The Lotus Seven was launched in 1957, after the Lotus Eleven was in limited production. The Seven name was left over from a model that was abandoned by Lotus, which would have been a Riley-engine single-seater that Lotus intended to enter into the Formula Two in 1952 or 1953. However, the car was completed around Chapman’s chassis as a sports car by its backers and christened the Clairmonte Special.
Based on Chapman’s first series-produced Lotus Mark VI, the Seven was powered by a 40 bhp Ford Side-valve 1,172 cc inline-four engine. It was mainly for lower budget club racing on short tracks.
The Lotus Seven S2 followed in 1960 and was supplemented by the Lotus Super Seven S2 from 1961. The Super Seven initially used the larger Cosworth modified 1340cc Ford Classic engine and later examples were fitted with 1498cc or 1599cc engines. The Seven S3 was released in 1968. In 1970, Lotus radically changed the shape of the car to create the slightly more conventional sized Series 4, with a squarer fibreglass shell replacing most of the aluminium bodywork. It also offered some “luxuries” as standard, such as an internal heater matrix.
This is one of the sought after early Super 7s which was built by the Lotus factory in 1962 and registered on the 1st of April 1963. There is a full specification list and the car is listed on the Lotus 7 register. SB 1558 is equipped with the 120 E pre crossflow engine with dry sump lubrication, built by Stuart Rolt. The car is in overall excellent condition and comes complete with history file and with German registration documents.