1978 Lola T620 Super Vee
Ex-Gary Bettenhausen Mini Indy Pro Car
Lola built twenty six Lola T620 Super Vee chassis. These were the new advanced generation water cooled, monocoque Super Vees that ushered in the next era of Super Vees.
Starting in 1977, USAC began a new Super Vee series, called Mini Indy. Mini Indy was designed to be a feeder series for up and coming racers who wanted to race in Champ Cars/IndyCars. These Mini Indy Super Vee races were run as support races for the IndyCar series. Young drivers could prove themselves in front of the IndyCar team owners in hopes of landing an IndyCar ride. It worked. A number of the Super Vee drivers would move onto Champ Car/Indy Car, and some even to F1.
This particular Lola T620, chassis number HU-06, was Champ Car/IndyCar driver Gary Bettenhausen’s ride for 1978. The car was sponsored by American Eagle Racing.
Bettenhausen and the Lola scored their highest finish of the season, a podium, at the Trenton race. They would also finish 4th at Milwaukee. By the end of the season Bettenhausen and theLola had scored enough points to make it into the top 10. They finished 8th in the overall standings. This was no mean feat. No less than 70 drivers competed in the Championship that season.
While Bettenhausen was splitting his time between Super Vee, USAC Champ Car, and USAC Silver Crown Sprint Car commitments, Herm Johnson was able to focus his efforts on Super Vee. He raced his Lola T-620 to multiple race wins, and second overall in the SCCA’s sister Super Vee Series, the 1978 Bosch Gold Cup.
After Bettenhausen’s 1978 season this particular Lola T620, chassis number 006, went to its next owner. There it ran 29 races from 1980 through 1984. These included SCCA National and Regional races.
The Lola was restored in 2013. From 2013 through 2022, the car has run in 11 races with SVRA, VSCDA, and the Midwestern Council of Sports Car Clubs.
For specifications on the 1978 Lola T620 Super Vee, please see Lola Heritage.
At the end of the 1978 season, this Bettenhausen Lola was sold. It was then purchased by the same owner who still has it nearly 45 years later.
Recent things that have been done to the Lola include the following.
Fuel cell last updated 2014
Sabelt safety belts expire in 2023
New SPA Extreme fire system, 2022
2 sets Revolution tires with slicks come with the car.
1 set ADF with new Hoosier rain tires bought in 2022 come with the car.
The engine was most recently built by Bill Delve. The last rebuild was in July, 2019. There are now three races on the 1600 c.c. water cooled, twin Weber carbureted VW engine. The engine is mated to a 4 speed Hewland gearbox.
The Lola is equipped with Bilstein shocks and period spec VW disc brakes.
1 Bosch Fuel injection system also comes with the car, along with two additional gear sets.
As mentioned above, the Lola was last raced in 2022, and is ready for the 2023 season.
We think Super Vees remain an amazing value in todays historic racing market. Their performance is comparable to Formula Atlantics but for a fraction of the cost. Maintenance and spares are also much less expensive. Compare the performance and technology you get with a Super Vee vs. a Formula Ford for about the same price. These cars are a great bang for the buck, and super fun to drive.
This Lola T620 qualifies to run in vintage races just about everywhere. You can race it with the Masters Formula Atlantic Plus Series (They were the support race for the 2022 U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. How about that kind of experience in front of over 100,000 F1 cars for this kind of money?). You can race the Lola with CSRG, SVRA, RMVR, HSR, VARA, at the Lime Rock Vintage Fall Festival, and a host of other great events. Of course these cars can be raced in other great historic series worldwide as well.