History - Legend - Stories - For Sale

MKVI - MK7 S1 | SB1000 - 1499 | SB1500 - 1999 | SB2000 - 2499 | SB2500 - 2999 | SB3000 +
important: chassis numbers are as reported by owners -- their appearance here does not guarantee authenticity.

Ken Grosslight's Lotus 7
South Carolina, USA

Photo and comment by past owner Charlie Foss:
This is a photo of my blue and white (black and white) Seven taken at an autocross at Put-In-Bay in the early 1980's.

Top three photos, provided by Ken

The fourth Series 2 made, originally sold at the checkered flag in the UK. Numbers on the car are consistent with past records.

Way back in 1970 (17 years old I was), I sold my beloved 1957 Austin Healey 100-6, moved to London with plans to buy a Lotus 7. Well, long story short, the only one I could find that I could afford was a car that appeared to have been wrapped around a tree! Foiled! The good part of the story is that I got to work with the GT-40MkII-IVs as John Wyer was handing his operation over to John, ah forgot his last name at the moment, but he still has the rights to these cars today. That was a great experience. Sooooo, 31 years later I finally find a decent 7, and I bought it in 2001.

SB1003 had been raced a bit and had sat unused for about 10 years. It was not running so well when purchased. It took me 8-10 months to sort through it enough to make it run properly. Not 2 days after finally achieving success, and actually putting a whopping 50 miles on the odometer, some idiot dropped a pressure treated 6x6 inch fence post in the middle of the road. Lotus meets large timber = airborne adventure. That was last June. I just got the car back together last week. Yippie, I finally get to drive a 7! Well, I got about 100 miles on it this time and klunk-klunk-klunk, there goes the crank. Now I am becoming sort of a crank myself as my bonding with my dream car has been frustrated yet again. Curses. Will I ever have a proper 7!

(2003 specs) 948cc engine, twin SU H1's, ribbed gearbox, Triumph Herald rear axle. It was raced for a while with various engines which I have sold, to keep the 948. The crank has just broken and I have found that the head also has a slow water leak between the valves in 3 out of 4 cylinders, so essentially the engine is trashed. I do wish to rebuild a proper 948cc engine and keep it so that the car can be returned to original at some point.

Unfortunately, the 948 engine is just plain boggy. The car is not exciting to drive at all, with this power plant. In short, it is a dog. I am a big fan of originality, but I have to make the car suit my purposes. I wish to do this without permanent modifications. I have two Cortina series I engines from a junk yard in my shop and my original thought was to build essentially a Cosworth equivalent to try and get the bhp in the 130-145 range. However, lack of time and funds preclude me from doing this at the moment. I also have a Cortina gearbox and drive shaft to make the change.

So to sum it all up, I don't know what the heck to do. Certainly I will try to get the pieces I need so that one day the 948cc can be made workable, but I just don't see much point in wasting the time and money to do a proper rebuild when I just don't like the engine. So unless I can find a relatively inexpensive way to put a better power unit in it, it will have to sit and this really pisses me off!

Normally I would be able to build up a good engine but I have quit my open-heart surgical practice to enter law school-yes, I am a glutton for punishment it seems. Law school has me so busy I cannot turn around and since I am too busy to work, the dollar seems to disappear and not reappear. Ouch. Such is my dilemma. It would be nice just to find a properly built 1500 at a reasonable price and drop it in so I could enjoy the car, but again, I am dreaming.

It seems SB1003 is destined for the moth balls once again, and this hurts me no end. I am at a loss for a workable solution. Shame, brand new Panasports and tyres to boot.

To answer your question about the intake, it is not one piece. If it should be one piece to be correct I would love to acquire one. I could also use a correct period steering wheel.

following photos Spring, 2011

In Spring of 2011 SimpleSevens (Myself and my son Austin) visited Ken in the beautiful countryside of South Carolina. Expecting to find SB1003 in pieces per our last communications about the car, we were pleasantly surprised to find the car complete and running. Even better, Ken offered for us to take a drive -- Fun! I'm working on resizing the video of our drive so it's not 200 megabytes!

History - Legend - Stories - For Sale

MKVI - MK7 S1 | SB1000 - 1499 | SB1500 - 1999 | SB2000 - 2499 | SB2500 - 2999 | SB3000 +
important: chassis numbers are as reported by owners -- their appearance here does not guarantee authenticity.