Dedicated to those who love and care for Vintage, Classic Boats in America’s Heartland

 1976 IMP Aztec Hardtop

 

 OMC 235hp engine and OMC 400 series (electric shift) outdrive.

 

 This Late Classic Boat is owned by Robert Schultz and Teddy Hutchins of Crocker, MO.

1976 IMP Aztec Hardtop

A Small Victory II

This 1976 Iola Molded Plastics (IMP) Model Aztec 20′ Hardtop was, in its day, considered quite large for a “lake boat”. It was previously owned by a couple from Iowa that vacationed at the Lake of the Ozarks/ Mo. Despite acquiring many service hours, it was well cared for before being traded in at Raymond’s Boat and Motors in Gravois Mills, Mo for a more modern boat in 2003.

From 2003 until 2020 it remained stored and unsold there until purchased by me in the Spring of 2020. Despite its previous care, the boat still required a good amount of TLC in order to return it to its present condition. Mechanical and electrical systems were gone through, as well as the entire outer drive. Years of oxidizing was addressed on the gelcoat, chrome, and teak, The carpet was fully redone and upholstery was reconditioned. Efforts have been made along the way to keep as much of the boat period original as possible.

In June of 2020, it was re-christened “A Small Victory II”.  The name was inspired by a song of the same title and carried over from my previous 1962 Sabrecraft. It captures the unique sense of joy in taking to the water between life’s many unavoidable struggles. On its maiden voyage, the boat demonstrated it is still a very capable boat compared to other modern runabouts. After some additional tuning and calm waters, it reached 51mph in the fall of 2020. Not bad for a late classic runabout. IMPs had a reputation for being heavy but stable boats and some even saw service in the U.S. Coast Guard.

This boat is equipped with an OMC 235hp engine (Ford 351 Windsor modified) and OMC 400 series (electric shift) outdrive. This was the most potent engine offered by IMP at the time. Steering and controls are OMC as well. The True-Steering system and ball gear out-drive design give this semi-v hull a remarkably stable and tight turning radius.  Aztecs came in several configurations. The hardtop was a less common option and is still sought after by IMP collectors. The Aztec model was produced from 1966 to 1984.

This boat has several options to note. Original period Insta-Trim trim tabs, Rayline remote spotlight, CB, lighted compass and cigar lighter, swivel cup and rod holders, Ray Jefferson 510 fish finder, ski tow package, and 1976 bicentennial flag.

This boat was my first, but not the only IMP in my collection. There is also a 1967 Aztec, a 1979 Aztec Hardtop, 1982 Commanche cuddy, and a 1986 Liberty cabin cruiser to keep “A Small Victory” company. Fortunately, I have a commercial repair facility to house and service them which keeps costs down.

Special thanks to fellow mechanic and IMP owner Teddy Hutchins, Rick Johnson, and my late father Don Schultz who first got me interested in old boats.

1976 IMP Aztec Hardtop