Lotus Seven Owner since 1968
To celebrate International Womens day – member of the Lotus Caterham Club SwedenBrita tells us abouther Lotus Super Seven 1500 Cosworth she has owned for 53 years ago. It became and still is the “apple of her eye”. So maybe this is the Lotus 7 that has been longest in one owner's possession?
“Exactly when I became aware that there was a Lotus 7, I do not know, but it was before I was of the age to drive. All my family were interested in motorsport so motor racing was a natural part of my upbringing. The dream of owning a Lotus 7 was clear. When I started studying in Gothenburg the neighbouring property was “Sportvagnsimport”, which was then an agent for Lotus. Naturally, I went in search of information. I still have the information sheet dated July 1966 with prices, information, etc. But it seemed complicated and quite expensive too. So the dream remained a dream. I read motoring magazines and advertisements were studied until one fine day there was ‘The Advertisement” - a Lotus Super Seven , with a 1500 Cosworth engine, was for sale. I still remember the excitement when I called and got information. It was decided that we would do a test drive. The seller was a student at Chalmer who needed to raise money for a study trip to the United States. The test drive turned out to be very satisfactory. Of course, there were some problems, but we saw the car through our rose tinted glasses! We agreed the purchase would be carried out if the seller succeeded in registering the car for the road (previously used for racing). It turned out not to be so easy, but after a number of attempts the ‘jewel’ became mine at the end of August 1968.
The origin of the car is somewhat obscure, but import papers from the customs in Trellleborg, state that it was imported in 1965. More specifically, the 2nd of January.
What had happened to the car precisely before my ownership is unknown, but it was clear to us during the engine renovation, that some work was needed. The next blow was when we took out the pistons and piston rods. All pistons and piston rods where different. They had a lot of drilled holes in them to reduce weight and the pistons had also been flattened, so we turned pale. But the engine had run well, purred like a cat. Anyhow, all this was replaced with new parts. New camshaft etc. We also changed to wider rims and tires and the rear axle was welded a number of times.
Over time, there have been many adventures. Among other things, one that could have ended badly. I was travelling to a driving course at Anderstorp when the car nicely parked was covered by a snow slide from the roof during the night! New glass in the front window and the hood had to be loosened from the battery! - of course this was not expected and the car looked quite bad afterwards. But we managed to patch it together so that we could continue to participate in the course!
Little by little we continued with the renovation. Among other things, we changed the rear axle. We then discovered a slight skew in the chassis. Was it possibly our car had been overturned on track at Gelleråsen when it was raced?
In recent years we have attempted to return to original condition as much as possible. Putting the original wheels on again, we managed to find caps, we changed from MC front fenders to American flying fenders in order to save the body from gravel, she was painted in Lotus Lemon in order to have a fresh look, the seats returned to red vinyl (I use a sheepskin to sit on!) we ordered a steering wheel from Micheal Brotherwood that would be suitable for my husband longer legs. Quite early my father was able to order a new original rear Acke Hillman Estate that was needed (he made frequent trips to GB in his work). Even further afield we found a gauge in Perth Australia!
Our goal is that her history has to be able read in her look.
Up here in Mora in Sweden, Lotus and especially Sevens are rare. Everyone thinks it's a buggy. So, it always becomes a minor racing history lesson when I have to explain what it is, when I am out and about. Now it is used for shopping and pleasure driving. Unfortunately, it is not used as much as it should
I am often asked if I will sell it - but no it is my dream come true so long as I get in and out, there are no problems and no sale!