Recognize this car? Probably not. It's the Lola Mk6, an early-1960s British race car that's both rare and relatively unknown today. But it had a huge influence on perhaps the most well-known sports car racing program in motorsports history: The Ford GT40.
Lola only built three of these 1800-lb fiberglass race cars, in response to the FIA's brand new rules for 1963. Lola's clean sheet approach, powered by Ford's then-new 260-cubic-inch smallblock V8, made the Mk6 quite potent, with 350 horses and plenty of torque making its magnesium wheels spin fast enough to turn Dunlop's best early-'60s rubber into smoke.
Yet by 1965, Lola had moved on. Founder Eric Broadley had caught the eye of none other than Ford Motor Company, which convinced him to put Lola on hold and assist in designing, engineering and building the original Mk1 GT40. Once he accomplished that, Broadley returned to working on Lolas, focusing on the big-block T70.
You think the Mk1 Ford GT40 is tiny? Check out how low the Lola Mk6 sits:
That's where Allan Grant came into the picture. Grant, who dropped out of college in the early 1960s to become a welder for Carroll Shelby, found himself working next to Lola's garage in 1965. This gave him the opportunity to buy the original Mk6 GT prototype for $3000 without an engine or a gearbox. He went for the deal, and he hasn't parted with the car since. If there's a car Jay Leno is lusting after, this is it, now complete with its Ford Cortina taillights and original engine: