Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Unipower GT finally freed from Japanese warehouse

One article that keeps arousing interest here since it was published in 2016 is about the Unipower GT in the Japanese warehouse. Read it here if you forgot. This GT car was originally registered 'NPN 16F' in the UK in early 1968 and made a regular entrance at shows in the 1980s before it went to Japan in 1988. It was only driven a few years there before being stored in the now-infamous Pro Auto warehouse in Gifu without moving a wheel in decades to come.

Well, it has now! A customer of Yuji Kagawa, who runs Mini specialist shop Miniflag in Japan, has freed it from it long-term hiding and Yuji gave it some much needed tender loving care in the last months or so. His shop Miniflag is based in Hashima, just 10 miles down the road from the Pro Auto warehouse in Gifu.

Yuji wrote: "The current owner rescued it from Pro Auto Service and he also rescued the Janspeed racer 'JAN 4'. The Pro Auto shop is in chaos and there is so much clutter that there is nowhere to walk. There is a tremendous number of cars and parts (so much so that the world market price changes)." And about the Unipower: "Of course there are places to fix, but I think it is a valuable Unipower GT with a very high degree of originality. The car has recently had its exterior reworked and maintained, but it has not undergone a full restoration, making it a very rare Unipower with many original parts remaining. The engine is not a 998 Cooper unit, just a regular mini 998 with double SU carburettors and Janspeed exhaust. Maybe it is original. There is also a rare and genuine storage compartment. The instrument panel seems to be the original and I'm pretty sure the seats are original. I think it's the same with the Kangol seatbelts. Best regards, Yuji."

The Unipower is now offered for sale on behalf of the owner. A great chance to purchase what seems to be a lovely car. Click here to visit the Miniflag website and here for the Unipower ad.


This Unipower GT spent the last decades in a derelict car collection in Gifu, Japan
Picture Yuji Kagawa / Miniflag

Amazingly, it has come out now, and survives particularly good having only had a respray and some tlc recently. Note that rear light have been modified earlier in its life
Picture Yuji Kagawa / Miniflag

According to Yuji Kagawa the car comes with a very high degree of originality
Picture Yuji Kagawa / Miniflag

He thinks the engine is not a 998 Cooper unit though but a regular Mini 998 with twin SUs
Picture Yuji Kagawa / Miniflag

But it comes with this - the rarely seen luggage compartment that can be taken out...
Picture Yuji Kagawa / Miniflag

...As it can be fitted in the car's opening boot behind the engine. I'd only seen one before
Picture Yuji Kagawa / Miniflag

Bucket seats and Kangol seat belts are believed to be original items also and do look good
Picture Yuji Kagawa / Miniflag

Even the original shift pattern decal survives. Gear lever is of course placed in the sill
Picture Yuji Kagawa / Miniflag

Petrol tank, servos, washer reservoir, spare wheel and of course the car's chassis plate, it's all there
Picture Yuji Kagawa / Miniflag

4 comments:

  1. Glad someone was finally able to save it !
    What do you mean by : “so much so that the world market price changes” ?

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  2. I used to own this car in the 1980’s. I think the engine was a 998 cc Cooper with twin SU carbs, it was fitted with a luggage box and had 2 sets of road wheels . Have lots of Pictures available .

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    Replies
    1. Good to hear from you, and it would be lovely to see more. Feel free to send me a message on jeroen at jeroenbooij dot com

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  3. It had cosmic alloy wheels when new and latter had Dunlop alloys on it . It had a webber on it hence the cut out in the luggage box. The rear lights where altered in a light restoration done by Peter beale, who my farther purchased it from. I'm sure it was a Cooper 998 in it. Would be nice if it came home. The orange paint was a daf colour .

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