1963 Lola Mk 6 GT – For Sale
Image: Robin Adams thanks to RM Auctions
This recently restored 1963 Lola Mk 6 GT is the last of just three cars. In its prime it was driven by Augie Pabst and Walt Hansgen and won the 1963 Nassau Tourist Trophy. Oh, and it played a vital role in the development of the legendary Ford GT40.
It’s heading to auction at RM Auctions’ Monterey sale on the 15th of August.
In the early ’60s marques like Porsche and Ferrari had small displacement mid-engined sportscar racers down. Fitting a big V8 or V12 into one, however, had proved more difficult, and it wasn’t until Eric Broadley coupled a Colotti transaxle with a Ford Fairlane V-8 that the design took off.
The first two running examples of the design hit the track in the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans and proved to be a revelation.
Interested in the project and looking to end Ferrari’s domination at Le Mans, Ford then stepped in with cash and engines, working in collaboration with Lola to develop the Mk 6 GT – a key stop in the evolution of the Ford GT40.
This particular car is LGT-2, which was the second functional Mk 6 chassis. It was ordered by John Mecom and began its life officially entered into the ’63 24 Hours of Le Mans, although it was used for spares and it never ran in the race.
Its next outing was at the International Guard’s Trophy at Brands Hatch in 1963, in which Augie Pabst enjoyed only a short run before retiring with an oil pressure issue.
Ford then attempted to buy the car from Mecom, but did not endear themselves in the negotiations, leading Mecom to send the car back to Lola and have them install a lighter and faster Traco-tuned Chevrolet V-8.
After some testing at Brands Hatch the car then went to the Bahamas, where Augie Pabst and it won the Nassau Tourist Trophy. Pabst was again at the wheel in 1962 for the 12 Hours of Sebring, sharing driving duties with Walt Hansgen. The combo was quick, but retired with engine troubles. The car was forced to retire again later in the year at the SCCA June Sprints at Road America, but redeemed itself with an 11th overall in the Guard’s Trophy.
From there it was back to Lola for a wider track, re-worked suspension and new Cobra-style FIA wheels with GT40 hubs. To accommodate the modifications the bodywork was flared-out, enhancing its already stunning lines.
Pabst raced the car again in the Road America 500, and one final time in the Los Angeles Times Grand Prix. A sticky throttle in that race resulted in a crash which nearly tore the aluminum canopy clean off. After that outing Mecom put the car into storage and eventually sold it.
In the late 2000s the car was treated to a full restoration by Hall & Hall and is now faithfully returned to its 1964 configuration.
In recent years it’s enjoyed an active historic career, involved in events like the SOVREN Historics, Retromobile, Silverstone Classic and Techno Classica.
With the full restoration recently completed and a fresh service undertaken the car’s in magnificent condition and it’s offered with MSA Historic Technical Passport. It’s the only of the three cars which Ford couldn’t purchase, a significant piece of prototype racing history and a magnificent machine in its own right.
It’ll go up for sale at RM Auctions’ upcoming Monterey sale on the 15th of August, and you can find more information at RM Auctions’ official site here.
Images thanks to RM Auctions, by Robin Adams.