Silverstone Classic: Lola T222 Can Am is awesome…

Earth shattering Can Am monster that looks as evil as it sounds

Lola pictures: Michael Fordham

The Can Am series of no-holds-barred racing cars was awesome. And this Lola T222 was amongst the most awesome cars in an awesome formula.

Chances are that you will have never experienced the earth-shattering display of these cars racing in the flesh, especially if you’re under fifty years old.

Last weekend’s Silverstone Classic was therefore an amazing opportunity. You could see these cars race at full fury and also get up close and personal with them in the pits.

We’re not really into stats, although these numbers might make you take notice. 850BHP. 800KG kerb weight. 800lb/ft of torque. One lap of Spa-Francorchamps = 9 litres of fuel. Little wonder, then, that the oil crisis did for the formula.

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The Can Am series ran in the early seventies split between Canadian and American circuits. It was as close to an ‘anything goes’ formula that top-line racing has got. Like a track based Group B rally, there were hardly any power, weight or aero restrictions, consequently these machines were fearsome, costly and a little bit dangerous. Especially in their twitchy short wheelbase guise.

This Lola T222 is one of the best looking Can Am monsters out there. It was awesome to be so close to these cars at the Silverstone Classic 2016.

Lola was an English company and built cars in their factory in Huntingdon. They produced competitive customer cars across the formulae – and did well in the Can Am series, though it was dominated by the McLaren and Porsche works teams. This particular car competed in the original series in the early seventies, as well as the derivative races that reached out until the mid-eighties.

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The car’s current owner, Englishman David Edwards, purchased the car in 2005 with the sole ambition of driving one of these superlative machines. As a result of his disabilities he had extensive alterations done by Scott Automotive – and the car has been completely rebuilt by the company after the car was ‘cartwheeled’ at close to 200MPH during a Land Speed record attempt.

The car in fact currently holds two LSRs – for 8 Litre wheel driven cars from a standing start, and one for half kilometre from a flying start.

And despite its full race preparation – this car probably looks better than when it rolled out the Lola Factory in 1970.

Awesome.

Stay tuned for more from this year’s Silverstone Classic.

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