18 years, £30,000 and 4,000 hours but restored Lola is ready for chequered flag

It’s taken 18 years, £30,000 and 4,000 hours of hard work, but for specialist engine builder Andrew Turvey it’s been time and money well spent.

For he is now the proud owner of an iconic 1960s sports car, which he has restored to its former glory.

And he plans to make sure it has a few more years of glory still to come.

One day, he hopes to see his Formula Junior Lola racing car take to the streets of Monaco.

Starting out with just the chassis, the mechanic has built and fitted the majority of the parts himself.

But Mr Turvey, who works for Classic Motor Cars in Bridgnorth, admits he has had to call in favours, save when he could and work extra hours after beginning the project 18 years ago.

Visiting the car once a week, Mr Turvey estimates he has spent up to £30,000 on it, although it’s now worth three times that amount.

He said: “I had to make the majority of parts and patterns for the Junior Lola myself because I couldn’t afford to buy them, so it was quite a long-winded process.

“The petrol tank I made with plywood before having it cast in aluminium.

“I started making the exhaust pattern for the manifold but then I saw it was good enough for the proper thing.

“The hardest part was getting the finance together – the parts I worked on myself were the easy bit!

“Just getting the casts made for the wheels cost £400 each and I had to get six of those.”

Mr Turvey, 44, said he had the idea of restoring the car while working for his late friend David Baker, a former team manager of Midland Racing Partnership.

“David was running a couple of cars for his son at the time and I worked as a mechanic for him.

“He told me he used to run a team during the 1960s and he still had an old chassis.

“The chassis was the last of eight used for a Lola Mk5a, which was given to the privately-run team when they were selected to take on the factory Cooper and Lotus marques in the early 1960s. There were some rusty suspension wishbones, parts of a gearbox and some engines bits and pieces from Formula 2 and FJ cars, which took a bit of sorting out.

“We decided the project could be quite interesting so I decided to try and put it all back together with him.

“David was in his late 70s at the time and eventually he gave me the car.

“Sadly he died five years ago, before the car was completed.

“The panel work on the car has already been signed by Richard Attwood, Bill Bradley and David Baker, who all formed part of the team.

“I’m still waiting for John Rhodes, who was the other member, but he should be popping down soon.

“They all formed part of the Lola Works Team that competed in the Formula Junior series, the equivalent of today’s Formula 2 series. Grand Prix driver John Surtees also drove for them on occasion.”

Mr Turvey has since taken his pride and joy around the Donington Park race track and plans to race the car in the new Formula Junior series, for motors built between 1959-64.

His final ambition is to see Richard Atwood race the car at the Monaco Classic, in the same car and at the venue where he triumphant in the former junior series back in 1963.

His daughter, Molly, said she was extremely proud her dad had finally finishing his ‘baby’. She said: “I’ve been watching him build it ever since I can remember. The whole family now looks forward to going to Silverstone and actually seeing him race it.

“He’s now going to spend the next 15 years tuning it up to win a race!”

Mr Turvey has worked on numerous cars including the Wolverhampton Sunbeam, which won the 1922 Isle of Man TT.