1. introduction

2. suspension lessons

3. stressing

4. chassis 101

5. Autodynamics

6. jet set

7. sun set

8. Raceware

9. enter the Seven

10. skin deep

11. the DSK concept

12. the list list

13. DSK hits the road

14. postscript

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1. Introduction

Some three years after purchasing my Lotus Seven, a previous owner whom I had tracked down sent me a packet of materials related to the car. This packet consisted primarily of a pocket folder as produced by DSK Cars back in the late 1970's, a couple of photocopies and reprints of articles about the Lotus Seven, brochures on the various 'clones' including Caterham, Donkervoort and Birkin, and several DSK Technical Bulletins. The piece of paper that caught my interest however, was the one typed on DSK letterhead and addressed to a Mr. Ed Moses.

The letter was a thank you to Mr. Moses for having sent in his DSK register questionnaire. It was also a listing of various little bits and pieces for which Mr. Moses had apparently requested prices, and also a brief discussion about the best approach to solving some engine problems Mr. Moses was having with his Lotus Seven #SB1135. The letter suggested that the most economical solution would be to refurbish the Spitfire motor that was in the car at the time. The letter was signed by David S. Kaplan, DSK Cars.

Edwin Moses appears to have owned my Seven prior to 1984. I am told by the previous owner that Ed drove the car around the Campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, in the 1970's wearing a crash helmet. I am further told that he drove the car, on at least one occasion, to his family's home in New Jersey -- which would explain the relatively high mileage of 50,000+ recorded on the odometer. The letter refers to a Spitfire motor, and the patched hole in the lower right side body lines up with where the exhaust would have dumped. Also referenced is the 1600 crossflow, which the previous owner tells me he removed to replace with an original spec 948cc motor.

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So what I had here was a short letter with some definite history relating specifically to the Lotus Seven in my possession. Having run into nothing but dead ends looking for Mr. Moses, I decided the next best thing to do would be to try to track down Mr. Kaplan and see if he had any of the old register information as it would undoubtedly include more detail of the then current specification of my Seven. I did manage to contact Mr. Kaplan, who referred me to Clayton Seitz and also to Pat Prince. Seitz had bought out Kaplan's interest in DSK Cars in the 1980's, and it dissolved in the late 1980's. Pat Prince, who did fabrication work for DSK Cars eventually came to take over much of the documentation of DSK Cars. Prince continued to produce, restore, and prepare Sevens for racing and there is another whole area of history there, but it will not be covered more than briefly in this documentation of DSK's history. None of the above mentioned gentlemen knew where the 'register' was, but I was intrigued by the story that I was hearing about Kaplan and DSK Cars.

As you prepare to delve into the following pages, please note that the following text was written primarily by David Kaplan himself, and forwarded via email for presentation here. I have included side bars with additional information. The indicated sources in all cases retain sole rights of copyright. Please contact SimpleSevens with requests for reproduction permission of any content found on this site.

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