Run Lola Run: The ideal cars for historic racing?

With Lola a dominant name in motorsport right back to the days of its formation in the late 1950s, the British marque’s machines can offer a multi-pronged route into top-level historic racing…

“Whether you’re active in the historic racing world or simply enthusiastic about the history of motor racing, you can’t avoid Lola,” says Classic Driver dealer William I’Anson, himself a historic racing expert and Lola enthusiast. “It’s Britain’s longest-standing manufacturer of racing cars, and has been at the forefront of one or more forms of motor racing since its arrival.” Indeed, Lola's founder Eric Broadley worked with Ford to develop the GT40, such was his talent.

Wide-reaching eligibility

“Lolas are eligible for some of the most prestigious events in the calendar and, in many cases, will be front-row runners in the right hands,” explains William. Indeed, between the three he currently has in stock, events such as the Goodwood Revival, the Monaco Historic GP and the Le Mans Classic are all covered. “Few cars are more eligible for – and competitive in – such a wide array of events as the Lola Mark 1; it really epitomises the ensuing dominance of the lighter, smaller sports cars that took place in the late 50s. Ten years later, Lola remained a commanding force: this time with the T212 in the 2-litre sports-prototype races.”

It’s the V8-engined Mark 4 that stands out for William, though: “It was Lola’s first-ever Formula 1 car, and this is the prototype raced in the 1962 season by John Surtees. I’ve since raced against this car several times and it’s highly competitive – in fact it took a podium position and set the fastest lap in the prestigious Glover Trophy at the 2012 Revival.” Meticulously prepared, it’s a proven race-winning car ready to compete in desirable categories, such as the pre-66 1.5-litre Formula 1 class.

As well as being competitive within some of the historic racing calendar's most important grids, Lolas also have another facet of desirability, as William explains: “I watched the Formula 1 coverage last weekend, during which it was rightly pointed out that a beautiful car is often a fast car. Lolas certainly fall into that category.”

Photos: Williams I'Anson

The cars seen here are currently for sale through William I'Anson.

Several other Lola racing cars can be found in the Classic Driver Market.