Saturday, December 5, 2015

Lucky Seven: 1972 Lotus 7 Series 4

Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman left the corporate world behind in 1952 to build kit cars with his mates in a shed behind his house.  He probably never expected that his second creation, the Seven would live on into 2015 and beyond after selling the rights to it to Caterham in 1973.  The last hurrah of the Seven as a real Lotus was the "Super Seven" or Series 4.  Find this 1972 Lotus 7 Series 4 for sale in Granite Falls, WA for $17,500 via craigslist.

In 1970 Lotus went revolutionary instead of evolutionary as the first 3 series of Sevens had been. Gone was the aluminium backbone chassis and aluminum skin and in its place was a block-y fiberglass body, spot-welded steel chassis and luxuries such as a heater.  The Series 4 Seven was powered by either a Ford Kent Crossflow 1300 or 1600.  This one is powered by the 1600 and probably could use an air cleaner.  Since it was used in many European Fords and our own Pinto in North America, you should be able to stop by the local Pic'n Pull or O'ReillyBoysZone and pick one up.

The one piece fiberglass tub of the Series 4 and the early 70's colors it was available in, lead it to be derisively sneered at as a "dune buggy" Lotus.  The rear does appear to have the same affliction as a certain reality TV "celebrity".  Around 650 were sold by Lotus until Chapman sold the rights to the Seven to Caterham, who sold 38 more Series 4's from the parts they acquired from Lotus.  After those ran out, Caterham went back to the more popular Series 3 design.

The seller has included a YouToob video of the car - the action shots quite well done - but the soundtrack is from the wrong era.  Needs more guitar and wah pedal. Watch the whole thing for the money shot at the end...

See another classic design ruined in the 1970's? email us here:

Gianni is DT's Pacific Northwest correspondent.  The mere thought of fiberglass makes him itchy.


  1. Wow, if this ad is legit, that is a fantastic deal. These can easily go for double that price. Personally, I prefer the earlier bodies, but I might be able to overlook that for saving $15k.

  2. I love the dynamics of these cars but I could only fit in one if I straddled the transmission tunnel on top of the seat backs.

  3. I wish I could hang out in this guys garage, he really does have the best toys.


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