Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Unipowers that didn't make it to Blyton Park (1)

Okay. We were expecting some Unipower GTs at the Blyton Park event but things didn't work out exactly as hoped for. Fortunately I was able to pay some of these cars and their owners a visit prior to the event, and so I can now present to you at least some of the Unipowers that didn't make it...

First in line was Nick's car, of which he is only the second owner. In his own words: "The first owner was a Scottish lady whose reason for selling was 'the car is too fast'. I bought it from Monty & Ward of Edenbridge (see ad below-JB). They had about three for sale, including a body shell, and couldn't understand why I was the only enquirey from an Ex & Mart ad. I didn't tell them that it was listed under 'Austin 7 spares' for reasons known only to the printer, in case he changed his mind about selling."

The remarkable thing about Nick's car is that it could well be the very last Unipower GT in line. Nick: "Monty told me that mine was the last car made, being pushed out of one end whilst the recievers came in the other end. Its a nice story if nothing else." Apart from the very late registration number ('H' - 1969 or 1970) the car does also have quite a few details which make it different from other late (Mk2) cars, and Nick believes it was unfinished when it left the factory. Nick: "For example it had three glass windows and one Perspex. It has no front badge, no door locks as both handles are Austin 1100 passenger door handles. It also has no final coat on the paintwork and even when polished seems very 'flat' looking. The boot has no lid and there was not a front grill. The rev counter was not connected and the heater holes had not been blanked off Also it has different rear shock absorber top mountings to other Mk2 Unipowers." But the strangest thing of all is that Nick has never found a chassis number on the frame or elsewhere on the car.

Nick used the car as a daily driver for a couple of years and parked it in his barn in 1977. It has detoriated over the years but he is now thinking of a restoration. Now, wouldn't it be great to see this car in its former glory at a future event?

UPDATE 28 August 2023: No sign from Nick, but the car has been found back in a barn Click here.

That's Nick with the Unipower GT he parked in his barn back in 1977
Picture Jeroen Booij / Maximum Mini

Correct steering wheel, seats and signature gear lever are all there. Dashboard is not original
Picture Jeroen Booij / Maximum Mini

The engine is a 1275 Cooper and hasn't run for 37 years, needing full restoration now
Picture Jeroen Booij / Maximum Mini

Mk2 Unipower badge at the rear. Paint job never received a final coat, says Nick 
Picture Jeroen Booij / Maximum Mini

'RFS 479H' is a Scottish registration as the first owner was a lady from Scotland
Picture Jeroen Booij / Maximum Mini

No chassis plate here, but the tank is still there. Snails have come in, somehow...
Picture Jeroen Booij / Maximum Mini

Monty & Ward were trading Unipower GTs back in the late 1960s and early 1970s
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

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