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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9. Enter the Seven

In the summer of 1974, I began looking for a Super Seven to drive around. Since I was back in the racing business and had access to parts and services, I thought that an inexpensive old Seven would make a perfect road car for me -- what to do about winter travel never crossed my mind. I could not find any road-going Sevens for sale, so I phoned Paul Valliere for advice. Paul both raced a Super Seven and drove another on the street. He told me that the cars were getting rather rare, many had crashed or rusted away and the remaining few were mostly racers. A road going Seven in good condition now cost thousands more than the original price of a new one ten years ago. I mused over that a while and cooked up a scheme.

Lotus Super Sevens could be the answer to the winter slump at Barnard Street. Since Sevens used many of the same parts as Formula Fords, RaceWare could carry Lotus Seven spares. RaceWare had a number of English parts suppliers, so we could probably hook up with sources for many of the other components as well. Formula Automotive could repair and reinforce the Seven's tubular chassis. MRG could service the Ford crossflow engines, service, align and race prepare the cars. Motor Burns could make the fiberglass body pieces and paint the cars. The more I thought about the idea, the more sense it made. I calculated that people drive Sevens in the summer, but they build kits and repair their cars over the winter. Perhaps this was just the product we needed.

Having had some very exciting experiences with road going Sevens back in the 60s, I grew increasingly infatuated with the idea. Eventually I asked Paul Valliere if I could borrow one of his Super Sevens over the winter to make a chassis fixture. Once having "jigged" a chassis, I believed that Bruno could duplicate the tubular structure and that would be the basis to make my own Seven replica. It would also give us the capability to accomplish precision crash repairs and make replacement chassis parts. Paul agreed enthusiastically and we tore down one of his cars. When it was stripped to a bare chassis, we set it on the huge cast iron surface plate on the shop floor. My office had an interior window that overlooked the surface plate. Every day, I glanced through it to measure the slow progress of my pet project. Paul was always available to us to discuss ideas, tell us what broke on people's Sevens and help figure out where to get various components. He was trusted friend, very knowledgeable enthusiast and terrific contributor to many projects. More than I can recall.

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