|Right from the start the Mk1 proved an immediate success with Eric finishing second at Snetterton in only the Mk1's second race and a win followed immediately when Eric won his heat in a sportscar race at Brands Hatch by some 24 seconds and the Mk1 became the first sportscar to lap the Club Circuit in less than a minute. To further underline the promise of the new car on the same day Eric finished fourth in the race for sportscars up to 1500cc despite starting from the back of the grid.
It wasn't long before the requests to buy a MK1 began and using the proceeds of selling the first car and a loan of £1000 from his father Eric founded Lola Cars Limited. Setting up shop at Maurice Gomm's workshop in Byfleet, Surrey an initial run of three cars was undertaken for the 1959 season, one to be the works car, the other two to be sold, one to America. These first three production Mk1s bore the BY prefix (for Byfleet) to their chassis numbers. The works car would be driven by Peter Ashdown who was offered a run in the Mk1 when Eric was testing it at Brands, after being conclusively faster than it's designer Eric sensibly decided that his talents were better suited to design rather than race driving.
For the 1959 season success followed success with a 1-2-3 in the Chichester Cup at Goodwood and a victory at Clermont-Ferrand as well as a class win in the RAC Tourist Trophy. Eric was finding travelling from his home in Orpington to West Byfleet to be too time-consuming and at the end of 1959 new premises were built next to Rob Rushbrook's Bromley premises. During 1960 19 Mk1s would leave the Lola shop all bearing the BR prefix to indicate their Bromley parentage. A number of improvements were included in the 1960 models including the adoption of a Specialised Mouldings fibreglass body, power was also boosted with the Mark III FWA producing 90 bhp at 7,200 rpm. The 1960 Autosport Sports Car Championship saw a Mk1 1-2 in the 1150 cc class with Peter Ashdown's works car heading Alan Rees, Ashdown would repeat this success in 1961. Internationally there were class wins at the Sebring 12 Hours and the Nürburgring 1000km for
Charles Vögele and Peter Ashdown, both of these events were rouns of the Woirld Sports Car Championship. There was another class win at the 1961 Nürburgring 1000km for Chris Kerrison and Peter Sergent as well as at the Sebring 12 hours for
Charlie Kurtz and Millard Ripley
. Production of the Mk1 continued through to 1962 with 7 more Mk1's being built in 1961 and a further 3 in 1962 as well as the one-off Mk1A (q.v.). Further small modifications were made and the cars were offered in an almost bewildering number of permutations with differing brake specifications, a choice of gearboxes from Ford and BMC dependant on engine choice. Possible engine choices included the Ford 105E or 109E, Coventry Climax 1100cc FWA or 1216cc FWE. Final specifications at the end of the Mk1 development even offered a 1470cc engine with a claimed 120 bhp on tap, which engine this was isn't clear since the Climax FWB was a 1460cc, 100 bhp unit.