To compete in the American series such as the USRRC and SCCA Can-Am races, Eric Broadley designed the Lola T70 Spyder. It was sold to private race teams and was Lola’s first commercial success with over 100 examples sold.
The main draw to the T70 was its Chevrolet-sourced V8 engine in a small prototype chassis. It was the recipe for victory and many overall wins were scored in the first season.
Author John Starkey says “The basic design of this chassis, and its layout, provided the template for just about every other alloy-tubbed sportscars built prior to the coming of the carbon-fiber age in the mid-1980s”1
The first T70 was shown at the London Racing Car Show in January of 1965. It used a aluminum tube and sheet-steel chassis tub with a fiberglass body design by Jim Clark. The overall shape was much more exotic than the GT40 which Broadley designed for Ford just years earlier.
The engine was directly attached to the large aluminum side-members and the rear interior bulkhead formed the back of the driver’s seat. The chassis was completely integral with no sub frames. Many famous designers such as JW Automotive, Chaparral bought a T70 to study its design.1
Driver’s such as John Surtees, Jackie Stewart David Hobbs, Mario Andretti, Parnelli Jones and Walt Hansgen drove the T70 Spyder during the first years. Victories included the Players 200 at Mosport, Canada, Monterey GP at Laguna Seca, Paul Whiteman Trophy at Daytona and Jalisco GP in Guadlajara, Mexico and the Guards Trophy at Brands Hatch.1
John Starkey is one of the leading historians that has tracked the history of all the T70s. He says that ” where the cars delivered to the U.S.A. are concerned, we’re in the most ignorance; John Mecom, the Lola agent, did not keep records of who the cars were sold to and so “dead” reckoning has been used to work out SOME identities.”
1. Starkey, John and Franco Varani. Lola T70. Gryfon Publishers: 2012.