Bernard Unett was born in Wolvey, Warwickshire in 1936. The villiage was only ten minutes drive away from the huge Humber and Rootes factories at Ryton and Stoke. Rather than follow his parents in to their farming business, he joined Humber as an apprentice at the age of 15, later joining Rootes and graduating to their chassis experimental department. He moved into a staff job in the experimental department working on the Rapier and Alpine programmes and was second in charge of the department with in a couple of years. Unett and his colleagues were known as The set 'em alight boys . It was department boss Don Tarbun's expression For **** sake, set em alight when difficulties were being faced that gave them the name. Mike parkes, Formular one driver and senior competitions manager at Rootes (who came second driving for Farrari at Le Mans in 1961) persuaded Unett to watch the 1962 Tourest trophy at Goodwood. Unett's only competition experience was the odd sprint and a disasterous club rally the previous year. But watching real racing set him on his way to buy a surviving Alpine prototype, regestration number XRW 302, from the developement department and begin racing at the Peterborough meeting at Silverstone that September. ''The stewards deemed my driving to be so hairy, they would'nt let me run the second race'' said Unett. But his driving quickly improved.