Let me harken back to a simpler time in automotive history. Lets go all the way back in fact to 1967. 

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In 1967, the Canadian-American Challenge Cup (Can-Am) was the race series to watch (other than NASCAR of course) and one of the most beautiful cars screaming down the raceway was what you see before you today: the Lola T70.

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Back in the Can-Am glory days of the 60’s, the most competitive cars were basically beer cans with v8 engines. Safety regulators, look away.

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As you can easily tell, what these cars lacked in safety and technology, they make up for in beauty. When I first laid eyes on this car, I was speeding through the paddock at Sebring International on a golf cart headed for some shut eye before the day of racing to come. Passing the rows and rows of trailers, I saw a group of folks huddled around what I first thought was a Carrera 904 GTS. I slammed on the breaks, leaped out of the cart, and B-lined straight for the car.

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The folks huddled around the car were actually members of the team who owned the Lola, and they were making last minute preps for the vintage race tomorrow. Observing their movements from the glow of cigarettes, I knew this was a car I just had to get to know better. I told them I’d be here at sunrise to shoot.

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These types of cars- vintage, v8, purpose driven: these are the cars that I live for. These are the cars I go home at night and dream about shooting. There isn’t a boring square inch of the Lola T70. 

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The bright red “FIRE” label is a reminder that this is a car not to be toiled with. This is not a forgiving automobile designed for Sunday cruises, this is a hold-on-for-dear-life and try to stay on track type of car. 

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As I paced around the curves of the Lala and watched the hues change as the sun started to rise, I couldn’t help but become jealous of those that got to live during these beautiful days in racing. Sure they were brutal and more people were hurt, even killed- but the machines had a more special feeling to them. 

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I think what I’m getting at is that the difference between the Hi-Tec, Double-Clutch, R8’s and 991’s of today, and the monstrous Can-Am cars of yesteryear is one simple ingredient: Heart.

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Now I’m not saying that the modern racing teams of today don’t have heart or passion- but modern cars are becoming less man and machine and more man, ESC/ABS/DSG/SRS, and machine.

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Having owned cars from both the ’87 and 2016, there is a definite lack of soul in newer machines. It’s teams like the ones responsible for this Lola that keep the spirit of vintage alive. Sure, you can set faster lap times in a 991 Cup, but will that excite your soul as much as a car like the Lola?

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