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Seven made by Lotus between 1957 and 1973

Boxing Day at Brands Hatch 1958


26th. of December 1958 saw the Coventry Climax engined Lotus Seven factory demonstrator compete at Brands Hatch in the capable hands of Graham Hill. The same meeting also saw the first outing by Jim Clark at this twisty Kent circuit, driving a Lotus Elite for the Border Reivers team. Clark was to prove a quick learner coming second to Colin Chapman, the man soon to become his employer.

Extract from the Official Race Programme:-


For Sports Cars with an engine capacity not exceeding 1100cc. unsupercharged. - 15 laps.

START 2.00pm.
No.   Entrant and Driver Car c.c.
17 Team Lotus (Dvr. G. Hill) Lotus VII   1098
18 Team Lotus (Dvr. P. Ashdown) Lotus XI 1098
19 Dorchester Service Station (Dvr. D. Piper)    Lotus XI 1098
20 N. R. Hicks Lotus XI 1098
21 R. N. Prior Lotus XI 1098
22 G. M. Jones Lotus XI 1098
23 I. Gibbs Lotus XI 1098
88 L. I. Bramley Lotus XI 1098
24 Elva Racing Team (Dvr. L. Leston) Elva IV 1098
25 Elva Racing Team (Dvr. J. Brown) Elva IV 1098
26 Elva Racing Team (J. D. Peters) Elva IV 1098
27 P. Gammon Lola 1098

Extract from an article in Autosport of January 2nd. 1959:-

"Next race bought out the 1100's again, this time with Lola (in the hands of Peter Gammon) among the field. Frank Nicols had supplied three Elva IV's with the new "knife-edge" line driven by Les Leston, J. Brown and American J. D. Peters, and Colin Chapman had bought out a couple of his cars. One of these was an interesting specimen, being a Seven with a Climax engine and in the hands of Graham Hill it occupied pole position!

It was David Piper (Lotus) who took the lead right from the word go, however, with Peter Ashdown in the other works Lotus right on his heels. This lead was largely due to one of the quickest we've seen in years, Piper being on his way to Druids before the flag fell! Unfortunately someone saw him and he was penalised 10secs.

Ashdown sat right on his tail, just waiting for the first mistake, but behind him Hill, who had not made a particularly noteworthy start, was ploughing his way quickly and relentlessly through the field. He had a short tussle with Leston's Elva, but this ended when, with Hill in front, Leston turned round on Bottom Bend while the crowd were treated to a magnificent "phenomenal avoidance" by R. N. Prior who could not have done better if he'd grown wings and flown over the top.

Piper was still out in front, going around in 1min 8.4secs with Ashdown still right behind him. But behind them the hunt was really on and on the ninth lap of the 15 lap race the first five cars were covered by 1.5 seconds! Then on lap 11, Piper dissappeared from the lap chart, Ashdown was late and clearly something had happenned behind the trees. Graham Hill swept into the lead with Gammon in Lola behind him and Prior third. Ashdown reappeared further down the field, Piper came back into the fray after losing a lap and that was how they stayed until the end, Hill leading Gammon home by some 7 secs after the latter had barely succeeded in holding off a tremendous challange from Prior. Race average speed was 64.8mph and the fastest lap went to Piper in 1min 8secs (66.83mph)."


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