Lola T440 Formula Ford…

Posted: February 18, 2020 in Who,What,Where & When...?
Tags: , , ,

(FF Oz)

Phil Revell eases his Lola T440 Ford into Torana Corner at Sandown during his successful ‘Driver to Europe’ assault in 1981…

This little jigger has to one of Australia’s winningest FF’s ever? Stephen Brook won the DTE in it in 1980 taking six of the eight rounds and Revell did similarly in 1981, winning five of eight.

Warren Smith was third using it in 1982 winning a round, as did Lyndon Arnel taking the final round in 1977- the car’s first season in Australia.

If memory serves (dangerous) Bob Holden imported the car for Lyndon- a protégé who had done very well in Escort twin-cams and RS2000s prepared by Bob- the T440 was his foray into single-seaters.

The second round of the DTE in 1977 was at Sandown- the Tasman meeting, I just thought, and still do, that it really was the sexiest of Formula Fords, man that car looked great! A decade or so hence I raced against it in Historic FF many times when it was owned by a lovely fella called Tony Harper- my own car was a T342, the model prior to the T440.

This contemporary shot of a T440 rebuild illustrates the chassis-gearbox/engine spacer nicely, see the big hole between the rear of the engine and front of the Mk9 (aeroyacht.com)

What was different about it was better aero, look how slinky it is with the full, front to rear all enveloping body- inboard front springs and shocks actuated by a rocker and big wide based lower wishbone- and the use of a tubular spacer between the engine and Hewland Mk9 gearbox to push the weight of the car forward. The Hawke DL17 was another FF of that year which did the same thing- Richard Davison and Russell Allen raced such cars in Oz then.

The chassis of the T342 was as stiff as a centenarian’s todger- with the spacer the T440 was said to be worse.

This particular car didn’t go well until until Stephen Brook got his hands on it- he had first raced in FF (Bowin P4 and P6) in the early seventies so was an experienced set of hands but when he took it over it was the jet it always looked…

They are simple liddl thangs but there are still lots of bits and pieces…T440 rear suspension assy (Lola)

Credits…

Australian Formula Ford, aeroyacht.com

Tailpiece…

(unattributed)

Stephen Brook aboard the T440 (what is the chassis number BTW?) in front of another sexy little FF- David Earle’s one-off Elfin Aero, at Amaroo Park probably in August 1980.

The tail out attitude ‘defined’ Oz FF during the ‘Bridgestone RD102 Road Radial Era’, of which this was the final year.

I shoulda bought the Aero- I travelled all the way out to Sydney’s Hills District on a Biz Trip from Melbourne to Sydney to have a look at it at Peter Verheyen’s workshop when it was owned by Rod Barrett but ‘choked’ coz it wasn’t quite historic at the time but ‘me mate John Benson bought it so it went to a good home and I could drool over it on a regular basis.

But that T440, sweet little jigger- great car! Fast car.

Finito…

 

 

Comments
  1. Bob Morrow says:

    Don’t think it looks as good as an Elfin 620 but I could be a bit biased

    • markbisset says:

      Ha ha!
      You are hopelessly conflicted on this one- and yes the 620 is a great looking car- yours in particular. Just remind me- was it the first? the one Larry took to England for the Festival in 1972?? If not which one izzit?
      Mark

      • Bob Morrow says:

        No mine was frame no. 73424 , 4 after Larry’s car . Originally bought by Bryan Cook I was about the 7th owner in 1993.

  2. David Cutts says:

    Steve has it for sale ATM if your feeling sentimental!

    • markbisset says:

      Hi David,

      I assume you mean Stephen Brook?- I didn’t realise he owned it, I’ve an RF86 already, a further purchase would result in my girlfriend doing a testicular removal I fear…

      Mark

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