1969 Lola T70 Mk.3B Coupe
Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | November 2022
Imagine this thing in your rearview mirror on a race track. Pretty scary. Now imagine it sneaking up behind you on the highway. Either is possible: it’s got a license plate mounted out back.
Let’s start at the beginning: the first T70 debuted in the mid-1960s as an open-top sports racing prototype. The Mk II Spyder came later and preceded the Mk 3 coupe. A slightly revised Mk.3B debuted in 1969 and featured front-hinged doors instead of the gullwing doors of the regular Mk 3.
Some of the Mk.3Bs were actually converted to road cars by Sbarro, who would soon after produce a run of replicas. That’s where things start getting confusing. This car was converted to road spec by Sbarro prior to their production of replicas, apparently. Funnily enough, there is another car with this same chassis number floating around (RM sold it in Paris 2014). That auction catalog initially advertised it as a Lola Mk.3B and laid out the early history of this yellow car. Then, shortly before the auction, they added a line that said “After further research it has come to light that this Lola T70 was built by Sbarro; it is very unlikely that this car was ever raced by Chuck Parsons” – which negated the entire history of their car they had written after it.
This car was reconstructed by Lola guru Mac McClendon in the 2010s. It’s powered by a 5.7-liter Chevrolet V8. The comments on the Bring a Trailer auction seem to be full of reading comprehension issues. Yeah, this car has had pretty much everything on it rebuilt or replaced (as has pretty much every race car of this era), but as someone wise said over there “a continuous history as being a particular car is what makes it original… more than the parts currently on the car.” Not to mention, if Mac McClendon says it’s the real deal… who are you to argue.
The other great bit of wisdom from a BaT commenter on thinking about cars like this: “The idea of the car is what matters; each replacement part occupies the same space as the original, and so to our mind the car is original even if none of the component parts are — the car has occupied the same space since 1969, and therefore remains the original car.”
Think about what this represents from 1969. It’s right there with a Miura or McLaren M6GT in terms of late 1960s supercars. It might not be as pretty as a Miura, but it’s more purposeful, and probably faster.
Bidding ends in a few days. You can read more about it here.
Update: Sold $275,000.