Lola Heritage


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THE LOLA T550

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The T550, Lola's 1977 Formula Two design, is arguably the company's least successful model with regard to what it was designed for, the record: 'One Did Not Start' and three 'Did Not Arrives'. It followed on from the, almost as unsuccessful previous Formula Two model, the 1976 T450.

There are no details of the T550 design in the Lola Archives but photographs indicate the tub was the same as the T450 with some changes to the suspension. It is likely that these changes were the same as those between the T460 and the T560 Formula Atlantic models, (more details can be found on the T560 page). Additionally the chassis was significantly lighter by some 130lbs (59kgs).

The T550's one and only Formula Two race appearance was at the 1977 Silverstone International Trophy where it qualified nineteenth out of twenty-six cars but did not start as it blew both of its Holbay-tuned Abarth engines in the two days of practice. Comparing the picture of Marazzi above and the display car below (which shows the same tub design as the T450) it appears the car at Silverstone was trying some new sidepods while David Render's car (see the text below) has a different design again with brushes on the bottom to give an element of ground effect.

The T550 did salvage its reputation somewhat when the car was sold to Allan Humphries who took a class win at the Brighton Speed Tials in 1979 and then to David Render who used it for several years in the British Sprint Championship. Initially, it continued to use the Abarth engine taking a victory in 1980 at Curborough until, in 1983, David fitted a 2.8 litre Hart engine and, although he took no more wins, he scored numerous second and thirds until he retired HU2 at the end of 1985.

The reason for the one and only T550 having the chassis number HU2 is that it appears that the car was originally constructed as one of the two T560 Formula Atlantic cars built and then converted to Formula Two specification and renamed as a T550.

Year(s) of Construction: 1977

Total Built: 1
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T550 FORMULA TWO RESULTS

DATE
VENUE/MEETING
DRIVER
NOTES
6th March 1977 XXIX Daily Express International Trophy - Silverstone Roberto Marazzi European Championship for F2 Drivers, Round 1 - DNS
11th April 1977 XXXI B.A.R.C. "200", VI Jochen Rindt Memorial Trophy - Thruxton Roberto Marazzi European Championship for F2 Drivers, Round 2 - DNA
9th April 1978 XII Deutschland Trophäe, X Jim Clark Gedächtnisrennen - Hockenheim Bruce Allison European Championship for F2 Drivers, Round 2 - DNA
25th June 1978 I Donington "50,000" - Donington Park Alo Lawler European Championship for F2 Drivers, Round 8 - DNA
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