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A colourful Lola T490/492

Thought some of you would like to read about my heavily modified Lola T492 S2000 car, now a Sports Libre hillclimb car.

First the history:

After a full 18 months of careful internet based/emails/phone calls activity I have spoken to all but 2 people involved in the car; of the missing two, one is sadly dead, and the other is the real Invisible Man….

The car started life as T490 HU6, Ted Toleman bought and raced it with several other ‘quick guys’ before selling to Tony Dickinson who promptly dropped a 2-litre Hart in it, March suspension and a Skoda body! This was Tony’s third Skoda machine for ThunderSports in the early 80’s.

Tony sold the car complete to Harry Humberstone for son Alan to drive. Sadly Alan did and crashed the car badly at Lydden Hill in about 1985.

The car wreckage was re-built using a T492, much of the rolling stock was ok, but a new pink Karmann Ghia body was dropped over the car by Tony Harman (later to be Haggispeed) and John Schneider for Alan.

Alan raced it just once at Brands Hatch and the car was sold to Brian Davies of Autoquip, stored for many years, but the body was smashed while resting!

In 2004 Mike Ingles bought the semi-restored car off Brian. His aim was a hillclimb car with a Cossie turbo engine/Hewland FT200 etc and a nice new T492 body. Mike lost interest, and in 2008 I bought the rolling shell.

IF ANYONE KNOWS ABOUT AN S2000 FOR SALE IN 1986 IN HERNE BAY, please contact me! (See bottom of the page)

To the car:

Here is the rolling chassis I bought off Mike:
I bought the car for hillclimbing, a sport I’ve done for about 18 years in my trusty 911 Porsche. It therefore seemed ‘natural’ to fit a 3200cc flat 6 engine and box into this very small car, a mini Porsche 908 Targa Florio if you like.

Work started in Oct 2008 in earnest, and after a lot of DIY in a cold garage, the car had its engine in:
This was far from plain sailing as everything had to be made bespoke to get it all in, but I got there by June 2009. The testing did not go too badly, but the car seemed very nervous indeed, it had just 1st and 2nd gears, brakes were bad, the clutch did not work well, and I was not too happy….

I raced it for the first time at my Club's own hillclimb, Loton Park where it went sort of OK, bit slow and still very nervous at speed. On the second run up the fastest part of the hill the car left the track, through the grass and kissed a brick wall. Not too much damage, but time to think WHY?

I found that the rear suspension had been assembled incorrectly by me, and once sorted, the rear bump steer was 20 mins toe in instead of 11mm toe out!

I then ran the car at Shelsley Walsh and it was much better, had 3 gears, even 4th now, but the brakes were really dragging.

I decided to call it a year, left the car in the garage and went to SPA!

A winter series of improvements are now started, but here it is as it is now:
And just as a little nostalgia:
IF ANYONE HAS ANY INFO ON THIS CAR, PLEASE CONTACT ME VIA GERALD AT LOLA HERITAGE (gerald@lolaheritage.co.uk).

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