Home  »  Car Racing  »  Design

Unipart Racing Australia 1978 – 1981

Submitted by on October 9, 2009

I have just received these fabulous and well preserved images from contributor John Shingleton. The super sharp photos were taken from 1978 to 1981 on John’s then new Olympus OM1 camera. One of the best shots for me is of the merchandising tent, featuring Hats $2, Skivvies $4.90 and Unipart T Shirts for just $3.20! [Rich – Editor]

John takes up the story…..

“Back in 1978 included in the portfolio of business units I was responsible for was Unipart Australia and we sponsored John McCormack in his Leyland P76 engined McLaren 23B in Formula 5000.

John was a very succesful driver and it was a great sponsorship partnership . I had just arrived from the UK, so I was enthusiastic about giving the team the full sponsorship treatment including selling branded merchandise as the teams were beginning to do in Europe.

With the demise of Formula 5000 locally in 1979 we funded John in building an XJS Jaguar sports sedan using the P76 power unit from the Formula 5000 car . This was also very successful, although unfortunately John was involved in a serious road accident in 1981, which forced his premature retirement . The car was sold to Queenslander Mark Trenoweth who campaigned it very successfully for many years .

Mark has restored the XJS in its Unipart livery and John McCormack was reunited with the car at the recent Speed on Tweed event in Murwillumbah .”

John Shingleton

Don't miss out! Our best stories, direct to your inbox!