Christine Abbott, Chair of the International 7 Network
Four years ago, the UK Seven Club started to think about an event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the birth of the Lotus 7. I was chair of the Club at the time and was keen to make this an opportunity for seven owners from around the world to get together, not just UK members of the Lotus 7 Club. To this this end a number of clubs in Europe joined the organizing committee and over the next 18 months we organized the 2-day event on Donington Park Historic circuit in conjunction with a Caterham Cars event on the main GP circuit. In that time, we all got to know each other, becoming reasonably proficient on zoom conferencing fueled by a few beers and site meetings fueled by coffee. The 60th event was a huge success with people and cars coming from all over Europe and indeed from further afield. Many of us carried on after the weekend to Portmeirion in Wales to re -create the scenes from the Prisoner series, bonding over blatting, wine, beer, great food and even better company. We had made a strong team of UK, Swiss, French, Belgium, German, Dutch, Italian and Swedish Clubs and strangely even after all the hard work none of us wanted it to end there. So, we just kept on talking to each other and over the next year of zoom chats often late into the night, we gave collective birth to the idea of a formal International 7 Network as a free resource for Clubs and members. This would give us the ongoing opportunity to share ideas and resources not just between ourselves, but also our members and other clubs’ members.
In August 2019 we all met in the Netherlands and agreed to formalize the network and elect a management committee. It is a truly International effort formed from the founding clubs: Super Seven Club Netherland, Lotus Seven Owners Switzerland, Lotus Seven Club Deutschland, Lotus Caterham Seven Club Sweden and Lotus 7 Club UK. Since the inauguration Lotus 7 Club Italia, Kent Sevens, Caterham Club Germany and Lotus Drivers Club have joined the network with others coming on board soon.
It’s very early days however we were delighted to welcome as our innovation partners Kumchick Cars, Redline, Soft bits for Sevens and Scenic Tours all of whom have helped us with the development of our website - international7network.org . It is in its early form but is designed to complement the work of its members clubs by bring together information and resources into one place, promote and organize open events for all, and support the smaller clubs that may not have a website or infrastructure of their own. The collective expertise and wisdom of our member clubs is there to help each other thrive and therefore all seven owners in our global community.
A monthly newsletter is the next step and you are now reading the first. Each month we will bring you news of events, resources and some short articles/blogs from across the community. This month it is fitting to start at the beginning and introduce you to John Watsons definitive articles on the Lotus 7 that are published on his website http://www.lotus7register.co.uk and as a teaser we have included the first chapter on the development of the Lotus 7.
We must all be getting an itchy accelerator pedal foot this year with so many of us in lockdown due to COVID 19, with plans for touring, track days and sprinting put on hold while the world deals with this terrible disease. However, we are planning for next year and over the next few months we will introduce you to what’s planned for 2021. This month and we start with the Swiss International meeting and the possibility of combining this with another great postponed event - Le Mans Classic. Next month we will feature Laon Historique 2021, and soon the arrangements for Portmeirion, Schloss Dyck, the Alps tour and the Sweden Tour will be announced and featured.
We will also introduce a more technical blog each month to help prepare you for the time we can all get out an enjoy our cars and support you when we do. This month there is a short an introduction to sprinting and hill climbing as a short taster to the sport.
Remember we are better together!