Lot 651: 1968 Lola T160 Group 7 Can-Am Spyder
From humble beginnings – the prototype Mark 1 sports car emerged from a garage behind the Broadley family’s tailoring shop in Bromley, Kent, in 1958 – Lola Cars quickly established a winning reputation and grew to become a major force in world motorsport. Eric Broadley, his cousin Graham and Rob Rushbrook, at whose garage premises the first customer production versions were made, were the architects of the early success, which continued with a front-engined single-seater, the Formula Junior Mk2. By 1962, Lola was in Formula 1, with the well-sponsored team running an evolution of the FJ frame powered by the 1,500cc Coventry-Climax FWMV V8 engine. John Surtees led the Bowmaker Finance-backed équipe, and a domestic F1 win in the 2000 Guineas race at Mallory Park presaged second places in the British and German GPs, which built towards the brilliant multiple world champion motorcyclist finishing fourth in the 1962 Driver’s World Championship, won by BRM’s Graham Hill. Among Broadley’s early projects was the Mk6 GT coupé, which laid the foundations for Ford’s all-conquering GT40, but the former builder’s ability to produce cars for a wide variety of formulae was only just beginning to bubble to the surface. In 1966, for instance, Lola Cars’s stock rose in the USA when Graham Hill won the celebrated Indianapolis 500 in a T90 and Surtees the inaugural Can-Am championship in a T70 Spyder. Given its Can-Am origins, it is not surprising that the long-serving T70 family of sportscars was better suited to sprint events yet, against the odds, a MkIIIB coupé owned by Roger Penske lasted the distance to win the coveted Daytona 24 Hours endurance classic in 1969. The T160 was a further Can-Am development of the T70 IIIB, with which it shared an almost identical tub, and was most often seen with a Chevrolet V8 installed. Although the works McLaren M6s of Denny Hulme and Bruce McLaren dominated the Can-Am series, the customer M6s and Lola T160s were evenly matched. This T160, chassis number ‘SL9’, was sold new to Carl Haas, USA on 20th September 1968 and entered in Can-Am events by the Haas/Simoniz team, driven by Chuck Parsons, whose best result was 4th at Las Vegas. Lola remember the car as one of two lightweight works cars, both running with wings: one fitted to the body, the other to the chassis. ‘SL9’ had HSCC papers issued to Alex Seldon (Seldon Air Conditioning) in December 1982 in order for it to run in the Atlantic Computer Historic GT Championship. Cooper & Morgan, race engineers of Petworth, Sussex ran the car for Seldon over a period of three seasons. The car was sold by Seldon to Peter Kaus in August 1985. An SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) vehicle logbook, issued in 1975, accompanies it.
Important Collectors' Motor Cars, and Motorcycles|
Bonhams, Olympia, London
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||£78500|
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