Jo Bonnier Lola T70 Mk 3B

There’s an interesting story behind how Penta Motorsports came to be the proud owner of the storied “Bonnier works” Lola Mk 3B SL76/143, which has seen action at many of the worlds’ most famous endurance races and road courses in 1969 and 1970 and driven to victories by the late Swedish drivers Jo Bonnier and Ronnie Peterson; and occasionally by Herbert Muller, a Swiss.

Back in 1970, as a 17-year-old, Penta Motorsports’ founder; Steve Sanett visited and worked on the set of the motion picture Le Mans, with Steve McQueen, and fell in love with the Lola T70. In 1978 he was in a position to get serious about his passion and tracked down the Lola in Slough, close to where most of the T70 series cars we constructed. When first viewed the 3B was in a condition as though it had been exhumed and brought back from its last race in 1970. After a long trip across the Atlantic the Lola was stored for more than 25 years before it was restored.

SL76/143 has now undergone a total and complete ground-up restoration to its former racing glory, with subtle enhancements to improve overall reliability and safety. Electrical components were harnessed by the use of aircraft-style connectors and Teflon wire. The original 5.0 L Moran-built small block Chevrolet engine, Hewland LG600 and Weber carburetors have been completely remanufactured. During the restoration and final assembly all of the components were refinished to original specs including replacement Mill std. 12-point fasteners.

Today, the T70 Mk 3B is occasionally displayed at prominent vintage races and car shows with an infrequent track exhibition run at Road America or Watkins Glen. Since the car is street-legal you may also see Steve carving through the famed Malibu Canyon and California coastline, for the Lola’s occasional Sunday morning exercise run.

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