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THE LOLA T54
1964 saw the introduction of the new Formula 2 category as a replacement for the very popular Formula Junior cars that had been racing all over Europe and the rest of the world since 1958. Although the cars were very similar the major change was the switch to a more powerful race-tuned but production based 1-litre engine and almost immediately the popular pick was the Cosworth-Ford SCA.
The SCA used the Ford 1500 cc five-bearing block as a basis with the capacity reduced to 998 cc and dry sump lubrication with the valves operated by a single overhead camshaft, two twin-choke Weber 40DCM2 carburettors delivered the fuel with coil ignition taking care of the sparks. Other features included a counter-balanced nitrided steel crank, a light alloy cylinder head and pistons with combustion chambers in the crown and alloy steel conrods. Power was initially 115 bhp on the Webers which was similar to the Cosworth Formula Junior engine, although 100 cc smaller, but later developments, including fuel injection, added another 25 bhp.
The T54 was basically the Formula Junior MK5A with a few modifications to make it suitable for F2 (full details of the Mk5A HERE) and, despite it effectively being a three year old spaceframe design, it was a competitive proposition, being little slower than the works Brabham and Lotus cars that won the bulk of the races. The three cars run by MRP (Midland Racing Partnership) were BRJ 57, BRJ 60 and BRJ 63, these were the three Mk5A cars they had used in 1963 Formula Junior races renamed as the T54 and would, in turn, become the T55 used later in the 1964 F2 season.
Other drivers of the MRP T54s in 1964: David Hobbs and Brian Hart
Additionally Bill Bradley and Richie Ginther raced a car in the early season listed as a T55, chasasis number SL-64-1. No such number exists in the Lola Chassis Register (Admittedly probably not a contemporary listing) but MRP had a Mk5A chassis SL3/65 which is a rebuild of BRJ 59 and this may be it.