1962 LOTUS SUPER SEVEN

LITTLE LIGHTWEIGHT CLUBMAN HAS A BIG RACE HISTORY

WORDS GUY ALLEN PHOTOS SUPPLIED

IF YOU LOOK at some of the spaceships Lotus has produced over the last few decades, it’s easy to forget that its roots lie with very elemental cars that represent not a whole lot more than four wheels tied together with a spaceframe, with a little four-pot engine doing the honours. The whole point was they were light, simple, huge fun and surprisingly quick.

This early Super Seven is a great example and it’s clear the various owners over the years have not been afraid to use it exactly the way the maker intended. The car has an extraordinary race history, including being the last sports car to compete in Australian Grand Prix, back in 1962. It finished ninth, and last, but at least it was there and it finished! Driver Jeff Dunkerton was handicapped somewhat by a modest top speed and a need to stop to refuel during the race.

The car’s reputation was somewhat recovered when it got a couple of wins in 1963 and 1964, the first in a six-hour endurance race and the second in a hillclimb.

The Super Seven in fact was launched by Lotus in 1961, powered by a Cosworthmodified 1340 version of a Ford Consul powerplant. Later examples used 1500 and 1600 units.

This car is running a 1500 and appears to have had a number of updates along the way, though we’re told a number of original bits, such as windscreen and guards, come with it.

Somewhere along the way it claims to be the most-raced Lotus Super Seven in the country, and we’re in no position to dispute that. One thing is for sure, owning it wouldn’t be dull! (This car is for private sale via tradeuniquecars.com.au.)