Lola celebrates with new DVD narrated by Stephen Fry

THE glowing yellow of Lola Cars was once nearly converted in to the bright red of Ferrari when the Italian racing car giants considered buying the Huntingdon-based business. But a deal was never struck and Lola Cars lives on, celebrating its 50th annivers

THE glowing yellow of Lola Cars was once nearly converted in to the bright red of Ferrari when the Italian racing car giants considered buying the Huntingdon-based business.

But a deal was never struck and Lola Cars lives on, celebrating its 50th anniversary with the release of a film charting its highs and lows - both on the track and in the boardroom.

The 85-minute film has been a labour of love for Lola's communications manager Sam Smith who has persuaded some legends from Lola's past to put their memories on film.

The DVD - which is released on Monday (December 15) - includes interviews with John Surtees, Jackie Stewart, Michael Andretti, Damon Hill, and AJ Foyt as well as other drivers and the businessmen who have been influential in the firm's history.


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And there is also another surprise name that appears on the DVD's cover - Stephen Fry. The comedian was chosen to narrate the film and, according to Lola, does so enthusiastically.

"He was really genuinely interested in Lola," Mr Smith told The Hunts Post, "especially the engineering side and that the company was built up from relatively small acorns."

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The film, called Lola, the First 50 Years, has been in the making since April and as well as historical and recent successes features parts of this year's Le Mans 24 hour race, the Goodwood festival of Speed and, of course, the parade of Lola cars around Huntingdon.

There are also a few not-so-well-known snippets of information that have been dug out of the Lola archives.

"Lola and Ferrari have done quite a lot of work together in the past and there was a stage where Lola may have been bought by Ferrari back in the 60s," said Mr Smith. "But that did not come into fruition and the Lola brand remains."

The film also includes Lola's only ever F1 win - back in 1967 at Monza when John Surtees was at the wheel - and the team was known at Hondola, a partnership of Honda and Lola.

"This was only of the closest finishes ever in Formula One with Surtees winning by the width of a tyre," Mr Smith said.

And not many people will have heard of Lola the Horse. This was the present Graham Hill bought for his son Damon after winning the Indy 500 in 1966.

The DVD also includes the troubled times of the late 1990s when the company eventually passed from founder Eric Broadley into the hands of current owner, Martin Birrane.

"It includes the peaks and the troughs. There were some sad times but we were not going to gloss over them," added Mr Smith.

INFORMATION: The film includes 30mins of extras. It costs £14.99 and is available to order on www.motorsportdvd.com

WIN A COPY OF LOLA, THE FIRST 50 YEARS

The Hunts Post has three copies of the Lola DVD to give away to readers.

All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning a copy is tell us who founded Lola Cars in 1958?

Send your answer on a postcard or sealed envelope to: Lola Competition, The Hunts Post, 30 High Street, Huntingdon PE29 3TB.

Entries should include your name, address and a daytime telephone number and reach us by Tuesday, December 30.

Usual Archant competition rules apply.

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