One already restored
Driven by Mario Andretti in period, this Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing Lola T332 made a triumphant return to Laguna Seca almost exactly 40 years after the US racing legend claimed his final F5000 victory aboard the car in October 1975. The Anglo-American United Autosports organisation won a bagful of silverware with the newly restored machine.
United team boss Richard Dean won both F5000 races at the Monterey Historic Reunion in August 2015, and Zak Brown – his partner in the team, owner of the car and McLaren Racing chief executive – did the same a week earlier in the so-called Pre-Reunion. Just for good measure the car, chassis number HU29, was awarded the President’s Cup for the most historically significant machine present at the meeting.
The Lola was returned to the specification in which Andretti had taken seven victories across the 1974 and ’75 seasons. After a brief F5000 stint in Skeeter McKitterick’s hands, it had been converted into a Can-Am machine and campaigned by Rocky Moran into the 1980s.
“It was a complete car, but not what I would call a racing car,” says United technical director Paul Haigh. “The tub was really nice and it had been liveried exactly how it was, but we had to go through it with a fine-toothed comb like we do with all our historic cars. A lot of the parts needed, like the brakes, clutch and bearings, are readily available, but we had to put a new manifold on the engine, and they’re like hen’s teeth to find.”
United Autosports, Garforth, Leeds. Tel: 08454 599959. unitedautosports.com
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