[re 7Y] Yes, you are right about the chassis - it was a Series 2/3 frame which, as you know, I modified by lowering it 2 inches and reducing the overall length. I don't know whether I mentioned that the under tray was of a mag alloy? You are also correct about the engine being upright, from memory it was probably a later car I built that I carried out that alteration. I did receive a part-picture of the article you sent with myself and David Wakefield in the photo - he actually won the race outright, I finished 2nd and 1st in class. The disappointing thing was that I actually went faster in 2 later races in a sports car and Formula Libra race same day winning both classes. I remember going to the presentation night, David got an enormous rose bowl and myself an egg cup size trophy!!! I still have the receipt from Caterham cars for the purchase of the 7Y before my modifications. It had been previously raced in The Channel Islands, for sand racing.
I chanced across your Website last night whilst trying to find some details about the Lotus 7y. A car I now own, or should I say the remnants of ! as the car was rebuilt as another clubman car after an accident.
If you would like some more details on what has happened to the car to date I would be more than happy to let you know.
Many thanks, Richard McArthur
Thank you for your e-mail. If you would like more information on the rebuilt 7Y, and haven't yet checked other on-line sources, the Autosport Forum has (had?) photographs and contributors messages regarding this version. I have some photos and information on the rebuilt 7Y from when it was first advertised in one of the U.K. magazines and put up for auction a few times (in the mid 2000s possibly?). I even considered purchasing it myself as it went unsold for quite some time, being advertised at a reasonable price. Shipping to Canada however, would have been very expensive, and in my hands it would have received limited racing use. It was finally purchased by a gentleman who successfully raced and, I believe, hill-climbed the car. Paul Matty then advertised the car for sale again.
After Barry Flegg sold the original 7Y back in the 70s, it was raced, crashed and virtually written off. I understand that two gentlemen who worked for BMC purchased the wreckage and re-built the car to its newest form, mainly using the old suspension and drive train components. It has had a couple of Crossflow engines fitted, originally advertised for sale with a 1300 c.c. Crossflow, then later a 1600 c.c. engine. I can scan the items that I found on line if you do not already have them. Barry Flegg advised me that he viewed the new 7Y (possibly last year, as I recall), and said that it has not strayed too much from its original form, but that he thought someone was going to transform it back to the way he originally constructed it. Not sure if this will happen of course, but it would be interesting to follow the story of this car, which although not Lotus factory sponsored, did almost as well as the factory 7X.
I would be very interested in learning of any other information that you have obtained regarding this model.
Regards, Bill Fayers
Yes that someone is me! I purchased the car last year from Paul Matty who was selling it on behalf of John Palmer. I had known about the car for several years before that in various forms of decay but could not afford to buy it at the time! So when I saw it up for sale at Paul Mattys and with the distinct possibility of it being sold abroad, I decided it was now or never. I managed to get in contact with Barry and spoke to him a few times about the car and he seemed a little sceptical about the provenance of what I had purchased. Luckily he was coming over to England for the first time since the 80s to visit old friends and go along to the Goodwood Revival and again as luck would have it he was staying a few miles away from my house. This was too much of an opportunity to be missed so I invited him and another friend of his Alan Collins who used to work on the car around to take a look. Barry went around the car noting what was original, he even recognised the hubs which he machined out of billet alloy all those years ago and gave the car his blessing saying it was indeed his old car albeit now looking slightly different and we were all in agreement that the original body style needed to go back on, this will hopefully start to happen this winter and an original S2 nose cone is now in my garage awaiting modification. Incidentally the guy who I purchased the nose cone from had just finished restoring Piers Courage's old Lotus 7!
I have written an article about the car which appeared in the Historic Lotus Club magazine and have spoken to a couple of people who have owned the car in the past; I'm always trying to find out some more of its history. Any pictures or history that you have I would be most interested in and if you would like any more details on the car and its current spec please feel free to ask. I have included a picture of what it looks like now.
Thank you for the up-date, and if I may, I will forward this to John Donohoe (SimpleSevens.org), as it was he who advised me that the 7Y was up for sale again at Paul Matty Sports Cars, either last year, or perhaps the year before. John is a great guy, loves anything Lotus 7, and offered a few years ago to put the information that I had gained (from John Robinson, Barry Foley, Barry Flegg etc.) on to his web site. John is still in the midst of re-building the site, which he had to dismantle and then re-build as his firm was allowing him to use parts of their system for his collection of information.
The penny didn't drop that it was you and not John Palmer who had met Barry Flegg last year. I think Alan Collins e-mailed me also, and I think it was he who sent me some scanned photos of the original 7Y. They came out a bit fuzzy when clicked on - on the Simple Sevens site, but they look good. Barry never mentioned who he had visited, so I assumed it was still Mr. Palmer. Good for you for planning an original re-build and it will look great when it is back in original form. Please keep in touch regarding the progress of the car, and if and when you decide to, perhaps it could be placed on John's Simple Sevens site as your contribution - not mine - to the continuing story of the Lotus 7 race cars? Coincidentally, last night I found the Historic Lotus Club site, and have inquired regarding the issues you contributed to (15 and 17?) and cost of membership. I would like to read your articles to gain insight into the car.
Best regards, Bill Fayers
Yes I had only owned the car for a few months when Barry came over and had not done much to it. John Palmer sold the car to buy a Lotus 61 and whilst he did not do much in the way of research about the car he certainly spent a lot of money updating and preparing it as the car is mechanically excellent.
If you need any more info or pics of the car just ask and I will happily provide them. I have included a picture of Barry reunited with the car when he came over last year.
The Historic Lotus club by the way is brilliant and the owner John Oakley is very helpful in all matters Lotus.
Speak to you soon, Richard
(RETURN TO THE ANGLO-CANADIAN CORNER MAIN PAGE)