Superb fiftieth anniversary celebrations for the Unipower GT last Saturday at Beaulieu where there was a great turnout of surviving examples of the marvelous little car created by Ernie Unger. Luckily the day was blessed with good weather.

Former Unipower racer and spokesman, Gerry Hulford told me: “I remember all those years ago back in the seventies when quite a few Unipower owners used to meet up every month at a pub in Brockham near Dorking. Back then the Unipower seemed very ‘current’ at the time and following numerous years of participation at events such as the classic car shows at Crystal Palace, through to the less intimate NEC in Birmingham. The memory of celebrating the Unipower’s 21st Anniversary seemed like a milestone. To have now celebrated its 50th, is quite an achievement for any small production car and is a rather special moment.

“Beaulieu did their utmost to accommodate us with a prominently positioned display area of good size, enabling us to display the cars. Ernie Unger was especially impressed that Beaulieu staff knew him by name when he asked for directions to our display area!” He said.


A great day of memories and meeting old friends for those involved while also giving enthusiasts the chance to admire what is still a great car. Ernie told stories of how the car came about, while his colleague back then, designer Val Dare-Bryan, displayed some of his early drawings of the car along with some period photographs.

Gerry again: “I would like to thank all who came along and made the 50th Anniversary celebration such a success, especially Ernie Unger, the instigator of such a very special car (and one that is still revered today). That these ‘little’ cars, with a  production run of only 71 vehicles, now scattered across the world and still sought after 50 years later, is a testament to his vision and dogged determination. Congratulations Ernie, take a bow, you deserve it in spades.

“To Val Dare-Bryan, who as designer managed to create a ‘package’ of such proportions and style, accommodating a mid-engine layout with a ‘tall’ Mini engine, which all the other manufacturers had failed miserably to achieve, is just amazing.” Well said.

Tim Carpenter brought along the very first production Unipower, a car that was formerly owned by Gerry Hulford: “I sold Tim this car well over 25 years ago in dire need of tender loving care, having rescued it from another Unipower-owning friend of mine who had left it dismantled in his garden for a few years.

“It then spent quite a few years in his mother’s garage following a total restoration and Tim was only recently talking about selling it. However with the 50th Anniversary approaching, he set about rebuilding the engine and generally restoring other areas, finally getting it MOT’d.

“The drive to Beaulieu after all these years must have been both emotional and probably a little nerve-racking! It was great to see it running again and Tim even took part in the Super Car parade on the day!  Fantastic effort Tim, well done. Not sure you want to sell it now?”

TKC mag/ would also like to send our congratulations on reaching such a marvelous milestone. Here’s to the next fifty years…