1968 Lola T70 Mk III GT Coupe

There are a lot more T70 coupes out there than ever left the Lola workshop in Slough

Eric Broadley’s Lola project, the legendary T70, debuted in 1965 and quickly demonstrated its prowess in the hands of John Surtees, who won the inaugural Can-Am Championship in 1966. The T70 was produced in open Mk II Spyder and Mk III Coupe forms until 1968. Although eclipsed by the Ferrari 512 and Porsche 917, the race-proven Lola T70 demonstrated its reliability and speed when Mark Donohue and Chuck Parsons won the 1969 24 Hours of Daytona in a Roger Penske-entered, Chevrolet-powered Mk IIIB Coupe. The T70 was driven by a veritable “who’s who” of 1960s motor racing stars on both sides of the Atlantic.

Documenting the history of racing cars can frequently prove to be a difficult task. Many are subject to hard use, crashes, modifications, or uprating, which only makes the task of substantiating provenance more challenging. Although it cannot be documented conclusively, chassis 73-135, the car offered here, may very well be one of about five Mk III road cars built up with tubular space frames by famed car designer Franco Sbarro from parts and components he acquired.

There is also a possibility that it may even be one of the 16 original T70 Mk III GT coupes originally built by Lola, but it should be noted that the chassis number does not correspond with any known examples. Still others believe that this was the car used and crashed in the making of the Steve McQueen film “Le Mans” and subsequently rebuilt in France.

Fresh from a three-year, no-expense-spared professional restoration and finished in bright yellow with a polished aluminum tub, it features a mid-mounted 355-ci Chevrolet engine that produces about 600 horsepower. Equipped with a correct Hewland gearbox, Vertex magneto, proper Lola brakes, Lola uprights and authentic period gauges, it also has the correct 15-inch Lola wheels shod with new racing slicks. Impressively restored, this car is ideally suited for various historic track events around the country.

Thor Thorson

Thor Thorson - SCM Contributing Editor

Thor grew up in northern Iowa. His father bought a red Jag XK 150 in the late 1950s, and that was all it took; he has been in love with sports cars , racing cars and the associated adrenaline rush ever since. He has vintage raced for more than 20 years, the bulk of them spent behind the wheel of a blue Elva 7. When he’s not racing, he is president of Vintage Racing Motors Inc., a collector-car dealer and vintage-racing support company based in Redmond, WA. His knowledge runs the full spectrum of vintage racing, and he has put that expertise to good use for SCM since 2003.

Posted in Race