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.
Tom Cotter has shifted gears for the latest episode of Barn Find Hunter, leaving dusty sheds and rusty sheetmetal in favor of a tour of Detroit landmarks and some noteworthy cars that were designed, engineered, and built in and around the Motor City. His first vehicular deep dive is a look into the history of a very special 1965 Mustang that was built for and owned by Henry Ford II.
The car in question has been owned by Art Cairo, a longtime Ford employee who bought the unique pony car 45 years ago for just $500. Cairo had the car restored and replaced any rotted sheetmetal with new-old stock that he went to great length and expense to track down, making sure that this piece of history is still all Ford.
Cairo shows Tom some of the unique details that set this coupe apart from the millions of other Mustangs built in the ’60s. Perhaps most apparent is the leather interior, which wasn’t offered on early Mustangs. The door jamb also reveals chrome door strikers and a nicely finished seam where the jamb meets the quarter panel rather than a clear overlap and spot welds.
There are also several less-obvious, telltale signs that this wasn’t a run-of-the-mill pony car. For example, the back of the instrument cluster has “Henry Ford’s car” hand-written in marker and there’s a scatter shield bolted to the transmission tunnel. Under the hood is a high-performance K-code 289-cubic-inch V-8 that was not available on early 1965 Mustangs.
This car is just the first of many that Tom will highlight on his special trip through Detroit, so make sure to subscribe to Hagerty’s YouTube channel so you don’t miss any of the hidden gems of Motor City history.
An artist’s duty is rather to stay open-minded and in a state where he can receive information and inspiration. You always have to be ready for that little artistic epiphany.”— Nick Cave, Australian musician.
Ken Blaisdell, now of Gilbert, Arizona, didn’t realize he was soon to have an artistic epiphany when he found this 1963 Ford Falcon convertible for sale online locally. “It was a true 20-footer—rougher than I expected. All of the plastic dash knobs were deteriorated and broken from the Arizona sun; the seller had replaced the top, but left the original gaskets in place; he removed the old door gaskets but didn’t install new ones. The original engine had been swapped out, and while the evaporator was still under the dash, the original York compressor was gone. I told the seller that it was rougher than I had expected, and that I was going to pass.” A month later, however, “I went back and bought it.”
Inspiration for finding this Falcon came from Ken’s salad days in the early ’70s, when a used ’61 Falcon sedan was his daily driver. “It was ‘just an old car’ that served as cheap transportation,” he says. “I paid $50 for it, and drove it until the rear end gave out. I used to work on that one because I had to; now I own one and work on it as a hobby! The style brings me back to the days when I first became interested in cars, and it’s so simple to work on that it’s actually enjoyable. It keeps me in shape; I refer to all of the crawling around beneath it, the bending over into the engine compartment, and the twisting to reach under the dash as my ‘restoration yoga.
Does a $4,500 project get the gears turning in your head? This one is in Bridgeport, Connecticut, now, wearing Tennessee license plates, but the McDowell Motors dealership badge on this 1963 Rambler American 330 indicates it was sold new in Toronto, Ontario, Canada—and probably built at the American Motors factory in Brampton, Ontario. The years and the international travel have spoiled the Frost White paint, but according to the seller’s description, the 196.5-cu.in. OHV six-cylinder and Borg-Warner three-speed automatic are rebuilt and functional, and the Rambler comes with a new old stock blue interior.
It just so happens that I had a Rambler American 330 at one time, and I loved it. Mine was a ’64, however, which was bigger, riding a 106-inch wheelbase and using panels derived from the 1963 Rambler Classic and Ambassador. The ’63s were the last of the 100-inch models, which originated with the 1950 Nash Rambler. I’ve always liked them, particularly in the 1961-’63 “breadbox” years, which were when squared-up sheetmetal was used to obscure the early ’50s roots of the chassis
Now, the odds are that this example will become some kind of semi-beater. It’s a four-door economy car, after all, and for the most part people neither restore them nor hot rod them. It will certainly make a fun driver, as it sits. The Rambler OHV six from these years was derived from the old Nash flathead (which was itself still available—my ’64 had one) and it came in 125-hp one-barrel or 138-hp two-barrel form. The downside is a steadily dwindling parts supply for those engines.
My grandma’s 1963 Buick Special has never left Broome County, New York. She took extra measures to make sure her car was well-loved and maintained in pristine condition.
When the forecast called for rain, she would take the bus and leave her Buick Special safely tucked in the garage. And if it did ever get caught in the rain, it would get wiped down once it was under shelter.
She never sat directly on the seat but on one of those rugs you put down in the front of the kitchen sink
Pete Vicari grew up in a family owned construction and real-estate development business in Harvey, Louisiana, just south of New Orleans. But he also grew up with a love of Detroit muscle cars and especially Chevrolet Corvettes.
His passion for such muscular machines led to the founding 25 years ago of the Vicari Auction Company, which regularly conducts collector car sales in Mississippi, Texas and Georgia. Vicari’s next sale is scheduled for April 17-18 at Biloxi, and will be followed just a couple of weeks later by an annual auction in Nocona, Texas.
While such auctions are very public events, a week ago Vicari shared some previously very privately held news: Not only had he collected three pre-production 1963 Chevrolet Corvette prototypes — and with sequential serial numbers — but he has decided it is time to sell them.
However, there is a catch:He wants the cars to stay together as a set.
There is a lot to be said for a restomod classic that is very cool, but is very simple and not over the top. Cars with too much done to them tend to look cluttered and crowded to many people. This 1963.5 Ford Falcon Futura is a very simple car. The car is coated in black paint, which was its factory color.
The current owner is a man called Craig Wick, and he owns a custom shop known for cool rides. The 1963 Ford Falcon Futura was a customer car that sat derelict for a few years until Wick made a deal to buy it. The car had already received a Mustang II-style front suspension upgrade
Very Rare part for that special restoration, 1963 Corvette Z06, split window coupe or simply adding to the parts collection. Part number is 7017375, but can be used on 64-65 vettes too, part # 7017380.
The Avanti II is an American performance sports coupe based on the Studebaker Avanti and marketed through a succession of five different ownership arrangements subsequent to Studebaker‘s discontinuation of the model. After the closure of Studebaker’s South Bend factory on December 20, 1963, cars carrying the Avanti nameplate were initially produced from left-over Studebaker components and later, by the Avanti Motor Company from General Motors and Ford chassis and engines. Very few cars were made before all production ceased in 2006.
This car is really in pristine condition. Beautiful British racing green with camel leather Recaro seats. Upholstery and carpeting is all excellent. It has only 52000 original miles on it. The frame and hog troughes are solid and rust-free. The car has power disc brakes (Turner), power steering, power windows, power sunroof, A/C and rear luggage rack. Everthing works except the A/C which needs a condenser. The Chevy 305 V8 has been completely “de-smogged” and runs really strong. The car has rebuilt kingpins, new brake master cylinder and rear wheel cylinders, new front shocks, new all stainless true dual exhaust and new tires. This car runs flawlessly and rides and handles like new. It needs absolutely nothing to enjoy driving and/or showing. I am reluctantly selling it due to lack of storage space.
Article from the New York Times on the warning to drivers on the “special problems” of the early Corvair
WASHINGTON, July 25 —The head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said today that his agency would send letters to some 200,000 owners of 1960–1963 Chevrolet Corvairs advising them of “special problems” created by the car’s handling characteristics.