Impéria Automobiles was a Belgian automobile factory, active from 1906 until 1948. The factory in Nessonvaux, Liège, Belgium, had a rooftop test track since 1928.

Imperia TA-8 Sport

Imperia TA-8 Sport


Impéria was a Belgian automobile manufactured from 1906 until 1948. Products of the Ateliers Piedboeuf of Liège, the first cars were designed by the German Paul Henze. These were four-cylinders of 3, 4.9, and 9.9 litres. The next year, the company moved to Nessonvaux, Trooz municipality, and began production in the old Pieper factory. Impéria produced a monobloc 12 hp (8.9 kW) in 1909. In 1910, the company merged with Springuel.

The Nessonvaux factory began producing Impéria-Abadals from about 1916. In 1921, it built three ohc 5.6-litre straight-eights. These were quickly replaced by an ephemeral ohc 3-litre 32-valve four-cylinder which had a top speed of 90 mph (140 km/h). This was followed by an 1100 cc slide-valve 11/22 hp four designed by Couchard, one of the first cars ever built with a sunroof. Its engine rotated counterclockwise, and its transmission brake also served as a servo for those on the front wheels. In 1927 a six-cylinder of 1624 cc appeared; this had been available in three-carburettor Super Sports form from 1930.

In 1925, the company hired Louis de Monge as chief research engineer. Some of his work included torsion bar suspension and automatic transmissions. De Monge left in 1937 to join Bugatti, where he would design the Bugatti 100P racer plane.

Around and on top of the factory buildings, there was a test track over 1 km long. The track was built in 1928.[2][3] The only other rooftop test tracks were on Fiat's Lingotto plant, opened in 1923, and Palacio Chrysler in Buenos Aires, opened in 1928.

Over the course of four years, Impéria took over three other Belgian car manufacturers: Métallurgique (1927), Excelsior (1929), and Nagant (1931). From 1934 until the company folded it built mainly front-wheel-drive Adlers with Belgian-made coachwork. The company merged with Minerva in 1934, but they split in 1939.

In addition to its production in Belgium, Impéria made a number of cars in Great Britain; these were assembled at a factory in Maidenhead.

From 1947 to 1949 Impéria built its last model, the TA-8, which combined an Adler Trumpf Junior-type chassis with a Hotchkiss engine originally intended for the Amilcar Compound.

After 1948 Impéria assembled Standard Vanguards under license and also built a unique convertible version. After Standard decided to set up a new factory in Belgium, the factory was left without work and had to close doors in 1957.

In popular culture

In Michael Chabon's 2004 novel The Final Solution, set in 1944, the Anglican vicar drives a Belgian Impéria.

2009 revival

The Imperia GP was going to be sold in 2013. The car was designed by Denis Stevens. The Imperia GP roadster would have had power-hybrid motorization technology developed by Green Propulsion.


Image: André Ritzinger [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Imperia models:

1 - Imperia 8 CV SS (1927)

Imperia 8 HP SS

Imperia 8 CV SS in a four-door sedan (1927).

In 1927, Imperia added to the 1100 a six-cylinder 1650 cc engine of the … Read more “

2 - Imperia GP

2008 Imperia GP - Front And Side

Imperia GP, opening the way to new vehicle design

The Imperia Automobiles project is clearly ambitious.

It involves nothing less than creating a new vehicle … Read more “

3 - Imperia N-6 (1932)

Imperia N-6 (1932)

In 1932, the SS were replanted, the N-4 and N-6 were released with hydraulic brakes and modernized bodies, but without much success.

Image: André … Read more “

4 - Imperia Standard Vanguard Convertible

Imperia Standard Vanguard Convertible

Standard did not offer a convertible version of the Vanguard. Imperia technicians, who mount the Standard Vanguard under license, took advantage of this … Read more “

5 - Imperia TA 9 Diane (1937)

Imperia TA 9 Diane

In the spring of 1936, the Imperia TA-9 was renamed Diane and received a body with an inclined grille, exposed rear luggage compartment, … Read more “

6 - Impéria TA-7 Sport (1934-1939)

Impéria TA-7 Sport (1934-1939)

At the Brussels Motor Show in 1934, Imperia presents the TA-9 Albatros, a 4-door sedan with a 4-cylinder 1.65-liter Adler engine.
In December … Read more “

7 - Imperia TA-8 Sport (1948)

Imperia TA-8 Sport

In August 1947, Imperia relaunched the manufacture of a model of its own design, the TA-8. It is a front-wheel drive similar to … Read more “

8 - Impéria TA-9 BS (1938)

Impéria TA-9 BS 1938

At the Brussels Motor Show in 1934, Imperia presents the TA-9 Albatros, a 4-door sedan with a 4-cylinder 1.65-liter Adler engine.
In December … Read more “