Most gearheads are familiar with the story of the legendary Ford GT; Enzo Ferrari nearly sold his namesake company to Ford in the early 1960s, but Ferrari wanted to retain complete control of the brand’s racing program. As that arrangement could have led to direct competition with Ford, Henry Ford II, then CEO and Chairman of Ford Motor Company, declined to grant Enzo’s wish, and Ferrari backed out of the deal.
Offended by Ferrari’s last-minute withdrawal from the accord, Ford II directed his team to create a purpose-built ‘Ferarri killer’ to compete in the Grand Touring race series, and it proved a resounding success, winning Le Mans four consecutive years from 1966 to 1969, and an impressive 1-2-3 finish in 1966.
A lesser known, but equally important part of the racing history is the 1963 Lola Mk6 GT. Designed by Eric Broadley, the Lola Mk6 GT was a mid-engine sports car powered by a Ford 260 ci V-8 and the perfect platform on which to base the Ford GT. This iconic automobile, owned by race driver/mechanic Allen Grant, is the very first Lola Mk6 GT ever produced.
Grant purchased the car in 1965 for $3,000, but it only recently underwent a full restoration, with special attention given to preserving the original quality of the car, even retaining the magnesium knock-off wheels and original Dunlop tires. Grant states, “This car is exactly the way it was in the London Racing Car show in January of ’63.”
Though this Lola Mk6 GT is now a priceless piece of automotive racing history, Grant does plan on entering the car in races in the near future, confirming that the car will not simply be a static showpiece. Towards the end of the clip, Grant fires up the Lola, the Ford V-8 roars to life, and Jay Leno says, “Boy, it sounds a lot bigger than a 260!” Allen Grant’s preservation of this machine is a testament of his passion for and dedication to what is now considered one of the most influential racing machines of all time.
Dave’s a very passionate musclecar aficionado. An automotive painter by trade, he’s done a complete restoration on his very first car, a 1970 Pontiac LeMans that he’s owned for over 20 years. Dave’s superior photographic skills, writing talents and Florida location make him an ideal year-round contributor.