From humble beginnings the prototype Mk1 sports racer emerged in 1958 from a garage behind the Broadley family's tailoring shop in Bromley, Kent 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 successes, which continued with a front-engined single-seater, the Formula Junior Mk2. By 1962, Lola was in Formula 1 running the mid-engined Mk4 chassis powered by Coventry-Climax engines: the four-cylinder FPF at first and then the FWMV V8. Multiple World Champion-winning motorcyclist John Surtees led the Bowmaker Yeoman Credit-backed équipe, and a domestic win in the 2000 Guineas race at Mallory Park - beating Messrs Clark, Hill and Brabham - was followed by two 2nd places in the British and German GPs. It was enough to secure a works drive with Ferrari for 1963 and the Surtees duly went on to become Formula 1 World Champion in 1964.
Chassis number 'BR27' was first supplied to David Hitches. It was crashed by him, early on in its life and the chassis replaced with a new frame, though it is believed that the original was later recovered. The replacement chassis, at this stage without the 'B' designation, was acquired by Nairn Ferrier of Dundee, who fitted a Coventry Climax FPF engine and converted the car to disc brakes. In 1963 the Lola passed to well-known club racer Johnny Blades and thence to Tommy Sleigh. It was next owned by Denis Kingham of Northern Ireland, who crashed it into the wall of a public house at Dunboyne (see photograph on file). Following this accident it was sold to and rebuilt by Lola aficionado Mike Fraser during the winter of 1965/66. Using the Lola factory jigs, specialist chassis manufacturers Arch Motors of Edmonton, North London created a new frame from the dashboard forward. A number of changes and new ideas were incorporated during the rebuild. The front suspension was altered to create anti-dive and adjustable camber, while the rear was rebuilt with adjustable radius rods and wishbones to allow for further development of geometry settings. A modified Morris Minor steering rack replaced the original.
Fraser owned a number of Coventry Climax engines and fitted 'BR27' with an ex-Warwick Banks FWA Stage III, bored to 1,149cc. This engine was a one-off incorporating an FWB block built up with FWA internals. The weight penalty was more than made up for by the 'bomb proof ' nature of the motor. An external oil filter was mounted in the air stream behind the radiator and a 7¼" Borg & Beck clutch with competition linings and springs was used. An MGA gearbox transmitted power to a 4.875:1 ratio differential inside the Lola magnesium casing. The car sat on Lola magnesium alloy wheels shod with Dunlop 5.00Lx15 R6 Green Spot tyres at the rear, 4.50Lx15 at the front.
Fraser used glassfibre upper body panes, the lowers being aluminium, and departed from Lola tradition by painting the chassis pale blue, simply because he had some blue paint left over from another job. The chassis number's 'B' suffix was the idea of Dick Samuelson, Lola's Works Manager, who insisted the rebirth of the crashed car should be celebrated with a unique number. Samuelson made and presented Fraser with a new chassis plate heralding the new identity: 'BR27B'.
On completion of the rebuild Fraser entered a handful of events around the UK and then sold the car to Vaughn Midgley, who raced the Lola from approximately 1965 to 1969 before selling it to Ian Holliday. The car remained in Holliday's possession until 2006 when it passed to the preceding owner, John Monson. A thorough overhaul was carried out at historic racing car specialists Hall & Hall during 2007/2008 prior to Monson using the car frequently throughout the succeeding five seasons. This history is supported by assorted previous owner correspondence on file and corresponds with 'B27B's entry in 'Lola's First: The Definitive History of the Mark 1' by David Pratley (copy extract on file). The car is currently fitted with a Coventry Climax FWA engine of 1,097cc.
Presented in race ready condition, this well documented Lola Mk1 is offered with FIA/HTP papers and two files of history.
The seat belts and fire extinguisher in this car are out of date and will need to be replaced before the car can be raced.