BUY­ING TIPS

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Driving -

1 RAN OUT OF TAL­ENT

Chas­sis ac­ci­dent dam­age is your main con­cern when assess­ing a prospec­tive pur­chase. Most of it is eas­ily checked, so en­sure that the chas­sis tubes are straight and be­ware any car that pulls to one side or has un­even tyre wear. Re­pairs are rel­a­tively easy to do on these cars, but should be well-ex­e­cuted and backed up by re­ceipts from a rep­utable mar­que spe­cial­ist.

2 MA­TE­RIAL MAT­TERS

Rust can af­fect chas­sis tubes, work­ing its way out­wards; those sur­round­ing the suspension points front and rear, plus the lower side tubes are cru­cial to struc­tural rigid­ity. The var­i­ous alu­minium pan­els can dent eas­ily while the glass­fi­bre nose and wings on S2 and later cars are sus­cep­ti­ble to ac­ci­dent dam­age and stone-chips.

3 FORD, BMC, LO­TUS, OTHER?

A wide va­ri­ety of en­gines were fit­ted to the four se­ries of Lo­tus Seven (never mind the Cater­hams) and it’s far from un­usual to find a Seven with a dif­fer­ent en­gine to the one with which it left the fac­tory (such our S2 Twin-Cam). Orig­i­nal­ity should be sup­ported by the cor­rect doc­u­men­ta­tion and ver­i­fied by spe­cial­ists.

4 KEPT IN SUS­PENSE

If there’s an in­her­ent weak­ness on the Lo­tus Seven, it’s the rear axle. S1s have a rare Nash Metropoli­tan live axle, but S2s switched to a Stan­dard 10 axle, which has a habit of leak­ing and will break if they’re put un­der too much stress. Re­place­ments in­clude those from the Ford Es­cort and Mor­ris Marina – these leak too, most com­monly as a re­sult of dis­tor­tion.

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