Lola Heritage

LOLA HERITAGE SCRAPBOOK

Lola T142 SL142/36 was completed on 25th February 1969 and delivered shortly afterwards to the ‘Alan Fraser Racing’ team. The Team had hired Tony Lanfranchi to drive in the inaugural season of Formula 5000 but their plans were thrown into chaos when Tony suffered serious injuries in a road accident just a couple of weeks before the first race. With all the top drivers signed up elsewhere the car made it’s debut at the Good Friday meeting at Oulton Park with club racer Keith Holland driving and finished a creditable third. The Team were delighted.

The good start to the season got better and better with second and first place finishes at the next two rounds. Whitsun Holiday at Brands yielded only a third place and as the season progressed the Team would find that to be the limit of their capability. However fourth in the Rothmans F5000 Championship was a good result for a non works team.
1970 saw a downturn in form as newer cars entered the Formula 5000 arena. Five times the Team managed a top six position but Keith Holland had seen the writing on the wall and left after round 12. Replacement driver Ray Calcutt could manage no better than 8th in the remaining races with a 12th place overall in the Championship.

In the 1970/71 closed season the car was sold to Harry Linney and onwards to Bob Miller and finally John Bowtell. Using a Charles Lucas built Chevrolet engine Bowtell entered only two races during ’71, failing to finish either. 1972 was not much kinder with seven race starts yielding a best finish of 9 th and five retirements.

Clearly outclassed by contemporary cars T142/36 was retired from F5000 duty and given a more relaxed existence in Formula Libre. (Whatever happened to Formula Libre races?)
As is often the case such beautiful and mighty cars are discarded and become a dilapidated shadow of their former selves.

Thank goodness Roger Deans fell in love with SL142/36. Roger has completed a loving restoration of the car that he now uses in speed hillclimbs. The car is pictured at the Shelsley Walsh event on 9th September 2006.

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