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THE LOLA T440
The T340 and T342 Formula Ford 1600 had proved very popular and had won a lot of races so Lola needed something special to both keep up the track success and the sales! The new model was the T440 and details of the changes from the earlier designs are detailed in the Lola Press Release below.
Once again it proved popular from a sales point of view, but many drivers weren't happy with the handling characteristics and a number of cars were modified by moving the engine towards the rear of the car and several were given additional stiffening from the front bulkhead to the centre bracing hoop. Despite these problems the car was still successful winning in the UK, the US and Australasia.
Amazingly virtually the entire production run went to the US, only one car was sold to the UK ("E" spec), one to Australia, one to South Africa and ten to Canada for a racing school at Mosport Park. One was kept as a development car, one, chassis T440C HU1, was built to "C" spec for 1100cc Formula C racing in the US but the chassis number was then changed to T480 HU1.
A Lola Press Release gave the following details of the T440:
The new type T440 is a logical development of the T340 and T342 models and incorporates all the improvements from the development work carried out by the factory on all of its racing car types since the design of the T340, in addition, of course, to the specialised development that Formula Ford needs due to the particular wheel size and no wings regulations. The T440 is bang up to date with the latest sophisticated race car development.
In more detail, the main areas where changes have been made in design are as follows:
The most marked difference is in the weight distribution, this has been carried out to place more load on the front wheels, in order to take advantage of the equal rim width regulations and give a more balanced side force between the front and rear wheels.
To accomplish this the driver and the engine have been moved forward by incorporating a spacer between the engine and the transaxle with extended clutch shaft and clutch operating mechanism. Whilst doing this the extremely efficient cooling and ducting is maintained at the rear still achieving minimum drag.
The next most obvious improvement is the aerodynamic clean-up of the car with shock absorbers, springs, anti-sway bars at the front being mounted inboard, and being operated by the top wishbone in the form of a ball bearing mounted rocker. The steering box is mounted in line with the rocker so that there is minimum interference with the air flow between wheel and body.
There is a new streamlined tail that forms around the roll—over—bar to give a high clear air intake to the induction system.
Features that are not so obvious include carefully balanced geometry to obtain the best from the special racing tyres. There are two versions of suspension for English and American types as their characteristics arc quite different.
Considerable thought has gone into detail on this ear, particularly in the event of crash damage. The front-suspension, incorporating the rocker pivot, is built as a structure that can be replaced easily, this by simply drilling out the rivets and replacing as a unit.
The rear of the car has been considered also as both the lower crossmembers are detachable and allow easy access to the engine and transaxle, both of which are easily removable as a unit as well as separately. Again, the accent being on accessibility and repairability.
The detail of the fuel system, lubrication system and cooling systems both water and oil, have been retained from the previous models as they have been found to be efficient and trouble free.
To compliment the carefully balanced suspension geometry it was considered that a new front upright should be designed. Proprietary units have certain limitations and by designing very carefully, within the regulations, it was found that a very satisfactory unit could be produced, it gives all the advantages of full race car adjustment.