MAY 08th 2015

Goodwood Greats: Lola T70 Spyder

We have something of a double-whammy with this week’s Goodwood Greats, because not only did we temporarily requisition it at the 73rd Members’ Meeting in order to take the exquisite photos you see here, but we also shot one of our popular ‘Firing on …’ videos with it, which you can see here.


In fact, the car’s general history is explained on the Firing on …’ link, which is basically that it was raced in-period by John Surtees and Sir Jackie Stewart, crashed by Mario Andretti and then shipped to Japan where it stayed for some time, before returning to the UK around 2003. 

Once back in Blighty it was rebuilt, although we’re told that it then did very little aside from a couple of test sessions and races, neither of which it completed. Celebrated motorsport engineering firm Jade Motorsport was instructed by the car’s owner, Grant Reid, to find him a T70 after he’d seen them running at last year’s Revival. Owen Jones, from Jade, tells us: ‘We picked up the car in January, went through it and decided that although it needed a few things doing, the engine and gearbox were most in need of work. We gave I.C.E Automotive at Silverstone the job of fettling the engine, then took the car to a couple of tests – primarily to test the brakes.’

With the anchors seemingly working well (at least in testing …) and the Chevrolet V8 on-song, the car was brought along to the 73rd Members’ Meeting where the driving duties were entrusted to Jade racer Tony Sinclair, who did a fine job of bringing the car home in fourth place, although it seems the experience was a tad on the hairy side. ‘I pretty much lost the brakes!’ He tells us. ‘It was the first time we’d raced it in anger and we later discovered that the front calipers were too small. It’s a very exciting car to drive, though: Lots of power and not much grip. In all honesty we did better with it than we expected.’

Clearly, there’s still some potential to be extracted from the pretty Lola and Jade will be working hard to make it everything it can be. It will be tested further before being wheeled-out at Silverstone and then back at September’s Revival, if invited.

What with Mr Reid apparently committed to extracting maximum performance from the T70, Nick Padmore having bagged the ‘modern’ lap record at 73MM and serial contenders like McLaren’s Chris Goodwin hungry to win, the Whitsun Trophy race at September’s Revival promises to be unmissable!

Photography by Antony Fraser

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