Lellas’ Lola Lives!…Peter Brennans’ Restoration of Lola T330 Chev ‘HU18’ Episode # 4

Posted: October 27, 2014 in Features, Restoration
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Lola T330 P Island

Peter Brennan blasts his Lola down Phillip Islands straight on Saturday 27 September 2014, the car last ran in John Turners’ hands at Brands Hatch on 19 October 1975, only 39 years ago!…

Over the last three episodes of ‘Racers Retreat’ we have covered Peters’ purchase of the car in the US, and its rapid restoration commencing in August 2013, the car finally made its debut at a Phillip Island test day a month ago.

Australian readers should get to Sandown on 7-9 th November to see the car make its first race appearance in a huge field of F5000 cars in the Victorian Historic Racing Registers’ annual historic race meeting at the great Melbourne suburban venue.

John Taylor lola T330 Thruxton 1975

John Turner at Thruxton in ‘HU18’ earlier in 1975 (tinkerwinkerTNF)

John Turner bought the car from Jackie Epstein at the end of 1974, after Lombardis’ year in it. He raced the car in  many rounds of the 1975 Shellsport UK Series, finishing fifth in that final race at Brands, Peter Gethins Team VDS Lola T400 Chev won the race and the sister T400 of Teddy Pilette won the championship.

Turner sold the car to Jim Burnett for use as a central seat CanAm car, and as covered earlier in the series of articles the car was damaged in a factory fire until rescued by Peter many years later…here in his workshop just prior to the massive job of restoration.

brennans workshop

Phillip Island Test…

Lola T330 Brennan P Island

Peter Brennan all loaded up…livery all 100% period correct 1973 ‘shellSport 208’ team. Front brake ducts taped over in this shot

It was a beautiful September day, fortunately the ‘Islands weather gods were smiling…’I had been looking forward to the first run of the car, checking and re-checking the thing over the prior weeks, and firing it up a million times, then the bloody thing wouldn’t start for the first session!’

‘I had plenty of advice of course, but the bloody magneto had cacked itself, they are like a flighty girlfriend , here one minute and gone the next! I didn’t take a lot of spares with me, but i did have a spare mag, so we fitted that and were ready to rock and roll’.

‘Off we go ot onto the circuit in session two, i went about eighty metres and it died, i slowed down and it cut out. I checked the fuel pressure and volumes, the engine is on Webers. After a lot of thought i took the air-boxes off the carbs and that did the trick. I hadn’t created vents in the airboxes to allow excessive pressure to escape, the set-up cannot be fully sealed, i got advice from Peter Molloy and others after the weekend’.

vent tubes

Look closely at this shot, on the RHS of the carb base plate near the rollbar and you can see the breather holes cut to relieve surplus pressure in the airbox…4 thirsty 48 IDA Webers…’nasty’ magneto cap just visible to the left between the oil tank and carb base plates

‘After that change the car was sensational, even using the basic initial settings. Later in the day i did 6 1:36 laps without pushing hard at all. The thing is a jet, really quick. Most of the fiddling around on the day was just getting comfy in the car, the gearchange is a little close to me and the cockpit is as tight as…i’m not a svelte 18 year old anymore!’

‘Before Sandown we need to just check the thing over, the airbox bleed is done, re-align it and so on. Its amazing how much fuel the thing uses 3.7 litres per lap. I can afford the car but not the fuel to put in it, i used 90 litres on the day at $3.75 per litre! Time to drill an oil-well at home in the eastern suburbs’.

Lola T330 P Island front

Lola T330 Brennan up

See the rear wing compared with episode # 3. Far-back original wing supports banned by FIA at the end of 1973..attention to detail in the restoration superb, our mature age driver doing his best to find some space…

Lola T330 B & W

‘HU18’ to early, original T330 spec. Carbs common in the UK then, early airbox setup, far rear mounted wing, and none of the T332 mods to the tub, bodywork and suspension that most 330’s modifed to T332 spec received in period to keep them competitive

Lola T330 nose

Front suspension typical of period. Upper and lower unequal length wisbbones, coil spring damper units (Koni double adjustable alloy shocks), adjustable roll bar

Lola T332 Chev 'HU18' Phillip Island

Lola T330 Brennan P Is front straight

Roll on Sandown for Episode 5 in November, be there if you can!…

Photo Credits…

Peter Brennan, Jay Bondini

Finito…

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