Lola Group were very saddened to learn that former Director and Works Manager Rob Rushbrook died at the age of 93 last week. Rob was an integral part of Lola’s foundations in motorsport from the very beginning in 1958. An early business partner of Lola founder Eric Broadley, Rushbrook was instrumental in building the production batch of Mark 1s, the very first customer-available Lola sports car, for which Rob would often act as mechanic for Eric who initially raced the design.
From his excellently equipped workshop in Bromley, South London, Rushbrook became a trusted friend and partner of Broadley's and during the golden age of the 1960s was his right-hand man in producing iconic cars such as the Lola Mk6, T70 and the ‘Hondola’ F1 car.
Rob followed Eric to Lola’s present home in 1970 and was vital in the planning and implementation of the all-new factory in the Cambridgeshire market town. Being appointed Works Manager, Rushbrook oversaw the construction of over 2000 Lolas in the booming 1970s and early 80s with F5000, Sports 2000, 2-litre sports car, F3 and Formula Fords delivered to eager customers.
Lola Executive Chairman, Martin Birrane paid tribute to Rob, saying: “Everyone at Lola was sad to hear of Rob Rushbrook's passing last week. He was there at the start of Lola's incredible journey as a company and was an integral part of their success for many years as a director and business partner. I personally would like to pay tribute to his loyal service to Lola and also to pass on my sympathies to his family and many friends."
Bob Marston, a colleague of Rob’s in the 1970s remembered him fondly, saying: “I remember Robbie very much as a father figure at Lola in my time there. He was a very pragmatic person, supremely adept at running the workshop in a very down to earth manner. He was also a true gentleman, very self-effacing and totally hands on in his role. Being more of a retiring nature, the importance of his role was rarely fully acknowledged. He was in my opinion one of the most important figures behind Lola's success from the very start continuing up until his retirement in 1985. I will remember him with a great deal of affection, as will all those who had the pleasure of working with and for him."
All pictures Lola Heritage.
Rob in 1975 working on the factory floor.
Rob, Eric Broadley and the Lola staff celebrate Lola's 1978 Indy 500 victory.
Rob chats with Tony Southgate and Dickie Attwood at the Lola 50th Anniversary celebrations.