After an ownership stretching over 38-years since buying this extremely rare chassis in 1976, its owner decided, that after a busy competitive life, it was time for its paintwork to be refreshed and to replace a number of well-worn components, quite understandable for a car then being 48-years old. This chassis was the first production Unipower GT sold and the first chassis built after the cars launch at the 1966 Racing Car Show. Built to Competition GT specification, it would go on to be further developed by the Factory before being bought by Piers Weld-Forester, soon to become the second owner of the Unipower GT project. He raced the car in 1968, before it being raced as a Works entry in International endurance races in 1969.
The task of stripping all the external parts off the bodywork to prepare for painting, soon prompted a greater strip down as suspension joints were known to have excessive wear and needed replacing. The rose-joints in particular were a challenge to obtain as they were the early non-self-lubricating type where the ‘ball’ could be rotated 90 degrees and removed for greasing. As it was the intention to always maintain the cars originality, a more modern substitute was not an option which anyway would have been almost an impossibility as their threads were the now less popular BSF thread pitch. Fortunately after much searching, a long-lost box of the correct joints from the 60's were found by Autosport Bearings, a huge relief as any substitution would have required re-threading the suspension components.
Like so many rebuilds, one thing leads to another, and soon it was decided that whilst components such as hubs, bearings, steering rack etc…. were dismantled for servicing, they might as well be cleaned and repainted. In the end the complete car was dismantled and every component checked over and rebuilt where required, using only genuine period parts, even to the point of re-using the original bolt washers. New nuts only being used where the original was no longer serviceable. The original wiring harness was restored and tidied up and retained. As the car has full FIA HTP Papers, a new fuel tank was installed to meet current FIA safety regulations. The car’s original rubber bag-tank having long since become unserviceable and its external Monza fast fuel-filler becoming redundant.
Whilst the exterior of the car was repainted, as was the engine bay and around the wheel-wells and front suspension area of the car, the interior was left as original, retaining its historical patina from all those years of racing. The only change being that one of the tubes, bonded into the right-hand side of the driver’s seat, that had been installed by the Factory to create a deep bucket seat, was removed in deference to its owners ongoing years, making it now much easier to enter and exit the car.
The following are just a few pictures from the early stages of its rebuild back in 2014. Further description of its rebuild along with pictures, will follow as a short series here on this Blog.