This Lola Mk6 GT Prototype Made The First Ford GT40 Possible – Patrick Stevenson @Petrolicious

This Lola Mk6 GT Prototype Made The First Ford GT40 Possible – Patrick Stevenson @Petrolicious


Imagine pulling the cover off this incredible mid-engine prototype Lola GT in 1965 and buying it for only $3,000. Well, Allen Grant did just that in England over 50 years ago and this freshly restored 1 of 1 Mk6 prototype is that car. There was no way Grant or anyone else could have known how special or significant this race car prototype would be today: this very car would be the design inspiration for the infamous Ford GT40.

In 1963, Eric Broadley debuted this same Lola Mk6 GT Prototype at the Olympia Racing Car Show in England. It was designed to be raced in the FIA’s new Experimental Grand Touring Class. The mid-engine V8 was cradled in a steel monocoque chassis and surrounded by stunning fiberglass bodywork. It was the hit of the show, and it’s not hard to see why, and if anything it only commands more attention in 2018. Built to go racing, this prototype ended up competing at Silverstone and the Nürburgring 1000km in 1963, while the first production chassis, which had an aluminum monocoque, raced at the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans. At this race Ford took notice of the little Lola and decided it would be a great start toward beating Ferrari.

Ford acquired the Lola GTs and hired Eric Broadley to start development on the GT40 program. The prototype and the aforementioned chassis #1 would become test mules for the design of the fast Ford. This marriage was to be short lived though, and Ford and Broadley parted ways in 1964. After the split, the GT prototype was returned to Broadley and stored in the corner of the Lola factory under a tarp. Time moved on and so did Lola, as development of the new T70 chassis began

Grant headed back to the States to finish college in 1966, and the Lola GT found itself in storage once more. As with many project cars, the Lola took a backseat to the priorities of adult life. In fact, as Grant started his successful career as a home builder, he used the Lola as collateral for his first project. Over the years Grant chased the money and time needed to complete the GT, but was never able to have both at once until finally, in 2005, he started the restoration which included the amazing teal interior. Unfortunately the 2008 recession put a halt on the project again, and it sat in pieces until May of 2016. Ford was going to be displaying the new GT road car at Monterey Car Week, and they wanted to have the Lola GT as part of the show.

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