The history of Unipart can be traced back to 1974 when British Leyland appointed John Egan to be its director of the parts and service division. Egan created a new organisation, independent of the main car company but as losses in BL grew the company was nationalised in 1975 and the following year Egan departed to join Massey Ferguson. This left one of Egan's disciples John Neill in charge at the age of only 29. In the years that followed Neill began building up the business and creating the Unipart brand. The first high profile sponsorship was in 1978 with the Triumph Dolomite Formula 3 team and then in 1980 Unipart moved to F1 with the Ensign team. The firm then switched to McLaren for three years but after 1983 slipped from the international scene again. In the 1980s BL began to disintegrate with Jaguar being floated off and other divisions sold off and in 1987 Neil led a management buyout of Unipart. The company then decided to return to sponsorship with Tyrrell and later with Jordan. Since the company was privatised it has developed into a vast parts and accessories business for the whole industry.