How much are Unipower GTs really worth?

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Discussion

Eagerbeaver

Original Poster:

386 posts

135 months

Friday 22nd October 2010
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Last weekend, my dad was talking about his old Unipower GT which has sat at the back of his garage since the late 70s. It runs and wouldn't take much to MOT but he never got around to it. He's in his late 70s now and was offered £500 in the summer by a local scrap man which he accepted but the guy never came to collect.

Thinking the car is worth maybe £2-£3K with tax and MOT, I'm arranging to bring it back to my house to get it roadworthy over winter.

Now I see this!!!

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/UNIPOWER-GT-/230541216426?pt...

Surely these cannot be worth this kind of money! It's a mini based kit car which wasn't great in the 70s. It was just a bit of cheap fun.

Are cars like this really selling at this kind of price?







dudleybloke

14,453 posts

122 months

Friday 22nd October 2010
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cant see how much that ebay one is on my phone but a quick look tells me they only made about 75 of them in total between the two manufacturers and who knows how many exist now.
they're a nice looking car though and probably a very fun ride.

would be awesome to do a z-cars type bike engine type project with!

Edited by dudleybloke on Friday 22 October 05:35

b2hbm

1,144 posts

158 months

Friday 22nd October 2010
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Personally I wouldn't have expected one to reach those sorts of prices, but they were well regarded in the day. My memory is a bit hazy from those days, but I think a few of them were raced successfully, so that will boost prices. I think Peter Filby, a car mag writer and author specialising in kit cars of the day, owned one which he wrote several articles about and he claimed it was the best mini-based kit car of the day.

In one of his books he stated that the prototype had an aluminium body from which they took molds, and the first fibreglass bodies were made by Specialized Moldings alongside the Lotus Europa. He also said the production total was 75 with half being exported.

I would be surprised if the Ebay one made £30k, just because a car has a low production run doesn't assure exotic prices and none of the true kit car manufacturers had long production runs. But I am certain your dad's is worth more than £500.

So, admitting I have absolutely no idea on value, my first guess would be higher than cars like Ginetta G15, Biota, Mini Jem/Marcos, Midas, etc but less than Lotus Elans/Europas of the era. Maybe somewhere between £3k-£10k depending on quality. Concours cars excluded - they are name your own price and wait for an enthusiast to pay it. (Ebay ?)

Assuming the body and spaceframe are sound, then the mechanics are all cheap and available so it should be easy to get it up and running. The interiors of 60s & 70s kit cars were generally simple and any local trimmer should be able to sort out necessary repairs. (Marcos/Lotus/Piper were obviously better but a different market)

VetteG

3,236 posts

180 months

Friday 22nd October 2010
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The current issue of Octane (on page 156) reviews the mini powered specials with the Unipower GT coming out well at around £30,000 in good condition. "with the Mini's engine/gearbox unit mid-mounted for optimum weight distribution. It's still in demand as a circuit car thanks to amazing handling, and commands big prices in concours condition or with FIA papers."

Hope this helps.

G

MikeyT

13,657 posts

207 months

Friday 22nd October 2010
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Ebay ad says:

... it is sold as seen and I am not prepared to haggle over the price. The car has not been started since 1994 ...

This car is not worth anywhere near 30k! As has been said, maybe 10% of that ... not quite so sure what's so special about this particular one either. Maybe he thinks the plate is worth £27,000 and the car the remaining £3000?
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ARH

1,222 posts

175 months

Friday 22nd October 2010
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these things are worth very big money. not many come up for sale and there are plenty of people with the money to buy them.

guru_1071

2,761 posts

170 months

Friday 22nd October 2010
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unipowers are worth very strong money

if your dad has one tucked away your very lucky!

they only made about 75 of them (but this is actually quite a lot in the world of mini based kits), but they have a very good repoutation in racing and are very collectable by the japanese, both of which have pushed the prices up.

i would guess that if your dads car is a bare/rolling shabby shell WITH the logbook it will be worth 5-7 grand to the right person.

if its got all the trimmings, i,e cooper s motor and is a decent looking car etc it will be 7-10

if its in very good order, mot'd and has a good history it will be worth 10-15

they will only be worth more if they are 'as new' with all the correct period parts and either have a good history or race history.

there are a few unipowers that got hacked and chopped around to make special saloons etc - these are not worth as much, normally becasue they have no logbooks etc

please post some pictures of it!

it think the one on ebay is pitched right at the very sharp end hoping to catch the eye of a foreign buyer.

i have head recently on someone 'finding' a unipower in his neighbours garden (lucky sod!) he paid about 5 grand for that

williamp

16,219 posts

209 months

Friday 22nd October 2010
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Oh, next time you see your Dad, can you ask him to return my calls as I'm still waiting with a trailer and I have the cash in hand. Its in the old style £20 notes, but that should be OK.... hehe

Seriously, this looks like an intresting car. Lucky him if he decides to sell, luicky you if you decide to restore it and have some fun!

Of course, with low volume its very difficult to value it. Motorbase doesnt have a lot of info, but does list an article in Classic cars magazine, December 2008. It doesnt list any of them appearing at auction, so its difficult to see a price. Very much, therefore a price of "whatever someone wants to pay for it". Of course, a "barn find" unrestored car can generte a lot of interest. If you do decide to sell (shame...) then I bet you'll get more saying its a long lost car, and hyping the romantecism of discovering this car after long years of neglect. It works for Astons: a barn find car fetches more then a decent, useable car at the Bonhams Aston auction every year...

Hope this helps. I'd love to see some photos if you have them!

Edited by williamp on Friday 22 October 09:52

guru_1071

2,761 posts

170 months

Friday 22nd October 2010
quotequote all
williamp said:
Oh, next time you see your Dad, can you ask him to return my calls as I'm still waiting with a trailer and I have the cash in hand. Its in the old style £20 notes, but that should be OK....
i'll up the bid and include a 'dag' smile

VetteG

3,236 posts

180 months

Friday 22nd October 2010
quotequote all
Guru, if you can find me a Unipower in good order with an S engine and box and a current MOT for £15k I have the cash waiting!

G

guru_1071

2,761 posts

170 months

Friday 22nd October 2010
quotequote all
VetteG said:
Guru, if you can find me a Unipower in good order with an S engine and box and a current MOT for £15k I have the cash waiting!

G
fair point - i may have been a bit low, but its still worth a lot more than £500!!!!!

Eagerbeaver

Original Poster:

386 posts

135 months

Friday 22nd October 2010
quotequote all
I've just put the phone down from my dad and he said he's nearly wetting himself at the kind of money people are talking about.

I was 7 when my dad got it. He took it as part of a px deal for a Cortina he was selling and he regreted it as he couldn't get anywhere near what he needed for it so he kept it as a toy.

He sometimes took me to school in it and I hated it becasue it leaked on the passenger side and my friends used to laugh at me.

The gear linkage kept on breaking on it and from memory it was this which caused it to not get MOTd in the late 70s. He then got a Matra Bagheera which was a much better car all round and certainly not a kit car in any way.

I'm going to extract it from where it lies. The tyres are flat, brakes are stuck on and it is very very dirty. My neighbour has offered to trailer it back to my house so I'll get some photos up once I've cleared the muck away.

It is registerd as a Unipower 1275S but I'm not sure if that means it is based on a Cooper S. It has twin SUs and I could have sworn the rocker cover had an MG logo on it.

It has been suggested that I do as little as possible to it get it roadworthy and then to offer it through a reputable classic car auction house.

I've also been contacted by a GRP moulder who has asked if I would rent it to them so they could take moulds off it.

Part of me wants to keep it as it is a pretty little thing and it would be nice to take my dad for a spin in it (if he can get in it!!)


guru_1071

2,761 posts

170 months

Friday 22nd October 2010
quotequote all
eager

its very good news that its registered as a unipower on the logbook as this will mean that it can be used and registered on the road.

glad to help make your dads year!

DaveL86

847 posts

113 months

Friday 22nd October 2010
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Eagerbeaver said:
I'm going to extract it from where it lies. The tyres are flat, brakes are stuck on and it is very very dirty. My neighbour has offered to trailer it back to my house so I'll get some photos up once I've cleared the muck away.
Thread bookmarked biggrin

BMWChris

1,392 posts

135 months

Friday 22nd October 2010
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Some people would tell you to not even clean it - sell it as a true "barn find". Take advice before you do anything.

MikeyT

13,657 posts

207 months

Friday 22nd October 2010
quotequote all
BMWChris said:
Some people would tell you to not even clean it - sell it as a true "barn find". Take advice before you do anything.
Seconded. DOn't clean the muck/dust off it - get some pics as it is in your dad's garage first.

Then get advice as has been said.


AndrewW-G

11,968 posts

153 months

Friday 22nd October 2010
quotequote all
MikeyT said:
BMWChris said:
Some people would tell you to not even clean it - sell it as a true "barn find". Take advice before you do anything.
Seconded. DOn't clean the muck/dust off it - get some pics as it is in your dad's garage first.

Then get advice as has been said.
yes

People seem to love cars described as barn finds and restoration projects, to the point that I got more last year for a "barn find" 308GTS than I did for a slighlty tatty but MOT'd one!

VetteG

3,236 posts

180 months

Friday 22nd October 2010
quotequote all
scratchchin strange really isnt it? I guess they think it will be more 'original'!

G

Eagerbeaver

Original Poster:

386 posts

135 months

Friday 22nd October 2010
quotequote all
guru_1071 said:
eager

glad to help make your dads year!
What I meant is he thinks this is hilarious. He said its not a Bugatti in a barn but old kit car in a shed!

The dust and muck had already been disturbed but you can see that what is there is genuine 30 year old muck.

He said he's sure it isn't based on a Cooper S and he fitted the twin SUs himself back in the 70s from a scrap yard.

I can't find any information on an owners club. Is there one?

I've spoken to H&H car auctions this afternoon who were very helpful. They said that with a car like this there is very little established price data so as a guide they would base the price on a similar aged/condition special such as a Rochdale or a Ginetta but the price on the day could go well over this if the rarity and interest commands it. They also said they have many international buyers so this could be a good way to get the best price with the current weak pound.













MikeyT

13,657 posts

207 months

Friday 22nd October 2010
quotequote all
Unipower Owners Club, South Plain Cottages, Plummers Plain, Horsham, Sussex, RH13 6NX.

... is what a quick google brought up ... no website though.