Here is a example of what happens to a race car when it becomes un-competitive in it's own class. This 1974 Lola T-360 Formula Atlantic was converted to a Rotary 13B powered Can Am in 1980. It had a successful race history throughout much of the 80's in the North West Region until it was finally parked in 1987. It has sat in a dry barn in Washington state since. The owner retired and decided to move to Florida. Despite higher offers from others who wanted to part out the car, the owner generously offered me the car with the promise of a full restoration.
The car is fairly complete save the Cosworth Twin Cam BDD. It has 2 sets of original Lola alloys, a good FT200, and a clean, ahem, straight Monocoque. Hopefully, if I can get a good transporter, the car should be here in July. So the search for the missing parts begins. And hopefully it will look like this in a few months.
11/06/05 - Ok, it's been awhile but we are back to the T360. Time had come to remove all the non T360 parts and to see what is the damage. First thing was to remove the pods and fenders which revealed an un-molested and un damaged tub. The car began to almost look like a Formula car again. But the engine frame is pretty much a total loss along with the roll bar. Appears that during the Mazda Rotary conversion, extra tubing had been welded onto the roll bar and frame making it one piece, not to mention some of the original tubing was also removed. Good news was that the complete suspension and brakes were original and the FT200 was in great shape. So a large reciprocating saw made quick work of separating the Frame from the good Mono. The Rotary was Junk and weighed a ton and was donated to a Mazda junkie. The frame has elements of the original Lola part, but too much had been modified to try to bring it back into good condition and it too will be gone shortly. I understand Pat Prince has the jigs for this frame and roll bar and will most likely be placing an order once everything has been inventoried.
The Strip down begins:
Our T360 looked almost like a proper race car after the pods and fenders were removed, if only for a few moments.
The original engine frame was bolted together, but with the Mazda, many new tubes were welded in which required a sawzall to cut apart.
Front roll hoop was safety addition and SCCA requirement and not original to the 1974 design. Rear roll bar was somewhat original, but had too many extra welded bars installed.
Fuel cells were actually in good condition with no leaks nor abrasions. But the cells will be re-foamed before being used again.
Installation of the front roll bar were a bit over done in the rivet department.
11/15/05 After getting the tub striped, the only damaged part was the dash cover. Apparently the original cover had been opened up with what look like a can opener in order to clear the added dash roll hoop. Since we will be returning the car back to original, I fabricated a new panel which fitted nicely. The exterior side panels were in good condition but I'm toying with the idea of replacing both side with new aluminum. Battery and seat inserts will be definitely replaced.
With winter fast approaching and another car on the way, I had to make room so the tub will be parking up on the rafters next to the T492 until I can get to it.
At this point, we focused on the Hewland. A full strip down and inspection was done to reveal a serviceable ring and pinion, good gears and shafts, and a crack free case. Hand washed all the parts and checked all bearings and back lash. Surprisingly, everything was on the money. But we still replaced the bearings, seals, re set the R&P, and installed all new grade 8 CV bolts to the flanges and everywhere else.