Paris

5-6 February 2014

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Lot 26

1969 Lola T70 Mk IIIb by Sbarro

  • Chassis no. SL-106
  • Engine no. 3970010

Sold for €168.000


450+ hp, 383 cu. in. V-8 engine with four Weber 48IDA carburettors, five-speed manual ZF transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel ventilated disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,413 mm

  • Owned in-period by 1969 Daytona winner Chuck Parsons
  • Stored for over 30 years
  • Restored in 1999; drivetrain rebuilt in 2005
  • Accompanied by FIA papers


Enthusiasts of 1960s prototype racing require little explanation regarding the contributions of Englishman Eric Broadley. The race car designer and founder of Lola Cars was a principle member on the original Ford GT40 design team, with the very first GT40 largely being a developed version of the Lola Mark 6. After creative differences with Ford, Broadley left the project to resume building cars under his own name.



Broadley’s latest project was initially built in 1967 as part of Aston Martin’s plan to return to endurance racing, and it seemingly faltered when the new Aston V-8 failed to prove its mettle at Le Mans. Changing course, Broadley positioned the car for racing privateers and started producing and selling closed-bodied chassis that were then fitted with engines, with the most common choice being Chevy small block motors. These cars were dubbed the T70, and they were mostly sold to American customers through distributor Carl Haas.



By late 1968, the increasingly successful T70 had evolved through three generations of development, and on 30 December, the very first example of the new Mk IIIb was completed. Chassis SL76/139 was sold to Roger Penske’s team, and it debuted at the 24 Hours of Daytona in February 1969, wearing blue Sunoco livery and being driven by Mark Donahue and Chuck Parsons. The new T70 went on to take the chequered flag in smashing fashion, with a slew of Porsche 908s failing to finish, to the chagrin of first-rate competitors like Jo Siffert, Vic Elford, and Brian Redman.



As the Mk IIIb clearly demonstrated its strengths at Daytona, there was naturally some curiosity regarding the possible development of the T70 for road use. At the end of the T70 Mark III production, Franco Sbarro, ex-crew chief of Scuderia Filipinetti and a skilled engineer who operated a race/prototype shop in Switzerland, bought up 10 Lola T70 Mk III chassis and constructed a number of cars that were intended for road use under the name of ACA (Atelier de Construction Automobile). Whilst the attempt didn’t entirely convince Broadley of the model’s potential for road going success, it was sufficient enough for him to build seven original Lola chassis for Sbarro. Falling outside of Lola’s chassis numbering system, the seven Sbarro-constructed cars were simply numbered SL-101 through SL-107, with all but two of the cars receiving Chevy engines.



Chassis number SL-106 was purchased from Sbarro by Chuck Parsons for use during the 1969 and 1970 seasons. As Mr Parsons was a onetime driver for Lola distributor Carl Haas, the purchase would have been relatively easy to arrange, and though records are not precise, it is believed that Parsons used SL-106, but it has been impossible to verify which races the car was used in due to the lack of these records.



After a collision in 1971, the Lola was sold to Herb Holtzman, the owner of Eagle Racing America, who stored the damaged car until he commissioned a thorough rebuild in 1999 by Mac McClendon. Chassis SL-106 was then purchased in the early 2000s by Lola enthusiast Fred Larson of Cape Coral, Florida.



In 2005, SL-106 was sold to Mr Harburg, and it has occasionally participated in blisteringly fast vintage heats, as well as being displayed at the Bathurst Motorsport Museum in New South Wales, Australia. The latest period of ownership also included a complete rebuild of the engine, transaxle, and differential in December 2005, at a cost of over $25,000. Originally campaigned by 1969 Daytona winner Chuck Parsons, and promising many more exciting laps of historic racing, this beautiful coachbuilt Mk IIIb, which has been restored in its sister car’s Sunoco livery, beacons prototype race car collectors to experience the purity of design and performance that was originally envisioned by the influential Eric Broadley.






Moteur V8, 383 ci (6,3 litres), + de 450 ch, quatre carburateurs Weber 48IDA, boîte de vitesses ZF manuelle cinq rapports transaxle, suspension avant et arrière indépendante, freins à disques ventilés sur les quatre roues. Empattement: 2 413 mm.



  • A appartenu à l'époque à Chuck Parsons, vainqueur à Daytona en 1969
  • Entreposée pendant plus de 30 ans
  • Restaurée en 1999 ; groupe motopropulseur reconstruit en 2005
  • Accompagnée de documents FIA




Il n'est pas nécessaire de préciser longtemps aux passionnés de prototypes des années 1960 l'apport de l'Anglais Eric Broadley dans ce domaine. Fondateur de Lola Cars et concepteur de voitures de compétition, il faisait partie de l'équipe de design de la Ford GT 40, dont la première version était largement inspirée de la Lola Mark 6. A la suite de différences de vues avec Ford, Broadley a quitté le projet pour commencer à produire des voitures sous sa propre marque.



Conçu initialement en 1967 comme faisant partie du plan d'Aston Martin de revenir en courses d'endurance, le dernier projet de Broadley capotait apparemment quand le nouveau V8 Aston Martin échouait à faire ses preuve au Mans. Changeant son fusil d'épaule, Broadley décidait de destiner la voiture aux pilotes privés, produisant et vendant des machines fermées qui étaient ensuite équipées d'un moteur, le choix le plus fréquent se portant sur les small-blocks Chevrolet. Dénommées T70, les voitures étaient vendues en majorité à des clients américains par le biais du distributeur Carl Haas.



A la fin de l'année 1968, la T70, qui rencontrait des succès de plus en plus nombreux, avait évolué à travers trois générations et, le 30 décembre, le tout premier exemplaire de la nouvelle Mk III b sortait des ateliers. Vendue à l'équipe de Roger Penske, la voiture dotée du châssis n° SL76/139 débutait aux 24 Heures de Daytona en février 1969, dans une livrée Sunoco bleue, pilotée par Mark Donahue et Chuck Parsons. La nouvelle T70 remportait brillamment la victoire, un groupe de Porsche 908 abandonnant avant l'arrivée, au grand dam des pilotes de premier plan comme Jo Siffert, Vic Elford et Brian Redman.



La MK III b ayant clairement montré ses capacités à Daytona, il y eut naturellement une certaine curiosité concernant le développement possible d'une version route de la T70. A la fin de la production de la T70 Mark III, Franco Sbarro, ancien chef mécanicien de la Scuderia Filipinetti, ingénieur tenant en Suisse un garage spécialisé dans les voitures de sport et de course, faisait l'acquisition de 10 châssis de Lola T70 Mk III, produisant plusieurs voitures destinées à un usage routier sous le nom ACA (Atelier de Construction Automobile). La tentative ne parvenait pas à convaincre Broadley du potentiel du modèle comme voiture de route, mais elle était suffisante pour lui faire construire sept châssis Lola originaux pour Sbarro. Sortant du système de numérotation de Lola, les sept voitures construites par Sbarro étaient simplement numérotées de SL-101 à SL-107, toutes sauf deux étant équipées de moteurs Chevrolet.



La voiture n°SL-106 était achetée à Sbarro par Chuck Parsons, pour les saisons 1969 et 1970. Chuck Parsons ayant été pilote pour Carl Haas, le distributeur Lola, la transaction a été sans doute facile à organiser et, bien que les archives manquent de précision, il est probable que Parsons ait utilisé SL-106 mais, en l'absence de ces archives, il a été impossible de vérifier à quelles courses la voiture avait pris part.



Après un accident en 1971, la Lola était cédée à Herb Holtzman, propriétaire d'Eagle Racing America, qui entreposait la voiture avant de la faire complètement restaurer en 1999 par Mac McClendon. La voiture n°SL-106 était ensuite achetée en 2000 par le passionné de Lola Fred Larson, de Cape Coral, en Floride.



Vendue à M. Harburg en 2005, SL-106 a continué à participer occasionnellement à des événements historiques réunissant des voitures ultra-rapides, et a été exposée au Bathurst Motorsport Museum, dans l'État de New South Wales, en Australie. Entre les mains de son dernier propriétaire, elle a bénéficié d'une reconstruction complète du moteur, de la boîte et du différentiel, en décembre 2005, pour un coût dépassant 25 000 $.



Utilisée à l'origine en 1969 par Chuck Parsons, vainqueur à Daytona, et promettant beaucoup de plaisir en courses historiques, cette magnifique Mk III b a été restaurée dans les couleurs Sunoco de sa sœur. Elle encourage les collectionneurs de prototypes de compétition à expérimenter la pureté de design et de performance telle que l'a voulu au départ le talentueux Eric Broadley.

Addendum

After further research it has come to light that this Lola T70 was built by Sbarro; it is very unlikely that this car was ever raced by Chuck Parsons.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

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Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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Don Rose

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Kurt Forry

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Matt Malamut

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Michael Squire

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Mike Fairbairn

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