Lola T70 Mk1 - SOLD
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Recently rebuilt, this 1965 Lola T70 MK1 Spyder, SL70/05, is one of fifteen built by the marque and a rare example raced under Ford V8 power.
After debuting at Silverstone in 1965, this Lola completed a number of races under the ownership of David Good. Amongst these was the Brands Hatch Guards International Trophy, where it was driven by Roy Pierpoint. Period film exists from this event and shows the car in action.
The car was then taken to South Africa for the Sunset Series, competing in the 1965 Kyalami 9 Hour.
Early in 1966 the Lola was used as a camera car for the filming of Steve McQueen’s unfinished F1 movie “Day of the Champion” driven by Sir Stirling Moss, Sir John Whitmore and, it is reported, by McQueen himself at the Nürburgring. Footage of the car can be seen in the recently released documentary “Steve McQueen: The Lost Movie”.
In 1967 it was acquired by South African racer and constructor Doug Serrurier and went on to compete extensively in southern Africa including multiple entries in the Kyalami 9 Hour. Results include first in the Rand Grand Prix with Paul Hawkins, second in the 1965 Rhodesian Grand Prix with Hawkins, wins in the Lourenco Marques 3 Hour and Roy Hesketh 3 Hour and, reportedly, the first 100 mile per hour lap at Kyalami.
After its long and successful period race career, this T70 was lost for many years. The remains were discovered in South Africa after some detective work by local enthusiast. The project was subsequently sold to a collector in Australia, where it was resold and partially restored in New Zealand.
The current custodian acquired the car thirteen years ago and set about completing the restoration with guidance and key components from Chris Fox of Fox Racing Developments in the UK.
The car then competed in a number of historic races in Western Australia, with some success.
More recently the vendor completed a second restoration to return the vehicle to correct MK1 specifications with MK2 rear suspension modifications, which was a common update on many MK1s in period. It is offered in fresh, ‘ready-to-run’ condition.
The car and ownership history is well documented in John Starkey’s book ‘Lola T70: The Racing History and Individual Chassis Record’, which is respected as the near-definitive guide to the model. The book records the ownership history up to and including the current owner.
Recently discovered evidence indicates that the car ran for at least two races using a 5 lt motor with Gurney Weslake / Eagle alloy cylinder heads taken from one of Surrurier’s F5000 cars. This apparently occurred late 1968 and early 1969, potentially enabling the car to be one of only a few T70s around the world eligible to run these famous Gurney heads. A pair of heads that were recovered with the remains of the car in South Africa will be included in the sale.
The current engine is based on a period-correct Ford 289 block and heads fed by early-numbered Italian Weber IDA 48’s and sitting on an AVIAID 289 GT40 oil pan. It has dyno hours only since its last full rebuild by specialists Savy Motors. Dyno sheets are available.
The original Hewland LG500 four-speed manual transmission (Serial #LG500-26) was fully rebuilt prior to the current custodian taking ownership of the vehicle and has accumulated approximately 6 hours of track time since then.
The suspension includes all-magnesium uprights and wheels, Koni 8211 shocks (dyno tested and valved for the car), a range of Eibach springs, AN-specification fasteners and many other details that were chosen to preserve accuracy while maintaining pace, safety and reliability.
The car will be supplied with a range of spares including six extra Hewland gear ratio sets, twelve new Eibach springs in a range of rates, ITG Racing air filters and a collection of original suspension parts, uprights, and drive shafts etc which were replaced during the restoration. A seat mould also comes with the car to allow a fitted racing seat to be made.
A large collection of documentation accompanies the car, including a letter from Doug Serrurier, emails from those involved in recovering the car's remains, photos, magazines and copies of race programs from its competition history.
The car has not been run since its most recent restoration, and the new tank bag has never had fuel in it, so the car will need the normal safety checks, brake and clutch bleed, suspension alignment, corner weighting, run-up tests etc required of a freshly assembled race car.
A well-documented car with a particularly fascinating history, this T70 MK1 Spyder is a thoughtfully rebuilt and well presented example of one of the most beautiful cars ever developed and is sure to be a welcome entry at historic race meetings around the world.