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Featured Eric Broadley - 1928 - 2017

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Paul Jeffrey, May 29, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment News Editor Staff Premium

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    Eric Broadley Lola Cars.jpg
    Lola Cars founder Eric Broadley has passed away today aged 88.

    Renowned as one of the most innovative racing car designers of his generation and the brains behind one of the most legendary motorsport constructors in the form of Lola, Broadley passed away today after leaving a lasting mark on the world of international motorsports.

    Famous for his success in Formula One, IndyCar and Sportscar racing, Broadley's designs have been responsible for the success of some of motorsports most revered characters throughout several generations of the sport and across multiple disciplines of racing.

    Beginning life with the humble Lola Mk1 in 1958 and ending with the ill fated Formula One effort of 1997, Broadley's unique style and affection for innovation can be seen littered throughout the history of his Lola company. Victories in the top tier of open wheel racing followed with the fledgling Honda team, following up by huge amounts of success 'over the pond' in IndyCar with numerous victories in the main series and the jewel in the crown Indy 500 events.

    Beating some major American names the likes of Penske and Reynard, Lola chassis secured an incredible 11 CART Championship titles from 1984-2006, providing winning machinery to talented drivers such as Nigel Mansell, Bobby Rahal, Al Unser Jr, Cristiano da Matta, Paul Tracy and Sebastien Bourdais, as well as racking up numerous wins and developing into one of the most established and important teams in US motorsports.

    However success and participation were not restricted to just Formula One and IndyCar for Lola and Broadley, with forays into the world of Formula 5000, Formula Two, Formula 3000 and Sportscar racing, where the talented designer had greater freedom to express his creative tendencies.

    Sportscar racing would however remain the first love of Broadley and a place where much of the British designers success came. Some of the most iconic cars of the 60's and 70's came from the pen of Broadley and Lola, with the stunning Mk6 forming the basis of the design adopted by Ford in creating the hugely successful GT40 that went on to dominate GT racing and Le Mans for several years.

    Broadley sold Lola to Martin Birrane in 1999 and has since remained active in motorsports, albeit from a distance as he enjoyed the final years of his retirement.

    RaceDepartment offers its sincerest respect and condolences to friends and family of one of the most prolific contributors to the world of international motorsports.

    Lola F1 1997.jpg
    Lola Mk 6.jpg Lola T70 Mk3.jpg Lola T212.jpg Lola t600.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
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  2. el chasco

    el chasco

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    RIP
     
  3. alexSchmurtz

    alexSchmurtz
    SpeedyMite Racing Staff Premium

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    RIP. He was certainly one of the most iconic race cars designers!
     
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  4. T_rac3

    T_rac3
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    R.I.P. Eric Broadley
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Dennis Phelan

    Dennis Phelan
    more about staying on track. Premium

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    Beautiful and classic designs.
     
  6. bsmooth

    bsmooth

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    Beautiful cars indeed. Remembered building models of these growing up.
    Does anyone know where the name LOLA came from though ?
     
  7. DriverJay

    DriverJay

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    Such a great designer :inlove:

    Lola T332

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
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    One of the most famous race car builders ever and the guy is a legend in motorsport.

    The beauty of Lola was they could make you a chassis that had the ability to win out of the box, even as far as the LMP675 project which in the rain at Le Mans was taking the battle to the Audi R8's.

    The Lola-Aston Martin is still one of my favourite all time LMP1 cars :D:inlove:

    They helped Indycar immensely when Reynard dropped out by supplying cars for the entire field, and if you attend any classic event you'll see dozen's of Lola's on race entry sheets such was their popularity with privateers.

    Okay, their F1 projects were of mixed success but again it was privateers versus the big guns.

    It was also shame the Speedsource Lola-Mazda's didn't a win or two last year in IMSA as that would have been a nice way to sign off the cars but that's the way it is sometimes.

    An iconic brand created by an engineering genius, he will be missed.
     
  9. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
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    Lola Cars was a brand of the Lola Group, which combined former rowing boat manufacturer Lola Aylings and Lola Composites, that specialized in carbon fibre production. After a period in bankruptcy administration, Lola Cars International ceased trading on 5 October 2012.

    (Assuming Wiki is correct! :))
     
  10. Bails MacKenzie

    Bails MacKenzie

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    The story I always came across was Eric naming his cars after the song "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets"
     
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  11. thewarmer

    thewarmer

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    RIP.
     
  12. Bobby Pennington

    Bobby Pennington
    It's all gone slideways Staff Premium

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    Such an Icon. Will truly be missed. RIP and prayers for his family.
     
  13. aphidgod

    aphidgod
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    That's more or less the story I came across while researching the T70 for an AC mod.

    RIP Mr. Broadley, and thanks for all the great cars.
     
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  14. Rob

    Rob
    XBO: OctoberDusk06 Premium

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    Great racing icon. Now gone. They are fast disappearing. Was Paul Newman ever featured here? He's another example of passion that gets no recognition. As well as Don Panoz.
     
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  15. wombat999

    wombat999
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    One of the best designers and manufacturers of Customer Cars indeed.
    Ironic that his Indy and FJ/F2/F3/F5000/FF/F3000/F.SuperVee formula designs always seemed to work out of out of the box while the F1 designs were dogs!
    However, his influence on the Ford GT40 project and his reply in the shape of the T70 Mk.III were two of the great designs that I will remember him for.
    I had the privilege of driving a Lola Mk.1 at an historic event, so thank you Mr. Broadley for allowing me to play with one of your lovely cars.
     
  16. Mike Kadlcak

    Mike Kadlcak

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    RIP.

    I always loved the Lola designs... best looking Indycars around '94 '95.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. SVP Skins

    SVP Skins

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    Had the honour of Meeting Eric at Lola's 50th Anniversary in Huntingdon back in 2008. Such a nice guy. They say you should never meet your heros, in the case with Eric, i couldn't be more proud to of meet one of mine. R.I.P Eric, you will be missed.
     
  18. pedrotrindade

    pedrotrindade
    Virtual Gentleman Driver Premium

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    So true, they were probably the most beautiful formulas ever made IMHO.
    R.I.P.
     
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  19. RufGTI

    RufGTI

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    With the beginning of the current USCC season the brand Lola died (Mazda doesn't use a Lola chassis anymore), now it's founder. I always loved the T70.