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30+ Years of Competition:
Jim Gallagher and his Lotus Seven
Story copyright 2003, photo credits as indicated

On January 7, 2003, I received the following email...

Hi John,
Pat Kelly just put me on to your web site. I put an ad in North American Pylon to sell my seven and she thought you might put it on your site. My scanner is down, so if you have a picture in red, that would be good.

What everybody wants - a "seven in a basket". LSB 2325 SIII, bill of sale from Lotus/Norwich, California title (1967). Highly modified complete car with equipment from Tilton, Speedway, Aeroquip, Bean, JFZ, AP, Racing Beat. Comes with a 220 hp 13B Mazda rotary, pushrod front suspension, bright anodized aluminum panels and many spares. Weighs 925lb in race trim. Gorgeous but only somewhat original. Take it away "as is." Jim Gallagher

I forwarded his message to the Lotus Seven email list at [email protected] and someone there immediately asked - isn't this car rather famous? In fact, Jim Gallagher and his 'Rotary Seven' were featured in Dennis Ortenburger's 'Legend of the Lotus Seven' -- a book highly revered by Lotus Seven owners the world over. I immediately asked Jim if he would provide additional details of the car that I might publish a bit of its history on this site...

This then, is the story of Jim Gallagher and the Lotus Seven he bought new in England in 1968. He has enjoyed, used, modified, updated and "except for perhaps a 5 year break" competed in the car continuously from then through 2002.

His Lotus Seven, a special car to begin with, became a highly developed Solo II racer, incorporating the experiments, lessons and ideas, wild and tame, from some 30 years of competition. Jim did not keep a detailed photo, specification or competition diary - he was too busy working on the car. In January of this year, when he decided to call it quits in the SCCA Solo II race scene, he emailed me asking if I would list his car for sale on the SimpleSevens web site. I forwarded his message to the Lotus Seven email list. Almost before I had a chance to reply to Jim myself, the car had been sold to a member of that list.

Since that time, Jim has shared many memories and what photos he could dig up of the car. This story is written by him, with very minor edits on my part. The photos Jim provided came from a variety of sources. I have done my best to credit photographers where I could. The photo above was taken by Dennis Ortenburger about 1974 for his book 'Legend of the Lotus Seven' a worthwhile read for any Lotus Seven owner if you can find a copy!

-- John Donohoe
March 2003


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