The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV

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Lot 220
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder
Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV

£ 300,000 - 350,000
US$ 380,000 - 450,000
Amended
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse
1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder
Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV

Footnotes

  • From humble beginnings in 1958, when the prototype Mark 1 sports car emerged 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. Lola's success in commercial racing car production was based firmly on design integrity and build quality, both evident from that very first sports car. Pitched into an arena dominated by Colin Chapman's Lotus 11s, the Lola Mk1 soon proved to be the car to beat.
    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 4th 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.
    The success of its T70 'Big Banger' notwithstanding, it was a return to small-bore sports racers that kicked off one of the most successful eras in the history of the company, which had moved to Slough before relocating to Huntingdon where the present Lola Cars International Company remains. While northern rival Chevron remained exclusively committed to closed spaceframe cars, Lola's weapon for 1970 shocked the Boltonians to the core. The neat aluminium monocoque T210 was an open barchetta with a smaller frontal area than the swoopy B16, the body of which was also produced by Specialised Mouldings.
    The T210 set new parameters of excellence in the fledgling European 2-Litre Sports Car Championship for Makes in 1970. With Swiss-based Swedish veteran Jo Bonnier, Lola's European agent, heading up the driving strength, it took all the might of Brian Redman to keep the 1,800cc Chevron (which had beaten Porsche 917s and T70s at some circuits) competitive in its second season. After the most exciting Group 6 confrontation in history, at the challenging Spa-Francorchamps circuit, Bonnier won the drivers' crown but Redman, by now in a hastily chopped-down B16 Spyder, did enough to earn Chevron manufacturers' honours.
    Austrian Helmut Marko won the Championship again in 1971 with the T210's T212 successor, helping Lola to the manufacturer's crown that year. The subsequent ultra-successful and extremely attractive T290 family of 2.0-litre sports cars (which evolved through T292, T294, T296 and T298 versions) kept Lola in the hunt in European championships and for class honours at Le Mans and in the USA. This T290 family of cars (and the closely related T280 series, powered by 3.0-litre Formula 1 Cosworth DFV V8 engines) are widely regarded as classics of production racing sports car design.
    Chassis number 'HU 1' was originally earmarked for experimental use housing a 3.0-litre Cosworth DFV V8 engine and later became one of Team Bonnier's spare cars. In May 1972 Jo Bonnier shared the car with Gérard Larrousse at the Nürburgring 1000km, where they finished 6th overall. Following Bonnier's tragic death during the 1972 Le Mans 24-Hour Race, 'HU 1' was exported by Team Bonnier to the USA only to return to Switzerland towards the end of 1973. It was used subsequently in some European Interserie races with a 2.0-litre engine installed.
    Some years later 'HU 1' was sold to former Team Bonnier engineer Franco Sbarro, who rebuilt the T290 in its original specification, complete with 3.0-litre DFV engine. After the rebuild the car was kept in storage and remained mainly unused until 1986 when it was purchased by Dutch collector Paul van Doom. Van Doom did not use the car, which was sold on in 1996 to French race preparation specialist Yvan Mahé who intended to restore it again but never found the time to do so. Ten years later, in 2007, 'HU 1' found a new owner who commissioned a 'ground upwards' restoration to early specification by the well known racing car specialists MecAuto in Belgium.
    In the course of restoration it was decided to retain some of the main chassis elements while rebuilding the roll bar structure and the tubular rear frame for safety reasons. All the parts that have been replaced come with the car. Entirely stripped and rebuilt without any cost limitations, 'HU 1' was completed in 2010 and is described as in absolutely perfect condition. All safety devices are new: two bag tanks, harnesses for HANS support, electric fire extinguisher, etc. The car is painted in period-correct Team Bonnier livery using the Lola colour code. The Cosworth DFV engine has been fully prepared by Geoff Richardson to sports car specification and is fresh apart from a 15-lap shakedown at Spa. Used for set-up purposes, those few installation laps showed the T290's potential, resulting in lap times good enough for a potential front row position in the CER race! The car comes with two sets of Lola BBS split-rim wheels as well as large folder of documentation containing customs papers dated 1973; a letter of authenticity from Lola UK dated 1990; FIA papers from 1994; current FIA HTP papers; as well as current crack-test and fuel cell certifications.
    Since restoration 'HU 1' has only covered the aforementioned shakedown mileage and is now presented for sale in fully race-prepared condition, ready for competitive racing in 2012. The Lola T290 is currently eligible for events as the Masters Series, CER and Orwell Supersports as well as the Le Mans Classic. Examples of the ultra-rare, period-correct DFV-engined Lola T290 come to the market only very infrequently and are keenly sought after when they do, which makes the opportunity to acquire this car one of exceptional significance for serious collectors. Spare T280-style bodywork is offered with the car.

Saleroom notices

  • The letter of authenticity from Lola UK is not present.
Contacts
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
The ex-Jo Bonnier, Gérard Larrousse,1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre Competition Spyder  Chassis no. HU 1 290 DFV
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