Lola Heritage

LOLA HERITAGE SCRAPBOOK

For years now, I have been investigating the histories of Lola T70s, in particular those that the Roger Penske Racing Team used in 1966 and 1967, in both the USRRC Championship and the then burgeoning Can Am Championship. One would think this would be a simple exercise; after all, one would only have to look at the Lola chassis records to see who they were sold to and-Bingo! there they would be.

Not so. Lola sold their products destined for the U.S.A. to their American agent who, in 1966 and 1967, was John Mecom, an oil tycoon from Houston, Texas. I've tried many times to find the records from John Mecom as to who he sold the various T70s that he bought from Lola to, but they appear not to exist any longer. The same is true of the Carl Haas's records. He became the U.S. Lola agent in 1968 but did not keep his records for this period either.

(Lola's Glyn Jones comments "In fact Carl Haas's historical records were inadvertently destroyed during a move to new premises, having been mistaken for rubbish!!").

Mark Donohue, Roger Penske's driver in 1966 and 1967, (he was joined in the 1967 Can Am season by George Folmer), co-wrote a wonderful book, (with Paul van Valkenburgh) in 1973-74, called: "The Unfair Advantage". In one chapter: "Lola T70", he described the team's experiences with the T70 roadsters and it is this book that I used initially, to attempt to identify the various T70s that passed through the team's hands. Now bear in mind that this account was written a mere six years after the events described and I think you'll agree that it should be a very good source record. It is in some ways. It is, in other ways, misleading. More on this later.

Luckily, the auto press of the day covered the Penske team in quite some detail. Two excellent sources include: Jon McKibben wrote a technical analysis of Penske Racing’s 1967 Lola T70 (Mk III & IIIB) for “CAR LIFE” (Jan 1968), complete with chassis photos, a cutaway drawing by Clarence LaTourette, and set-up specifications. Karl Ludvigsen wrote a summary of the first half of the 1967 Can-Am Series, which discussed all the major teams in some detail for "Corvette News". This article even noted the chassis numbers of the cars used in that year's Can Am season.
So to the story itself. In 1966, Roger Penske retired as a race driver and, at Walt Hansgen's funeral in 1966, offered Mark Donohue the job of driving for him in his newly acquired Lola T70 Mark II, that the Penske team had fitted with a big-block 427 cu. inch Chevrolet as their "unfair advantage." The car, or rather the 427 engine was, frankly, a disaster; It ran a wet sump oiling system and, no matter what the Chevrolet engineers did, they could not get their plumbing right and the engine kept running it's bearings.

The first race that Mark Donohue raced for the Penske Racing Team was the fourth race of the 1966 USRRC season, at St. Jovite, in Quebec, Canada. In "The Unfair Advantage", Mark Donohue recounted the oiling problems and how the engine gave up the ghost after he had spun the car and punctured the radiator. The next race was at Mosport and, they encountered the same problems with the oiling system; plus, after watching another competitor hit a flag-marshal, Donohue retired and Penske didn't argue. Donohue also told the team he thought that they should use the small block Chevrolet like everyone else, and that's exactly what the team did.

This paid off for, at the June 26th USRRC race at Watkins Glen, Mark qualified third. All went well in the race until Mark spun on gas spilt out of his fuel tank when the fuel cap sprung open. Trying to make up time, he came over a rise to find John Cannon’s Genie blocking the track, after it had spun. Mark hit it fair and square, the fuel cap sprung open again, and Woosh! The car went up in flames. Mark Donohue was burned, spending some time in the hospital.

The T70 was completely destroyed, Bill Preston of Sun Oil reporting that there was: "Nothing savable except perhaps the engine and gearbox". (I should be surprised if even the magnesium casing of the gearbox survived-Author) . Scratch one Lola T70. Karl Kainhofer, Mark Donohue's crew chief, still has the chassis plate from that car. Whilst I was on the 'phone to him one day, he went and got it and told me the number: SL73/21. SL71/21 MAY have been rebuilt by one of the Penske mechanics, "Murph" Mayberry, though this is uncertain as I write. It's Hewland LG500, gearbox, as noted down in the Lola records, was number LG500-48.
Whilst Mark Donohue was still in the hospital, Elmer Bradley of Sun Oil visited him and promised him that the oil company would purchase another T70 for Mark to race.

Penske Racing received a new car, fitted it with a Traco Chevrolet engine of 333 Cu. Inches, and first raced it at Kent, Washington on July 30 and won! Mark Donohue described the win as: "A hollow victory, though, because everyone else just fell down around us-and we moved up through attrition", it was nevertheless the team's first victory and re-energized the small team, which consisted of Roger Penke as Team Boss and Manager, Mark Donohue as driver, Karl Kainhofer as Donohue's Crew chief/mechanic and Norman Ahn as an extra mechanic and "gofer". Bill Scott was the team's multi talented fabricator.

According to Donohue's narrative, the Lola was then sent to Jim Hall's "Rattlesnake Raceway" in Texas for sorting and benchmarking for a week after the Kent, Washington race.

When it came back from Jim Hall's establishment, it sported a chin spoiler and a wing on the tail and had a bigger diameter swaybar at the rear to help to dial out some of the understeer that the T70 had suffered from.

On the 29th August, the team raced at Mid-Ohio but retired due to mechanical problems.

It is now that we come to the first big mystery in Donohue's narrative. He says that the team went tire testing at Riverside, California as Roger Penske had a contract with, and was a distributorship, for Firestone. Donohue states that, at this tire test, the Lola suffered severe accident damage after its brakes failed at turn seven.

Bill Preston, Sunoco's representative, told me that the team was experimenting with Airheart Sprint brakes, which were lighter than the original Girling calipers fitted. The team had tried them previously at Watkins Glen practice on the 26th June, but removed them for the race, reverting to the Girlings as the Airheart brakes did not work well, due to flexing of the bridge part of the calipers. Apparently, a brake line chafed through at Riverside and Donohue himself says that: "Naturally, I drove right off the turn, through the haybales, and through the chain-link fence. That was the end of Lola T70 number two. The tub was too badly bent to race anymore. I think that eventually we repaired it and sold it as a coffee table or a show car, but most of the other stuff off of it was used in Lola number three."

Bill Preston later recounted: "Last USRRC race in 1966 was 29th Aug at Mid-Ohio. We DNF but I don't remember why. Not gearbox." "Tire testing crash was 3 September. Say four days to repair whatever was wrong at Mid-Ohio and tow the car to Riverside."
Karl says that “the damage to the front of the car was minimal chassis-wise. It would have needed a new nose, which the team would have had.” He is certain it did not need a new tub.

Bill Preston remembered that: “I was there because our gear oil for the transaxle was failing and I flew to Riverside to try to take temperature of the gear oil by two different means."

The first 1966 Can-Am was at St. Jovite on 11 Sep. The team would have driven the car back to Newtown Square on the transporter, repaired it, and taken it to St. Jovite. They had a week to do that. The problem with this statement is that the first Can Am race took place on September 11th, as Bill says in his statement. If Donohue is correct in his assertion that the car was, to all intents and purposes, a write off, then at least another tub or car must have been bought by Penske's, in order to get the car ready for the Can Am season. Given that it would have taken at least a day's drive for the team to get from Philadelphia, their base, (and that's pushing it!) to Mont Tremblant in time for testing and qualifying, (September 9th at least), this scenario does not fit. It would have been quite impossible for the team to have trucked the damaged Lola from Riverside, California to Philadelphia, rebuilt the car, (around a new tub?) and then leave their team base by, at the latest, September 8th and get to Canada.

Incidentally, Karl Kainhofer remembers this (or a similar?) accident happening in 1967, not 1966, as does George Follmer and Bruce Burness, George Follmer's mechanic. Follmer was also at Riverside, testing his own, personal Lola T70 in the summer of 1967, along with Mark Donohue in the Penske T70. Of course, there may have been TWO Penske tire testing accidents, one in 1966 and one in 1967.

Mark Donohue continued the 1966 Can Am season, where he posted a win at Mosport, a second at Las Vegas and two thirds and a fourth.

In December, the team went to Nassau for the winter races and Mark won the main race to round out a moderately successful year.

This second Penske Lola is believed to be SL71/32, because:

It was sold to John Meyer in January, 1968, as an ex-Penske spyder with gearbox number LG500-48 and no chassis tag. Lola factory records matched SL71/32 with this gear-box. On the basis of this, Lola supplied the new owner with a duplicate chassis plate. Of course, there is then the question of what happened to SL71/32 whilst in the Penske Team's care in 1967?

We now come to what has been the most frustrating part of this story. In Mark Donohue's narrative, he says: "About all we did to start the 1967 series was update the old car to the latest Lola specifications in chassis and geometry".
Karl Kainhofer cannot remember starting the 1967 season with a new T70 but I believe that the team did; I believe that Penske Racing campaigned a total of five T70 spyders in 1966-67, despite Donohue’s assertion that there were only four. There is a very good reason for this rationale that we shall now explore.

I believe that Penske Racing bought SL71/47, a Mark 111 T70 less engine and gearbox, judging by the timing of it's invoice date, 7th April 1967.

Incidentally, the Lola records specify when the car was INVOICED to the buyer, not when it was built.

The last few T70 Mark IIs were sold from Lola in August/September 1966. Chassis numbers 45 and 46 were spare tubs sold to John Mecom and the very last "Mark II" car, SL71/48, was used in England by the Surtees team as a test-bed for the forthcoming Lola-Aston Martin T70 Mark III coupe. Naturally, that car had the Aston Martin V8 engine fitted, but with the new Hewland DG300 gearbox, which was usually used in Cosworth DFV engined F1 cars.

The factory have now confirmed that SL71/37 was the last Mark 11 built and so SL71/47 was one of the first Mark 111s built for racing in 1967.

A T70 Mark 111 can easily be distinguished from a Mark 11 from the front; the Mark 111 had a one-piece nose, whereas the Mark 11 had a two-piece nose. As well, the front fenders of a Mark 11 have a different shape to those of a Mark 111.

The strangest thing about SL71/47 is not it's numbering, however; it is the fact that it is down in the Lola records as having been sold to one Chris Renwick. Now I happen to know Chris Renwick. He was my partner when I first came to America in 1997. Chris is a good old-fashioned car salesman of some forty years experience, with an encyclopedic knowledge of Rolls Royce, Bentley, Vintage Mercedes Benz and Ferraris. When I asked Chris, years ago, about the Lola T70 that he had bought from Lola in 1967, he told me that he had never bought, nor owned, a T70! HOWEVER, he did tell me that he had worked on the Lola Stand at the Racing Car Show at Earls Court, London, in January 1967. I can only believe that this is where his name has crept into the Lola records. Exactly how, we shall probably never know.

What is certain is that today, a T70 spyder with claims to being an ex-Penske T70 has a cut up chassis plate saying: "SL71/47" and the chassis plate looks genuine.
Do bear in mind that racing for these Group 7 "Big Bangers" had ceased in England and Europe at the end of 1966. Formula 2 races had taken their place, more's the pity and so Lola had really only the United States for a market left for the T70 line.

On 30th October, I received confirmation of Penske's getting a new T70 for the 1967 USRRC from Norman Ahne, who had been consulting his old records from his period with Penske Racing. Norman wrote: "Karl, Scotty, Al Holbert and I were preparing the USRRC car (now assumed to be SL71/32) for the St. Jovite Can-Am. It was not a new chassis but the rebuild of the 1966 USRRC car, so I agree that the Riverside wreck was in '67."

"My photos clearly show that the '66 car had a two piece front body, while the '67 USRRC (71-47) had a one piece nose body.

The '66 nose had vents on top of the fenders for the west-coast races and thereafter."

"I agree with your chronology
:

(71-32) '66 USRRC, CanAm, NASSAU, Sold to John Mayer in 1968.

(71-47) '67 USRRC, Riverside test wreck, Dismantled - plate cut, Sold to John Marr in March, 1969.

(73-126) '67 CanAm for Folmer, Sold to Jerry Hansen in November, 1967."

"I went through my Competition Press collection and found the following: 2-11-67(11th February). Late News, "Sun Oil is thinking of retaining Mark Donohue full time. They've bought a new Lola and will go for the USRRC crown".

In 1967, Mark Donohue, won five out of the seven USRRC races; He placed third at Laguna Seca and the last race that he ran was at Kent, where he clinched the Championship on the 18th July. The Penske team was a "no-show" at Road America for the two-driver race there on 30th July. At the last race of the USRRC season, at Mid Ohio on the 20th August, Donohue debuted the team's new "lightweight" Mark IIIb, (SL75/124) and won again!

Incidentally, one very easy way to tell one Penske T70 from another in photos is the rear wing. In 1966 there was just a tacked-on spoiler at the rear of the engine deck; in 1967, the team added small fins to the top of the rear fenders and mounted the wing above the tail, thus raising it into the airstream, where it was probably more effective than the previous years' lower mounted spoiler.

The 1967 Can Am season started on September 3rd and, at the first race at Road America the new McLarens arrived in the hands of Bruce himself and Denny Hulme. They cleaned everyone's clocks, lapping up to two seconds a lap faster than the Lolas had done in the USRRC race there only weeks earlier. Donohue did well to finish second in his new Mark IIIb, (SL75/124), and Follmer, a new recruit for the Penske team was 18th, driving Mark Donohue's "old" USRRC car, according to some contemporary accounts.

So what had happened to SL71/47 after the last USRRC race it ran at Kent on the 18th July and the opening of the Can Am season on September 3rd?

Sometime in between the 18th July and the end of August, (but probably the week commencing 19th July), SL71/47 was (apparently), badly damaged in a tire testing accident at Riverside, (see Corvette News, Vol 11. number 2), and was re-chassied with tub number SL73/126.

Now SL71/47, has signs of frontal damage to its front bulkhead, which were revealed when the car was stripped for inspection; The current owner, Pat Ryan, told me that the front bulkhead, being steel, had obviously been straightened at some time in its early life.

(Incidentally, It should be pointed out that the Lola factory numbered ALL their chassis with separate chassis plates, whether built up as actual cars, or used as "spares".)

SL71/47 is documented, through a bill of sale that I have seen, as being sold from Penske's team headquarters on March 29th, 1969 to John Marr, who kept it for several years before selling it to Nick Engles. I have spoken to both gentlemen and both remember having owned it. John Marr distinctly remembers seeing the car at the New York Auto Show and talking to Mark Donohue on the phone after seeing an Ad in, he thinks, "Autoweek" for the Lola. John Marr remembers Mark Donohue telling him that the Lola was: "raced just a few times by George Follmer. Follmer crashed the car, it was then retired" and later used as a show car in the 1969 New York Auto Show". John Marr then recalls going to Philadelphia from New York, following Donohue in his "hot rodded 1967 Camaro" and ending up at the team's headquarters, where he viewed, and then bought, the car.

All these T70s, and more, are attributed to having ex-Penske Racing histories and all of them are accounted for in later life.
At Mosport, for the Can Am race on the 22nd September, 1967, Folmer crashed his T70 in practice when the tail came off. The car spun until it hit a lamp post right side on and the impact severely damaged the right side sponson, plus damaging the rest of the tub, though not as severely. Overnight the team repaired the bent chassis by straightening, (as much as possible), and riveting on a new, hand-formed piece around the rear of the fuel sponson, flew in new bodywork, fitted and painted it. The next day, George Follmer drove her to sixth place overall. This was a fantastic achievement, considering that it was later on found that the car was an inch shorter on the right than the left! That must have made the handling interesting, to say the least.

In later years, (26/10/93), Bill Scott, Penske's principal fabricator, signed a photograph of the crash damage on SL71/47, with the notatation: "This appears to be the Penske T70 Lola crashed by Follmer at Mosport in 1967".

There were just three races remaining in the 1967 Can Am season after Mosport. By this time, the new McLarens had shown that the T70 was a spent force in topline Sports car racing. The decision was taken to repair as much as possible of the Folmer T70 back at base and finish off the races.

Roger Bailey, Chris Amon's mechanic, had joined Penke in September, 1967 from England, in order to run Follmer's car with Al Holbert as his assistant.

I interviewed Roger recently and he was emphatic that the car was never re-chassied whilst he was there. However, Roger was the crew chief for this car at the races; it's possible that he was not in the Penske race preparation shop when the car was rebuilt.

Of course, the car MAY have already been rebuilt around a new tub after the July tire-tire testing accident, (SL73/126 according to Karl Ludvigsen's piece in "Corvette News"), before Roger started working for Penske Racing in August.

Also: The old 1966 car, SL71/32, was not sold by Penske's until January 1968. So why didn't the team use this car for Follmer's last three races?

Karl Kainhofer says that the team's shop: "Was too small, really. We were still in the old shop then and there was barely room to get the two Can Am Lolas in there. I don't know where that old T70 went." It's possible that SL71/32 was used in 1967 as a show car in one or more of Roger Penske's Chevrolet dealerships.

Karl Ludvigsen, the noted historian, was writing for "Corvette News" (Volume 11, Number 2), in 1967 and covered the Can Am season.

The salient points are:

1: The Editor says: "Karl only covered detail during the first three Can Am events-Elkhart, Bridgehampton and Mosport...."

2: Moving on to the piece about the Penske team, Ludvigsen states: "Penske purchased new armamant for Mark for 1967 in the form of a Mark III Lola and sharpened his sights in a series of races for the USRRC, which Donohue totally dominated" So again, confirmation of a new T70 for the 1967 USRRC, presumably SL71/47.

3: "For Donohue's use in the 1967 Can Am events, Penske installed this Traco prepared 427 engine,...in one of the three new lightweight Lolas built by Eric Broadley this year, chassis number SL73/124". (He got this slightly wrong; We know that this was SL75/124).

4: "The Sunoco/Penske strategy included not one but two Lolas for the Can-Am campaign. ROGER HAD PLANNED TO USE THE SAME CAR THAT DONOHUE HAD DRIVEN IN THE USRRC EVENTS AS A BACK-UP MACHINE, A SCHEME WHICH RECEIVED A MILD SETBACK WHEN THE CAR WAS EXTENSIVELY DAMAGED IN TIRE TESTS FOR FIRESTONE-For whom Penske is a major Eastern distributor."

5: "ROGER ORDERED A NEW FRAME PUNT FROM LOLA, SERIAL NUMBER SL73/126, AND REBUILT THE AUTOMOBILE AROUND IT IN THE IMMACULATE MANNER THAT HAS BECOME TYPICAL OF THE SUNOCO BACKED CARS. Used on the re-manufactured Lola was the beautifully drilled lightweight cowl arch hand-crafted by talented Sun Oil machinist Bill Scott."

So we have a confusing scenario and I think there are two possible solutions:

Solution 1: I don't think Ludvigsen visited the Penske shop in 1967 for a personal inspection of the T70s used; I think he got all his information from a phone call to the shop, probably speaking to Mark Donohue.

Mark Donohue, (or whoever Ludvigsen spoke to), had the paperwork on the chassis numbers on his desk and gave those to Ludvigsen at the time; By that time, (after Mosport), the Penske crew had already rebuilt (the presumptive) SL71/47 around chassis number SL73/126, the new chassis punt from Lola.

…Although neither Karl Kainhofer nor Roger Bailey remember rebuilding SL71/47 around a new chassis but:

a: Karl also doesn't remember the team getting a new Mk III at the beginning of 1967 and:- and Roger didn’t arrive as a Penske Racing employee until after the presumed re-chassis project in late July/early August.

b: All this took place almost forty years ago.

Unless SL71/47 was NOT re-chassised after Mosport.

c: Ludvigsen's article also says that, during the Mosport race: "The car was obviously not 100%" I just cannot believe that the Penske team would have allowed a car that was not as good as they could get it, to race again without serious repairs.

This would tie in with Donohue's words to John Marr when he sold him the old, damaged chassis show car. For a team like Penske, I estimate that it would only have taken them five days at most to re-chassis a Lola T70 and to have it ready for the next race. Mosport was on September 23rd, so say two days to drive back to base, there on September 25th. The next race was at Laguna Seca on October 15th. The team would have had to leave Pennsylvania by, say, October 7th to get there in time for practice and qualifying. Twelve days at base. Ample time for such an experienced crew.

Perhaps Karl Ludvigesn was given wrong information on just why the car was rebuilt around a new chassis, ("Tire testing accident") and that he must have called the team's headquarters just before they left for Laguna Seca.

Solution 2: Against the above, we have Karl Ludwigsen's documented period evidence that it was SL73/126 that Follmer drove in the 1967 Can Am season and yes, he did crash his Lola T70 at Mosport, as we have seen.

After the Can Am series was over, on November 12th 1967 at Las Vegas, the car was totally stripped down and sold to Jerry Hansen. His mechanic, Scotty Beckett, drove to Pennsylvania and re-assembled it in three days at the Penske Team headquarters, (Interview with Scotty Beckett-Author), so that Hansen could take part in, and win, the SCCA run-offs at Daytona on November 26 th. Hansen not only won, he set a new, closed course speed record at 194.6 mph. Scotty remembered that the chassis was: "Not new-it had obviously been used already."

After Jerry Hansen's short time with SL73/126, he sold it to Dick Kantrud, who inserted a big block Chevrolet engine into it and campaigned it in the Can Am and local races for several years with success, before selling her to Mark Broin.

By 1973, SL73/126 was with Greg Granum in Minnesota and I purchased the dismantled car from him in March, 2006. He had dismantled the T70 in the late 1970s, intending to “restore” the car as a coupe, but never getting around to it.

One final conundrum: Mark Donohue writes in "The Unfair Advantage" that there were FOUR Lola T70 Spyders, (Roadsters) in the Penske team in 1966/67. If we count SL73/126 as a chassis only, to rebuild a car crashed in 1967), that could be correct. If SL73/126 is counted as a car in it's own right, there were five Lola T70 spyders.

I haven't written much about Donohue's 1967 Mark IIIb lightweight, SL75/124. That is because there is no conjecture about it's history.

All the Penske team cars histories are below. Their ownership history has been checked and documented. In summary, a fascinating story of attempt and achievement by the new Roger Penske Racing Team. Even in adversity, they displayed the "Can go another mile" attitude that is so necessary in racing, (and life!) to become the success that they have become over the years. Roger Penske has richly deserved his reputation but, I venture to suggest that he would not have achieved so much had he not had the talents of people like Mark Donohue, Karl Kainhofer, Norman Ahne, Bill Preston, George Follmer, Roger Bailey, Al Holbert, Bill Scott, Roger Fournier and the rest of the crew behind him.

Chassis Record

SL71/21.

10/1/66: Sold to John Mecom with LG500-43 gearbox.

The first T70 sold to Roger Penske for Mark Donohue. Big block Chevrolet 427 cu.ins.

1966:

29/5: St. Jovite, FIA race. 427 Chevrolet. Donohue; Spun, punctured radiator, engine damaged.

04/6: Mosport. Donohue; Rebuilt engine. DNF.

26/6: Watkins Glen, USRRC: Donohue; Qualified 3rd, crashed and burned out in USRRC race.

SL71/32.

Sold to John Mecom on 5/7/66 with:

Gearbox No: LG500-48.

Assumed to be Delivered to R. Penske Racing: (His second T70).

1966:

USRRC Season.

30/7: Kent, Washington, USRRC: Donohue;1st O.A.

29/8: Mid-Ohio. USRRC: Donohue; DNF.

03/9: Riverside tests: Firestone testing accident.

1966:

Can Am Season.

September 11: Can-Am. Mont Tremblant-St Jovite: Donohue, #6; DNF.

September 18: Can-Am. Bridgehampton: Donohue, #6; 5th.

September 24: Can-Am. Mosport. Canadian G.P, #6; Donohue; 1st.

October 16: Can-Am. Laguna Seca: Donohue, #61; 4th.

October 30: Can-Am. Riverside: Donohue, #61; 4th.

October: North West Pacific G.P: Donohue; RU.

November 13: Can-Am. Las Vegas. Stardust G.P. .Las Vegas: Donohue, #61; 3rd.

?/12: Nassau: Donohue; 1st.

1968:

January: Sold to John Meyer from Connecticut who raced the car in SCCA and Can-Am races in late 1960's. Won SCCA 1967/8/9 ‘A’ Championship. 1st at Mount Equinox hillclimb.

1970:

Sold to Philip Vanscoy- Smith. Still retained Sunoco blue paintwork.

1971:

Sold to Present owner, Jim Glickenhaus. (The chassis tag was not with the car when sold, it's identity was checked with Lola via the gearbox fitted).

The present owner got the set up papers from Penske Racing and John Meyer when he bought the car. There was no chassis plate, that was sent by Lola cars later on.

(where is the chassis plate? Has it surfaced on another chassis?)

Jim Hall saw it at Goodwood in 1998-Said he put the spoiler on it in 1966.

Eno Di Pasquale, Lola mechanic,.remembered it as being: “Car used by Donohue, I was present when it was being sold to John Meyer”.

Re-bodied with coupe bodywork. Blue. Used on the road.

SL71/47.

7/4/67: Sold to Chris Renwick. No engine or Gearbox supplied.

(was this the Lola showcar for the International Racecar show in England?)

Chris Renwick, when consulted, reported that he had never ordered, nor taken delivery of, nor ever sold a T70!

This car, according to Lola factory records, was flown to America. Presumably sold to Roger Penske Racing. (See article).

There is sufficient evidence to believe that Penske Racing had a Mark III for the 1967 USRRC: magazine reports, press releases, photographs etc.

Donohue's 1967 USRRC winner. 350 cu.in. Chevrolet with aluminium block installed with steel heads and 58 m.m. sidedraught weber carburettors. LG 600 Gearbox. Blue and Yellow.

1967:

USRRC Championship.

23/4: Stardust Raceway, Las Vegas. USRRC. Donohue. 1st.

30/4: Riverside, USRRC. Donohue. 1st.

07/5. Laguna Seca, USRRC. Donohue. 3rd.

21/5: Bridgehampton. USRRC. Donohue. 1st.

25/6: Watkins Glen G.P. USRRC. Donohue. 1st.

18/7: Pacific Raceways. USRRC. Donohue. 1st.

Late July: Presumed to be crashed during Firestone tire-test at Riverside.

1967:

Can Am history.

03/9: Elkhart Lake. Can-Am Round 1. Qualified in 2:15.7 4th on grid. Traco Chevrolet 359 cu.in. motor for race. Follmer; 18th O.A.

17/9: Bridgehampton. Can-Am 327 engine. Follmer 2nd row on grid, 3rd.

23/9: Mosport. LG500 gearbox. 12" rear, 10" front wheels. Qualified 7th. Crashed in practice, repaired with "major patch" on tub. Follmer; 6th O.A.in race.

SL71/47 was then used as a show car in 1968.

1969:

Shown at New York Auto show in January.

1969:

Sold in March to John Marr.

1976:

May. Sold to Nick Engles.

Sold to Rich Dejarald.

Sold to Chuck Haines.

1986:

9/6: Sold to Jim Oppenheimer.

Sold to Clarence Catallo.

1995:

Sold to Rick McLean.

1996:

Sold to present owner, Pat Ryan. A cut up chassis tag showig SL71/47 was with the documentation that he received when he bought the car.

SL75/124.

Sold to Penske in June 1967. Delivered 2/8/67 to Penske Racing for Mark Donohue to drive in that year's Can-Am. Chevrolet engine. Gearbox no LG600-16. Blue and Yellow.

1967:

USRRC

20/8: Mid-Ohio. 427 Chevrolet. Donohue; 1st.

Can Am.

03/9: Road America 200, Elkhart Lake. 427 Chevrolet. Donohue 5th in practice, Small block 327 Chevrolet used in race, 2nd O.A.

17/9: Bridgehampton. 327 Chevrolet. Donohue.7th in practice. DNF. Engine blew.

23/9: Mosport. Donohue; 17th in practice after crash. 427 engine, DNF.

15/10: Monterey G.P. Laguna Seca. Donohue;10th in practice DNF when engine blew.

29/10: L.A. Times G.P. Riverside. Donohue.# 16; 10th in practice. 3rd

12/11: Stardust G.P. Las Vegas: Donohue; 6th in practice, led race till ran out of fuel at end. 2nd.

End of 1967 or early 1968:

Sold to Shelby.

First three races of 1968 Can Am season by Ronnie Bucknum.

Road America: R. Bucknum, #32; 17th.

Bridgehampton: R. Bucknum, #31; 17th.

Edmonton: R. Bucknum, #31; DNF.

Sold to the Agapiou Brothers, 427 Ford installed.

15/10: Laguna Seca Can-Am; Follmer. 8th in practice, DNF. Crash. # 16.

27/10:Riverside Can-Am: Follmer; # 16; 22nd in practice, DNF.

10/11: Las Vegas Can-Am. Stardust Raceway. Follmer. # 16; .2nd.

1975:

Sold to unknown owner(s) in Yucca Flats, San Bernadino, Cal. Car was sent to Randy Berry for conversion to Mark 111b Coupe bodywork.

1976:

Sold to Jerry Shoeberries, Oakland, Cal.

1977:

Sold to Larry Crossen, Sacramento, Cal.

1978:

Installed roll bar and ran Rose Cup SCCA Nationals Portland Historic and Monterey Historic.

1978:

Sold to Tom Black of Portland, Oregon.

1979:

Sold to Bill Prout/Collier Museum. Competed in Sebring historic race.

1979:

Sold to Miles Collier, Palm Beach, Fla.

1982:

Sold to Skip Gunnell, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He restored the tub in 1984. The car had Mark 3b coupe bodywork. British Racng Green.

1996:

Skip Gunnell has had the car restored back to its original Spyder configuration complete with all Penske features and paint scheme. It took part in the 30th anniversary of the Can Am series at Elkhart Lake in 1996.

2002:

Upon Skip Gunnel’s death, the car was put up for sale.

2003: Sold to Pat Hogan.

SL73/126

J. Mecom.

Sold to Penske Racing.

Spare monocoque to Penske Racing in August 1967. Car built up to replace the car Follmer damaged at Mosport in September 1967.

1967:

15/10: Monterey G.P. Laguna Seca. Follmer;12th in practice. 3rd O.A.

29/10: L.A. Times G.P. Follmer; 12th in practice. # 16. 6th O.A.

12/11: Stardust G.P. Las Vegas. Follmer; 12th in practice, DNF. #16.

Sold to Jerry Hansen in 1967, (Hansen eventually won 27 SCCA “run-off” titles)

26/11/67 American Road Race of Champions at Daytona - speed records at 194.6mph. Unbeaten in SCCA competition, with 5 victories.

Sold to Dick Kantrud in August 1968 who took out the smallblock engine and replaced it with a big block Chevrolet with Penske dry-sump oiling system, plus he also installed larger wheels and tyres. Bigger rollcage.

1968:

American Race of Champions: finished 4th (Hansen was 1 st in ex-McLaren/ex-Donohue McLaren 6A)

31/8/1969: Can Am:: Elkhart Lake: R. Kantrud, #97; 13th.

1970:

30/8: Elkhart Lake: R. Kantrud, #97; DNF. Engine.

27/09/70: Donnybrooke Can-Am – finished 14th

16/6/1971: Sold to Mark Broin

29/8/71 Road America Can-Am , Leigh Gardner – DNS

17/9/72 Donnybrooke Can-Am, Leigh Gardner - DNS

Large rear wing added.

30/8/1972: Sold to Greg Granum.

Restored to original specification with 5 liter Bartz Chevrolet, 48 IDA Weber carburetors, original aerodynamic package, etc.

11/8/74 Mid- Ohio: Howie Fairbanks, #95: Qualified 25 th DNS

25/8: Elkhart Lake: H. Fairbanks, #95; qualified 24 th, finished 11th.

Car dismantled in 1976 for coupe conversion. (which was never completed)

2006:

Sold via John Starkey to Marc Devis (March)then sold to Bill Thumel (August?). Under restoration.

NOTE: SL75/125 has been claimed as a Penske team car in recent years. To my knowledge, this is inaccurate.

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