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Got our "new" '62 Seven 1500 home today

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  • Got our "new" '62 Seven 1500 home today

    This seemed like the best location for this post as our car is new to our family and I'm pretty new to the group.

    Its been a very long day. Just got home at 2115. Left the house at 0430 to beat the traffic in Los Angeles (had to pass thru there to get to where the car has lived it's entire life). Spent all day digging the cars out of the sellers' garage (the Lotus went into the garage about 1975 and has sat there on it's trailer ever since), getting paper work taken care of at AAA (waaaaaay better than the DMV ), finding and then going across town to America's Tire and getting tires on the trailer's wheels (the kid at Discount, er, America's had never seen a 7.75 x 15 nylon cord tire before!), cleaning the garage, moving the other car back into the garage, driving back home to unload the car and then dumping all of the trash that I cleaned out of the seller's garage.

    While I'm exhausted, I'm also pretty euphoric. We got the car out into the daylight and back to San Diego County successfully in one day.

    The sellers are in their 80's and had good documentation on the car that includes their racing history. They were an absolute joy to spend time with. Once they got rolling, they never ran out of stories about the people that they have met and the adventures that they have had with their cars in SoCal sports car racing circles during the 50's, 60's 70's. Basically, for me, today was like spending the best day ever with my grandparents and then having it be Christmas and your birthday too, All rolled into one.

    On the other hand, today was also sort of like being in the movie, "Back To The Future". You know, I thought it was sort of like I was talking to my wife and myself about 30 years into the future. I'm just hoping that my wife and I are as energetic and full of life as our new car's P.O.s when we are in our mid 80's!

    Here's what the scene looked like today just before we rolled the Lotus out into the daylight:


    Maybe sometime in the coming months I will be able to get it running and then actually drive it.

    Will post some more pics in the coming days.
    Last edited by escondidoron; October 16, 2009, 11:54 PM. Reason: add pic
    EscondidoRon

    '62 Lotus Seven
    '84 Turbo Esprit (x2)
    '14 Evora
    '77 Esprit S1 (RIP) :(

    "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom." -Michel De Montaigne 1588

  • #2
    Congratulations Ron, glad you finally got your car! Nice story too.

    Is he selling the Mustang?

    Stan

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    • #3
      no, they're not selling the Shelby.

      The cars were his and hers. She decided to sell. He's not ready to. We've been asked to come back and get it running though.
      EscondidoRon

      '62 Lotus Seven
      '84 Turbo Esprit (x2)
      '14 Evora
      '77 Esprit S1 (RIP) :(

      "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom." -Michel De Montaigne 1588

      Comment


      • #4
        One back from Cal-ogenic stasis then! You should be more than euphoric.

        Fucking awesome. Congratulations!:D

        Edit: once you get it going we'll see you at the track, yes?
        Last edited by moosetestbestanden; October 17, 2009, 11:17 PM.
        Chris
        ------------
        A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted

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        • #5
          Cool. Great story, and congratulations!
          | | Sean

          Comment


          • #6
            Fantastic! Can't wait to hear more about it! After you have rested up and taken stock, don't hesitate to let me know if you need any bits. I also have a copy of my Lotus Seven Owners Manual that I can share with you.

            Lee

            Comment


            • #7
              moosetestbestanden asked:
              once you get it going we'll see you at the track, yes?
              Without a doubt you'll see us at the track. The immediate plan is to do a sympathetic restoration. I.e. repair the mechanical deficiencies and return the car to it's previous specification. Since the car was always a track car for the previous owner that's what its gonna be for us.

              What are the rules / requirements regarding the car for most track days? Currently my head is taller than the roll bar.

              What about seat belts? What is required, 4-point or 5.

              I plan to run some kind of performance street tire on 13" rims. Any limitations on tires?

              And install a fire extinguisher. Anything else that I will need to have in the way of safety equipment?

              sevenhead wrote:
              Can't wait to hear more about it! After you have rested up and taken stock, don't hesitate to let me know if you need any bits. I also have a copy of my Lotus Seven Owners Manual that I can share with you.
              Thanks for the offer. I'm gonna need a few parts. I'm looking to find some tail lights (currently has none) and a couple of original gauges. I also would like to know what was the source of the original Lotus under dash emergency brake handle. I need one. Also would like to have a windshield, a horn, turn signals and a wiper motor. Not in a big hurry for that though. But I think that they will be necessary to get it registered if I want to put license plates on it.

              Any recommendations on shocks? I'm thinking of getting some Spax adjustables, but I don't really know yet.

              Right now the car is gonna have to sit idle for a couple of months. I'm not in a big hurry. I've got to slim down and purge the fleet a little bit before I start on it (the Seven makes 10 cars at the moment, and the 4th Lotus). I've got an Esprit engine in the garage in pieces and we're just starting a kitchen remodel. I promised my wife I'd get her project finished before starting another of mine. And then this car came along.........
              EscondidoRon

              '62 Lotus Seven
              '84 Turbo Esprit (x2)
              '14 Evora
              '77 Esprit S1 (RIP) :(

              "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom." -Michel De Montaigne 1588

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by escondidoron View Post
                moosetestbestanden asked:


                What are the rules / requirements regarding the car for most track days? Currently my head is taller than the roll bar.
                Obviously not good for your head's sake and may raise questions at the track. But I have yet to see at NASA that they do a thorough height check.

                What about seat belts? What is required, 4-point or 5.
                5-point, with lap and shoulder belts 3" wide

                I plan to run some kind of performance street tire on 13" rims. Any limitations on tires?
                probably for historic races but not for the usual track days.

                And install a fire extinguisher. Anything else that I will need to have in the way of safety equipment?
                Fire Extinguisher is not strictly needed except for Alfa Club events but anyway a good idea. I would consider a fire system for such a nice oldie, especially with the possibility of carbs drooling on electrical stuff.

                Otherwise helmet with eye pretection, gloves, closed leather shoes and non-synthetic clothes, maybe arm restraints. They will check that the car is not falling apart, i.e. steering and wheel wiggle, brake light function, open battery terminals and the like.
                Last edited by slomove; October 18, 2009, 11:28 AM.

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                • #9
                  The seller has a mighty interestin' garage.

                  Subject to your rims being wide enough I recommend the Kumho V710s. Good for track, autocross and can be used on the street. Probably good for 1-2000 miles.

                  Adjustable shocks are on the "must have" list. Twisting them little knobs is a much better way to fine tune handling than changing sets of springs. Freestyle Motorsports in the UK is worth a contact on the subject of 7 handling.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I can second the upgrade posts given by Slomove and Roll a 7. A beefier roll bar and some side impact protection may be prudent as well.

                    If you are feeling fancy you may want to consider a fuel cell to avoid being drenched and barbecued by your own gasoline when you are rear ended.

                    I (or rather Doug L) has a set of scales if you want to weigh the car. With these scales we can also help you set up your adjustable ride height shocks for an optimum weight distribution. We also have a dyno shop we've used earlier, although I don't have any experience with adjusting carbs (only ECU based injection systems).


                    /Magnus F.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks for the suggestions on set up. I am putting together a plan / task list to get organized before I start working on it. I did go out today and put some Kroil in the cylinders. I also put a wrench on the crankshaft and found that the engine turns over. It was free with no binding or other apparent issues. That is good news!

                      I also took a few pictures.





                      This is what the front end looked like back in late '61 with the nosecone removed:


                      Here's a shot showing the relationship of the shifter to the dash panel (I.e. it's not under the panel, so it's pretty easy to shift):.

                      The engine bay is a mess:


                      Right now the main thing that I'm working on is to see if I can track down the car's history. I've got the last 3 owners (the couple I bought it from, their P.O. and myself). Thanks to John Watson at the Lotus Seven Register I have also learned the name of the original owner. Now to connect the dots.......
                      EscondidoRon

                      '62 Lotus Seven
                      '84 Turbo Esprit (x2)
                      '14 Evora
                      '77 Esprit S1 (RIP) :(

                      "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom." -Michel De Montaigne 1588

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Say, is that a Cortina, the one w/ the red nose in one of those pics?
                        Chris
                        ------------
                        A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          is that a Cortina
                          Yeah. Its a '65 GT. Pretty straight and sound original California car. By Cortina standards, its rust free.
                          EscondidoRon

                          '62 Lotus Seven
                          '84 Turbo Esprit (x2)
                          '14 Evora
                          '77 Esprit S1 (RIP) :(

                          "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom." -Michel De Montaigne 1588

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yeah. Its a '65 GT. Pretty straight and sound original California car. By Cortina standards, its rust free.
                            My first Lotus was a Lotus Cortina Mk I. Salvaged it from a junkyard in Albuquerque N.M. Junkyard dog said an Air Force guy brought it in w/ a cracked head. It turned out the crack was in an intake runner and a little bit of heliarc welding put that right. Interior was rough but it ran like a raped ape. I got T-boned by a woman running a stop sign in a blinding thunderstorm, unibody fatally bent. Bleah.

                            Gawd I loved that car.

                            All apologies for the drift.
                            Chris
                            ------------
                            A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I had a '69 Mk II GT (1600 X-flow, cam, ported head) completely stripped out with a full cage. It was a decent autoX car. A little quicker than an Alfa GTV for autoX. I loved it too. But it's original home was somewhere in the northern midwest, Wisconsin or Minnesota, and the tin worms from its early winter history finally ate it up. But it was great fun while it lasted.
                              EscondidoRon

                              '62 Lotus Seven
                              '84 Turbo Esprit (x2)
                              '14 Evora
                              '77 Esprit S1 (RIP) :(

                              "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom." -Michel De Montaigne 1588

                              Comment

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