Lola T70 Mk 1
- when owned by Bill Krueger
- The following
was submitted by Bill Krueger who sold the Lola to David Pozzi.
The story was so interesting we thought it might bring back some
memories of those days when racing was done on a shoestring and
common sense often was left at the wayside. Usually someone,
like Bill, who fell in love with a car and went to great lengths
(and distances) to fullfill his dream.
- My name
is Bill Krueger and a friend of mine forwarded your article (see Pozzi Lola) about the Lola T-70
that I sold to David Pozzi of Salinas, Ca.
- Story of what I know
about my Lola T-70:
- I saw an ad
in Autoweek for the car listed by a guy (dont remember
his name) in Coral Gables, Florida (not Arizona). He had two
Lolas and was interested in selling the one that he had not restored.
I never heard anything about Buck Fulp associated with the car
(that doesnt mean he wasnt). It was my impression
that the cars had been in South America but I dont remember
what made me think so (something Stevens of Stevens International
Racing had said I think).
- We talked
several times and he advised me to forget it as it was a long
way to come and he thought that he had a more local buyer. I
told him that I wanted it and that I would be there in a couple
of days with the $4000 asking price.
- I started
out at noon in a '65 Mustang with nearly bald tires on New Years
eve 1971- I think. I slept from 2:00am until 5:00am in the back
seat on the roadside just outside El Paso, Texas, It took me
all the next day to get across Texas where I stayed in a motel
in Orange, Texas near the Louisiana border. The next evening
I called the guy at his office to say I was in town. I made that
trip in 2 ½ days. He gave me phone directions to the shop
where his cars were worked on by Jeff? Stevens of SIR (Stevens
International Racing). Next day I met the owner at the shop and
gave him my check. He was somewhat dismayed that I was paying
by check but it had not occurred to me to take $ 4000 CASH across
- I guess he
saw the effort that I had gone through and sold me the car. Now
I needed a Trailer. They provided one and I took my Mustang to
a rental place to have a trailer hitch put on the car (all pretty
rookie like huh?).
- We tied the
car down to the trailer (a pretty nifty tilt ramp set-up) and
off I went. You need to recognize that the freeway
system was not complete in those days and I got lost in the backwoods
in Mississippi and Louisiana. I again stayed at the motel in
Orange, Texas and parked the rig in their covered/lighted porch
at the front door in view of the night desk guy and asked him
to keep an eye on it. As I stopped for gas I would poor water
on the tie-down ropes that went through the wheels and they would
tighten up again for the next segment. At a service station a
returning serviceman asked me to keep him in mind if I needed
- The next night
I slept some in a rest stop with the trailer backed up against
a 16 wheeler so that no one could unhook the trailer (I was pretty
spooked it was all the money I had, I had been laid off
from my job at Lockheed Aircraft and hence I had the time but
not much money).
- I was really
tired by the time I reached Riverside, Ca. along highway 10 and
stayed overnight at a motel there before making my final, short,
leg into LA and on to Van Nuys. I had crossed the entire country
in 3 ½ days, under Mobile Bay in a narrow tunnel in Mobile,
Alabama, where one trailer wheel was up against the curb while
the other was partially in the on-coming lane, through the backwoods
of Mississippi, and through Baton Rouge, La. at the time a sniper
was shooting people from the roof of a Howard Johnson without
attracting any attention but I got a ticket for traveling in
a non trailer lane in my home state around Pomona on Hi-way 60
just 40 miles from home.
- Lola prep for SCCA
- I had borrowed
a friends (Clay Ward of Road and Competition Engineering)
'67 289 Mustang for my first SCCA Drivers School weekend
and won the race at the end of the day against a
friend (Terry Leonard of movie stunt fame) in a Mustang of his
- I didnt
want to borrow again and wanted to ran my Lola at the second
school but in final preparation my roommate and I could not get
the gearbox splines to line up with the half shafts and I attended
the first day of school without the car as Paul Law took the
gearbox to Pete Wiseman for adjustment (it had Jaguar parts as
I remember). We fixed the car Sunday at Riverside and I ran it
in a couple of school sessions. While all this sounds peculiar,
taking a Lola T-70 to rookie SCCA Drivers School, it
gets worse. God only knows how long the tires had been
on the car but they were old and hard. When I got the car they
told me the engine was junk and I built a 350 CI SB Chevy from
scratch (there were no crate motors in 71/72). I
bought every part from Behr Chevrolet in Woodland Hills?
- (San Fernando
Valley) and put it together according to the How to Hot
Rod Your Small Block Chevy book having it blue printed
and balanced as well. The engine that came in the car had Hilborn
injection which we removed, and sold to a speed shop in Burbank,
in favor of a simpler Holly 4 barrel set-up. I took the old engine
apart and one of the heads was stamped with TRACO but everything
was pretty rusty and I thought at the time that I wanted to start
- SCCA Driver's School
Part II- the Lola's crash
- Back to
The car was red with plain while meatballs on it. I chose the
number and put the zero on it. As stated, we changed the injection
for something we knew something about (Holly 850 CFM and a Smoky
Ram manifold). I had the money to buy two new rear tires and
had to balance them myself because we couldnt find anyone
who could handle the wide wheels and we had found that they had
a vibration when we took the car to Willow Springs.
- To check things
out, at Willow Springs and found, beside the wheel imbalance,
that the oil pick-up was not low enough in the Aviad road-race
pan and the engine starved for oil in the long, sweeping, turn
2 exit where the oil pressure gauge would register zero for a
bit.I shimmed the pump and this leads us to the preparation for
me to have the car ready for my second Drivers School week-end.
- My drivers
school instructor was Dick Gullstrand (who himself had driven
T-70s) so he must have thought that I was a real piece of work,
bringing a T-70 to school - but I had nothing else and no money
to rent anything. I had to supply the pre-fabbed Roll Cage for
the Mustang that I borrowed for my first Driver's School weekend
as payment for that use of the car and I was now putting all
of my money now into the Lola.
- I made it
through the sessions Sunday afternoon (I think that I missed
the morning sessions) by going really slowly through the turns
(especially turn 8) because of the tremendous push the car had
from the old, hard, front tires combined
with the new gummy rears. Coming by on only my second lap of
the days final event race I had found the car
twitchy and when I went out wide to the left to make the right
hand, 2nd. turn, the left rear tire dropped off of the pavement
onto the dirt on the outside of the turn. Since the car is very
low, this set the magnesium up-right on the pavement and it broke
off. The left rear suspension broke sending the wheel upward
tearing off the read body section. The car turned abruptly to
the right and entered the nice V shaped graded dirt water ditch
leading to the steep bank near the ice plant inside turn two.
Entering the ditch tore off the nose section and the car came
to a rest part way up the bank. I unbuckled, grabbed the fire
extinguisher and jumped out. The water was leaking, the oil was
leaking and the fuel was leaking out onto the ground.
- They stopped
the race, a tow truck arrived and they gathered me
and the pieces up and drove us back to the pits. We trailored
the car and pieces home and that was it. My partner and I were
involved in building a Shelby Mustang for SCCA BP racing (thus
my need to complete drivers school) and could not spend
the time reworking my car.
- David Pozzi buys
my Lola T70
- I advertised
the car in Auto Week and Competition press for $600 and David
called to say he was coming down my way (Hayvenhurst St. in Van
Nuys, Ca) from Salinas (on family visit I think to his wifes
folks) and wanted to bring a trailer to pick up the car. I was
selling the wreck without engine or Hewland LG400.
- As a postscript:
I still have the engine on a stand that has traveled to three
different homes we have had. It is now going into a Scarab replica
I am building with my brother.
- I have often
wondered what David did with the car and always assumed that
it became a morphadite mongrel. I am very glad that he took the
time and effort to restore it correctly.
- Back to
David arrived one wet morning with a big open trailer. We loaded
the bent chassis/tub (sitting in the back yard) onto his trailer.
The left rear suspension was broken off and the tub was tweaked/damaged.
I had a spare Lola wheel that he asked if he could have and I
said that I was afraid to let him have it as it had been tested
and found to be cracked (I had the original wheels, which were
painted red, bead blasted clean and checked for cracks). This
one was cracked and I found a guy in Hollywood who had some so
I bought another and never used the cracked one. I did end up
letting David take the wheel. All of the wheels were porous and
had to be sealed against leaking air from the inside with epoxy
primer. Anyway, I couldnt help but admire this guy who
pulled a trailer from Salinas to fulfill his dream. I had always
been in love with the Lola and watched Surtees, Bondarant, Andretti,
Grant, Gurney and Jones drive them at Laguna Seca (nearer to
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo were I went to collage from 65-69)
and Riverside close to my home.
- From the current
pictures of the car I am pleased to see that the roll bar that
I made for the car is still in use. I made a kind of nifty rear
view mirror stand out of an aluminum I beam that I hope was used
- This is probably
way more than anyone needed to hear but the memories were just
- Below: Lola
T70 at Riverside Bill Krueger driving
- Below: Lola
at Riverside in traffic.
- Below: Lola
at Riverside on curve.
- For more about
this car and David Pozzi see pozziracing.com
- Return to People/Events page of this site.
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