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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: November 1, 2016, 8:11 am 
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Joined: January 27, 2010, 1:11 pm
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Location: Cuba, MO
Interesting article on the seven that I found the other day.

http://hackaday.com/2016/10/31/the-lotus-sevens-the-real-most-hackable-cars/


Quote:
The Lotus Sevens: The Real Most-Hackable Cars

45 Comments by:
Jenny List
October 31, 2016

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Europe was still struggling to recover from the crippling after-effects of war. In Britain it is referred to as the “austerity period”, with food still rationed and in which “make do and mend” was very much the order of the day. The consumer boom of the late 1950s and 1960s was very far in the future, and if you were a hardware hacker your source materials were limited to whatever you could find from war surplus or whatever prewar junk might come your way. This was a time in which the majority of adults had recently returned from war service, during which they had acquired practical skills through the necessities of battle that they sought an outlet for in peacetime.

One field that benefited from this unexpected flowering of creativity was that of motor racing. Before the war it had been an exclusive pursuit, with bespoke cars at famous circuits like the banked track at Brooklands, in Surrey. In a reflection of the wider social changes that followed the war the motor racers of the post-war years came from humbler backgrounds, they raced homemade specials made from tired-out prewar motors on wartime airfield perimeter tracks like the one at Silverstone which still hosts Formula One racing today.



A typical Austin Seven Special. Probably a lot shinier than my dad's one. Barry Skeates [CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons.
A typical Austin Seven Special. Probably a lot shinier than my dad’s one. Barry Skeates [CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons.
My father raced an Austin-7-derived special during this period. Too young to have been a combatant, in the early 1950s he was an engineering apprentice at a large truck manufacturer. He relates tales of home-made gasflowed manifolds for the sidevalve 750cc Austin engine, and of wild and crazy cam profiles built up with weld, then ground down and hardened. Prewar Austins were plentiful and cheap, so many such vehicles were created.

Cars like the Austin 7 proved to be less than suitable as high-speed racers though: the original A-shaped chassis and suspension had been designed for the roads and speeds of the 1920s. The community of special car builders responded to this with their own chassis designs, and from their ranks came both the roots of today’s Formula One and British motor racing industry, and the modern kit car industry.

An early Lotus Seven. Thesupermat [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
An early Lotus Seven. Thesupermat [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
One name from that period which embodies both Formula One and kit cars is Lotus. Its founder, [Colin Chapman], produced a succession of racing specials from the late 1940s through to the early 1950s, and the company eventually became a manufacturer of production sports cars which were also sold as kits. Today, Lotus is a 21st-century manufacturer based in Norfolk and making cars at the forefront of technology, but back then they were something of a shoestring operation in a North London workshop. My father accompanied a friend to pick up his newly purchased Lotus Mk VI, and remembers seeing [Chapman] spreadeagled over the bonnet of a prototype Mk VIII covered in little bits of wool, being driven up and down the road so he could observe the turbulence over its bodywork.

The signature Lotus of this period is the Lotus 7. The running gear of a 1950s Ford Popular with its 1.1 litre sidevalve engine, placed in a minimalist two-seater, open-top space-frame chassis, with double-wishbone front suspension and a live rear axle. It was sold either pre-assembled or as a kit to avoid the purchase tax that was then applied to assembled cars, and it achieved significant success. Lotus continued making it in various versions with ever larger engines alongside their more modern cars until the 1970s, and when they ceased production the rights to its manufacture were bought by the Lotus dealer Caterham Cars. Caterham have built a very succesful business from their Sevens, and you can still buy one with very up-to-date running gear and suspension in a variety of models either pre-built or as a kit from them today.


Read more at the link

_________________
Build on

Chris
Build: NA Miata based +221 Se7en


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PostPosted: November 6, 2016, 10:58 pm 
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Joined: May 19, 2009, 11:59 pm
Posts: 172
Location: Montreal, Canada
[quote="FieroReinke"]Interesting article on the seven that I found the other day.

http://hackaday.com/2016/10/31/the-lotus-sevens-the-real-most-hackable-cars/


[quote]The Lotus Sevens: The Real Most-Hackable Cars
quote\>

Yessir
I used to hack them in mid sixties , copying the
frame and suspensions, then in mid eighties
doing the same just changing bulkhead 1 to
accommodate Toyota Corolla GTS front suspension with inboard coilovers.
I trust Lotus frames, they prevented serious injury during my racing times, they collapse just in right places when kissing cement wall at racing speed.

Here some recent ones
ewhen


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