Lola Celebrates 50 Years with a DVD
December 12th 2008
Fry tells the story of Lola
off a year of celebrations, the fiftieth anniversary of
the founding of Lola cars is now marked by the release of
a new DVD that chronicles the history of the famous sportscar
by Stephen Fry - a local resident as well as genuine enthusiast
- Lola: The First 50 Years charts the remarkable
story of one of Britain’s best loved and most prolific
racing car manufacturers.
it’s Golden Anniversary in 2008, Lola has designed
and built more racing cars than any other constructor. Almost
4000 cars proudly wear the famous Lola badge and a majority
of Formula One champions have raced and won in Lola cars
during their careers.
film details the firm’s humble beginnings, in the
South East London suburb of Bromley where, in 1958 Lola
originator Eric Broadley built the foundations for the successful
Lola brand in a tiny workshop loaned by a friend. The story
continues through to the present day multi million pound
state-of-the-art facility that Lola operates in Huntingdon,
Cambridgeshire. Among the many racing successes documented
are the Indy 500 wins of 1966, 1978 and 1990, the famous
‘Hondola’ F1 win at Monza 1967 and the full
history of Lola’s assaults on the Le Mans 24 Hours.
All are colourfully depicted by great archive footage and
the recollections of the drivers and crews that won for
Lola on the world stage.
owner and Executive Chairman of Lola Group, Martin Birrane,
along with a cast of famous racing personalities such as
John Surtees, Sir Jackie Stewart, Damon Hill and AJ Foyt,
chronicle the story of Lola. The DVD also traces the desperate
days of 1997, when Lola was within days of ceasing to exist
and this very British company found itself at a significant
historical footage and contemporary film recalling some
of the spectacular celebrations during the 50th year make
for absorbing viewing. So too the insights and memories
from such as Brian Redman, Mark Blundell, Michael Andretti,
Al Unser Jnr, Bobby Rahal, Sebastien Bourdais and Paul Tracy.
well as looking at Lola’s significant victories on
the track, the film charts the less well-known diversification
into other industries. During Martin Birrane’s ownership
the Aerospace, Defence, Communications and Automotive industries
have benefited from Lola’s engineering skills and
its renowned capabilities in composite technology.
2008 visit by His Royal Highness The Duke of York is also
featured as is the novel sight of a Lola LMP1 car lighting
up its tyres in the directors car park!
Birrane reminisces on his first ever memories of both racing
and owning Lola cars; “This is the most substantial
story ever told of Lola’s epic journey over the years.
Eric Broadley was the talented innovator and founder of
a great British marque. Sadly it fell upon hard times in
1997. I then took on the challenge of resuscitating and
saving the brand. This was accomplished despite the hardships
encountered by motorsport in the late 90’s and early
part of the present decade. I am delighted to say we have
had many successes in the past 11 years, all hard earned
but all very rewarding. Lola has been described as a pretty
young girl that grew into a beautiful and sophisticated
woman, never out of fashion and I feel that is quite an
accurate observation. What this film shows is the depth
of feeling that so many people have for the brand and also
for its staying power during the last 50 years. I am sure
hardened enthusiasts and new fans to the sport of motor
racing will enjoy this film in equal measure.”
film is 80 minutes long and includes some superb extras
and should hold interest for racing fans worldwide. Lola
– The First 50 Years is available now from various
outlets, including Motorsport
DVD, priced £14.99.