Cheers, Billy.Whizz. Yeah, not the best year to get it but at least I have it now and it's not going anywhere anytime soon so many miles of driving to come. Back is, thankfully, all better thanks!
The main reason for me getting one was to have something fun to drive, maybe not outright fast, but lots of fun. Plus I wanted something that I can work on myself and make mine.
I've been through a whole host of different cars in the past... Just about every modern Lotus having had an S1 Elise and Exige as well as a Europa. I had lots of hot hatches and still have a couple plus a lot of Land rovers. Bizarrely I think the 7 has much more in common with the Landies than other cars, I still have my S1 Land Rover as a comparison. I've come to the conclusion that the key has to be something with involvement that can be personalised... The cars also sit alongside 9 bikes... That got a bit out of hand a few years ago! The garage is now full but I am trying to solve that by building a new garage...
The actual catalyst for buying the car was sitting by a pool in Frejus last year reading a copy of Classic and Sportscar. A cross-flow 7 was in the tried and tested section. I read that, thought it sounded fun and decided to get one when i got home. Not that I bought a cross-flow. The bank account probably wishes I hadn't gone on holiday!
In the late 80s I saw a Lotus 7 in the window of a dealer's showroom. They were happy to allow a test drive and started it up right then and there. When I got in to drive it there were two problems. At 95kg, I was more than a tight fit with uncomfortable pressure on both hips. And my feet were under the pedals and I could get neither of them onto the pedals. So, no a Lotus.
Fast forward to 2011 and I sold my business and my darling wife said I needed to get myself something in addition to a comfortable bank balance. The dealer here in a Australia only sells a handful of 7s a year so didn't have a demonstrator and was unwilling to let me drive his own CSR200, until I wore him down with five visits including at a motor show. A very gentle fifteen minute drive around the downtown area, including a handbrake start with a lightweight flywheel - and a learner driver close behind on a steep hill was all it took. I paid the deposit and we began to plan the car.
the hardest decision was colour. I spotted a car in LF that looked perfect and asked Sam at HQ to put me in touch. That chap not only was of great assistance but is now one of my closest friends...even though he lives in the Cotswolds. We've had many drives with him in his new 420S and me in a hired 7. I drove a 7 to the 60th and have hired three lovely cars from Boyd in Elgin including a CSR200 to drive around the NW of Scotland. The last two years have included Derek and Kay from IOM just to liven things up!
Unfortunately I wrote the car off a few months ago and am now pondering what to do. There is nothing like a 7. But we have limited choice given EU6 regs. So it looks like either a 275 or a 485. 132hp or 240hp. Many would say an easy choice but at twice the price ( more than a 620) and the fact that we are still in hard lockdown for awhile yet ( don't GP get me started) I have time to ponder.
great thread. Thanks
I fell in love with cars and motorsport in 1967.- until then I had no idea what a Seven was. I saw an S2 - the same one - in Autocross, trialling , racing and hillclimbing, was given a lift in an S3 , then an S4 up Harewood (by another marshal ). I adored the whole Lotus thing - Clark, Rindt , Hill, Fittipaldi and Peterson - and although I was (and still am ) besotted by Elans , it had to be a Seven because they won everything , looked weird , epitomised form driven by function and lacked the eff you aggression of so many sports cars .
Seven -less now , but 100000 miles of happy memories , from feeling like a hero on race tracks (obviously I wasn't , but felt as if I were), countless dawn starts to distant race circuits and the utter euphoria of having driven a 500 mile , almost non stop journey to the NW coast of Scotland - on a whim
My first post as a newbie member.
I have always been into cars and watching motorsport, although my mechanical knowledge and ability is limited. My wife had always said we should buy something a bit different as we approached retirement to keep me amused. Sadly she passed away earlier this year and my kids, knowing that I had always hankered after a Seven, hired me one for the weekend for my birthday in July. I didn't stop smiling the entire weekend and as a result I hope to pick up my 270s a week Friday. I joined this club which has been a real insight and benefit, and I am looking forward to Seven ownership and everything it entails. I just hope that October remains relatively dry!
When my kids were born I had to give up Scuba Diving as a main hobby as it kept me away from home for one or two weekends a month which isn't fair when you have little kids at home. A passenger ride around a track with a mate in his M3 convinced me that cars would be suitably adrenaline inducing as a replacement so I bought a Subaru Impreza and fettled it for the track.
Had to sell that after a few years due to house moves and family but I always wanted a replacement and after a big heavy Impreza I wanted something light, small and simple to maintain. I'd seen plenty of Caterhams on the track and hired one for the day at Donington from Bookatrack, which got me hooked.
Did a few more days in hired Caterhams at Silverstone, Donington and Brands Hatch and resolved to buy one. I wanted to start simple so choose a roadsport that was just over 3 years old so nothing too bad would go wrong early on in owning it.
After 18 months I've used it as I expected - mixture of driving around the roads of Hertfordshire and track driving. I've not done a L7 club event yet, but depending on the dratted virus I should be at Donington on 5th October.
The upgrade itch started early, so I've upped the power to 150bhp but I'm planning to keep it more or less the same for the next few years. I've been considering the Academy, but I'd have to part ex my current car and I really like it. Added to that I'm competent but not very fast on track, and I don't want to spend £30k to be last in every race, and I may stick with what I'm doing for a bit longer. Sprinting might be something I look at in the future however. It won't feel as bad being bottom of the timing sheets rather than lapped time and again on track!
Midlife crisis begun....
I had wanted one since the Prisoner days, and used to dribble over a white one when working in Reading in '68. No chance though with family and mortgage as priorities. The nearest I got was an Escort 1300 GT, and later when the kids had left, a 3ltr Scimitar.
When the ex also left, I somehow had the money to rapidly pay off the mortgage, and save some cash. I had joined the club, and saw one advertised in LF just off of my way home from the midlands to Southampton, and made an appointment to see it one Friday evening. I bought it on the spot - the very thing everybody says not to do - without even being driven in it. When I picked it up the following week it was the first time I had been in a 7, and immediately felt at home, but blimey was it low!
The idea was to keep it for a season and move it on. 14 years later, its been re-paneled, resprayed, wide tracked, new suspension, crossflow out and Zetec in.
From 2006 until I retired in 2013 it was used at weekends for trips out to virtually every NT property within a two hour drive, and as general transport. Since then its been a tad further to the Loire, Sorrento, France, Belgium, Holland (meeting up with the L7C), Spain & Portugal (again L7C), and we should have been on a three week circular French trip this May meeting the L7C in Laon along the way; now rebooked for next May, fingers crossed!
We have attended the 50th & 60th anniversaries, Stoneleigh, Sossiges, and many other L7C 'do's'. Its been out for solo blats during the summer, and on the recent Cheddar Gorge run. It is a runner not a polisher!
There won't be a war Derek, but the bridge area might get very "rich" as we launch into mass production of kipper baps for us all. Sounds good to me. I hear a decision on racing next year, in the island, will be made by the end of December. Let's hope it's positive.
To the post: My earlier fun motoring years were mainly centered on motorcycles. A couple of Alfa Romeos/Golf GTI company cars lightened the working mileage, but bikes were the refuge. I'd driven a few sevens and loved the handling and spirit of them, but the usual priorities of life prevented adding one to the bikes. Early retirement and a rebuilt Marlin put myself and a pal into endurance events. Much enjoyed, but the hankering for a 7 remained. Bit the bullet 2 years ago and built my 360SV. No regrets at all and a great community in the 7club to boot. It's been said before, but a 7 is truly visceral and tactile in the same way a good motorcycle is. I don't bounce as well as I did at 20, so I can see the 7 taking over, as I become even more ancient.
1999 K Series Superlight R, plaque Number 43
Grew up with cars and bikes around in South Africa. Dad rallied various cars and raced Formula V in a car prepared by a very young Gordon Murray!. Was grinding valves aged 4!
First car was a beach buggy on a shortened Beetle pan. Swapped that for a Merc W114 which I rebuilt in the workshops at the university I was at instead of studying!
Always wanted to build a kit car but it was downhill after that for many years! Friend then invited me to drive to Le Mans and put me on the insurance of his Gulf coloured R400. Came home determined to get a 7.
Opportunity came when the wife and children started getting really pushy about getting a dog. Suggested I would consider dogs if I could build a 7 with my boy! The money was found and have now had 10 years of ownership with many to follow I hope!