Seven time­line

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Driving -

1957

July sees the first Lo­tus Seven, pow­ered by the Ford 100E side-valve en­gine and un­der­pinned by the Lo­tus MkVI, roll off the pro­duc­tion line at Tot­ten­ham Lane in Hornsey, Lon­don. Two months later, the Seven took part in its first com­pet­i­tive event – The Brighton Speed Tri­als.

1960

Se­ries 2 ar­rives with a glass­fi­bre (in­stead of al­loy) nose-cone, plus flared front wings. Coven­try Cli­max en­gine dropped in favour of a 1098cc A-se­ries, in ad­di­tion to Ford 105E, 109E, 116E and Cortina 1300cc en­gines.

1968

Re­vised Se­ries 3 is launched, fea­tur­ing larger disc/drum brakes, an Es­cort Mex­ico axle and Cortina 1600cc power. The TwinCam (known as the Seven Twin-Cam SS) ar­rives the fol­low­ing year, though only 13 are built.

1970

In an at­tempt to appeal to a wider au­di­ence, the Seven is trans­formed via Alan Bar­rett styling and a new chas­sis into the beach buggy-es­que Se­ries 4. It’s softer and more civilised than ear­lier Sev­ens and is of­fered with a choice of 1600cc or 1700cc en­gines, but isn’t a great sales suc­cess.

1973

Cater­ham Cars buys the rights to the Lo­tus Seven and con­tin­ues to build the S4 for a fur­ther year (a to­tal of 38 cars are even­tu­ally built) be­fore re­vert­ing to the S3’s TwinCam SS chas­sis. Pro­duc­tion of the Seven con­tin­ues to this day, with prices start­ing from £16,995 (uk.cater­ham­cars.com).

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