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The Lotus Seven is a small, simple, lightweight two-seater open-top sports car produced by Lotus Cars (initially called Lotus Engineering) between 1957 and 1972. It was designed by Lotus founder Colin Chapman and has been considered the embodiment of the Lotus philosophy of performance through low weight and simplicity. The original Seven was designed in 1952 as a potential Riley engined Formula Two car for the 52/53 season but the project was later abandoned. However, after the Lotus Eleven entered limited production in 1957, the Seven was resurrected in the form that we all came to know and love. The Lotus Seven S2 followed in 1960 and was supplemented by the Lotus Super Seven S2 from 1961. The Super Seven initially used the larger Cosworth modified 1340cc Ford Classic engine and later examples were fitted with 1498cc or 1599cc engines.
This charming ex-Mike Steele Seven has an interesting history and is very well known within the Midlands Automobile Club. Used and developed over the years for sprints and hill climbs, more recently the car has been enjoyed successfully in various road-rally events organised by the MAC.
Today the car presents very well indeed in classic Lotus colours and has clearly been looked after by previous owners. Fully road-legal yet boasting a 1500cc Smirthwaite steel engine, competition gearbox, modified suspension and uprated brakes, this Seven can be used just as a fast road car or possibly once again for competition use subject of course to safety updates relevant to the event.
60 years on nothing has changed. You drive the little Seven to the event, stack the tonneau, jack, petrol can, toolbox and sandwich box under a tree, fiddle with the tyre pressures, replace your flat cap with a crash helmet, hurtle up the hill a couple of times, reverse the whole process, back on with the cap and drive home wondering whether using third for the left-hander instead of second might be worth half a second. Magic.