whole new website. There has been a lot of interest about EMPI's first buggy and the owners deserve to have a site of their own. I am currently working out a fresh new look and layout for the Sportster. This site will debut with the Sportster plans and a feature from a 60s automotive magazine. I will be posting more information about it as I get closer to publishing it.
- March 25, 2002
- Wesley Gibbs's Imp is the newest member of our Picture Gallery.Wesly's owned his Imp for almost 10 years and was recently restored. In other news, I am still working on the Sportster plans, and am considering branching off the Sportster stuff into a new website. The amount of interest in the Sportster may make this a wise move.Stay tuned for future updates.
- February 18, 2002
- Joe Wall's early model Imp is the newest member of our Picture Gallery. Joe works for K&N Engineering in Riverside, CA and spent six months restoring his Imp. Like most of the Imps and Sportsters out there, he found this one being stored away and not been used for decades. Nice car Joe and I hope to see you at the VW Classic this June!
- February 14, 2002
- I've received many emails lately concerning the Sportster. A few of you have asked about where to get a copy of the Sportster plans and diagrams to make your own Sportster. My answer is here!! I am currently working on converting the pages to a web friendly format. The copy I received as a photocopy of well used plans, so it's going to take some time to clean them up and make them presentable here. I will post a note here when they are available.
- Other Sportster fans have asked where they can get more information about the Sportster, where to find a Sportster to buy, etc. Everything I know about the Sportster and everything I have about the Sportster is posted here. I realize that my site is one of the rare few who have information on the Sportster. Rest assure, if I get more information on the Sportster, I will post it here and share it with everyone.
- Let me take this moment to let everyone know that all submissions are welcome. If you have the plans for making a 4 seat Sportster, or have an original advertisement, share them with the rest of us. If you don't have a scanner, feel free to contact me and I'll give you an snail mail address to send it to. This site is for all of us EMPI buggy enthusiasts and sharing our resources will keep them on the roads and trails for many years to come.
- February 2, 2002
- Logan Casida has sent me pics of his two seat Sportster and let me tell you, it is good to see a Sportster being used. You'll find a picture and a description of the Sportster in the Picture Gallery. If you have a Sportster or Imp that you'd like to see on our gallery, feel free to email them to me along with a some facts and specs(motor, trans, etc.) of it.
- November 17, 2001
- Well I've got a few things to share with all of you Imp and Sportster fans. First, off, check out the links page for a new website for a German group of enthusiasts that call the Der Kleiner Pimps. This month they are highlight the EMPI buggies and have original flyers and articles about both. Very interestng.
- On to site business.... we've moved servers again. This time we are being hosted in an extremely fast facilitiy in Los Angeles, California. This means that site should be even faster for those of you with broadband connections. I'm also still working on cleaning up those Sportster plans, tune in regularly, as I will post here when they are done.
- September 3, 2001
- Thanks to one of our visitors, and an overall great guy, I've received the plans for making your own Sportster. I'm currently working on getting the images scanned in and cleaned up. The process is slow and tedious, but the results are great. Stay tuned for when the plans are posted!
- August 21, 2001
- It appears that although we don't use any Microsoft products for hosting our web site here at tunacan.net, the Microsoft Code Red virus affected us nonetheless. The company I contracted with for webhositng couldn't keep up with the flood and our served was overloaded. From that point on, the server never worked quite the same. As a result, I've come up with a better solution at another location. I've been particularly pleased with this, especially since the server administrator is a good friend of mine.
- One result of this SNAFU was I lost the current News file for this site. So, we'll pick up with this old one.
- October 29, 2000
- It's been a while since I've updated this site. It doesn't mean I haven't lost interest. Matter of fact, I've enjoying my Imp, driving it every chance I get, including going to work. It's made a great daily driver, it's good on gas, and is a blast to drive. You can't help but grin as you drive home in it.
- I do have some news to share with everyone. I just talked to the owner of Unique Supply, the company making the Imp replicas, and he asked me to pass on some information. It seems he's been having some health problems, so he wanted to let everyone know that the Imp replica is still a go, but it's development has had to slow down. He's been getting email inquiries, but can't reply as fast as he'd like. He will get back to everyone who inquires about the Imp, but do give him some time to reply.
- The other thing we discussed was the shipping issue. They have the bodies, ready to go, at their showroom, but they are still figuring out the best way to ship the parts. Right now the only way is to truck ship them and that can get quite expensive if you are far away from Southern California. If you have any questions give them a call at (909)793-0212 or email at email@example.com.
- June 13, 2000
- For you collectors out there, here is a Speed Buggy collectible from Johnny Lightning. I've always felt (and a lot of others) that Speed Buggy was an Imp, so I will be trying to find mine. Scroll down about 80% of the page to find Speed Buggy and make the decision for yourself. Thanks to Chris for the link.
- March 5, 2000
- Well, Unique Supply has announced that they are now selling their Imp replicas to the general public. They have a primer gray, red gelcoat, and yellow gelcoat in stock at this writing. The complete kit will include the body, hood/dash, side pods, rear skirt, and engine lid, and it willl set you back $1795 USD before shipping. The basic kit includes the body and hood/dash for $1295 USD before shipping. Shipping costs will vary, depending on how far you are from Redlands, California and how it is shipped. If you are interested, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them that "Tuna" sent you.
- January 14, 2000
- The response for the message has been lukewarm at best. I just want to encourage everyone to use the message forum to ask questions about restoring your Imp, to inquire about Imps for sale or if you have one for sale. If I know of an Imp for sale, I will post the relevant information here.
As for the Imp replicas, there is no new news to report. Unique Supply is still waiting on the fiberglasser to finish the mold for the dash, at which they will come up with pricing of pieces and the kit. I will post this information the moment I get it from them.
- December 20, 1999
- I've just finished putting the final touches on a message forum for this site. Check it out, post comments, questions, help out another Imp or Sportster owner, or share experiences. If you have any problems with it, you know where to reach me.
- September 3, 1999
- I am putting the finishing touches on a page about the Imp reproduction being produced by Unique Supply of Redlands, CA, USA. I've posted a copy of the page with minimal notes. Right now I'm writing the text and making the linked pictures a little larger, so check back later.
- July 16, 1999
- I just received word today that my Imp's entry into the Unofficial EMPI Imp Registry has been completed and posted. The webmaster even posted a seperate page about my history with my Imp. Though my Imp does not have a serial number, I felt that having myself counted among the other Imp owners of the world was important. If you own an Imp, make sure you stop by and check it out. Be counted: the Imp is an uncommon buggy and we need to know that there are other owners with the same cars out there. This kind of communication will keep our Imps running for another 30 years.
- June 22, 1999
- For those of you who desire an Imp but haven't been as successful in finding one, there maybe hope for you yet. The webmaster has seen a just completed Imp replica. They plan to go on sale soon, as soon as the rest of the Imp is completed. I saw the body shell completed and was assured that the hood/dash, the side pods, and the rear valance piece would soon be finished. I will try to post some pictures soon and share them with everybody. I will post here when the bodies are available for sale and how to get one for your future buggy.
- June 21, 1999
- Well, the Classic has come and gone for yet another year. I drove down to Irvine in the Imp and it did great! The day before the show I was able to get my wheels done, with brand new 165SR15s on the front end. The wheels look so much better and gives the car the look I want. You can see the new look in the Picture Gallery. At the Classic I also found an assembly manual for the Sportster. Judging by the text, I place it at about 1964 or so. I've just finished pounding out the rough edges and it's ready to share with you. So I hope that this is of help to you Sportster owners. I really would like to own one now!!
- June 5, 1999
- With a week away for the VW Classic, I'm hurriedly trying to get my Imp ready for the show. I've been driving it daily for the last couple of months, so I've been unable to do somethings to it. I plan on taking the Saturday before the show and spend it cleaning the Imp, fixing the little things and getting it ready. I'll bring along a camera and share any with you that was there of interest. This last week I got a great message from Steven King (no, not the writer) who owns a 1968 Imp. Check out his Imp on the Picture Gallery.
- April 24, 1999
- Well, nothing much new has happened here since I last posted an update to this site. I'm still driving my Imp daily, which is a lot of fun during the unusually cold winter we're having. I'm looking forward to the summer weather that is supposed to be coming. Less than two months away is the VW Classic, the premier VW event in my opinion. I'm planning on cruising my Imp out to it and maybe hang out with the Meyers Manx club. I hope to have the wheels done, the engine detailed, and some minor odds and ends fixed before then. Hope to see you there if you're going to be in Southern California in June.
- March 29, 1999
- Slowly but steadily the assembly manual is getting done. There are a ton of pictures to scan, clean up, and then place that it's going slower then expected. Rest assured I am working on it and will get it done. Also we have a new entry in the Picture Gallery, a late model Imp belonging to Dave Grummett. It's a great dark blue color with a 2.0L Type 4 engine. Dave, if you're reading this, please email with your email address; the one I got doesn't work.
- February 10, 1999
- After a prolonged slumber, I've finally gotten the time and motivation to get this web site updated and finish incorporating the features I had planned, like the assembly manual. Some of the pictures here are quite large and will take a while to download. Be patient, as I'm working on getting them smaller without sacrificing too much detail.