Hola! Lola-Chevrolet T70GT Mk IIIB For Sale
I hope you’ve been good this year, because Bonhams’ traditional December Sale is packed with excellent ideas for a very special Christmas list. Taking place on the first of December, the 2011 sale will put a collection of important collectors’ motor cars and automobilia up for auction at Mercedes-Benz World in Surrey.
So – the Christmas list. How about this ex-Sid Taylor 1969-70 Lola-Chevrolet T70GT Mk IIIB Endurance Racing Coupe? It began life as Eric Broadley’s prototype Mark 3B Coup before it was acquired by Sid Taylor. Under Taylor’s ownership it was steered at endurance events around the world by the likes of Denny Hulme, Frank Gardner and Peter Revson.
Of the thirteen races it finished during the ’69 season, ten were celebrated on the podium. It brought home five victories, four seconds and a third place.
Since that successful first season it has led a competitive and active life and run at a monumental list of the world’s greatest events and most iconic circuits. It is no stranger to the hallowed bends of the Nürburgring, Spa and Monza.
In addition to its storied history, dramatic, gorgeous looks and pointy-end performance, it comes fresh from an extensive rebuild – race prepared and ready to get straight back into doing what it does best.
Put aside £500,000 – 600,000.
Images via Bonhams
This recently race-prepared and most attractively presented contemporary World Championship of Makes contender began life as Eric Broadley’s famous factory’s prototype Mark 3B Coupe – as launched in January 1969 at the London Racing Car Show.
Prominent Lola entrant Sid Taylor acquired the car and in his hallowed white livery with green centerline striping, backed by Hamlyn Books sponsorship, the car was campaigned Internationally by such tremendous driving talent as Denny Hulme, Brian Redman, Frank Gardner, Peter Revson, Andrea de Adamich and Nino Vaccarella. The car fi nished 13 of its 17 races that season, winning fi ve, and adding four second places and a third. Brian Redman won in it at Thruxton, Norisring in Germany and Karlskoga in Sweden, while 1967 Formula 1 World Champion Denny Hulme also won in it at Thruxton and Frank Gardner at Innsbruck, Austria. Into 1970, Sid Taylor rented the car to South African Champion John Lovce for that nation’s Springbok Series. Sponsored by the Gunston tobacco brand, Love fi nished runner-up in the series after winning 3-Hour qualifying races at Pietermaritzburg and at Bulawayo in Rhodesia. Springbok Champion Mike de Udy then bought the car – we understand – but made just a single appearance in it, at the 1970 BOAC 1,000Kms, Brands Hatch, from which it retired with engine trouble.
The car then passed through the hands of fellow racer Paul Vestey (unraced) to another, Mike Coombe, who campaigned it briefly in 1971. Former Ferrari 250GTO owner Jack Le Fort then bought ‘SL76/138′, and after a minor event at Silverstone he resolved to rebuild it into road-going form – which work occupied a reputed 940 man hours. Journalist Nigel Roebuck sampled the car at Silverstone for ‘Competition Car’ magazine, before Mr Le Fort sold it to GT40 specialist John Etheridge, in 1977. It then passed via historic racer John Heath to Michael Wheatley who campaigned the car most energetically for the following eight seasons.
In 1987-88, Mr Wheatley rebuilt ‘the car’ around a freshly-acquired Lola monocoque. The car’s discarded original tub was put into storage, but sadly Michael Wheatley was then badly injured in an enormous accident first time out in the re-chassised T70GT.
He subsequently sold the wrecked car, together with its set-aside original Sid Taylor tub, to John Hunt and Mike Ostroumoff, and so ‘SL76/138′ was then reassembled upon “the right tub” with new body panels and other components replaced as necessary. John Hunt – we are informed – raced the rebuild T70GT four times before deciding to assemble a replacement around a new tub and all-new parts, to which the original car’s chassis plate was transferred. That assembly passed on via Nick Linney to Frank Sytner.
The ‘replaced’ Sid Taylor car without its original chassis plate was sold to John Starkey (well-known as a published Lola and Porsche historian) in 1989. John raced the car with Clive Robinson’s help for the following three years, before selling it in 1994 to prominent historic racer Jonathan Baker. Jonathan repainted the car into its present livery of Silver with a Red centre stripe and was extremely successful racing the car in his Group 4 Series.
From him the car passed to the present vendor in 2000, and it has remained a familiar part of the Historic racing scene since then. Again Clive Robinson was responsible for the car’s yearly engine overhauls and general preparations prior to each event. During 2002 to 2008 the car ran on average between three and fi ve races at some of the most important events, including Monza, Spa, Nurburgring and Silverstone. As offered here the Lola is fresh from an extensive rebuild and racepreparation programme conducted by Hall & Hall, the leading British specialist company in Bourne, Lincolnshire. This work has included new floors and screen, attention to the suspension pick-ups and all the suspension crack tested, new gearbox end-casing and brake bells. A list of these works will be available for inspection.