- One of 33 factory-built Mk II Spyders; a benchmark midcentury racecar that is both beautiful and competitive
- Four 1st-place finishes in SCCA racing, plus USRRC and Can-Am starts, during the 1966 season
- Benefits from a recently completed total cosmetic and mechanical restoration at a cost of over $110,000
- Accompanied by FIA historic technical passport application, restoration invoices, and research files with period photo
- A compelling, thoughtfully prepared Lola ideal for the serious vintage racer
Low, wide, and lithe, the Lola T70 is the very picture of a potent mid-1960s competition car, driven with great success by a who’s who of the era’s racing greats. This example, chassis number SL71/28, is one of 33 improved, lightened Mk II Spyders built. As documented in John Starkey and Franco Varani’s tome on the T70, it arrived with US distributor John Mecom of Texas in February 1966. Fitted with a Hewland LG 500 four-speed gearbox but no engine, it was sent to Chaparral Cars’ Jim Hall the following month, apparently for evaluation purposes.
In April it was purchased by Woody Young of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania; a 289-cubic-inch Ford V-8 was installed, and Bob “Jake” Bucher was chosen as driver. Bucher, a WWII pilot, was a “BARC Boy”—a member of New York’s Binghamton Auto Racing Club/Fraternity—and he raced the Lola under their auspices. A period photo shows the car in white with blue stripes, sporting #29.
The car posted strong results in a highly competitive SCCA field during the 1966 season, including 1st at Cumberland and Vineland National events and victories at the Watkins Glen Trophy and 500 races. However, Bucher only managed 14th in the Canadian Sports Car Championship Labatt 50 at St. Jovite, Quebec, and success in USRRC and Can-Am events proved elusive. The car was apparently sidelined by a mid-season crash; its Ford V-8 is believed to have been replaced by a Chevrolet V-8 at this point, though the car did not return to the track.
Acquired by the consignor in 2020, a total mechanical and cosmetic restoration of this Lola soon commenced. The Vintage Connection of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma led the three-year effort, which is detailed by invoices on file. The car’s Chevrolet engine, overhauled in a previous restoration, was found to have excellent compression, with dynamometer testing indicating a healthy, nearly 500-horsepower output. A Hewland LG 500 gearbox was sourced at substantial cost and rebuilt, and all ancillary mechanical systems, suspension and brakes, and the car’s McClendon tub, were refurbished.
Finally, the body was returned to its as-delivered white, now appealingly accented with gold; the #29, as raced by Bob Bucher, is still proudly displayed. In total, the well-deserved restoration of this car cost over $110,000.
As when the T70 was new, this Mk II Spyder does more than look the part. Accompanied by an FIA historical technical passport application dated 16 December 2008, SL71/28 boasts period racing history in the United States and Canada, with notable victories in the highly competitive Northeastern SCCA racing scene. With its restoration freshly completed, it would be an ideal acquisition for a serious racer ready to hit the circuit in compelling midcentury style.