A car we have had for sale at least three times over the past 36 years. Never damaged, bent, or even scratched. And then, as now, just about the best overall dual purpose car.....one that can be raced competitively AND driven on the road.
Restored back in the early or mid 1980s, we sold it in 1987 to a Canadian who ran it very successfully in Canada to a championship win. And in 1996, he and I raced against each other at Lime Rock with lap times in the 1:07s (on a day I won my class). Not bad for a vintage car with narrow tires, drum brakes, and a 948cc BMC engine.
And...jumping ahead, the car has raced with the SVRA, VSCCA, and Casc and been primarily used as a road car for the past five years. Justifying Colin Chapman's original design parameters for 'the guy who can drive it to work during the week and then race competitively on weekends.'
948cc engine, (most of the following comes from the past owner's books on work done) flat top Cosworth forged pistons, Rimflow valves in a professionally prepared Richard Longman, Cooper 998 gas flowed cylinder head, balanced, steel strap under the center main cap, steel billet crankshaft, shot peened lightened 1300 con rods, aluminum flywheel,, competition clutch, 649 race camshaft, race prepared twin SUs, and headers. And guessing around 95hp. Mated to a straight cut, close ratio rib case gearbox, racing axle shafts and a 3.91 differential. 8,000 rpm redline but added safety shifting at 7,500 rpm.
Tubular space frame with stressed alloy floors and tunnel, polished aluminum body by Williams and Pritchard, cycle fenders, 15" wire wheels with Hoosier Fm Vee tires, roll bar, racing fuel cell, dual master cylinders, competition brake linings, new Aeroquip brake lines, fuel prrssure gauge, solid state fuel pump, oil cooler, proper oil and coolant catch bottles, even an hour meter on the dash. Also has a removable front roll bar strut, in for race/out for road use.
Spax adjustable shocks, excellent wiring and electrics, recently improved with a new alternator, twin racing screens, beautifully sorted and prepared in every way. Complete with SVRA, VSSCA, and Canadian CASC racing log books.
As the former owner of one of these cars, for well over forty years, I can validate it being one of the most enjoyable cars one could ever expect to find. Doesn't have the top speed of a Porsche or Ferrari, probably not quite as exciting as a well sorted Fm Ford BUT this car does everything. For shows, for road use, and for racing. ONE car that can do everything.
And as an addition, rare: 242 Lotus 7 Series 1s were built followed by 1250 Series 2s and 330 Series 3s. The Series 4s were more like a dune boggy and when the rights, jigs, and spare parts were sold off to Caterham Car Co (when Lotus decided to go 'up market'), they went back to the Series 3 as the basis for all future Caterhams, a car still in production in England. In the case of my own 7, after years of enjoyment, chose to go (engine wise) up market with an Ex Cooper Fm II Climax FWB SOHC 1500cc engine and last time I raced it at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, came in 3rd in the fastest class being beaten only by a fast Elva Mk V and the fastest Lotus 18 Fm Junior. Particularly impressive as, with any 7 I ever owned, its primary use was for fun road driving.
When this car was first acquired by us, pulled the wire connected to the choke and if easily fired up. Went down the road about as expected, revved quickly, pulled rapidly through the gears (being straight cut, 1st is rather noisy), effortless steering and shifting...............CLEARLY more of a race car but not only roadable BUT is currently inspected for road use in NY State and has a NY registration.
Lots of nice little details....aluminum rear tonneau cover that comes off with two Dzus fasteners, stayfast cloth tonneau for passenger's side, quick turn connectors to remove the alloy panel above the shift linkage, a reverse lock out (who wants to hit reverse in the middle of a race OR any time?), low oil pressure warning light, new Pertronix distributor with electronic ignition module, spin on oil filter, all ARP engine fasteners, chrome rocker cover, the list of bits and pieces is almost endless.
As a race car, only needs updated racing belts (to pass tech inspection) and as a road car......an owner's choice BUT a new road windshield should be readily available from Caterham (if so desired), turn the headlights forward, has a charging system and an electric radiator fan. And maybe add a set set of wire wheels with road tires.
So there it is. Not for everyone BUT fabulous for the right buyer. And we can add any additional items a buyer wants for either road or race.Click for legal info