Posts Tagged ‘Lola T70 Ford #SL70/5’

Panorama of the Self Preservation Society’s ‘Wombat Park Classic’ Concours held at Daylesford, Victoria, Australia on Saturday February 18, 2023.

Being of the Oily Rag School of Restoration I’ve always found the top end of this arcane world – Pebble Beach et al – pointless. Getting a car – ‘restoring it’ is such an inaccurate descriptor – to the point it never looked ex-factory defies me, why not go buy a Monet and pimp-that instead, it’s much smaller and easier?

At the more sane end, with fabulous cars that are used, I’m troubled to find fault with a day in the sunshine as works-driver of the Equipe King AC Ace Bristol talking gobshite to other punters, admiring the cars and pretty-ladies, not to forget sipping some exy-French-bubbles.

Wombat Park, Daylesford was settled in the 1850’s by William Stanbridge, gold-mine owner, entrepreneur and State MP, the place is slap-bang in the middle of Victoria’s beautiful Goldfields region. The current, magnificent 1910 Rodney Alsop designed – the great-grandfather of a car mate of mine as it transpires – English Arts and Crafts style home was recently bought by the Mayor of Daylesford, Tony Demarco, a local hospitality entrepreneur with over 1100 beds in the region.

The Concours d’Elegance was the first gig held at Wombat since the Demarco’s acquisition. Many thanks to the sponsors below for a wonderful day of largesse.

I believe The Self Preservation Society (SPS) – you would need to ask them directly, any connection with The Italian Job is entirely accidental – is one of many seditious automotive organisations that have popped up around the world to celebrate life post-Covid, in particular the failure of the Wuhan Wet n’ Wild Market Alchemy Team to kill us all. Rest assured, the SPS is as potent a force as the Judean People’s Front, or was it The People’s Front of Judea? so no need to worry too much about recommendations to storm The Capitol from them.

Fabulous Alta 2-litre #55S/DPG167 recently purchased by the brothers Murdoch, Geoff and Neill.

Fortunately this machine, and the ex-Sinclair-the-MI6-Spook Alta 1100 s/c have remained in Australia, many thanks to Betty Lowe and the Murdochs for that. The Late Graeme Lowe was a lifetime Alta fan, restorer and racer and would be best-pleased that they’ve remained in the colonies.

Butt-shots of the Alta and distant Delage D8S. Here is a piece about the Sinclair Alta 1100, you’ll have to read the next issue of Benzina Magazine (#7) to learn more about this 2-litre machine;

I don’t think quite so much technology had ever been shoved into one car until the Porsche 959 came along, it was quite the thing in 1986. Lots of bang for your buck, but visually not so exciting, Der Deutschlanders have never quite had the je ne sais quoi of the Italianos have they?

Seeing this car reminded me of an old client. Chris Taylor (Motors Pty.Ltd) was the Geelong and region Porsche dealer for many years, I was invited along to a presentation of a 959 to the-great-and-the-good of that city when it did its tour of Australian Porker dealers circa 1987.

There was never a dull moment with him as an old-school dealer, read wine, women and song. Chris’ production of a pair of boxing gloves from the drawer of his desk in the middle of a pitch to his bankers to increase his finance facility was memorable, I doubt Milton the Banker ever forgot it, worked too! When Chris bought a new sprintcar, the sound of the 6-litre thing idling @ 5500rpm in the dealership back lane could be heard at Mount Duneed.

What wasn’t such a good idea was racing the 650bhp winged, roller-skate (at Warrnambool or perhaps Mount Gambier) with a residual smidge of alcohol in the system after a big-night the day before. His decline was dreadful, but his wife capably stepped into the breech to run the place for a while after that, RIP Chris Taylor. Not a man who died guessing.

(Porsche AG)

The Lola T70 in all of its forms is the most erotic – if not exotic – of all sixties sports-racers, bar none. It’s a big statement in a decade of sports-racer spunk-muffins I know, but T70’s lack nothing other than a Le Mans win.

This one is ‘the remaining bones’ of chassis SL70/5 an iconic, mainly South African domiciled Ford 289 engined machine. Of note is a period of ownership by Stirling Moss and wins in the 1966 Lourenco Marques 3 Hours (Doug Serrurier/Roy Pierpoint) and the 1967 Roy Hesketh 3 Hours (Serrurier/Jackie Pretorious).

Allen Brown explains the history of the car in his fabulous My bit below is a summarised version, the full entry is here, scroll down to Lola T140:T70/140 SL70/5 We historians thank the good lord above for Allen’s site in that we have arms-length information about a machine rather than relying on the often Disney-esque fantasy-tales of some owners.

Lola T70 Chev cutaway (unattributed very nice work)
Lola T70 SL/5 Ford at Clubhouse corner Kyalami, advice taken on the driver and date folks

“Doug Serrurier bought the ex-Mike Taylor/David Good 1965 Lola T70 (chassis SL70/5) with its 4.7-litre Ford Weslake engine for sports car racing in South Africa and raced it until it was crashed by teammate Jackie Pretorius in the 1969 Roy Hesketh 3 Hour. Serrurier then converted it into a Formula A T140 (spaceframe 1968 model Lola Formula 5000 car) using the running gear, Ford Weslake engine and Hewland LG gearbox. He didn’t use “T/70/140″ but sold it to the Domingo Bros. Mike Domingo contested the 1970 Bulawayo 100 and Alan Domingo the 1970 Rhodesian GP. Team Domingo had three Lola T140s during 1971.”

“T70/T140 then went to Peter Haller and was converted into a drag-racer by ‘a man named Delport’. Johan van der Merwe, Janie van Aswegen and Ivan Glasby were all owners of what Serrurier called ‘the sorry remains’ during the 1980s before it was purchased by A. R. Culpin in 1989. The T70 origins of these remains were now more important than its T140 interlude so the parts were combined with new T70 body panels and the whole project sold to David Harvey of GT40 Replications Ltd, New Zealand in July 2003. The car was completed as a new T70 by 2005 and is retained by Harvey in 2007. With its remaining parts in the T70, the T140 no longer exists.”

And on to an Australian owner in more recent times. New Zealand is a good place to ‘restore’ one’s Lola, they’ve built far more than Eric Broadley ever did…

Ferrari 365 GTC/4 looking absolutely marvellous with a Sunbeam and Lancia Fulvia 1.3 HF in the background.

Described to me as a thinking man’s Daytona once, but on reflection, that was this particular knob-jockey’s attempted put-down of a good chap of mutual acquaintance who owned a 365 GTB/4.

Whatever the case, what a marvellous machine, who get’s the individual credit at Pininfarina? I guess it’s only period competitor was the Lamborghini Espada. I’m intrigued to know the relative merits of the two if any of you have had that pleasure at length?


I’ve never seen Lindsay Fox’ Museum at Docklands so it was with great anticipation I looked forward to seeing one of their prize-exhibits, the Porsche 550RS Spyder imported to Australia by Norman Hamilton in October 1955. The Self Preservation Society El Presidente, Jack Quinn must have a particularly good line-of-chat as Foxy doesn’t even lend his cars to his Point King clifftop buddies. Many thanks to both of you.

Chassis #550-0056 has an entirely Australian and Kiwi history, its roll call of drivers includes Hamilton, Frank Kleinig, Jack Brabham, Otto Stone, Bruce Walton, Reg Smith and Lionel Marsh. Oh yes, Stirling Moss raced it too. See here; and here;

Norman Hamilton, Porsche 550 RS Spyder, Longford 1958. The Mountford Corner trees are still there (B Young)

So complete is the restoration that every single cell of character and patina the machine once had is destroyed, long gone; well done, mission accomplished. I’m at odds with the majority here, there were plenty of chaps with a grumble in the groin as they approached the perfect blue missile. How much restoration is too much you may ask? About this much in my mind.

I recall wandering the better suburbs of Perth with my brother a few years ago – Dalkeith, where he lives, Peppermint Grove and Mosman Park – and observing the small remaining number of older stylish homes and their modern, big, bold, gold’n brassy, loud n’proud replacements and proffering the view that “money and taste are non-converging circles in this part of the world.” He laughed initially, but not so much as the numbing effect of several Schofferhofer Hefeweizens drained from his system.

The same applies to cars of course, Lindsay Fox – a great philanthropist in addition to his stunning, enduring business successes I should point out – isn’t a knowledgeable car enthusiast so the nuances of what happens to each machine are lost in a big collection of mobile global investable assets. When Fox spoke to Dictator Dan and his other mates about 540K at a recent summer-soiree they thought he was rabbiting on about the deposit on a Shelley Beach bathing box not the Nazi’s favourite chick-bait vehicle of choice, one of which Fox bought in recent times.

A Pebble Beach judge tells me that the the Prewar and Postwar Preservation classes are growing in number at prominent concours events, which is great. Hopefully it’s not too late though, over restoration is like virginity really, once it’s lost you’re fucked.

The perfect world of course is somebody with Lind’s money and my taste (sic)…

Mercedes 300SL Coupe, nice too, with the ridgy-didge MW Motors Alfa Romeo GTA behind. Short piece on the 300SL here;

Delahaye 135M Coupe singing for its supper, roof-rack and all

These two French trailer-queens were easy on the eye, a 1929 Delage D8S Cabriolet and 1948 Delahaye 135M Coupe with body by Jean Antem.

“The D8S has been extensively toured, with wins at Motorclassica and was invited to Pebble Beach in 2014 where is was displayed on the 18th Green,” the info card says. I suppose “has been extensively toured” in this context means on a truck? Perhaps somebody can explain the 18th Green bit to this particular Concours bogan.

Fabulous Maserati Ghibli was a car I admired in my childhood, Sam Patten kindly chauffeured me on the final leg of the trip to Wombat Hill, a lovely, quick, big-car from the passenger seat.

Bugatti Type 44

There was a Concours winner and placegetters of course, but the voting was by Peoples Choice rather than the usual army of morbidly obese geriatrics in gold-buttoned blue-blazers, bone carefully ironed trousers and practical shoes. Stuff that, I’m down a bit on democracy since Trumpy’s ascension to the US Throne, and the 74,222,958 nuffies who voted for him last time. Screw the will of the people, WTF do they know? I’m therefore going through a benevolent dictator phase presently, on that basis the trailer-queens don’t get a look in, if you didn’t drive to the gig you’re disqualified. My three favourites, differing flavours of course, in no particular order are the Alta, Maserati Ghibli and AC Ace Bristol.


M Bisset, the shots are all mine unless credited otherwise,, Bob Young, Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati


Two MGs, the one on the left (what is it?) is just/nearly finished, the one on the right is a J2 if memory serves.