The Colin Chapman F1 Design Peers Series
Eric Broadley, MBE, 1928-2017: L-O-L-A, Lola, lo, lo, lo, Lola
“The Engineers Engineer “
“Of the British triumvirate who wrote motorsport history, Eric Broadley remained somewhat in the shadows of Colin Chapman and John Cooper. But his cars, which bore the name Lola, were ground-breaking and successful. In fact, without them, the Ford GT40 would probably have never come to fruition…”
Lola were manufacturers of off the shelf proprietary racing machinery.
The A&R considers that Colin Chapman’s design career in FI embraced two periods:-
- From the inception of Lotus cars to the late 1960’s early 1970’s
- The mature period covering the wings/ ground effect and turbo era until his sad and early death in 1982
We don’t know what he might have achieved had he lived beyond this.
The FI designs of Colin Chapman were considerable not least because of his relatively low budget .He did not have the resources of a multinational to cross-subsidize its racing programme against publicity and a means of developing its engineers.
In order to evaluate Colin Chapman better the A&R is committing to a series of benchmarking exercises analyzing the design achievements of his peers in the second half of his career. [We will return to the first in due course].As part of the exercise we will examine some specific models from the respective seasons.
If the series is well received it might be possible to extend it in a continuum to the present day whilst also looking at the emerging design talent.
These design studies are a natural complement to our series on Design Heroes that gives priority to Industrial and Product Designers.
This piece on Eric Broadley is important in the context of Chapman and Lotus.
- Both men were born in 1928 and significantly contributed to Britain’s post war success in motor racing and to the national economy
- Both qualified in subjects requiring proficiency and accuracy /precision in mathematics, measurement, logistics and construction
- Both belonged to the school of thought and practices laid down by the 750 Motor Club.
- Both brands competed against each other at the highest level of international motor sport and engaged the world’s greatest drivers
- Both created enduring brands with profound legacy and continuation in historic motor racing
Eric Broadley’s career and Lola cars is extensive extending over 50 years. It’s impossible here to give full credit. We attempt to draw the best comparisons with Lotus.
The listing in the Appendix of Lola Types will enable subscribers to conduct specific research according to their needs.
We offer the list below and would be interested to hear from our subscribers if they would like to make other recommendation for inclusion and also if they have priority/ preference in our selection.
We appreciate that some of these designers were colleagues of Colin Chapman at Lotus at some point in their careers but went onto achieve success in their own right.
As a prompt subscribers might like to use the list to pencil in those cars they associate with the designers.
Designer Marque Model
Each of the assessments will adopt a set format for a degree of uniformity and fairer evaluation. The assessment criteria as follows [but again we are happy to take suggestions from our subscribers]:-
- Brief biography and design methodology
- FI car design
- Sport / sports racing car design
- Road car design
- Consultancy and any other product design
- Legacy or design influence
The editors are thinking of starting with Gordon Murray but will be influenced by our regular subscribers. The editors have been influenced by “The Art of the Formula 1 Car” but aesthetics alone will not influence inclusion.
Subscribers might like to see complementary and integrated pieces that sit with this article:
- Chapman and 750 Motor Club
- 750 and 1172 Formula’s
- Lotus at Le Mans, Indianapolis and Can-Am
- Lotus F1,2,3,5000 types
- Group 6&7
- Chapman F1 peers series and Tony Southgate autobiography
Eric Broadley/ Lola overview
“Established in 1958 by Eric Broadley MBE, Lola is proud to be Great Britain’s longest-serving manufacturer of racing cars. After an extraordinary rise to prominence, in which it mastered all spheres of the sport from humble club classes to Formula 1, and endurance sports racers to Indy cars, Lola was at the forefront of the worldwide motorsport industry for over fifty years. This enviable position was then consolidated under the ownership of Martin Birrane who took over the company in 1997, with the introduction of advanced technologies to keep its products winning in the 21st century.”
“Drivers of Lola cars scored points in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship from the marque’s debut season in 1962. Lola’s roll of honour also includes no fewer than eleven CART championship titles, three Indianapolis 500 wins and the 1978 USAC Triple Crown, ten Indy Lights and eight US/European/Tasman Formula 5000 titles, victory in the 1963 Monaco Formula Junior Grand Prix, the inaugural Can-Am Challenge series of 1966, the 1969 Daytona 24 Hours, the 1973 European 2-litre Sport scar Championship, five successive Can-Am titles, fourteen Japanese Formula 3000 crowns, ten FIA International F3000 championships and three Sports Car Championships in 2001 alone. Additionally, Lola’s have carried amateur and professional competitors to countless championships and race victories on every major continent.”
Eric Broadley Biography
“Eric Broadley MBE (born 22 September 1928) is a British entrepreneur, engineer, and founder and former chief designer of Lola Cars, the motor racing manufacturer and engineering company. He is arguably one of the most influential automobile designers of the post-war period, and over the years Lola has had a hand in many high-profile projects in Formula One, Indy Car, and sports car racing. Broadley sold Lola to Martin Birrane in 1999.
Eric Broadley trained as an architect in the late 1940s, and after completing his studies took a job as a quantity surveyor. In his spare time Broadley was heavily involved in motor racing with the 750 Motor Club. In common with the majority of other competitors – including Colin Chapman, Frank Costin and Brian Hart – he built his own cars around Austin 7 chassis, using home-made and proprietary parts. His first car, the Broadley Special) was built in 1956 to comply with rules governing the “Ford Ten Special” (or “1172 Special”) class, using an 1172cc (72ci) side valve engine, originally introduced for the pre-war Ford Model C.
The Broadley Special was an instant success, winning a number of local and national events in the UK. On the back of this record Broadley, at the request of a number of drivers seeking something besides a Lotus XI, immediately began to design a chassis to accept a more powerful 1098cc (67ci) Coventry Climax engine and BMC A-series gearbox. This car, with its up-to-the-minute space frame chassis, was to become the Lola Mk1, named for the lyrics of a song from the contemporary musical Damn Yankees: “whatever Lola wants, Lola gets”. Although, as Broadley freely admits, the Mk1 was too powerful for his level of driving skill , in 1958 he became the first man ever to lap the Brands Hatch Indy circuit in under one minute. Once she was sorted, she beat the XIs “with monotonous regularity” (notably in the hands of Peter Ashdown, who racked up at least a score of wins, including a class win and sixth overall at the 1959 Tourist Trophy. Her success soon attracted the interest of other privateers, so Broadley and his cousin were prevailed upon in 1958 to build three further copies. Lola Cars Ltd. was born.
Staying largely at Bromley, Broadley set up shop in West Byfleet, Surrey, using £2000 of his own savings, producing thirty-five more Mk1s through 1962, all with the Coventry-Climax. With ever improving results on the track. Despite its limited experience, in 1960 Lola produced its first single-seat open-wheeled model: the Mark 2, for Formula Junior. Performance was promising rather than electric, and its front engine was a mistake, in a formula dominated by rear-engined cars,  but despite this, and only one win in the 1960 season, forty-two were sold, nevertheless. Redesigned for 1961,  the mid-engined Mk3 consistently finished behind contemporary Lotuses and Coopers.”
Lola race car categories
|Race Category||Lola Type No|
|Formula||5000 & A|
|SCCA C sport|
|Track day||Racing school|
The Broadley Special
This car was assembled in the mid 1950’s from Austin Seven chassis and rear axle. The engine and gearbox were Ford 1172 side valve.
The car registered APP 665 features in Classic and Sports car, May 1995.
[Subscribers are directed to our article on Ballamy where we include a photograph of the car]
Subscribers are invited to see our articles on the first car built by Colin Chapman which proceeded the Broadley Special by some margin .Both shared a similar specification.
Lola & Lolita: the Clubman 1172 Formula Sports car
Broadly produced a car in the late 1950’s/early 60’s to race under the 750 Motor Club regulations for the 1172 Formula. This was under his brand name of Lola.This car was registered XKM 201.
However the car was sold and renamed Lolita.Searching the net greater information is available under this description.
It’s also worth consulting Cooper Tuning Side-Valve Fords –see bibliography below.
Figure 1.Image from net Lola 1172 foreground Lotus background
Subscribers might be aware of an Australian car brand Lolita which is distinctly different.
Chapman had dominated this class from the Mk.VI through to the Eleven.-see our dedicated articles.
1100 Sports racing car
“Despite his comparative inexperience, EB obviously had a remarkable appreciation of the factors influencing sports car design…………”
“the car had no radical design innovations but Broadley,who had no formal automobile engineering training, took what he considered were the best points from other designs and built them into a whole .The chassis is a light and simple space frame in 29 gauge steel tube with aluminium floor panels and prop-shaft tunnel stressed as part of the frame“
John Bolster writing in a published road test reported “the basis of the Lola is a multi-tubular frame which weighs just under 60 lb. bare………”
The Lola –Climax was a superbly made little car…….Broadley became the first sports car driver to lap Brands Hatch in under a minute…….
There followed a dream season in which Lola won virtually every race entered and pound for pound , the Lola Mk.1 was probably the best front –engined sports racing car ever built”
“There’s no doubt that the most successful car in the period was the Lola……….it could well go down to posterity as one of the classic cars of the post war era………..
The efficiency of the Lola chassis is visible not only on the race track but also in the workshop, where routine maintenance and major overhauls can be accomplished without too much difficulty despite the use of a space frame layout
Skilled welding is essential for the structure of this type, with as many as eight tubes having a common apex, and from this aspect –as well as from the point of view of design-the Lola should be an inspiration to small-scale constructors”
“although the performance was extremely good ,as well it might have been when it is realised that they engine developed 90 bhp,while the aerodynamically efficient car weighed under 8cwt ,it was undoubtedly its superior road holding which enabled the Lola’s to demoralize the opposition……”
We believe possibly under 40 cars were built.
Figure 2.Editors believe this to be Lola 1100 Coventry Climax seen at Llandow c 1967?
|Specification||Lola 1100 Sports Racing||Lola GT Ford V8|
|Engine /Cyli||Coventry Climax FWA ,water cooled||Ford V8 , water cooled|
|Bore /Stroke||72.4 x 66.6 mm||101.06 x 72.9 mm|
|CC||1.098 cc||4,728 mm|
|Valve Gear||single ohc||ohv|
|Comp Ratio||10.5 to 1||n/a|
|Carburettors||2x Weber||4x Weber|
|Max.Power||100 bhp at 7,800 rpm||350 bhp at 7,000 rpm|
|Front Brakes||drum 10 in dia.||Girling Disc 11 in dia|
|Rear Brakes||drum 10 in dia.||Girling Disc 11 in dia|
|Steering||rack and pinion||rack and pinion|
|Front Susp’||wishbone and coil spring||wishbone and coil spring|
|Rear Susp’||wishbone and coil spring||wishbone and coil spring|
|Kerb weight||840 lb||2,12olb|
|Front Tyres||4.50 x 15in||5.00 x 15in|
|Rear Tyres||5.00 x 15in||6.50 x 15in|
“The Lola 1100 was the only competitor able to beat the Lotus 11 in sports car racing in the late 1950’s.EB’s car was lighter than the 11 and the chassis design was more elegant and stiffer…
This was the car that made Chapman design the 17, which although even lighter than the Lola, had severe handling problems”
Haskell’s book contains the article “Sorting the Seventeen”
Lola Mk.6 GT
This car “the Lola GT was the sensation of the 1963 racing car show in London as it appeared to be the ultimate in low, squat, and powerful sports racing cars.” It also set a trend for a decade.
It was also a template for the Ford GT40.
Twite records the specification [see spread sheet above] and further comments:-
“the rear mounted engine is a special American Ford V8 unit which was originally to be of 4.2 litres capacity of the type used by the Indianapolis Lotus-Fords, but this was later increased to 4,728cc……..
The bodywork of the Lola is of glass fibre reinforced plastics with both front and rear tail sections hinged for easier access to the various components………..
The American Ford factory decided to back the team for the 1964 season”
Figure 3.Scanned Image from magazine with A&R collection
Sports Car Graphic, May 1963
Included the cutaway drawing by Gordon Bruce and interestingly observed:-
“The long-range plans are to try and get the car homologated as a GT model , and with this in mind a road going specification is planned, which should also bring the price down well below the something over £5,000 [$14,000] which it seems ,will be the size of the ticket for a racing GT in Britain”
Length 154 inches
Width 63 inches
Height 52 inches
Wheel base 80 inches
Ground clearance 5 inches
Weight [estimated] 1,550 -1,600 lb.
The A&R have examined the Lola-Lotus-Ford connection regarding the Le Mans contender in some detail. Subscribers are directed to our articles.
Chapman conceived a family of cars which included the Lotus type 30.
“Theoretically, had a major team developed the Lola T70 coupe into a more robust car in 1968 or 1969 and ironed out troubles with the 5-litre Chevrolet engine , the Slough firm would have had potentially the fastest sports car available in international long distance events……………”
It’s possible that approximately 100 type 70’s were built.
Figure 4. Editors sketch working drawing of Lola Type 70
The Lotus 30&40 were not really contenders against the T70. Other Lotus models raced in category –see our dedicated pieces like Group Dynamics.
Lola Formula Junior: 1960 model and Mk.V
Costin&Phipps:-writing about the front engine 1960 Junior:-
“Although not particularly successful ,the 1960 Formula Junior Lola came somewhere near the ultimate as far as the design of front-engined single –seaters is concerned………
|Specification||Lola Formula Junior|
|Engine /Cyli||Ford -Cosworth or Holbay|
|Bore /Stroke||85 x 48.4 mm|
|Comp Ratio||10 to 1|
|Max.Power||100 bhp at 8,000 rpm|
|Trans/Gears||5speed gearbox, modified VW by Hewland|
|Front Brakes||disc 9.5in dia.|
|Rear Brakes||disc 9.5in dia.|
|Steering||rack and pinion|
|Front Susp’||wishbone and coil springs|
|Rear Susp’||wishbone and coil springs|
|Front Tyres||4.50 x 13in|
|Rear Tyres||5.50 x 13in|
|Engine||Lola modified Ford 105 E [front mounted]|
|no cylinders||4, capacity 997 cc|
|bore /stroke||80.96 x 48.41 mm|
|Max bhp||75 at 7,400 rpm|
|carburettors||2 x Weber 40 DCOE 2|
|Front suspension||wide based wishbones with coil spring dampers|
|Rear suspension||independent by unequal length transverse wishbones and coil spring dampers|
|Brakes||Lockheed 9 in dia, inboard at rear|
|Steering||Lola rack and pinion|
|Wheels||magnesium bolt on|
|Tyres :Front/Rear||4.50 x 13 /5.25 or 5.50 x 13|
|Clutch||7.25 in single dry plate|
|Gearbox||modified BMC A series final dive in unit with gearbox|
|Frame & Body||the engine is inclined 15deg’to left and offset to ensure low body line chassis like 1100 SRCar|
|kerb Weight||810 lb|
Subscribers might find it interesting to compare and contrast the Lotus 12 & 16 front engine single seat racing cars with that of the Lola Junior.
“But for the introduction of the rear engine Lotus,the Lola might have been the most successful Formula Junior car of 1960.Subsequently, however, even Eric Broadley went over to rear –engined design “
Lola Formula Ford
Lola produced several examples for this class [see tabulation in appendix]
We invite subscribers to see our dedicated article on Lotus and Formula Ford, where we benchmark and provide further specifications.
Lola Formula 3:T53
See above as for F’Ford
See above as for F’3
See above as for F’Ford
Figure 5.Model of Lola Tasman
See above as for Tasman Series
Lola Formula 1: Climax Mk.IV, T130 [Honda], T370 Embassy Hill
|Engine||V8 Coventry climax|
|No Cylinders||8, capacity 1.5 litres|
|Carburettors||4-twin choke downdraught Weber|
|Front suspension||lower wishbone and transverse lower arm|
|Rear suspension||double wishbone|
|Brakes||Outboard Girling disc|
|Steering||rack and pinion|
|Wheels||cast alloy , bolt on|
|Gearbox||Collotti-Francis 5 -speed coupled with final drive|
|Frame & Body||basically similar to FJ modified for V8 engine|
Figure 6.Scale model of Lola 370 Embassy Hill
This was Chapman/Lotus forte and concentration through the 1970’s
Subscribers are invited to see our dedicated articles on the successive Lotus F1 types.
Lola Can Am: T350, T530, T222, T260
“To a large degree, the genesis of sports racing cars produced by Eric Broadley’s Lola Cars Ltd. parallels that of Bruce McLaren [see dedicated piece in this series], EB however entered the scene much earlier……..but it was only in 1965 a year after McLaren had brought out his first Group 7 that he vacated the small bore field to produce the now famous Lola T70, to cater to the fashionable preference for the American V8’s.
Many experts rate the T70 model as the classic sports racer…….over 50 of the beautiful shaped cars have fallen into private hands
|Model||T162, 163 , 163B|
|Bore /Stroke||4.25 x 3.76 in|
|Comp Ratio||12 to 1|
|Max.Power||650 bhp at 7000 rpm|
|Trans/Gears||Hewland LG600 5-speed|
|Front Brakes||Girling 12in. Ventilated discs|
|Rear Brakes||Girling 12in. Ventilated discs|
|Steering||rack and pinion|
|Front Susp’||wishbones, radius rods, on self-aligning joints Koni adjustable alloy dampers|
|Rear Susp’||wishbones, radius rods, on self-aligning joints Koni adjustable alloy dampers|
|Chassis||aluminium monocoque bonded and riveted construction with magnesium engine & trans ‘supports|
|Kerb weight||1500 lb|
|Front Tyres||12.00 x 15in|
Figure 7.Lola T260 model [see alsohttp://lolaheritage.co.uk/history/3d/t260/t260.htm]
The A&R have debated the significance of why Chapman/Lotus did not enter the lucrative Can Am series and direct subscribers to our related articles which also includes reference to Chaparral and McLaren.
Lola Indianapolis: T90
“Eric Broadley of Lola built his first Indianapolis car in 1965 and in 1966 victory came his way when Graham Hill won the race in a type 90 Lola……….”
Note the Lola Type 152 was four wheel drive.
Through the 60’s and particularly the 1980’s Lola tapped the attractive and lucrative market for customer cars including the 1985 T800.
Lola won the Indy car championship on several occasions.
The fascinating history of Indianapolis touches on the British brands of Lotus and Cooper plus the later marques through the 1980’s
See A&R dedicated pieces and compare/contrast the Lola Type 152 with the Lotus Type 64.
Lola Formula 5000:T190/192, T300, T142
“over the next few years Lola cars had mixed fortunes in racing –the smaller single sweaters were rarely winners but its sports cars and Formula A/5000 cars were often superb.
Broadly preferred to stay out of categories where Lola would have had to run a works team, for he claims he is simply no good in that activity and has never regarded himself as a race engineer.
Thus Lola only built F1 cars when it was commissioned to do so by another outfit for most of its history, the same went for the categories such as Indycar racing”[writing in 1990]
“Lola’s range changed from year to year as the market changed, but in 1985 Lola made a firm commitment to Inducer and F3000 while being open to joint projects with other teams which led to supplying cars for both F1 and Group C. In the Indycar field Lola gradually took over March’s entire customer car market, largely because it built user friendly cars that quick straight out of the box, were made to the required quality and were backed by excellent service.
In F3000 it became on the wrong foot and then recovered and has applied the same formula which won it many friends in America”
It’s worth consulting Twite where comparative specifications are given on peers.Details are provided for the Lola Type 142.
Subscribers ate invited to see A&R dedicated pieces on Formula 5000 and the Lotus type 70.
Lola cars have raced at Le Mans throughout their life more recently including LMP1 &2.
The marque has a slightly less distinguished record at Le Mans; we invite subscribers to see our dedicated articles with direct reference to the Lotus 9, 11, 15 and Elite etc.
The A&R has several scale models of the Type 70 and other materials including:-
- Tamiya –large scale 1:12
- Del Prado-1967 Lola T70 Mk.III,1:43 scale
- Lola magazine advertisements
- Magazine articles
Figure 8.Scale model in A&R collection.
Lola Design employees
“Broadley’s company has made an outstanding contribution to motor racing…………
Not least among its achievements has been Lola’s nurturing of bright young designers and among the impressive roll car, which begun with Tony Southgate in 1960…” include:-
- Tony Southgate
- John Barnard
- Bob Marlton
- Patrick Head
- Ralph Bellamy
- Mark Williams
- Ben Bowlby
- Julian Sole
It’s worth recalling that John Frayling worked for both Lola and Lotus.
The London Racing car Show
Lola displayed cars along with Lotus at the annual London Racing car show.
This includes the Mk.6 GT Coupe & T70. The above internet link gives details
Lotus were also represented, and we have dedicated articles.
Our learning /educational opportunities are intended to be challenging thought provoking and requiring additional research and/or analysis.
These opportunities are particularly designed for a museum/education centre location where visitors would be able to enjoy access to all the structured resources available in conjunction with any concurrent exhibition.
In this instance we suggest the following might be appropriate:-
- What links/overlap exist between the profession of Civil /structural Engineer and Quantity Surveyor
- How significant has been the 750 Motor Club to both national and international motor racing?
- Using A&R data benchmark EB within the 750 Motor club
- What do you consider EB finest car design?
- Explain Lola’s success in America
- Why didn’t EB/Lola produce road cars?
- Plot the locations and economic geography of car brands in post war London
- How significant was the Lola Mk.6 GT Coupe?
- Considered the means or strategy by which Lola could have competed as a team in F1- give examples/make comparisons
- Study our F1 design peers series and overlay with the career of F1 drivers/champions, what are the overlaps?[e.g. John Surtees]
- Suggest why the Lola GT coupe did not become a production road car
- Examine Lola decade by decade; which do you consider the most significant?
- Compare and contrast the Lola Mk. 2 & 6 although polarized which do you consider the more significant?
- CC&EB have much in common but CC/Lotus possibly has greater resonance-suggest why
- Make a scale drawing of the Lola GT and the Ford GT40 –annotate with technical details and or aesthetics
- Who has tended to sponsor Lola- c&c with Lotus
- Which other marques produced customer competition cars?
Exhibitions, Education and Economics
In the museum context the editors believe that commercial considerations are both necessary and complementary with its educational objectives.
For these reasons our suggested outline Business Plan includes provision for promoting products and services which share Chapman’s ideals of mechanical efficiency and sustainability. In addition we propose merchandising that explain and interprets the social and cultural context of Chapman’s designs in period. It’s suggested there will be catalogue for on line purchasing.
In this instance we suggest the following might be appropriate:-
- Broadley Speaking
- Lola & Ladies Day at the Races
- Lola: Ladies go First?
- Broadley & Lola- A ladies’ man?
- Lotus & Lola :One ‘L of a performance
- Lola ironing out the Kinks
- L-O-L-A, Lola, lo, lo,lo ,Lola
- Lola and Broadley: Dedicated followers of Fashion?
- Lola: You really got me
- The Lola/Lotus Laboratory
- Lithe ,Lissome Lola
- Lola-up and over the Hill
- On a mission- the Lola Embassy Hill
Broadley & Chapman compared
- Start with momentum given in introduction
- Both initially were London based
- Both were drivers [of varying ability] with science based qualifications
- Neither had formal Mechanical Engineering qualifications – Eric possibly more than Colin
- Both diversified to differing extents but often directly competing against each other
- Both sold customer cars with differing emphasis-both commercial and regarding content
- Both made a significant impact in America
- Both designers engaged original designers and possessed their own refined aesthetic
- Both at different levels defined new standards, products and competitiveness-each part determining a modernity evident today
- Each at a different level worked win Ford giving them publicly another sales
- Both men were independent
- Both have succeeded in creating icons cars and enduring legacies
“Eric Broadley’s Lola Company has been one of the most prolific builders of cars ever since it was started in 1958, for it has built cars to virtually every international racing formula.
Lola has been somewhat less successful in competition than several other major British makes, largely because the company has seldom entered and raced its own products. Even so, Lola has provided the basis for winning care at IIndianapolis, and Le Mans as well as most other formulae.
Since the demise of the Lotus racing car division .Lola has sold more racing cars than any other British manufacturer”
Some motor racing historians have suggested that Broadley/Lola “arguably the most successful racing car manufacturer of all time”
Eric’s other vital skill was as a businessman. Great talent is needed to design a winning car but it is perhaps even harder to create a profitable enterprise in the volatile world of racing car manufacturing, where winning is everything. He must have had nerves of steel to make that work for over 40 years. Eric had his inevitable ups and downs, the latter mostly from his attempts to break into Formula 1. He was drawn towards it because the big money seemed to be there – but Lola’s forays into F1 seemed eternally dogged by misfortune.”
“Designing and constructing cars throughout the full range of motorsports disciplines, in excess of 400 specific designs and over 5000 individual race cars were produced from the most prolific and successful British customer provider in the history of the sport.
Two revered and respected industry visionaries share the distinction of Lola custodians and drivers over the last half century. Post-war engineering pioneer and visionary, Eric Broadley is the founding father and led the company through to 1997, when successful businessman and committed motorsport driver, team owner, circuit owner and enthusiast, Martin Birrane transformed the company to meet 21st century technical demands, continuing the rich vein of success on and off the track.
Among the hundreds of engineering projects managed and executed at Lola were major programmes for automotive giants Nissan, Aston Martin, MG and General Motors. Lola also captured what is still the largest single order for racing car manufacture in 2005 when it supplied 50 A1 Grand Prix cars.
Formula One, World Endurance Championship, World Rally, Touring Car and Indy Car campaigns were run or benefitted from Lola expertise over the last dozen years.
Today Lola designed cars still race the world over and through a partnership between Multimatic and Haas Autos, several Lola LMP cars compete in the new TUSCC series in the USA.”
“Three Indy 500 victories, seven Indy Car titles, 12 Le Mans class wins, four Le Mans Series class titles and five American Le Mans Series crowns are just the start of Lola’s success through a remarkable history.
Lola also designed F1 cars have also competed in 148 F1 Grand Prix’s, helping Honda to achieve F1 success at Monza in 1967 and the French Larousse team to a remarkable podium position at the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix.
From 1997 onward, Lola overturned two important markets. Indy Car had been a private battle between Reynard and Penske from 1994-1998. Yet Lola, through a dedicated strategy of engineering excellence and the foresight of its new owner, Martin Birrane, achieved consistent success that eventually resulted in Newman Haas with Cristiano Da Matta taking the 2002 crown. Four more titles followed.
The second of the markets to be dominated by Lola was the burgeoning sports prototype sector. A staggering 76 LMP cars were built in the decade between 1999-2009 with ten distinct designs. Race wins and titles came, almost annually, and Lola’s contribution to the sports car industry came at Le Mans in 2008 when Martin Birrane was presented with the Spirit of Le Mans award.
John Surtees, Sir Jackie Stewart, AJ Foyt, Al Unser, Graham Hill, Nigel Mansell, Mario Andretti and Fernando Alonso are just a few of the legendary names who won races and titles driving some of Huntingdon’s finest creations.”
Our F1 design peers series has been broad based.We have endeavoured to be objective and fair in our assessment.
The advantage of this has been the ability to truly benchmark across a wide cross section.
Based on this we Broadley and Lola may not have quite the same overall charisma as Chapman and Lotus but to be in the top five of British motor racing brands is and remains a remarkable achievement.
It’s possible that Lola created her own distinction.
Appendix 1: Colin Chapman
|Colin Chapman’s Achievement|
|F1 Constructors & Drivers Championship|
|British Club level|
|Single seat formula below F1|
|Iconic Road cars|
|Technical /engineering innovations|
|Development of human talent|
|Facilitation & sponsorship|
|Legacy, continuity, heritage|
|Impact on popular culture|
|Contribution to British economy|
|Documentation, books & articles etc.|
Appendix: 1Lola types
|Broadley Special||1956-57||1||1172 Clubman’s Special|
|Mk1||1957-59||35||1100 Sports Race, usually Climax powered, Lotus 11 beater|
|Mk1A||1960||1||1500 Sports Racer, Climax FPF|
|Mk2||1960||19-29||Front enginered Junior, Lola’s first formula car, Ford 105E|
|Mk3||1961||11||futuristic Formula Junior, first mid-engined Lola, Holbay 105E|
|Mk4/4A||1962||4||Formula 1, Climax FWMV V8|
|Mk5/5A||1962-63||9||Formula Junior, Ford|
|Mk6||1963||3||Group 6 Sports Racer, Ford, later Chevy powered|
|GT||1964||4||Group 6 Sports Racer, Ford|
|T-53||1964||1||Formula 3 (Mk 5 model 3)|
|T-54/55/56||1964||3-7||Formula 2 Cosworth SCA (Mk5 model 4)|
|T-60/61/62||1964-66||12||Formula 2, first monocoque single seater|
|T-70||1965||47(Mk1/2)||immortal sports prototype, Group 7, 9 and Can Am, Chevy V8|
|T-70 Mk2 (T-72)||1966||47(Mk1/2)||Group 7 development of T-70|
|T-70 Mk3 (T-74?)||1967||25||Group 4 and 6 GT, some Aston Martin|
|T-70 Mk3B (T-78)||1968||16||Group 4 and 6 GT, Chevy V8|
|T-80||1965||3||Indy Car, Ford DOHC V8|
|T-90/92||1966-67||6||Indy Car, Ford DOHC V8|
|T-100/102||1966-67||7/2||Formula 2 BMW and FVA|
|T-110||1967||0||Formula 1 proposal|
|T-120||1967||1||hill climb car, BMW powered|
|T-130||1967||1||Formula 1 Honda RA300 based on T-90 tub, Honda RA273E V12|
|T-140/142||1968-69||45||Formula 5000, Chevy V8|
|T-150/152/153/154||1968-69||7||Indy car in 2 or 4 wheel drive configuration, Offenhauser turbo|
|T-160/162/163/164/165||1968-70||25||Can Am, Chevy V8|
|T-180||1968||1||Formula 1 Honda RA301, Honda RA301 V12|
|T-190/192||1969-70||20||Formula 5000, Chevy V8|
|T-210/212||1970-71||38||2 litre sports racer, Cosworth FVC|
|T-220/222||1970-71||9||Group 7/Can Am, Chevy V8|
|T-230||1970||0||Formula 1 proposal|
|T-240/242||1971-72||15/2||Formula B/Atlantic, Formula 2, Cosworth FVA|
|T-250/252||1971-72||59||Formula Super Vee|
|T-260||1971||2||Can Am, Chevy V8|
|T-270||1972||5||Indy Car, Offenhauser turbo|
|T-280/282/284/286||1972-77||6-9||3 litre sports racer, Cosworth DFV|
|T-290/292/294/296/297/298||1972-78||77-101||2 litre sports racer, Hart BDA|
|T-300||1972||15||Formula 5000, Chevy V8|
|T-310||1972||2||Can Am, Chevy V8|
|T-320/322/324/326/328||1973-77||63-92||Formula Super Vee|
|T-330/332/332C||1972-76||53||Formula 5000, Chevy V8|
|T-350||1975||1||Formula 3, Ford|
|T-370||1974-74||3||Formula 1 Hill, Cosworth DFV|
|T-380||1975||1-2||3 litre sports racer|
|T-390||1975||2-5||2 litre sports racer, BMW M12/6|
|T-400||1974-75||15||Formula 5000, Chevy V8|
|T-410||1974-75||8-12||Formula Super Renault|
|T-430||1976||3||Formula 5000 based on T-360|
|T-450||1976||4||Formula 2 BMW|
|T-460||1976||21||Formula Atlantic, most updated to 560 via factory kit|
|T-480||1977||4||Formula Ford 2000, Formula Continental|
|T-496/497||1977-79||10||C Sports Racer and Hill climb|
|T-506/506B||1977-81||109+||Mini Grand Prix|
|T-510||1977||4||Formula Super Renault|
|T-550||1977||1||Formula 2 Holbay-Abarth|
|T-560||1977||1||update to T-460 Atlantic, offered as kit|
|T-570||1977||4||Formula 3 based on T-550|
|T-580||1978-79||?||Formula Ford 2000|
|T-594/594C||1983||15/2||Sports 2000/C Sports VW/Hart|
|T-596/596C/598/598C||1984-89||52(to ’87)||Sports 2000|
|T-600||1981-82||12||GTP/B6/C Chevy, Ford, BMW|
|T-616||1983||4||GTP/C Junior Mazda/Polimotor|
|T-620||1978||?||Formula Super Vee|
|T-720||1979||?||Formula Super Vee|
|T-740||none||0||proposed Formula Ford, never built|
|T-850||1981||?||Toleman Hart F2|
|T-870||1983||1||Formula 3 tested but never raced|
|T-950||1985||4||Formula 3000 based on T900 Indy|
|T-86/90||1986||20+||Sports 2000, winner US Pro series|
|T-87/50||1987||?||Formula 3000, 1st year in Japan, wins championship|
|T-88/90||1988||?||Sports 2000, winner US pro series|
|T 89/50||1989||?||Formula 3000|
|T 90/00||1990||?||Indy Car, Indy winner and CART championship|
|T 90/30||1990||?||Formula 1 (Larrousse)|
|T 90/50||1990||?||Formula 3000, Japanese and European championship|
|T 91/00||1991||39||Indy Car, CART Championship|
|T 91/50||1991||46||Formula 3000, Japanese championship|
|T 92/00||1992||?||Indy Car, CART Championship|
|T 92/10||1992||3-4||C1 Judd|
|T 92/50||1992||?||Formula 3000, Japanese Championship|
|T 93/00||1993||?||Indy Car, CART Championship|
|T 93/20||1993||?||Indy Lights|
|T 93/50||1993||?||Formula 3000, Japanese championship|
|T 94/00||1994||?||Indy Car|
|T 95/00||1995||?||Indy Car, CART Championship|
|T 95/20||1995||?||Indy Lights, Championship|
|T 95/50||1995||?||Formula 3000|
|T 96/00||1996||?||Indy Car|
|T 97/20||1997||?||Indy Lights|
|T 97/50||1997||?||Formula 3000|
|T 97/51||1997||?||Formula Nippon|
|T 98/00||1998||?||Indy Car|
|T 98/10||1998||?||Sports Car, ISRS|
|T 98/50||1998||?||Formula 3000|
|T 98/51||1998||?||Formula Nippon|
|B 99/00||1999||?||Indy Car|
|B 98/10||1998||?||Sports Car, ISRS|
|B 99/50||1999||?||Formula 3000|
|B 99/51||1999||?||Formula Nippon|
Appendix 2: Role of Quantity Surveyor
Quantity surveyor duties typically include:
- Conducting feasibility studies to estimate materials, time and labour costs
- Preparing, negotiating and analysing costs for tenders and contracts
- Coordination of work effort
- Advising on a range of legal and contractual issues
- Valuing completed work and arranging for payments
Skills and Knowledge
- Methodical way of thinking
- Good knowledge of construction
- Excellent problem solving skills
- Good financial and numeracy management skills
- Excellent communication and negotiating skills
- The ability to absorb complex information and assess requirements readily
- Computer literate
- A clear understanding of HSE building regulations and legal guidelines
Some motor racing historians have suggested that EB was employed or contracted to the retailer M&S in the expansive post war period. They are likely to have required the greatest level of competence relating to value for money, cost-effectiveness, efficiency, circulation, premises performance, presentation and maintenance costs.
Like Chapman, Broadley would therefore require proficiency in detail, surveying, and mathematics. Arithmetic, measurement, and logistics along with an understanding of construction.Also like Chapman it’s probable he was trained in drafting.
Lola Type 70 V8 Coupes.Bamsey.Haynes.1990
Lola Type 70 Owners Manual.Parker.Haynes.2019.
Racing and Sports Car Chassis Design.Costin & Phipps.Batsford.
A-Z of Formula Racing cars.Hodges.Bayview.1990.
Track Tests Sports Cars.Bowler. Temple Press.1981
Classic Sports car.Posthumus.Hamlyn.1980
The World Racing cars.Twite.Macdonald.1971
Tuning Side-Valve Fords. Cooper.Speed&Sports.1969.
Lola: All the Sports Racing & single seated racing cars, 1978-1997.Starkey.Veloce.2001.
Lola-The Sports Prototypes &Can Am cars.Starkey.Gryfon.2009.
Lola Cars: Russell & Cohen
Lola Race Cars 1962=1990.Haynes.Iconography.1997.
Lola Cars.Miller, Vandome, McBrewster.VDM
Lola Can-Am & Endurance Race car.Friedman.MBI.1998
Lola: The Illustrated History 1957-1977.Starkey & Wells.Veloce.1998.
Lola Sports Racers.Clarke.Brooklands.2009.
Lola 1978-1997.Starkey, Illoinen, Wells.Veloce.
Please note the editors of the A&R attempt to give the broadest spectrum of references but not all are available for consultation in an article. However by noting their existence it may assist students in their research.
*Items in italics non A&R library books.