Reincarnation Magazine

Reincarnation Magazine
Continuation, Reproduction and Replica Automobiles
Rein Car Nation Cover Winter 2020
						Sbarro Lola T70 5
Sbarro Lola T70 Replica

Sbarro Lola T70 replica offered for online auction

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, BringaTrailer.com

Some of the most outlandish and recognizable race cars ever built competed in the thrilling Canadian-American Challenge Cup, better known as Can-Am, and there are few more iconic than the Lola T70.

Perhaps the best known creation of Eric Broadley’s Lola Cars, the T70 was constructed with an aluminum and sheet steel monocoque center section with a front bulkhead for suspension and steering mounting, and dual rear extensions for the engine and rear suspension. Fuel cells were side mounted and the T70 wore a smooth fiberglass body, perfected in several coupe and spyder versions. Most often powered by 5.5 and 6.0-liter Chevrolet engines, reliable horsepower exceeded 460 hp, leading to great success in 1966 and ’67. In fact, T70s won five out of six races in the 1966 season, thanks to John Surtees, Dan Gurney and Mark Donohue.

Despite a slow season in ’68, Lola developed the new Mk IIIB T70 for 1969. Donohue and Chuck Parsons drove the Penske T70 to victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona, a memorable success, but the season was ultimately swept by McLaren. The debut of Porsche’s ground shaking 917 also served to close the chapter for cars like the T70 and Ford GT40.

But there’s actually another chapter of the T70’s story that’s less frequently told. Watching the success of the T70 at Daytona in ’69, a man named Franco Sbarro (ex crew chief of Scuderia Filipinetti) wondered about the car’s suitability for street use. Sbarro couldn’t sell Broadley on the idea, he purchased 10 T70 Mk III chassis and brought them home to his race shop in Switzerland. Sbarro’s road-legal cars would bear a very close resemblance to the originals, and were built under the name ACA (Atelier de Construction Automobile).

Sbarro purchased seven chassis straight from Lola and finished most of them with Chevrolet engines. These cars are numbered SL-101 through SL-107, and Chuck Parsons even used SL-106 in competition for the 1969 and 1970 seasons.

The figures vary on exactly how many T70 recreations Sbarro and ACA actually built, with most sources claiming 10 to 13 cars. In addition to the spyder shown here, coupes were also built, and most were powered by Chevrolet engines. However, it’s claimed that one example was built with a turbocharged 3.3-liter from a Porsche 911, and a 4-liter Ferrari V12 car was constructed as well.

The Sbarro T70 offered here on BringaTrailer.com appears to be a nice example as a rolling chassis. As such, there’s no engine or transmission and the braking system is incomplete, but the car looks to be in good condition for its age. The suspension system consists of upper and lower control arms in the front with upper radius arms in the rear. A set of staggered six-spoke alloys wear vintage Firestone tires, and the fiberglass bodywork looks to be in good usable condition.

See the Sbarro T70 here on BringaTrailer.com.

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