Lola Rennt! (When Parked)


You’ve already pondered race cars that are lame, so let us consider something a little different: a down-on-its-luck contender needing some resuscitation. Some projects are not for the faint of heart, and other projects are not for the thin of wallet. But this Lola T332 is perfect for the buyer who’s unsound of mind and flush with ill-gotten gains. Suspend disbelief, willingly or not, and append several dozen hypothetical zeros to the posterior of your most recent bank statement, then don your silk thinking jacket and clip a Cohiba to ponder this: what would you do with such a pile of parts? How would you navigate betwixt the crazed Charybdis of corrosion and the Scylla of overreaching alliteration sacrificed sanity?


Sure, with seemingly legit Can-Am and F5000 provenance with Brian Redman at the wheel of many races, it’s really a no-brainer to drain the GDP of several developing nations bringing this Lola T332 back up to race-ready snuff. Watch the following video, narrated by Mario Andretti, and Redman gets into a similar T332 (maybe the same one!!!!!!!!111111111eleven) while discussing how drivers feel about testing and setting up racecars, to get in the mood for this return to originality line of thought.

OK, point well taken. Originality has its Kodachrome-tinged appeal, allowing the new owner to craft anachronistic role-playing memories slathered in pleather and earth tones. But tap your pedigree-obsessed skull and allow the sepia to seep out, and consider other options. Perhaps an excessively fast Dormobile-Morris Commercial J4? Custom “breadvan” bodywork with a Reliant Scimitar as the basis? The world’s sweetest Meyers Manx?

All too obvious, clearly. My vote? A Toyota Camry XV10 wagon. If there’s a vehicle that from its inception has been waiting for some justification for it blighting driveways and maligning turnpikes the world over, it’s the Camry wagon. Slipping a silhouette body over a T332 chassis may just be that saving grace the XV10 has been praying to its god of mediocrity for. Want extra bonus wrenching merit badges for your Brownie sash? Power the whole shebang with Nyquil! Hey, it’s what powered this post. You really think I could’ve conjured up the Camry wagon as an application for an F5000 chassis without a grossly irresponsible off-label use of a hallucinogenic cough medicine? Now please excuse me, I have to take care of all these spiders on my clothing.
eBay Motors

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  1. Jennings R. Scroggs, Jr. Avatar

    A Lola T332 is strictly an open wheel, Formula 5000 car.
    http://www.oldracingcars.com/lola/t332/
    CORRECTION: Open wheel F5000 cars were routinely converted into closed wheel 80's era Can-Am cars. The link has histories, by chassis number, of all the Lola T332s.

  2. Smells_Homeless Avatar

    Oh man, stick that under a Coyote body. How awesome would that be?

  3. muthalovin Avatar

    I am glad I read this while powered on Nyquil, because it makes total sense!
    That is a griptonne of cheddar, and really makes me wish I had a racecar in the carhold that I could sell for sixty large.

  4. Alff Avatar

    Seeing under Lola's skirts reminds me of Lou Reed.

    1. OA5599 Avatar

      That was a different walk on the wild side. I think you meant Ray Davies. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lola_(song)

      1. Alff Avatar

        Wow. I've been wrong about that for decades. Thanks for setting me "straight".

    2. Tim Odell Avatar

      Hey baaaaabe…

  5. P161911 Avatar

    Its got a Chevy small block. "How hard could it be?"
    Actually, went and looked. Lola Heritage will sell you parts. It looks to be mostly tubes and aluminum or aluminum honeycomb for the chassis. The only real unobtainium bits might be transaxle parts and uprights. I'm pretty sure those brakes have been used on other race cars. I don't see anything more sophisticated here than you would find on the average Formula SAE car of 15 years ago. Looks like everything could be put back right with basic machining and welding skills. The fuel injection system might be tricky, but a carbed manifold is an easy swap. New headers would require some skill with tube bending. Overall, it would probably take less to get running than the E-type of a couple of days ago.

    1. Thrashy Avatar

      The transmission is a Hewland DG300, which Hewland still makes new if you ask nicely. Formula car uprights tend to pretty straightforward machined-billet affairs, so if you've got an intact one to get dimensions off of you can probably get new ones made. The only tricky thing would be the body, and even then many Can-Am cars look like they were made with nothing but tin snips and a bending brake. How hard could it be, indeed?

    2. Smells_Homeless Avatar

      Nooooo! You can't kill the injection, that's crucial to the car. Convert it to electronic if you must, but those stacks must stay.

      1. P161911 Avatar

        Even if you replaced them with something like this?
        <img src="http://img.sportruck.com/howto/blower.jpg"width=300&gt;

        1. Smells_Homeless Avatar

          Well, maybe. Big roots blowers aren't much for RPMs though.

    3. Jim-Bob Avatar

      I agree. This would not be all that difficult a project to get mechanically sorted. The mechanical injection system is likely made by Hilbrand or some other popular maker and thus would be fairly easy to rebuild with available parts. After all, they are popular with the vintage drag racing set and there is no shortage of parts. The body is the bigger issue though because as cool as it would be to put a production car shell on it, it is likely that the driver sits so low in the car that you would be looking up at the windshield when it was all finished.

  6. pj134 Avatar

    The only sane solution is to build the worlds greatest Datsun 510.

  7. Joe Btfsplk Avatar

    The T332 don't need no stinkin' body…. just think of it as a shifter-cart for manly men.

  8. Van Sarockin Avatar

    This could be an excellent project, provided you have the time patience and cash. The upside is that Lola still exists, the cars were made in goodly quantities, with reasonably standard components. Nothing should be unobtainable or require laborious fabrication. And plenty of folks will be glad to help you out (mainly for money…). And when done, lots of tracks and events would be glad to see you. Biggest downside is that there isn't enough rust to convince anyone it's really British.

    1. P161911 Avatar

      It does look like it would be one of the easier, if somewhat pricey, vintage racing projects.

  9. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    It's pretty awesome as it is. I'd drop Jasper SBC from AutoZone into it, get it running, put lights on it…and that'd be about it.
    And then loop "If I Survive" over and over on my iPod while driving it.
    or better yet, I'd put loudspeakers on it and blast it everywhere I went.

    1. P161911 Avatar

      If you could afford the $60k+ this thing is going for, then an LS9 from your local Chevy dealer shouldn't be a stretch. You won't survive.

  10. Gearhead Avatar

    Wander over to this Bring a Trailer thread from about a month ago (when the car first surfaced on ebay) and you find a lot of history, including the current owner and a conversation with Brian Redman.
    http://bringatrailer.com/2011/05/06/f5000-barn-fi
    It appears this is truly the Real Deal.

  11. raphaelinberlin Avatar

    I don't know if it's just that there's a significantly higher chance that I enter the Hooniverse mit ein paar Getraenke in meiner System, but I definitely enjoyed this posting about this Lola much much more than the one over on BAT …obviously what this Lola needs is a monster mouth '61 Dart body to terrorize neighborhood children with

  12. dculberson Avatar

    Look at how little structure there is around the driver, then think about going 180mph down the back straight in this thing. Christ no matter what body is on it I would be wetting myself. It's perfect, have it cleaned and sent to my garage.

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