the web site for the

Seven made by Lotus between 1957 and 1973

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Series One Picture Page

~ Factory and Contemporary Photographs ~

PRESS RELEASE - 1957 photograph. Note: higher windscreen and panelled upholstery to seat back. This is probably chassis # Mk.7/401.
ANOTHER PRESS RELEASE PHOTO - Rear view of above. Note: this early car has the same rear stop/tail lights as the Type 14 Elite (Not Wingard 1055). Grey plastic steering wheel from the Standard 10 and matching gear knob. The Lucas SF4 type fuse box mounted on the dashboard, a feature only of the first model. The exposed rod operated remote hints to this being a Ford 100E powered car. 
EARLY ENGINE BAY PHOTO - This is a Ford 100E installation. Note: Unusual 1" x 1" square tube running diagonally beside the engine. Probably signs of a very early car (Mk.7/401?). Also fuel pipe from SU pump to carburettors known in the early days as 'beer pump hose' supplied by public house suppliers!
GULL-WING HARDTOP - Lotus Seven Series One with a gull-wing hardtop by Fibrepair racing as a GT car. The main reason for these hardtops being made was to make the Seven eligible for GT racing. Note modified front wings with extended aluminium. [copyright Ferret Fotographic]
RACING - Series One Lotus Sevens and Lotus Sixes racing around the chicane at Goodwood - September 1958.

~ A very original Hornsey-built Lotus Seven 'F' ~

      The Lotus 7 'F' made up some 60% of Seven Series One production.
COCKPIT VIEW - Note AC instruments, Wilmot Breedon 16" grey-plastic two spoke steering wheel and period switching.
INSTRUMENTS - All by AC including 0 - 100mph speedometer with coloured segments for rpm readings in the gears, mechanical Oil Pressure and capillary Water Temperature guages.
ENGINE - Ford 100E including 'Aquaplane' head and twin SU side-draught carburettors. Note: The electric cooling fan was fitted within the last few years.
FRONT VIEW - bonnet and nose-cone off.
FRONT SUSPENSION - Drum brake and Standard 10 upright.
NOSE - Droop Snoop aluminium (albeit somewhat modified by the owner).
NOSE - Another view.
PEDALS - The early (Hornsey-built) cars had pedals that pivoted from below whereas later examples all pivoted from above. Here we see a 'Hornsey' pedal layout and as with all Series One Sevens the steering column taking the low route to the steering rack.
REAR AXLE - Nash Metropolitan 'live' rear axle located by twin trailing arms and one diagonal member to give lateral location (to the left of picture). Note: Floor to give additional frame stiffness and better aerodynamics(?)
REAR WINGS - Detail showing correct section of rear wing. Note: Wingard combined rear and stop lamp and also red (paint) shield to number plate lamp.
WHEELS - 15" diameter x 4" steel wheels by Rubery Owen. (Similar used by Turner Cars.) Also original crossply tyres.

~ A restored Cheshunt-built Lotus Seven 'A' ~

      The Lotus 7 'A' made up approximately 30% of Seven Series One production.

FRONT O/S VIEW - All new aluminium body panels. Note: Front Indicators and Wire Wheels.
REAR N/S VIEW - Note: Period Les Leston Steering Wheel, new Interior Trim and correct Rear Lights, Instrumentation and Switching. Also, non-standard Stainless Steel Exhaust.
ENGINE - 948cc. BMC [Austin] "A" Series with twin H2 SU carburettors with Coopers Air Filters. Note also Lucas HF1849 Horn. Just seen are early Triumph Herald Type 12 Girling Disc Brakes, a compromise in favour of safety.

~ The First Lotus Super Seven also known as The 7 'C' ~

The Lotus 7 'C' made up under 10% of total Seven Series One production.

SUPER SEVEN KIT - The first Lotus Super Seven later became known as the Lotus 7 'C' (for Coventry Climax). With its 'live' rear axle and drum brakes all round it is not to be confused with the five special Climax De Dion cars that were made. The pictures show a 7 'C' kit being put together. Note: High level master cylinders suggest that this is one of the later Cheshunt cars made between September 1959 and June 1960.
MORE SUPER SEVEN - Standard equipment on these cars include lightweight leather covered aluminium steering wheel and the usual 15" Turner steel wheels by Rubery Owen. The three standard Lotus Seven models were the 7 'F' (Ford 100E 1172cc side valve), the 7 'A' (BMC "A" Series 948cc overhead.valve) and this the 7 'C' (Coventry Climax FWA 1098cc single overhead camshaft).


~ Some of the Five Factory Climax De Dion Cars ~

The five were #400 supplied to Edward Lewis, #404 supplied to Jack Richards, #421 supplied to Paul Fletcher, #462 supplied to Eric Pantlin and #479 supplied to James Obeysekere.

CLIMAX POWERED CAR being built at the Hornsey factory in 1958. These special cars were for equally special customers. With aluminium Coventry Climax single overhead camshaft engines, De Dion rear suspension, disc braking to all four wheels, they were of a very high specification.

ANOTHER PICTURE showing more of the factory and including the construction of a Lotus XV sports racing car behind the Seven.

ANOTHER PICTURE giving a good detail view of the engine bay including SU electric fuel pump and 'beer pump hose', flat-top radiator, header tank and Lucas HF1849 horn.

ANOTHER PICTURE showing the engine bay from the front of the car. Note fuse box type and position, thickness of the seatback and Girling type AR aluminium brake calipers to the front wheels. With its magnesium Wobbly Web wheels and speedometer it is most likely to be the only 1460cc FWB powered Seven, chassis #421 that was sold to Paul Fletcher.


GIRLING ALUMINIUM BRAKE CALIPERS - Picture showing aluminium Girling Type AR brake calipers. This car is chassis #404, the FWA powered car that was supplied to Jack Richards who was Competition Secretary of Club Lotus in the 1950s.

DE DION AXLE - De Dion rear suspension on the same car as above (#404). Note the inboard disc brakes and Girling NR aluminium calipers. This setup is exactly the same as on a Lotus Eleven Le Mans, in fact the De Dion tube has exactly the same measurements. 

~ Unusual Lotus Sevens ~

SUPERCHARGED FWA COVENTRY CLIMAX - A neat non-Lotus installed Shorrocks Supercharged 1098cc FWA Coventry Climax engine.


OVERHEAD INLET SIDE EXHAUST - A Willment OIVH  non-Lotus installation on a Ford 100E sidevalve engine block. LRG (London Road Garages) and Elva (of sports car fame) produced similar OIVH for the Ford 1172cc E93A engines. So effective were they in producing an increase in power that they were not allowed to compete in the 750 Motor Clubs 1172 Formula races.. 

SEVEN / ELEVEN - This is chassis #465 which seems to have had Eleven style rear bodywork produced for Lotus. The spare wheel fitted into the boot area horizontally. There is a Lotus bodywork drawing in existence. Unfortunately car and bodywork have been separated, although both are still in existence.

GULLWING HARDTOP - Designed with competition in mind, Fibrepair Ltd. made these 'gullwing' hardtops to allow Seven racers to compete in the then less competitive GT classes. Shown at the Racing Car Show in January 1963, not many were produced as they were found to be noisy, smelly and claustrophobic and therefore of little use off the racetrack.

EARLY SEVEN WITH I.R.S. - The Lotus 7/20 was arguably the first Lotus Seven with Independent Rear Suspension. Originally a BMC powered Series One, it was crashed at Brands Hatch and rebuilt with Ford 105E engine and IRS to Hugh Haskell's design.in 1961/2. Note: Long twin trailing arms and redundant peg at side of transmission tunnel for old A-bracket lateral support.

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