Lola T100 car-by-car histories
Lola's 1967 T100 Formula 2 car was used by John Surtees' new Lola Racing Ltd, and by a new BMW works team. The Cosworth FVA engine proved to be a better option than BMW's powerplant, and Surtees won two F2 races in a T100-FVA.
John Surtees had a relationship with Lola Cars going back to 1965, when the World Champion raced Lola's T70 sports car with great success in England and America, and also won the Oulton Park Gold Cup Formula 2 race in one of the company's T60s. Surtees expanded his private racing interests after his departure from Ferrari in mid-1966, again winning numerous races in a T70, as well as having a single F2 outing. For 1967, with Formula 2 changing from 1000cc to 1600cc, Lola and Surtees came together to form Lola Racing Ltd, to enter Lola's new 1967 Formula 2 T100 using Cosworth's new FVA engine and also a new engine from BMW. The team would also enter Lola T70 sports cars, and Chris Irwin, David Hobbs, and Pedro Rodriguez were all signed to drive, with Howard Marsden joining from Alan Mann Racing as general manager. BMW would also enter a works team of new T100s, headed by Alex van Falkenhausen, with ex-Abarth engineer Klaus Steinmetz as team manager, and Hubert Hahne and Jo Siffert as drivers. BMW's engine had been designed by Paul Rosche and was fitted with a radial valve cylinder head designed by Ludwig Apfelbeck. In 2-litre form, this engine had already been successfully tested in an ex-Dan Gurney Brabham F1 car. Reduced to 1599cc capacity for F2, it generated 225 bhp at 9500 rpm on Lucas fuel injection. The Surtees team cars ran on Firestone tyres, 'Big John' having a lucrative testing contract with the American company, and the BMW works car ran on Dunlops.
The Lola T100 was of monocoque construction, with built-in fuel tanks along the lines of the company's T90 Indy car design, the monocoque continuing to the rear of the car and enclosing the engine. The rocker arm inboard front suspension of the preceding T60 series was replaced by double wishbones and outboard spring/damper units. Rear suspension was also conventional with a reversed bottom wishbone, single top links and radius rods. Like almost all the cars built for the new 1600cc F2, it used a Hewland FT200 gearbox. Although the Surtees/BMW deal was not described as an exclusive arrangement, it effectively squeezed out Lola's previous F2 partner Midland Racing Partnership (MRP), who soon realised they would be unable to acquire T100s, so wound up their operation.
At the opening race of the season, Surtees chose to run a T100-Cosworth with both Hubert Hahne in the works BMW car and Irwin in Surtees' BMW-powered car struggling. Surtees had a brand new BMW-powered car for the Nürburgring race and went very well, finishing second, while Hahne wrestled the ill-handling BMW works car home in fourth place. Surtees then received a sixth car, FVA-powered, and used this to win the next two races: a masterful drive in the rain at Mallory Park followed by a last-lap victory at Zolder. The BMW engines seemed to go backwards during the season, Hahne and Siffert being slowest of all at Albi in September, and Surtees was only interested in driving the Cosworth car. One of Surtees' older cars was sold to David Bridges for Brian Redman to drive, and an experimental narrow track car was sold to Alistair Walker for 1968. The two BMW works cars were rebuilt by John Woodington and Tony Kitchiner with FVA engines and given new chassis numbers for the Spanish Escuderia Nacional CS team in 1968.
Believed to be the Lola T100 entered by BMW Motorsport for Hubert Hahne at the opening race of the 1967 F2 season. This car was taken over by Jo Siffert at the second race, at Silverstone a few days later, and kept by him for the race at Nürburgring in April. It is then assumed to be the car used by Kurt Ahrens in the team's next race at Hockenheim in June. If Hahne stayed with the newer chassis SL100/3, then this original car would be the one raced by Siffert at Reims in June, at Albi in September, and at Vallelunga in October. It is assumed here to be the car used by Siffert to win the St Ursanne-Les Rangiers hillclimb in August using the 2-litre BMW Apfelbeck engine, but that could just as easily be the same car Hahne had used in the German GP two weeks earlier, as that used the same larger engine. Detailed photographs or access to BMW records may resolve that. The two BMW Motorsport Lola T100s were then rebuilt to take Cosworth FVAs and given new chassis numbers SL100/7 and SL100/8.
Driven by: Hubert Hahne, Jo Siffert and Kurt Ahrens. First race: Silverstone (R2), 27 Mar 1967. Total of 6 recorded races.
Believed to be the works Lola T100 entered by Lola Racing for Chris Irwin to drive in Formula 2 at the start of 1967. Fitted with a BMW Apfelbeck radial valve engine and raced by Irwin at Snetterton in March 1967. Irwin crashed during the race, and the Lola turned over and caught fire. It was rebuilt - or a new car was built using the same chassis number - with slightly different suspension and narrower track, now with a Cosworth FVA engine, and was raced by Irwin at Enna in August 1967. Sold to Alistair Walker for 1968, and raced by him in F2 that season. Alistair sold it at the end of that season, and cannot recall where it went. Subsequent history unknown, but thought to be one of the two Lola T100s sold to the US for Formula B, most likely the Max Mizejewski car.
Driven by: Chris Irwin and Alistair Walker. First race: Snetterton (R1), 24 Mar 1967. Total of 8 recorded races.
Believed to be the new Lola T100 entered by BMW Motorsport and raced by Hubert Hahne at the Nürburgring in April 1967. It is presumably then the car he raced at Hockenheim in June, and that he used at Reims two weeks later, where he failed to qualify. It is then assumed to be the car he raced in the German GP in nominal Formula 1 specification with a 2-litre version of the BMW Apfelbeck engine. His remaining races that season were in the Brands Hatch Guards Trophy in August, at Albi in September, and the Gran Premio di Roma at Vallelunga in October. The two BMW Motorsport Lola T100s were then rebuilt to take Cosworth FVAs and given new chassis numbers SL100/7 and SL100/8.
Driven by: Hubert Hahne. First race: Nürburgring (R3), 23 Apr 1967. Total of 7 recorded races.
Believed to be the works Lola T100 entered by Lola Racing for John Surtees to drive in Formula 2 at the start of 1967. Fitted with a Cosworth FVA engine and raced by Surtees at Snetterton and Silverstone in March 1967, then by Chris Irwin at the Nürburgring in April. Sold in May to David Bridges for Brian Redman to drive in F2 for the rest of that season. Retained by Bridges for F2 in 1968, when it was driven by Redman, Chris Williams, Mike Beckwith, David Hobbs and Robin Widdows. Sold to Robin Darlington (Ruaben, Wales) late 1969, and used in libre racing in 1970. He advertised it in January 1971 when it had a twin cam and was prepared for the new 1971 Formula Atlantic category. Robin cannot recall where it went, but it was next seen in Sprints in late 1973, when it was driven by Richard Lester (Yoxall, Staffordshire). The car was run by Lester in the 1600cc class in Sprints and occasional hillclimbs from 1974 to 1977. Lester then acquired a March 73B, and advertised the T100 in January 1978 as "ex-Redman" with an all-steel twin cam and Hewland FT200 gearbox. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: John Surtees, Chris Irwin, Chris Williams, Brian Redman, Mike Beckwith, David Hobbs, Robin Widdows, Robin Darlington and Richard Lester. First race: Snetterton (R1), 24 Mar 1967. Total of 43 recorded races.
Believed to be the works Lola T100 with BMW engine entered by Lola Racing for John Surtees to drive in Formula 2 that first appeared at the Nürburgring in April 1967. Also raced by Chris Irwin at Reims, David Hobbs in the German GP, Irwin at Brands Hatch, and Andrea de Adamich at Albi. As Lola Racing's other two T100s, SL100/2 and SL100/4, were both sold, this is believed to be the Firestone test and development car maintained by John Surtees' operation over the next two years. For 1970, it was sold to Robs Lamplough, fitted with a Cosworth FVA engine and raced by him in F2 in 1970. To Brian and Barry White for 1971, and fitted with a Ford twin cam for the new Formula Atlantic. Presumably the car advertised in November 1971 from west London numbers with a new Broadspeed BDA, and still in Surtees' red and silver livery. Last seen at the Brands Hatch Atlantic race in April 1972. Its history after the Whites is not known, but a few years later, the ex-Surtees Firestone test car was bought by Bob Eccles (Oldbury, West Midlands), less engine and gearbox. He fitted a Ford twin cam engine and used the car in libre between 1976 and 1978, and later, suitably re-engined, in Monoposto in 1979 and 1980. Bob cannot remember where it went, but it appears to be the car acquired by Ted Walker from John Harper, and restored for HSCC racing. This car later went to Steve Hartley, and was raced by him in Historic F2 in the early 1990s. Hartley sold the car to Sweden in 1996. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: John Surtees, Chris Irwin, David Hobbs, Andrea de Adamich, Robs Lamplough, Brian White, Barry White and Bob Eccles. First race: Nürburgring (R3), 23 Apr 1967. Total of 25 recorded races.
New for John Surtees to drive for Lola Racing at Mallory Park in May 1967, fitted with a Cosworth FVA engine. Surtees won at Mallory, and the next race at Zolder. This was then the team's main FVA car, as SL100/2 had been rebuilt in narrow-track form, and SL100/4 had been sold to David Bridges. Raced by Chris Irwin from July onwards, then by Andrea de Adamich at Enna. Raced by Irwin in F2 in early 1968, but after Irwin was badly injured in sports car race in May, the T100 was sold to Escuderia Nacional CS to replace SL100/8 that had been wrecked by Alex Soler-Roig. Raced by Soler-Roig for the rest of the 1968 season. To John Watson (Craigavad, County Down, Northern Ireland) and fitted with a Ford twin cam for local libre racing in 1969. To Dave Furlong (Dublin, Ireland) for 1970, then to John Burke (Dublin) for 1971. It was raced by Richie Conroy for Burke in 1972, then by Burke again in libre racing in 1973. Advertised by Burke, still with Ford twin cam engine and Hewland FT200 gearbox, in November 1973. Subsequent history unknown, but said by a later owner to have been owned by Bob Eccles (Oldbury, West Midland) in the late 1970s. If that is corerect, it would be the second T100 that Eccles acquired as a source of spares for his main car. It is then believed to be the car raced by Pat Speer in HSCC events in 1985. Ted Walker then had two Lola T100s, probably the two ex-Eccles cars, and one remained in pieces while he had them, logically this one. According to a later Bonhams sale description, this car was owned by Speer in the 1970s, and was acquired by Louis Bernat (Chicago, IL) in 1989. Bernat died in 1997, and the car was advertised by his son Robert Bernat (Chicago, IL) in 2005, bought by Paul Busby, and returned to England. Sold at the Bonhams Brooklands auction in December 2011 to Robs Lamplough, but later sold back to Busby in 2015. Still owned by Paul in September 2020.
Driven by: John Surtees, Chris Irwin, Andrea de Adamich, Alex Soler-Roig, John Watson, Dave Furlong, John Burke and Richie Conroy. First race: Mallory Park, 14 May 1967. Total of 51 recorded races.
Rebuilt from SL100/1 or SL100/3 for Escuderia Nacional CS for Formula 2 in 1968, and raced by Jorge de Bagration, with sponsorship from Calvo Sotelo. This is likely to be the car advertised by Charlie Hayes in April 1970 "ex-Alex Soler Roig European F2 car", as Soler-Roig was de Bagration's better-known teammate. By the time the advert appeared, Soler-Roig had done a deal to drive for Lotus in F1. It was next seen in May 1975 when Ron Renari (White Plains, NY) raced a Formula B Lola in SCCA Regionals at Lime Rock. He raced the car again in 1976, and advertised it as an "ex-Alex Soler-Roig Lola T100". It is reported to have gone to Stewart Bone, a Pontiac Fiero collector in NY state, and he sold it to Tim Gaffney in 1992. After having the monocoque restored by Simon Hadfield, Gaffney raced it in 2003. Sold in 2009 to Dean Baker (Bowmanville, Ontario), who raced it once at Watkins Glen, but found it needed a thorough restoration and put it aside until he got to that. Still owned by Dean in September 2020
Driven by: Jorge de Bagration and Ron Raneri. First race: Montjuich Park, 31 Mar 1968. Total of 8 recorded races.
Rebuilt from SL100/1 or SL100/3 for Escuderia Nacional CS for Formula 2 in 1968, and raced by Alex Soler-Roig. The team was sponsored from Calvo Sotelo (ENCASO), a state-owned Spanish oil company. Soler-Roig crashed the Lola heavily at Crystal Palace in early June, an accident that "wrapped the monocoque in a knot". Escuderia Nacional CS acquired SL100/6 from Lola Racing to replace it.
Driven by: Alex Soler-Roig. First race: Montjuich Park, 31 Mar 1968. Total of 4 recorded races.
Lola T100s from 1968 onwards
The two T100s owned by BMW were repurposed for the Escuderia Nacional CS team, becoming SL100/7 and SL100/8. Of the four cars run by John Surtees' Lola Racing operation in 1967, SL100/2 was sold to Alistair Walker for 1968, SL100/4 was sold to David Bridges during 1967, and SL100/6 was sold to Escuderia Nacional CS in May 1968 to replace SL100/8 wrecked by Alex Soler-Roig. That leaves only SL100/5 with the Surtees team, so this must be the Team Surtees Lola T100 reported to be testing tyres at Brands Hatch in February 1969. That car went to Robs Lamplough, Alistair Walker's brother-in-law, later in 1969.
The conversion of BMW's SL100/1 and SL100/3 means that only six distinct cars were built, and when SL100/8 was written off, that reduced the total to five. The first two of these to disappear from sight were Walker's SL100/2, which he recalls being sold to the US, and Jorge de Bagration's SL100/7, which may well have gone the same route. Max Mizejewski in southern California had one of these two cars by late 1969, but who had the second US car at this early stage is unclear. That left three cars still active in the UK and Ireland. By the start of 1970, SL100/4 was with Robin Darlington, SL100/5 with Robs Lamplough, SL100/6 with Dave Furlong in Ireland.
'the Max Mizejewski car'
Max Mizejewski (Woodland Hills, CA) raced a Lola T100 in Formula B in Southern California in 1970, entered at #97 at least part of the time by Dr Walter H. Martin. Mizejewski and his engine preparer Chuck Willis moved to a new Lola T240 for 1971, and the movements of the T100 are unknown in 1971. Raced by Bob Bollegra (Centerport, NY) in SCCA Regionals in NEDiv in 1972, and advertised by him in December 1972 as "ex-Max Mizejewski". Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Max Mizejewski and Bob Bottega. First race: Riverside, 5 Oct 1969. Total of 14 recorded races.
Unresolved Lola T100 references
- Lola T100B Monocoque Roller Chassis. 5 races only from new ... £650 B.C. Baker, Bewdley 3209 (Worcs). Autosport 28 Nov 1974 p57. There was no T100 in England at that time that had only done five races, so this is a puzzle.
- Lola T100 F2 rolling chassis. March bodywork. 9" and 13" wheels, ideal Sprints or Hillclimbs, or basis for Super Saloon. £395. Ossett 272235 (day time). [Richard Simms] AS 12 Apr 1979 p63
Ted Walker (Dursley, Gloucestershire) owned two T100s at one point. He bought them from John Harper, and believes they came from Harry Heathcote. It seems likely that these were the two cars that Bob Eccles had driven, the complete car being the former Firestone test car SL100/5, and the incomplete spares car being SL100/6.
Some notes on chassis number identification
The chassis numbers used here are based on Lola records, and make the assumption that the cars were used in the order indicated: i.e. that the first car used by Hahne at the start of 1967 was SL100/1, and that the second car that appeared for that team was SL100/3. For the Lola Racing cars, SL100/2 can be confidently identified as the car Irwin drove at the start of the season, because this car was wrecked and rebuilt as the narrow-track test car, which was identified in 1968 as SL100/2. That leaves SL100/4 as Surtees' early-season car, which was sold to David Bridges as soon as newer cars were available. The new BMW-engined car for Surtees at the Nürburgring in April, and the new Cosworth-powered car for Surtees at Mallory Park in May must then be SL100/5 and SL100/6 respectively. Lola Racing's three Cosworth-powered cars were all sold off by mid-1968 - first SL100/4 to Bridges, then SL100/2 to Alistair Walker, and then SL100/6 to Escuderia Nacional CS - so the T100 retained by Team Surtees for Firestone testing in 1968 and 1969 can only have been SL100/5.
Lola records show the two cars that went to the Spanish Escuderia Nacional CS team in 1968 as SL100/7 and SL100/8, but John Woodington advises that these were the two BMW team cars, rebuilt by him and Tony Kitchiner with FVA engines and given new chassis numbers.
I am most grateful to Ben Mitchell and Ted Walker for their help constructing these histories. Also, thanks to previous owners Alistair Walker, Robin Darlington and Bob Eccles; to current owner Paul Busby, to Gerald Swan at Lola Heritage, to John Woodington for solving the mystery of the BMW team cars, and to regular collaborators David McKinney, Chris Townsend, Steve Wilkinson and Simon Hadfield for their input.
The BMW engine was described in Autosport 17 March 1967 p383. The Lola Heritage website has an excellent page on the Lola T100.
These histories last updated on .