Page 1 of 3 Next >> Eric Broadley's Lola specialized in building small displacement sports cars and single seaters, before stepping up to the virtually no-limit Group 6 class with the V8-engined Mk VI GT in 1963. The mid-engined machine featured a state of the art monocoque chassis and a Ford Fairlane V8. It grabbed the attention of Ford in Detroit and shortly after Broadley was deeply involved in what would later become the GT40. He did not stay long as he felt the Detroit design brief included too many compromises to make the GT40 a success on the track. Broadley again focused on the production of the familiar smaller cars, still using a spaceframe design.
It did not take long for Broadley to be tempted to build a large displacement sportscar again. This time his eye was on the American racing scene, where no-limit Group 7 cars were raced in a very lucrative championship. With the arrival of the mid-engined layout and the more advanced chassis designs, it had become virtually impossible for entrants to build a racing car in their backyard, so the demand for customer sports cars grew rapidly. One of the first to acknowledge this was Bruce McLaren as he licensed his M1 Group 7 car to Elva for production. Lola quickly followed suit with the T70 introduced in 1965.
Designed to take any American V8 engine, the T70 featured a monocoque chassis constructed of a mix of aluminium and steel for additional reinforcement. The suspension was very conventional by double wishbones and coil springs over dampers. Somewhat more unusual was the location of the front brakes, just outside of the wheels. This was done to provide sufficient amounts of cool air to the discs. The package was topped off by a sleek fiberglass spyder body, designed to meet the class' only requirement; an open top body.
One of the first people to campaign a T70 Spyder was 1964 F1 World Champion John Surtees and his effort served as a semi-Works team. Powered by a Chevrolet engine growing gradually in size from 5 to 5.9 litre and 550 bhp, Surtees was immediately successful. For 1966 several chassis modifications were carried through to form the T70 Mk2. With this car, Surtees scored wins in three of the six rounds of the newly formed Can-Am challenge and at the end of the season he was crowned champion. His performance inspired many privateers to buy the relatively cheap Lola / Chevrolet package to take a stab at Group 7 and Can-Am. Page 1 of 3 Next >>