1973 Lola T294

  Photo Album Lola T294 HU 65

History Lola Chassis Nr. HU 65:

Le Mans 1975 4th in Class

1973 February 10, purchased new from Lola by John Abrahams the first owner

1973 South African Springbok Trophy Series:
• 11/3/1973, 9 Hour Kyalami, drivers Charles Lucas (GB) and John Abrahams (ZA), DNF bearings
• Cape Town 11/17/1973, drivers Charles Lucas (GB) and John Abrahams (ZA), DNF fuel pressure/electrics.

Geoff Richardson, Geoff Richardson Engines, UK, purchased the car. Richardson personally verified via telephone on 7/14/09.
• 9/29/1974, Brands Hatch 1000K – Nigel Clarkson, Derek Worthington, Richard Scott, Sponsor: Hurford-Jones.
• 11/9/1974, South African Springbok Trophy Series – 6 Hour Kyalami, John Abrahams, Richard Scott  – DNF Accident.

Owned by Richardson and raced under the Rayfs Racing banner.
• 5/4/1975, Spa 1000, Nigel Clarkson, Richard Scott
• 6/15/75, 24 Hours of Le Mans, Nigel Clarkson (GB), Derek Worthington (GB), John Abrahams (ZA). Shell and Hurford Jones LTD sponsors. Qualified 19th 4:18.200, Finished 4th in class, 29th overall.
• 6/22/1975, European 2 Liter Championship, Brands Hatch Britannica 2000, Derek Worthington. Entered but not raced.
• 7/13/1975, Knockhill, Derek Worthington, results unknown

1976 – 1977
American Dean Dietrich was in Richardsonfs UK engine shop, saw HU65 and decided to buy it. He planned to race it at Le Mans in 1976 and had Richardson prep it for the race. But, Dietrich couldnft put together the financing package and they cancelled the Le Mans plans. He had it shipped to the USA and hired Richardson to support it for the Can Am series and SCCA National races in 1977. The car was painted blue.
• 6/12/1977, Can-Am Challenge, Mont-Tremblant, Dean Dietrich, Finished 8th
• 6/26/1977, Can-Am Challenge, Laguna Seca, Dean Dietrich, Finished 9th
• 7/24/1977, Can-Am Challenge, Road America, Dean Dietrich, DNF – Carburetor
• 8/7/1977, Can-Am Challenge, Mid-Ohio, Dean Dietrich, Finished 16th
• 1977, Multiple SCCA National races, Central Division BSR champion, Dean Dietrich
• 10/29/1977, SCCA US Champions, Road Atlanta, Dean Dietrich, BSR, Finished 8th
The car ran the SCCA National Championships with a Richardson built 1.8L turbo motor. It was the only time the car ever ran a turbo motor and it had huge turbo lag making the car difficult to drive. Dietrich finished 8th in the BSR class. He sold the car at the end of the 1977 season.
Sources: Talked with Dean R. Dietrich on 7/18/09.

At the end of the 1977 season, Dietrich sold the car to someone whose name and location he could not recall, and this was the start of the 20 year hole in the carfs history. Eventually, the carfs current owner identified the unknown owner from a 1979 photo of an unidentified Lola T294 taken in a paddock. By following up on a hunch that the car continued to run Can Am in 1978 and perhaps beyond, he discovered photos of 3 or 4 T294fs that ran in the 1978 Can Am season, but no chassis numbers. One such photo depicted a red and blue car, which after further research and a few phone cars, was confirmed to be the property of Rick Villate at Alltech Group, Inc. Close inspection of the photo revealed some chips in the wheel well where the red paint had been chipped off, and beneath the chips were blue paint, which appeared to be the exact same color as the car wore when owned by Dietrich. A conversation with Villate confirmed that his car was indeed HU65, and had been purchased from Dietrich.

Villate owned HU65 from 1978 – 1982 and raced it in Can Am in 1978 and 1979. Villate also confirmed the later sale to someone from Georgia that wanted to convert it to a street car. This was an important detail because one of the key clues from the beginning of the modern era was that owner Ed Swart bought HU65 in 1997 in Atlanta as a gstreet carh.

1982 - 1997
In 1982 David P. Gough of Atlanta, Georgia purchased the car from Villate. Gough was a racing enthusiast who volunteered as a tech inspector at Road Atlanta. He bought the car and did a cosmetic clean-up restoration on it. He bought an engine from Steve Jennings in California. He had Trans Atlantic Racing in Atlanta do the mechanical work. The car came with two sets of 294 bodywork, one of which had a Le Mans tech sticker, patches from the side number lights and Richardson Engineering and Specialized Mouldings marked on the inside of the panels. He added brake lights, turn signals, head lights from a VW Golf, and an alternator to make it street legal. He would drive it to Road Atlanta for race weekends. He never raced it, only used it as a fun street car. He sold the car to Ed Swart in 1997. The two sets of body work went with the car when he sold it along with a Telex from Lola verifying that the car was originally sold to John Abrahams in South Africa.
Source: Personally spoke with David Gough on 10/19/09.

Ed Swart bought the car in May 1997, and the car was blue and had 294 body work at the time. Ed wanted it for the BDG steel block engine. He said it was an authentic old Lola sports racer with original style British fittings. He believed it had just been a club racer and didnft know any of the history. In September 1997 Swart sold HU65 as a roller to Hollywood movie poster designer Tony Seiniger. Tony had Ed Hollinger start a restoration on the car (work done by Graham Collins per Tony Garmey). They ordered the T296 bodywork from the UK.

Before the restoration was complete Seiniger sold HU65 to Bradley Krause. Krause was one of the founders of the Kinkofs copy shop chain. He passed away from cancer in 2007. Krause had Hollinger finish the restoration. Still not knowing the history of the car, Krause borrowed a historical Le Mans book from Ed Swart and picked the Primagaz livery for the car. Krause raced the car extensively in West Coast vintage events.

1998 – 2009 Owners
Since the restoration, the car has been raced by a number of owners, including a 3rd place finish at the 2008 Monterey Historic Races in the highly competitive Group 8A FIA Sports Racing Cars race with Ed Lamantia.

The bottom end of the engine was rebuilt approximately 9 hours ago, and the top end has about one hour on it. The transmission has about 11 hours on it. All work was performed by 2.0 liter sports racer expert Dave Vegherfs Veloce Motors West. The carfs current owner reports that the car is a pleasure to drive, being extremely quick, stable, and predictable. He reports that compared to his T212, this car is a dramatically easier and more drama-free car to drive.

The car was freshened in October 2009-March of 2010 to include new wheels and tires, new exhaust system, new brake pads and rotors, freshening the calipers and suspension as necessary, wheel bearings, all fluids, new battery, and many other smaller items. The work was performed by J&L Fabrication in Washington State at a cost of $23,625.73. The car has not had one track event since. There is a massive stack of invoices demonstrating the no-expenses spared nature of the carfs care, restoration, and campaigning.

Cosmetically, the car is in excellent condition. The paintwork and decals replicate vintage livery and is in very good shape throughout. The bodywork is Kevlar throughout and is of the updated T294 type. The headlamps are excellent Marchal items, and the driverfs door still has a Le Mans inspection sticker from 1975. The interior is also very nice, having been redone at the time of the restoration. The car has full instrumentation, and all requisite safety equipment. The chassis and tub are very clean and nicely detailed. It is nicely polished throughout, and the suspension components are extremely clean. The car has adjustable Eibach coil over. The engine is super clean as well, with full race plumbing and an impressive tubular exhaust header.

This car has an uncontested Lola with known history from new. These 2 liter cars are enjoying a competitive renaissance these days thanks to their excellent handling and surprising speed. Many of the most competitive and serious drivers in the vintage racing world gravitate toward these cars, ensuring that races for which these cars are eligible will offer  excitement for the enthusiast. It also provides the opportunity to compete against some famous names such as Redman and Rahal. This carfs illustrious racing history (Le Mans for example) ensures that even in such circles, this car is sure to garner much attention, and likely to be quite competitive depending only on the driver's skill. In addition to FIA papers, the car has a small spares package, and is a welcome entrant in events worldwide.