This historic Lola BRJ-8 has had much racing success over recent years, including an outright victory at the Monaco Historique in 2016 by current owner-driver Jonathon Hughes
In 1959, the FIA announced that a new single seater class would be commencing that year to be known as the Formula Junior with its intention to replace the 500cc Formula 3 cars. Once Lola Cars had become established as a production car manufacturer in 1959, it was inevitable that Eric Broadley would look around for a class other than sport cars in which to diversify, and it was Formula Junior that the British manufacturer turned its attention to in 1960.
F Junior was the brainchild of the Italian racer Giovianni âJohnnyâ Lurani who initially envisioned Junior as a way of developing future Italian Grand Prix drivers but following its success in Italy the FIA recognised Juniorâs potential as a replacement for the outdated F3 cars. The regulations called for single seater cars to be powered by either 1100cc or 1000cc engines, for 1100cc cars there was a 400kg minimum weight, with 1000cc it was reduced to 360kg. The engine had to be derived from a production car (at least 100 units in 12 consecutive months) and overhead cams were forbidden, the fuel supply had to be the same as the production car version of the engine. Brakes i.e. drums or discs, had to be the same type as that of the car from which the engine had been taken. The gearbox had to be from a FIA recognised touring car from which the engine had to be taken. There were a number of other restrictions on size, engine and transmission changes etc. but there was certainly plenty of room for innovative design.
Sticking to principles that he knew worked Eric Broadley designed the Lola MkII using many features from the successful MkI. A complex 20 gauge multi base chassis frame located the engine to the right of the carâs entre line whilst the drivers cockpit was offset to the left. To add to the rigidity of the design the undertray and propshaft tunnel were riveted to the chassis so acting as a stressed members. This configuration meant that the drive from the Ford 105E 997cc overhead valve engine is canted at 15 degrees from the vertical as well as 2 degress longitudinally, could go from the BMC 4 Speed gearbox via the propshaft which was to the right of the drivers seat to the offset differential assembly. This allowed for a near straight run for the transmission line which helped limit power losses.
The front suspension consisted of wide based unequal length double wishbones with outboard coils and dampers, rack and pinion steering attached to the uprights forward of the front-wheel line. At the rear driveshafts were used and a trailing link to work as a top wishbone.
Finished with a low and wide fibreglass body that covered the chassis with the nose and top panel back to the cockpit being a single unit, inside the large nose a large aluminium cross flow radiator was mounted to the chassis. The two SU carbs (Webers on this vehicle,) emerged on the left of the car between the two top frame tubes. A six gallon fuel tank sat to the right of the driver with an oil tank for the dry sumped engine.
This particular Lola BRJ8 has a history file containing details of all of the eleven owners over its life, with many past race results, images and documents. It appears that it was originally sold to a team named âScuderia LONG Lola.â It is documented that the car raced in Sweden, with accompanying magazine cover and black and white pictures. Subsequently we believe the car was most probably repatriated in the UK and neglected, before being restored and raced in historic competitions. The vehicle is currently fitted with a 1098cc engine, rather than the 997cc as originally regulated for.
In more recent time the car was then purchased by its current owner, Jonathon Hughes, who has had much success racing the Lola over the years, which included an outright victory in the car at the Monaco Historique in 2016.
This historic racing vehicle comes with current FIA HTP papers that expire in 2027.