When it came to the turn of Art Editor Charles Pocklington to be asked: "What would you most like to do?", his spontaneous reply was… Ride in a Lotus
SPORTING MOTORING is my main hobby and, when Clifford Makins asked me what I would most like to do, I had no hesitation in giving my answer. Having built my own Austin Seven Special, I had an almost personal interest in the products of Lotus Cars Ltd., for Colin Chapman - who is Managing Director and Chief Designer - based his first Special on the humble Austin Seven.
So arrangements were made and, one sunny morning, four of us set off for the Lotus works al Cheshunt. We were welcomed at the new factory by Ian McLeod, who showed us as much of the works as he could, for great secrecy surrounds the production of Grand Prix racers, especially when a new formula car 1s being prepared for the season's racing. We were shown the Lotus Seven being produced. A fast, rugged sports car, it has proved its mettle in many club races and hill climb events, and you can build it yourself! A ready-to-assemble kit costs £399, minus the engine and gearbox. After seeing these kits in various stages of construction, I was itching to try one on the road; so out to the car park we went to sample Ian McLeod's personal transport - 8843AR, painted bright yellow.
To enter a Lotus Seven, you place both feet beneath the steering wheel and, keeping both legs straight, you slither down. Once- inside, it is quite comfortable, the body being well--supported. I enjoyed the ride tremendously. The suspension, steering and brakes made it possible to drive almost flat out round comers which I would otherwise have slowed down for.
Just look at these acceleration times:
30 mph = 3 seconds
50 mph = 8.6 seconds
60 mph = 13.9 seconds
If I were to build another car – then I am certain it would be a Lotus!