The Ex-Chuck Parsons 1966-67 Lola-Chevrolet T70 Spider Group 7 Sports-Racing Prototype Chassis no. SL73/128
This most handsomely presented Lola T70 Spider is understood to have begun life as one of the last open cars built, one of a pair of lightweight Mark III chassis supplied to US distributor Carl Haas. This individual car was delivered on February 16, 1968, and became one of a pair entered by the Haas team in that years United States Road Racing Championship series for Chuck Parsons and Skip Scott to drive.
Chuck Parsons' 1968 USRRC record in the Haas Lola T70 Mark 3 included shared victory with team-mate Skip Scott in the Road America '500' at Elkhart Lake, three second places - at Bridgehampton, Kent and Watkins Glen - two fourths - at Riverside and Laguna Seca - and sixth place at Ste Jovite in Canada.
We believe that this car was sold subsequently to private owner/driver Bob Nagel, in whose hands it was campaigned in both USRRC and CanAM Challenge Cup series races through 1969-1970.
It passed in the 1980s to British enthusiast Nigel Hulme who campaigned it with closed Lola T70 Mark 3B GT Coupe bodywork attached. It was acquired direct from Mr Hulme by the German collector Peter Kaus for his Rosso Bianco Collection, and was then refitted with its present open Spider bodywork and restored to the order you see before you. In Nigel Hulmes ownership the car was powered by a 7-litre Ford V8 engine.
Multiple champion racing driver Brian Redman recalls the Lola-Chevrolet T70 his introduction to big banger racing in 1966, and perhaps the most aesthetically beautiful open sports-racing car ever created - like this: That Lola was so fast that there werent any straights on the circuits any more I had no time to relax because the next corner came up much faster than I was used to. I wasnt used to so much power or so much tyre on the road. We had a lot of grip and a huge amount of torque in that car. First time in the rain at Oulton Park in the past Id always floored the throttle down the straight. When I floored it in the Lola, I instantly went backwards over Deers Leap, right past the horrified eyes of the car owner Once I got that car figured out, we had a very good year with it .
By the end of 1964 American V8-engined cars were dominating unlimited-capacity sports car racing not only within the US but also in the UK and Europe. The Lotus-Ford 30 had emerged to its troubled debut in England and America while Bruce McLarens new team had developed its prototype McLaren-Oldsmobile M1A. Such existing British chassis as the Cooper Monaco and the Lotus 19 had been modified to accommodate Detroit V8 engines, while such American home-grown products as the Scarab and particularly Jim Halls new plastic fantastic Chaparrals could offer formidable opposition.
Ferrari World Champion Driver John Surtees drove the quasi-works T70 prototypes and was instrumental in this models successful development programme. He finished second upon the T70s debut at Silverstone 1965, beaten only by Jim Clarks works Lotus-Ford 30. John Mecom Jr became the Lola distributor for North America.
In 1966 John Surtees won the inaugural Canadian-American Challenge Cup CanAm race series in his Team Surtees-entered quasi-works Lola T70 such as the example now offered here - winning three of the six qualifying races while T70s actually won five out of those six events.
It would appear that in period at least 15 Lola T70 Mark I Spider cars were produced and sold by the Slough-based manufacturer, followed by at least 33 Lola T70 Mark 2 chassis through 1966-67. Another 35 further-refined and improved Lola T70 Mark 3s then followed in 1967-68 of which some authorities contend that 19 were Spiders and 12 enclosed-cabin endurance-racing T70GT Coupés. This whole family of mouth-wateringly beautiful, supremely high-performance rear-engined sports-racing cars is completed by a further four T70 Mark IIIB open-cockpit Spider cars constructed in 1967 and (arguably) 23-25 T70GT Mark IIIB Coupes built into 1970-71.
This particular car is a beautiful restoration of a Lola-Chevrolet T70 Spider in effective Group 7 CanAm competition guise. This aesthetically magnificently-presented car has been on long-term display within the museum halls in Germany, and will of course require detailed specialist inspection and preparation before any attempt might be made to start it or to run it in any significant manner.
This remarkably appealing Lola-Chevrolet T70 carries no apparent chassis number identification whatsoever, but we have been assured of its provenance by Mr Kaus himself, and 128 is recorded as applying to the Nigel Hulme car.
This is a most attractive and sophisticated Big Banger sports-racing car with good provenance which is surely eligible for FIA Historic paperwork.
It will surely provide a fabulous entrée into or step-up within the dazzlingly glamorous world of Historic CanAm class sports-prototype racing.