Total Production: 17 1969 - 1970
The Lola T140 and T142 models had been competitive in Formula 5000 and Formula A racing and the company had sold many of examples to privateers. The competition, however, quickly raised the bar, requiring Lola to come up with a new car. By the close of the 1960s, the T140 and T142 were well off pace, and their spaceframe chassis had become antiquated.
For the final race of the 1969 season, in Sebring, Florida, Lola introduced their new car, the T190. The T190 was considerably shorter than many other cars on the grid, measuring just 88 inches. The aluminum alloy monoqoue tub with a steel cross-member assembly was clothed in one-piece fiberglass reinforced polyester resin bodywork, which would prove to be problematic when trying to service the vehicle - or to refill it with fuel. The front suspension was independent with double tubular wishbones and telescopic double-acting shock absorbers with co-axial coil suspension springs. The rear was also independent, with lower reversed wishbones and link. Girling 12-inch vented disc brakes could be found at all four corners. The fuel tank held 30 gallons of fuel.
Instead of the popular LG600 six-speed gearbox, the T190 was fitted with a Hewland DG300 5-speed transmission. This was mated to a Chevrolet 302 cubic-inch V8 engine fitted with a Lola dry sump and small diameter Lola flywheel. Weber 48 IDA carburetors were standard, but could be substituted for a Lucas fuel injection system.
The car was driven by Mark Donohue, and though it missed a day of practice, was able to qualify third. The car was running well and positioned in second place when it was forced to retire due to clogged fuel filters. The race was two 100 mile heats, and during both sessions, the car failed to finish due to the same issue - the inadequate fuel filters.
There were a total of seventeen T190 race cars built and they would prove to be a considerable improvement over the T140 and T140 cars, earning two of the first ten 1970 North American Formula 5000 races. Across the pond, the T190 raced up three wins in the UK series.
Many of the customers complained that the wheelbase was too short and the handling was too difficult to master. Lola's response was the T192 which was a new longer-wheelbase model that was introduced before the close of the 1970 season.By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2010