1969 Lola T70 Mk3B Coupé

In 1969, Lola unveiled a monocoque version of their T70 race car with hope that it could better compete with the best from Ford, Ferrari and Porsche. The design was certainly up the task, but the limited budget of Lola restricted them from frequent success. Fortunately, Penske Racing won the 1969 Daytona 24-hour outright in their Mk3B and it was the model’s best result.

Based on Lola’s potent Can-Am challenger, the T70 Mk3 Coupé could be seen as GT40 replacement. That’s because Eric Broadley was watching the first GT40 win at Le Mans in 1967 and he was involved car since its inception. Like the GT40, the T70 Coupé used a mid-mounted American V8 in a thoroughly European chassis. Unfortunately the model was up against The Porsche 917 and Ferrari 512M which were in another league.

Aerodynamicist Tony Southgate was responsible for the new sleek body which was much more efficient than the GT40 and the T70 could reach a top speed of 200 mph on the Mulsanne straight. This new Coupé body was made to follow Group 4 regulations which required minimum production of 50 cars and Lola nearly had produced enough Mk1 and Mk2 cars to homologate the Chevrolet-powered version.

Unfortunately the T70 Coupé wasn’t much of a success on the track. It’s only factory-backed outing at Le Mans had Surtees and David Hobbs at the wheel, but the newly developed Aston Martin V8 could only last 25 laps. Later an updated version called the Mk3B was raced by Penske Racing and won the 1969 Daytona 24-hour outright.

In Detail

tagscanam
submitted byRichard Owen
typeRacing Car
released at1965 London Racing Car Show
built atSlough, England
body stylistTony Southgate
engineersEric Broadley
engineChevrolet 90º V8
positionMid, Longitudinal
aspirationNatural
block materialCast Iron with Aluminum Cylinder Head
valvetrainPushrod OHV, 2 Valves per Cyl
fuel feedDowndraught Weber Carburetors
displacement4995 cc / 304.81 in³
bore102 mm / 4.0 in
stroke76 mm / 3.0 in
power335.6 kw / 450 bhp @ 7000 rpm
specific output90.09 bhp per litre
bhp/weight562.5 bhp per tonne
body / frameGRP body over Steel Tub Chassis
driven wheelsRWD
front brakesInboard Discs w/Girling Calipers
rear brakesInboard Discs w/Girling Calipers
steeringBMC Rack & Pinion
f suspensionDouble Wishbones w/Coil Springs over Amstrong Dampers
r suspensionInverted Wishbones w/Twin Radius Rods, Coil Springs over Amstrong Dampers
curb weight800 kg / 1764 lbs
wheelbase2413 mm / 95 in
front track1371 mm / 54 in
rear track1371 mm / 54 in
transmissionHewland LG 500 4-Speed Manual

1967 Lola T70 MK 3 Coupé SL73/111 – sold for €405,000

Like most T70 survivors, number 73/111, the car presented here, has known many owners and raced on many circuits, European and U.S. It left the factory on 2 June, 1967, bound for Sweden where Yongue Rosqvist raced the car successfully in that year’s Swedish Sports Car Championship.

From Sweden, 73/111 went to America, purchased by Harvey Snow and David Briggs. Briggs and Snow held onto the car until 1971, when it was sold to San Jose Competition Motors in California.

The car was eventually sold to Ron Southern in 1972, who campaigned the Lola in a number of Sports Car Club of America races before selling it to Gary Eastern. Eastern kept the car only briefly before selling it to William Otto.

Otto’s stewardship lasted 12 years before he finally sold the car to Barry Blackmore, who promptly dealt it to Bob Lee. Lee kept the car until 1989, then sold it to Monty Shallet, who gave the veteran Lola some exercise in historic racing events. Most notable under this heading was an appearance in the 1989 GT40 reunion race at Watkins Glen, New York, where the T70 finished a glorious first with Shallet at the wheel.

Following Shallet’s achievement, the T70 resumed its restless itinerary. Tony Podell took possession in 1990 and kept the car until 1996, when it was purchased by George Stauffer. The car had worn Mk 3B bodywork for many years, and during this period, it was restored to its original Mk 3 configuration.

The T70 entered the new century with yet another set of new owners, Susan Dixon and Keith Goring, who campaigned in vintage events before selling the car to its current owner who commissioned a full restoration which is documented in a file of photos. The engine has been checked and meticulously reassembled by the owner’s personal mechanic.

It’s powered today by a 5.8-litre Chevrolet V8, fed by four Weber carburettors and rated for 560 horsepower. Power flows to the rear wheels through a five-speed Hewland LG 400 gearbox. Suspension is straightforward racing practice – double A-arms front and rear, with coil-over adjustable shock absorbers. The Girling disc brake system entails four 12-inch vented rotors, with power four-piston callipers.

 

Auction Source: 2009 RM Auctions’ Automobiles of London