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Lotus 7 racer with 41 supension - help please!


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#51 Spaceframe7

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 01:09

[quote name='Bloggsworth' date='Jan 29 2011, 13:32' post='4806122']
I recall Loti leaving the factory about 90% assembled, just the odd, highly visible, bits unattached, but still "qualifying" for Purchase Tax exemption.

[quote name= 'carl't]
A very nice site covering the 50's Kit Car phenomenon http://www.1950sspecials.com/home.htm

Thanks both for your comments. I've been referring to the Lotus 7 in my comments as this is what the post was originally about. The latter quote from carlt really blows my argument out of the water regarding Lotus being one of the few (or my words 'handful'). I cannot say I remember all of the companies listed on the site, but a few are memorable for their innovation. I am curious how many of those listed had all of the parts included in their kit without the owner having to source extra parts? The 7 was supposed to be a complete kit without the purchaser having to collect parts from scrap yards etc. That said, some purchasers did have to contact the Lotus factory for incorrect or missing parts.

Bloggsworth, can you recall how many different models (other than the 7) that Lotus were willing to sell as 'kit cars'? I only remember the ads in Motorcycle Mechanics of the Lotus 7 selling for £499.00 or deposit of £100.00 with 36 monthly payments of £13.1s.7d. Unfortunately, I and my friends could not afford the car let alone the insurance on one. Sharman, you are right of course, it is not a modern day phenomena, and it is quite amazing that of all the 'modern' kit cars on the market, the one car copied the most (and I stand to be corrected if someone knows different) is the Lotus 7. Even Caterham could not stop the replicas from being produced from the U.K and as far away as South Africa even with costly law suits against the companies producing them. Dennis Ortenburger published a fairly thick coffee table book on the Seven replicas, and there were/are a lot of them featured in his book. Graham Arnold in one of his books had to print a retraction when he called one of the very similar Seven models a 'lookalike' - being forced to replace the words as an addendum noting that the car was 'not a lookalike at all, but an original design of considerable sophistication. EW

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#52 carlt

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 11:00

Don't believe, know before you make statements like that.


I don't 'know' because I wasn't 'there'
I 'believe' because of what i've heard and read
hence the use of 'believe' and the ? at the end of my post

there are all sorts of things Chapman is said to have invented or done first , by all sorts of people ,
I'm interested to know if this is post The Great Man mythology , or was current mythology during his time ?

I'm a big fan of this era of real clubman motorsport engineering and a big fan of Chapman , so don't take this the wrong way , please

cheers
Carl

#53 Dimsomdan

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 11:07

Hello all, firstly, many thanks for all the help and information which has arisen regarding our lotus. It has all been very much appreciated. Just for the note the chassis on this car is Gas welded and therefore probably of manufacture by Universal radiators. It also has the provision for a much smaller fuel tank and i seem to remember the early cars were like this???? I have contacted many of the people in the lotus seven club and historic lotus register regarding the car. I must say my experiance withe lotus 7 club was disapointing to say the least, rather than be intrested in finding history i was repeatedly just told where chassis numbers were, After i had replied with they werent there i think the book was well and truelly shut on the car. Which in my opinion was a little naive regarding Lotus's past history of car and chassis manufacture not being overlly well documented..... I am of course always open to any more information and i dont bear any grudges with the Lotus 7 club as im sure there are more mocked up cars than i care to think about. Thanyou spaceframe for the nudge and all your information.



#54 Bloggsworth

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 19:19

Bloggsworth, can you recall how many different models (other than the 7) that Lotus were willing to sell as 'kit cars'?


Well, I allegedly owned the second to last kit-car ever produced by Lotus, a Lotus Elan +2 chassis number 399, and I was told +2 No.400 was the last ever kit-car made; although I have made no effort to check that for veracity, I wasn't that bothered, I just wanted to drive it. 7s, Elans, +2 and, I think, Elite Series I and II were available as kits; that is apart from all the racing cars predating the Elite.

I would regularly see cars with only the wheels and uprights detached, meaning that the purchaser had to do some assembly work; adjust the toe-in and bleed the brakes etc.; thereby qualifying for the tax-exemption.

#55 David Birchall

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 03:30

There was a car similar to this-Not This Car-on ebayUSA. It was claimed to be one of the 'Special' Lotus Sevens built with independent rear end etc and documented history including letters from Lotus. The trouble is, the car in question was found by a close friend in the eighties, without chassis plate, without engine, and without independent rear end-nor had it ever had an independent rear end. We examined it and concluded that it probably was not built by Lotus. However, dear friend had money invested, so we concocted a Lotus like serial number and plate, he fitted a hot Ford engine and went racing. It very nearly killed a subsequent owner and disappeared into the "Boondocks" in badly damaged condition before reappearing recently in the ebay advt. Caveat Emptor...

Edited by David Birchall, 01 February 2011 - 16:27.


#56 bradbury west

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 16:12

... The only other notable non standard car that I can remember was Ted Worswick's 1500cc Climax engined de Dion car which I think was originally built for Betty Haig as a hillclimb car.


Not forgetting Tom Clapham's Climax engined series 1 Seven which he ran for years.
Roger Lund


#57 bradbury west

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 23:30

Where do we start
Ginetta Marcos Tornado TVR plus inummerable other marques went down the "home assembly" route, it was endemic in the 50s and 60s. Lotus were not alone as spaceframe seems to suggest and I doubt they were the first. Must admit I didn't know about JVB's involvement Roger, can you source that for me? John


John, my apologies for the tardy reply. It went onto the back burner.
Autosport May 25 1956 -age 515. JVB highlights the risks to home constructors of the "Finance (No 2) Bill" due to be before the House on June 1. Whether he noticed it or was acting as a mouthpiece for ACBC and other interested parties, I know not.
See also Hansard debate June 5 1956 with Denis Howell contributing under Clause 6, click on it for full account.
http://hansard.millb...us?decade=1950s
I have not checked further but ISTR that JVB had more to say on it later.
Roger Lund



#58 Sharman

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 08:58

Thank you Roger, at that particular time I would have been buried under revision for Maths (pure & applied), Physics and Chemistry at "A" Level, I hope I may be forgiven for missing it!

#59 Bloggsworth

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 09:49

Thank you Roger, at that particular time I would have been buried under revision for Maths (pure & applied), Physics and Chemistry at "A" Level, I hope I may be forgiven for missing it!


Pure maths is cruelty to children...

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#60 Sharman

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 10:03

Pure maths is cruelty to children...

In October of that same year, having decided to do National Service before University, I was putting it to good use counting time on a barrack square. No longer qualified as a child.

#61 Charles Helps

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 18:33

Hello all, firstly, many thanks for all the help and information which has arisen regarding our lotus. It has all been very much appreciated. Just for the note the chassis on this car is Gas welded and therefore probably of manufacture by Universal radiators. It also has the provision for a much smaller fuel tank and i seem to remember the early cars were like this???? I have contacted many of the people in the lotus seven club and historic lotus register regarding the car. I must say my experiance withe lotus 7 club was disapointing to say the least, rather than be intrested in finding history i was repeatedly just told where chassis numbers were, After i had replied with they werent there i think the book was well and truelly shut on the car. Which in my opinion was a little naive regarding Lotus's past history of car and chassis manufacture not being overlly well documented..... I am of course always open to any more information and i dont bear any grudges with the Lotus 7 club as im sure there are more mocked up cars than i care to think about. Thanyou spaceframe for the nudge and all your information.

Lotus were pretty prganised by the time the Seven came out. The earliest Mk Sixes almost a decade earlier didn't have chassis number stampings but these were in place by 1954. By the time the Seven came out someone at Lotus was recording chassis and frame numbers. These lists are the starting point for the records that Historic Lotus Register and the Lotus Seven Club hold today. If a Seven chassis hasn't got a frame number it is unlikely to be a Lotus and, presumably, not of great interest to the Lotus Clubs. One advantage of the frame number being put on by the supplier could be that the Lotus buyer was paying for a unique frame each time and not just the same one being carried around the block and back in again - I speculate!

By the way there are plenty of people who know how to gas weld, both then and nowadays. Lotus suppliers Progress Chassis Company used both gas welding and Sifbronze welding at varous times.


#62 carlt

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 23:03

Charles Helps mentions Progress Chassis ,
Could the number shown [in one of the pics] stamped into a chassis tube be a Progress Chassis build number ?

#63 Charles Helps

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 17:27

Charles Helps mentions Progress Chassis ,
Could the number shown [in one of the pics] stamped into a chassis tube be a Progress Chassis build number ?

I doubt that Progress would have stamped the number directly onto a stressed tube. It would either have been put on a lightly loaded bracket, or, as on the Lotus Seven chassis, on a separate plate tacked onto a chassis tube.


#64 carlt

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 13:57

I doubt that Progress would have stamped the number directly onto a stressed tube. It would either have been put on a lightly loaded bracket, or, as on the Lotus Seven chassis, on a separate plate tacked onto a chassis tube.


Hard to tell from the photo what chassis tube is stamped
The info we were given for the two rebuilds I have been involved with [ S1 and S2 ] is that early cars had plate tacked to a tube , later cars [S2- ] had the number stamped into the chassis

#65 Spaceframe7

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 21:45

By the way there are plenty of people who know how to gas weld, both then and nowadays. Lotus suppliers Progress Chassis Company used both gas welding and Sifbronze welding at varous times.
[/quote]

A much earlier post advised 'Dimsomdan' regarding the slightly different frame assembly methods used on the Lotus 7 S2 by the two manufacturers on contract to Lotus, namely Arch Motors and Universal Radiators. It was only mentioned as a guide to assist in possibly identifying the actual manufacturer (not to say that a third party couldn't have re-welded Dimsomdan's chassis together from a damaged chassis originally produced by either contractor of course). It was not intended to imply that welding then or now is a 'black art'. Chapman liked gas flux braze welding for the various reasons previously mentioned, but presumably the owners of Universal stood by the tried and true fusion welding technique as they seemed to prefer this method of assembly on their particular chassis. As long as either method is carried out properly - correct torch heat and flame, clean joints, good tube fit etc. etc., both are as good as each other according to many sources. Skill is naturally very important and I have seen numerous chassis braze or fusion welded together that look as if the welder (some prefer weldor) was using a torch for the very first time. Some of the home built Locosts and modified Lotus 7s perhaps shouldn't be on the road.

Edited by Spaceframe7, 22 February 2011 - 21:46.


#66 Dimsomdan

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 11:15

all the help from every one has been great, much appreciated.

dan


#67 elansprint72

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 20:17

Whilst reading up on something else, on that other forum, I read this paragraph from the late David Porter, MD of the Mike Spence Lotus dealership in the 60s:

The other Lotus that we modified was the Lotus 7 which we commissioned Hugh Haskell to modify to independent rear supension using a set of Lotus 20 rear suspension parts and wobbly mag wheels which Colin Chapman gave us. In return we invited him to drive it in the 6 hour relay race at Silverstone. The car won many producion sports car races in 1962/63

There are a couple of photos clearly showing the external rear radius arms.

But I guess you folks already knew this?!

#68 Sharman

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 21:00

Somewhere back in the thread I mentioned a 7 modified to hell that we used to bitch about but couldn't remember who it was. David Porter that's who it was. Nat Goodwin bought it but she never made it go like David did.

#69 Reading

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 14:32

A while ago 'Dimsomdan' made the following comment:

 

"Hi there chaps, was given information on a few other people who ran 7's with irs parts in clubman type series today does any one know of or has pictures of any of the cars???

They are Barry Foley, Bob Glass and Denis Greensmith. any help would be greatly appreciated many taks guys and gals."

 

 

I bought the Lotus 7 IRS from Denis Greensmith and could give the thread that piece of the history but I don't know whether this is still an active thread.  If anyone is interested, I can write it up briefly

 

Peter



#70 bradbury west

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 16:58

It is a live thread now you have updated it. You are leaning on an open door with the offer of the write up. Pls feel free to do so and post it, or, otherwise, I would be pleased to have a copy by e mail. Many thanks
Roger Lund

#71 illetas

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 19:00

This probably isn't a great help as time has made the memories faint, but in the early 70's I occasionally stayed with a friend Malcolm Smith when we were competing at events in the Midlands. He rented a part of a large house near Malvern and the owner was involved in racing too. He had a Lotus 7 with different suspension etc, similar to the 7X but I can't remember his name. The only clue I have is that he also had an ERA ( which had come from South Africa in exchange for a Formula Junior  if I remember correctly!!)



#72 Bloggsworth

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 20:16

By the way there are plenty of people who know how to gas weld, both then and nowadays. Lotus suppliers Progress Chassis Company used both gas welding and Sifbronze welding at varous times.
[/quote]

A much earlier post advised 'Dimsomdan' regarding the slightly different frame assembly methods used on the Lotus 7 S2 by the two manufacturers on contract to Lotus, namely Arch Motors and Universal Radiators. It was only mentioned as a guide to assist in possibly identifying the actual manufacturer (not to say that a third party couldn't have re-welded Dimsomdan's chassis together from a damaged chassis originally produced by either contractor of course). It was not intended to imply that welding then or now is a 'black art'. Chapman liked gas flux braze welding for the various reasons previously mentioned, but presumably the owners of Universal stood by the tried and true fusion welding technique as they seemed to prefer this method of assembly on their particular chassis. As long as either method is carried out properly - correct torch heat and flame, clean joints, good tube fit etc. etc., both are as good as each other according to many sources. Skill is naturally very important and I have seen numerous chassis braze or fusion welded together that look as if the welder (some prefer weldor) was using a torch for the very first time. Some of the home built Locosts and modified Lotus 7s perhaps shouldn't be on the road.

 

I learned to Gasflux weld while at Lotus and IIRC we used it on suspension elements, wishbones and the like, as Chapman thought it absorbed shock loadings better; I think I'm right in saying that when I was at Diva the wishbones were also Gasflux welded; can't recall seeing chassis welded by that method.


Edited by Bloggsworth, 29 October 2013 - 20:16.


#73 275 GTB-4

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 23:45

I doubt that Progress would have stamped the number directly onto a stressed tube. It would either have been put on a lightly loaded bracket, or, as on the Lotus Seven chassis, on a separate plate tacked onto a chassis tube.

 

On S2, an upper horizontal angle iron, just in front of the steering column mount, on right (looking from the rear) and the angle iron section has a stamped flat on a welded flat for the number

 

Lotus7S2Serial_zpsfd2fb5ed.jpg


Edited by 275 GTB-4, 02 November 2013 - 09:09.