Lola’s New T70 Mk. 3B
It was down to Lola to unveil a ‘new’ GT car at the
NEC yesterday (January 12) – as Executive Chairman Martin
Birrane and Lola founder Eric Broadley took the cover off the company’s
T70 Mk.3B continuation model, on the Motor Industry Association
Ironically, Martin Birrane could have been a Lola
customer for an original T70, in the early seventies: “I wanted
something fast and powerful, but no sooner had I ordered a T70 than
the CSI cancelled the category for 25-off cars.
“When I took over the company in 1997, I looked
into the possibility of a T70 continuation model then, but this
is the right time (with the FIA allowing such cars to race) to launch
the car. I like it so much, I’ve ordered the first one myself.”
Lola will be building 20 of the T70 Mk.3B, the basic
car (less engine) available for £150,000. This is the T70
version that Lola founder Eric Broadley suggested was “the
ultimate T70”. Broadley was credited, by Martin Birrane, with
designing “the most beautiful sportscar ever”.
it, Eric, is it the most beautiful sportscar ever?
(pause). “Well, it’s certainly in the
running for it, isn’t it?”
Broadley explained that in the ‘60s and ‘70s,
all Lola models were his concepts: “I was responsible for
all of our designs, although I obviously didn’t do all of
the detail work.”
The T70 only has one major international race win
to its credit – the 1969 Daytona 24 Hours. So why wasn’t
it more successful, Eric?
“There were two problems. The engines didn’t
compare with those of the Ferraris and Porsches. You either had
to de-tune them so they weren’t powerful enough, or run them
at full power and blow them up.
“The other problem was the fuel. The Chevy
tended to detonate and blow itself to pieces. But with a modern
engine, modern electrics and control systems and alloy heads, the
engine is a totally different beast.”
beautiful car, isn’t it? – just as it was in the late