Nigel Mansell, Lola T570, leading the Ralt of
Ian Flux at Thruxton in 1977.
 
Lola began life in 1958 and since then have built cars for just about every formula there is, whether sports car or single seater. Founder Eric Broadley entered the world of motorsport in 1954 as a driver of a 750 Formula car at Silverstone, just two years later he built his first car, called Lola, it was an 1172 Formula car and was immediately successful. The following year work began on a 1100cc sports-racing car, again it was very successful and the requests for replicas was such that at the end of 1958 Broadley quit his job as a builder and began work as a racing car constructor with the Lola Mk1. By 1962 Lola were producing F1 cars for John Surtees and the Bowmaker GP team and the 1963 Lola GT was the father of the fabulous Ford GT40 (on which Broadley did early development work). Soon came the superb Lola T70 sports car, Surtees winning the 1966 CanAm series with one whilst in the same year Graham Hill won the Indy 500 in a T90.
For many years after Lola would continue to win all over the world in sports cars, CART, F Ford, in just about every formula there seemed to be a Lola competing. Trouble eventually hit Lola when Reynard made heavy inroads into their CART monopoly, sports car racing was in the doldrums and Broadley decided to have one more crack at F1. Although Lola had tried F1 on a number of occasions it was always effectively as a supplier of cars to other teams and Broadley wanted to do the job as a full Lola works team. Unfortunately it was a total disaster , the cars appeared at one race, Brazil 1997, where they were hopelessly off the pace and the whole mess nearly ruined Lola. Broadley stepped down and the company was bought by Irish entrepreneur Martin Birrane who has effectively turned Lola around and they are once again a force to be reckoned with. In 2003 Loal returned to F3 in conjunction with the Japanese company Dome producing a car that was immediately on a par with the all-conquering Dallaras.
 
   
   
Bill Bradley in the T53 at Monaco.

Only one T53 was built and it was in fact a F Junior Mk5A converted by Lola to the new F3 regulations, powered by a BMC engine it was used by the Midland Racing Partnership. No results of any consequence were achieved other than a third at Rouen.

 
   
 
1965's offering was the dual-purpose T60, it was a monocoque destined for both F2 and F3, the suspension contained large amounts of anti-dive and anti-squat. The F2 version had some reasonable results, notably in the hands of John Surtees and Frank Lythgoe had a F3 version built for Mike Beckwith who secured a win at Monza in 1966 although, generally, results were not outstanding.
 
   
 
The T62 was again a design intended for F2 and F3 and was a conventional monocoque car but it would seem that no F3 versions were built (but see 1969). The 1965 T60 was still used by several drivers with Mike Beckwith and Eric Offenstadt taking three early season wins but as the season progressed the T60's fortunes waned. It seemed that Lola's success with their other cars, notably the T70 sports car and the T90 Indianapolis car meant that their interest in F3 came to an end for the rest of the decade.
 
   
 

During 1967 entry lists/results showed both a T63 (for Ian Ashley and Boley Pittard) and a T64 (for Michel Dagorne) racing, this would seem to be an error and these F3 type numbers did not exist. The most likely explanation is that the T63 was in fact T60/3 and T64 was T60/4.

Thanks to Glyn Jones of Lola Heritage for the additional information.

 
   
 

In 1969 Guy Edwards raced a 1966 T62 in several UK F3 races, since there is no record of a T62 previously racing as a F3 car this is likely to be a converted F2 chassis (possibly one of the ex-Frank Williams F2 cars?).

 
   
 
The T240 was announced as the Lola chassis for junior formulae for 1971, it could be used in F2, F3 and Formula B. It comprised of a new monocoque with outboard suspension, double wishbones at the front, lower reversed wishbones with fixed length driveshafts and radius rods at the rear. The angular fuel tanks were low slung, well back in the wheelbase. In the end a solitary F2 chassis was completed that was raced once by Helmut Marko, no F3 or FB cars were built. Ironically the monocoque was used as the basis for T330, the very successful F5000 car of 1972.
 
   
 
Following on from the T240 was the T242, basically just an update of the previous years car. As before no F3 versions were made, in this case the only completed cars were for FB.
 
   
   
The T360 on display.

There seems to have been some confusion over the Lola type numbering as the car on the left shown at the January 1973 Racing Car Show was listed as a T360 for use as a F3, FB, F Atlantic chassis. This would make the type number higher than the 1975 F3 type number. Also the T360 is listed as the 74/75 Atlantic car (see below).

Whatever, from the airbox and wheel sizes this would clearly seem to be a F3 chassis even if it didn't race in this guise.

 
   
   
Robert Joubert's T350.
Information on the T350 is scarce, it seems to have been tested by South African Robert Joubert. It appeared at the first championship race of the season at Thruxton but non-started through engine problems, it is not clear whether it raced again. In the middle of May Joubert announced he was quitting F3 and converting the chassis to F Atlantic to race it in Canada. From appearances it was from the same family as the T360 which was the 1974/5 F Atlantic car, one of which was converted to F2 spec and raced a couple of times by Ted Wentz.
 
   
 
Lola's 1976 F3 offering, the T470, seemed to follow the past trend of Lola in F3, it hardly set the world alight. Based on the T450 F2 chassis, it consisted of a three quarter monocoque with a tubular sub frame to take the engine, suspension was narrow track and outboard. It only appeared on a few occasions when it was driven by Patrick Bardinon, at Monaco he didn't even start as he was so far down the grid, his best result was an 8th place at Thruxton.
 
   
   
Ian Ashley in the works T570.

Side view of the Nigel Mansell T570.
Based on the T550, the 1977 F2 car, it had a front radiator and full-width nose cone, it had a longer wheelbase than the T470 but the front track was narrower. Mike Blanchet carried out extensive testing, joined at the end of the season by Nigel Mansell who had raced a private car during the year actually managing to get it up to 4th place at Silverstone in October. Four cars were sold but results were disappointing.
 
   
   
Mike Blanchet tests the T670 at Silverstone in September 1975.
Tommy "Slim" Borgudd in his Toyota powered T670.
The T670 was a new design but it leant heavily on the lessons learnt from the development of the T570. It retained the full-width nose cone and front radiator whilst the front and rear track were narrower. Mike Blanchet managed a 5th place in the works example and Arie Luyendijk managed some top 6 places in Europe, but he used a Chevrolet Vega engine which weren't considered competitive and the chassis was thought to be overweight.
 
   
   
The T770 in the Lola workshop.
 
Mike Blanchet testing the T770 at Paul Ricard where
it is fitted with sliding skirts, worryingly the skirts appeared to be taped up which implies they weren't working as intended.
Two F3 cars were built for 1979, the T672 and the T770 which may well point to how confused Lola were becoming about F3.
The T672 was a simple update of the previous year's T670 and apparently no improvement at all, although Blanchet managed a 4th place at Silverstone in October in a weak field of 8 finishers.
T770 was Lola's attempt at ground effect with its chisel nose and wings, sidepods and sliding skirts. The monocoque was a fuselage type with side radiators, a sub frame was fitted to take the Chevrolet Vega engine, the suspension was by inboard rockers front and rear. Compared to the T670 the wheelbase was a little shorter with increased front and rear track. Lola generally seemed to have problems with ground effect and despite extensive testing with Mike Blanchet the only car that appeared was driven by Phillipe Alliot who wrote his example off early in the season at Donington and didn't bother to replace it.
 
   
   
Mike Blanchet bouncing off the kerbs on his
way to 3rd place at Silverstone.
Sliding skirts were banned for 1980 and the T770 was run without them. The disappointing Vega engine was dropped in favour of a Toyota unit, the car was called a T770/2 and suddenly things took a dramatic turn for the better. Blanchet took the car to 3rd in its first race and improved this to 2nd the following week. Fate then took a hand and the team running the car hit financial problems and the car was only seen sporadically for the rest of the year. Just as Lola finally seemed to get the hang of F3 they quit, no F3 more cars were raced, F1 and F3000 were calling and Lola turned to those apparently greener pastures.
 
   
Johnny Dumfries testing the T870 at Snetterton.
Lola had one more look at F3 with the T870, it was tested in mid-1983 and Lola announced it would race once it was fully competitive. It never raced which implies it wasn't ready to take on the Ralt RT3 head to head. That was Lola's last F3 car for 20 years until the creation of the Lola-Dome (q.v.).
 
Drivers  
   
1964

Mk53
Bill Bradley
.

Mk5A
Jacques Clemente, Jean-Claude Franck, Dieter Mantzel, Eric Offenstadt.

Mk5
Andrea de Adamich, David Baker, Tommy Bunn, William Caiger, Len Selby.

Mk3
Josef Hecht, Klaus Miersch, August Rösner.

Mk2
Tony Goodwin.

?
Richard Höhfeld, Chuck Jones, Jean-Pierre Muller, Heinrich Oestreich, Giuseppe Polistena, Josef Schnitzer.

   
1965

T60
Mike Beckwith, Eric Offenstadt.

Mk5A
Andrea de Adamich, Jean Bruyére, Georg Duneborn, Jean-Pierre Muller, Antonio Peixinho, Paul Pellero, Claude Sitrakian.

Mk5
Claude Sitrakian.

Mk3
Ralph Buschaus de Laforest.

?
Pierre Derré, Sten-Olof Gunnasson, J-C Muller, Ernst Schelble, Hasse Sjostedt, Yngve Wallin.

   
1966

T60
Mike Beckwith, Eric Offenstadt, Luigi Petri, Giorgio Pianta, Steve Thompson.

Mk5A
Ted Reece, Georges Taquet.

Mk3
Karl Starke.

?
Dieter Braun, Stig Dahlman, Lothar Ranft, Yngve Wallin.

   
1967

T60 (see 1967 above)
Ian Ashley, Michel Dagorne, Pierre/Philippe Marchesi, Boley Pittard, Steve Thompson.

Mk3
Karl Starke.

?
Mario Acquati, Mac Daghorn, Daniel Gache.

   
1968 ?
Göran Porander.
   
1969

T62
Guy Edwards.

?
Klaus Tenbensel.

   
1975 T350
Robert Joubert.
   
1976

T470
Patrick Bardinon.

   
1977 T570
George Aposkitis, Ian Ashley, Nigel Mansell.
   
1978 T670
Walter Baltisser, Roland Bitterlin, Mike Blanchet, Tommy "Slim" Borgudd, Fredy Eschenmoser, Arie Luyendijk.
   
1979

T770
Phillipe Alliot.

T672
Roland Bitterlin, Mike Blanchet.

T670
Mike Blanchet, Beat Blatter, Fredy Eschenmoser, Edy Kobelt, Max F. Welti.

   
1980

T770/2
Mike Blanchet.

?
Jean-Pierre Lebet, Pierre-Alain Lombardi.

   
1981

T570
Jean-Pierre Trachsel.

T672
Jean-Pierre Lebet, Pierre-Yves Meinen.

   
1982

T672
Robert Simac.

T670
Jean-Pierre Trachsel.

   
1983 ?
Christian Nenning, Walter Pedrazza.
   
1984 ?
Roland Dupasquier.