Lola-Climax Mk I Sports Racer

For sheer giggles per lap, I don’t think there is a vintage racer around that can match the Lola Mk I

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This well-presented Lola-Climax Mk I is not only a fine example of perhaps the most sought-after of all British small-capacity sports-racing cars of the 1950s, it is also one that can boast an exceptional history. The Lola Mk I was the first commercial sports-racing car product of Lola Cars, Ltd., newly established in 1958 by Eric Broadley, one of the most renowned and best regarded of all great British racing car designers.

Eric Broadley’s first prototype was constructed at the West Byfleet workshop of fabricator and sheet-metal specialist Maurice Gomm. Over the following four years, 35 of the multi-tubular space frame Mk I sports racing cars were built at the Bromley, South London, garage of business partner Rob Rushbrook.

Before the advent of the exceptionally pretty Lola Mk I, 1,100-cc sports car racing was dominated by the exotically sleek Lotus Eleven, with occasional intervention by the Elva marque. However, the new 1,100-cc Lola-Climax was immediately a winner. The lovely Lola became the first sports car of any capacity to lap Brands Hatch inside one minute, and the cars broke the Lotus Eleven stranglehold on their class and forced Colin Chapman to rethink that design to create the unsuccessful Lotus 17.

As offered here, the Lola-Climax Sports Racer has been very little used in recent years and the mandatory checks should be undertaken prior to competitive use. We recommend the consideration of this Lola-a potential front-runner in capable hands within its present-day Historic racing class. It is a wonderful reminder of Lola’s Lotus-eating foundations and above all, one of the most beautifully-styled and proportioned front-engined sports-racing cars of all time.

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.

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