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PostHeaderIcon Lola GT

The Lola Mk. 6 GT is genuine cornerstone material in the racing world as it laid the groundwork for what would become Ford’s answer to Ferrari: the GT40. It was also one of the first mid-engined GT sports cars to race at Le Mans, its philosophy transforming into the go-to recipe for endurance racers for years to follow.

This year, we celebrated 50 years since Ford’s third win on the trot at Le Mans. One more was on the cards for the following year, and all was possible because of Eric Broadley’s Lola Mk. 6 GT which debuted at London’s Olympia Racing Car Show in January of 1963. It was a sleek, yet simple design that blazed a trail that many would follow in the construction of purposeful endurance sports cars as well as many road cars that we now look at and consider the forefathers of the supercar.

It all happened thanks to a change in the regulations of the rebadged World Sports Car Championship, which would be known as the International Championship for GT Manufacturers for 1962. This rebranding exercise also led the way to FISA launching a new class for Experimental Grand Touring cars. These were, in effect, closed-top sports racers that didn’t need to worry about any homologation requirements that were in line for production-based machinery. While still retaining the GT moniker, these were, for all intents and purposes, prototypes that had to retain some degree of roadworthiness to be road legal.

This was very much the case with the Mk. 6 GT which, in innovative fashion, featured monocoque construction, although it wasn’t a “full monocoque.” Another innovation laid in the construction of the bodywork which was made entirely out of fiberglass, something quite uncommon at the time. For all the stir int produced upon launch, the Mk. 6 GT fell short on its promises, Broadley’s limited pockets effectively cutting the wings of his new design which seldom showed up at a race meeting, and when it did it never lasted too long.

Only three of these cars were ever made and, thankfully, all survive to this day. While you may think they are only a footnote in the Ford vs. Ferrari saga, if it weren’t for Lola raising Henry Ford II’s eyebrows at Le Mans 55 years ago, we may never have gotten the GT40 the way we know it today. Yes, the follow-up Lola T70 is the much more revered design, and the Ford GT40 is the one that gathered all the accolades in the winner’s circle, but the Mk. 6 GT deserves to lavish in much more attention than it gets for the pioneering act that it is.

Keep reading to learn more about the Lola Mk. 6 GT and its intricate history and historical relevance.

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