Other Cars (British & British-Inspired)

a place to discuss all our other favorite cars, especially the modified and/or V8 ones

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pspeaks
Paul Speaks
Dallas, Texas
(698 posts)

Registered:
07/20/2009 06:40PM

Main British Car:
1972 MGB-GT 1979 Ford 302

authors avatar
Lotus 7
Posted by: pspeaks
Date: August 25, 2011 11:53AM

This is a bit off subject I suppose but Iíll bet Iím not the first here who has considered it. My GT still has priority but I had to sell my street rod and have decided to return to British sports cars in my old age. My son and I have wanted to build a Lotus 7 for some time and we were wondering if there is a web site like ours for the Lotus. If anyone knows, info would be helpful.

PS, As it turns out I have a pretty hopped up MG motor setting in the corner of my garage, but will probably go for a little more power and a better transmission. Maybe an aluminum block Buick!!


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4465 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Lotus 7
Posted by: Moderator
Date: August 25, 2011 12:40PM

There are so many options and so many sources of information.

Google "Locost" and you'll find that a whole lot of people are building Lotus 7 inspired cars from scratch. Or perhaps more accurately, a whole lot of people aspire to build... I wish I had a better handle on how many get completed.

Keith Tanner who posts on our board from time to time with updates about his LS1 powered MGB GT, has literally written the book about these cars: How To Build a Cheap Sports Car. Hopefully Keith will post here with some suggestions for you.

Then there's the kit car route. Keith's company sells one of the nicest... and has advertised on BritishV8 in the past:
http://www.britishv8.org/Sponsors/FM-Westfield.jpg

Here's a feature we did on a Westfield:
Bill Cardell's Westfield SDV with Mazda 1.8L Turbo Engine (38 photos!)

BritishV8 has also featured this awesome Caterham:
Skip Cannon's Caterham Seven SV with Mazda 1.8L Turbo Engine (43 photos!)
Skip sometimes posts here too... as "scannon".

Then there's the Brunton Super Stalker and the WCM Ultralite, as we got a look at during BritishV8 2010. Actually, that's just the tip of an iceberg... tons of Lotus-inspired kits out there!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/25/2011 12:45PM by Moderator.


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4465 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Lotus 7
Posted by: Moderator
Date: August 25, 2011 12:52PM

One more thought:

Ted Lathrop's Lotus 7 inspired project will be featured on BritishV8 when Ted tells me it's ready.


Jim Stabe
Jim Stabe
San Diego, Ca
(757 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2009 10:01AM

Main British Car:
1966 MGB Roadster 350 LT1 Chevy

authors avatar
Re: Lotus 7
Posted by: Jim Stabe
Date: August 25, 2011 03:54PM

That flat 6 will be a challenge to package in a front engined 7esque car. Can't wait to see the progress on that one.


RMO 699F
Mike Maloney
SW Ohio
(527 posts)

Registered:
12/09/2007 12:28PM

Main British Car:
1974 MGB Sebring GT, 3.9 Rover V8

authors avatar
Re: Lotus 7
Posted by: RMO 699F
Date: August 25, 2011 09:09PM

Pete Mantell also has a se7en project underway.....


pspeaks
Paul Speaks
Dallas, Texas
(698 posts)

Registered:
07/20/2009 06:40PM

Main British Car:
1972 MGB-GT 1979 Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: Lotus 7
Posted by: pspeaks
Date: August 25, 2011 11:46PM

My ex-son-in-law, who I refuse to have contact with, has one in progress also but it will never go anywhere. We tossed around the idea when we still had the shop, but never started one. A number of people have thought of them as a simple build but when the serious fabrication started it was a little more than they thought. When we closed the shop, I kept my mill, lathe, and welders, and can get access to a flame table so Iím not concerned about the fabrication. As we have done a few round tube projects we talked of doing a round tube seven for the weight savings and using it for a track day car, but the hot rods always seem to win out, plus the shop owner bought a Viper and that seems to be enough fun for him right now. Iíve also thought of using 14ga square rather than 16ga for a street car because itís easier to weld and for a v8 car that might not be a bad idea anyway, but however we do it, I told my son it will have to come after the GT is on the road.

Sorry for posting in the wrong place, but I didnít know where to put it. Thanks for moving it for me Curtis.


Bill Young
Bill Young
Kansas City, MO
(1337 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 09:23AM

Main British Car:
'73 MG Midget V6 , '59 MGA I6 2.8 GM, 4.0 Jeep

authors avatar
Re: Lotus 7
Posted by: Bill Young
Date: August 26, 2011 09:27AM

Paul, I think you'll love a Locost type car. One of the members of the KC All British committee has a Locost with a Ford 4 cylinder and it's a screamer. He hosted the national Locost convention in conjunction with the KC All British Car show a couple of years back and we had about 15 or so of them show up. Nice fun cars. You can see them lined up on the right side of the photo.
allbrit2008 007.jpg



pspeaks
Paul Speaks
Dallas, Texas
(698 posts)

Registered:
07/20/2009 06:40PM

Main British Car:
1972 MGB-GT 1979 Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: Lotus 7
Posted by: pspeaks
Date: August 26, 2011 10:20AM

Thanks Bill, when my wife passed in 1996 I just parked the GT, but before that, we were members of various MG clubs up and down the east coast and loved going to British Car Day events; I plan to return to it when I get my GT back on the road. I have to thank Dan Masters for the inspiration to put the GT back into service, after running across a picture of his GT on the internet which led to this site. There are a couple of Sevens in the Dallas area I see and drool over from time to time. My big horsepower hot rod friends say ďif youíre going to do this, go with a V8,Ē but, though I haven't ruled it out, I kinda like the idea of sticking with a 4 cylinder British motor, you know, British/British even though it wonít be as fast, it also wonít be as expensive as I have one with an extra transmission. Iím really excited about the prospects of a build with my son and thrilled that there is a place here that I trust and can ask questions. Thank you guys so much!


Paul


Bill Young
Bill Young
Kansas City, MO
(1337 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 09:23AM

Main British Car:
'73 MG Midget V6 , '59 MGA I6 2.8 GM, 4.0 Jeep

authors avatar
Re: Lotus 7
Posted by: Bill Young
Date: August 26, 2011 03:16PM

Paul, I understand wanting a very basic car with a British engine. One of my dream projects is to build a version of one of the old two seat GP type cars using a MGB driveline just for running around town in. Sort of like this Wolseley Hornet.
WolseleyHornet-side.jpg


pspeaks
Paul Speaks
Dallas, Texas
(698 posts)

Registered:
07/20/2009 06:40PM

Main British Car:
1972 MGB-GT 1979 Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: Lotus 7
Posted by: pspeaks
Date: August 26, 2011 05:54PM

That would be a great project and do-able I think. Not being much of a Tin Man, I would have trouble with the boat tail, but I love the look.


Paul


HealeyRick
Rick Neville

(474 posts)

Registered:
12/19/2007 05:01PM

Main British Car:
1963 Austin-Healey 3000 Ford 5.0L

authors avatar
Re: Lotus 7
Posted by: HealeyRick
Date: August 26, 2011 08:34PM

Paul,

Here's a good forum for LoCost builders: [www.locostusa.com] "The Book" on the original idea of a LoCost is available here: [ebookee.org]


pspeaks
Paul Speaks
Dallas, Texas
(698 posts)

Registered:
07/20/2009 06:40PM

Main British Car:
1972 MGB-GT 1979 Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: Lotus 7
Posted by: pspeaks
Date: August 27, 2011 02:27PM

Thanks Rick, I'll check out the site! My friend with the Viper thought of building a seven first and bought the book, but others got involved, we started building T-Buckets, then the toy market along with about everything else went south and the hot rod shop went with it. I sold my bucket and when the GT is finished I'm going to be in need of a project to protect my sanity. As I still have the motor and associated parts that came out to make room for my 302, it just seemed like the right choice.



Paul


HealeyRick
Rick Neville

(474 posts)

Registered:
12/19/2007 05:01PM

Main British Car:
1963 Austin-Healey 3000 Ford 5.0L

authors avatar
Re: Lotus 7
Posted by: HealeyRick
Date: August 27, 2011 07:41PM

Here's another thread of a Miata build: [www.ffcars.com] I've been looking at a LoCost as a post-retirement project, but Massachusetts makes it really tough to register a home-built chassis. Check your local laws first to see if you can get it on the street before you invest too much time and money on the build. Some places require receipts for every component, others want a certified welder to weld the chassis, some don't care if you make it out of an old soapbox derby car with a new motor.


pspeaks
Paul Speaks
Dallas, Texas
(698 posts)

Registered:
07/20/2009 06:40PM

Main British Car:
1972 MGB-GT 1979 Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: Lotus 7
Posted by: pspeaks
Date: August 27, 2011 08:28PM

Here in Texas, we are incredibly lucky. Rick Perry in our last House Special Session pushed through what we call the Florida Bill. If you build a car that looks like a 32 Ford, itís a 32 Ford. So, if you build a car that looks like a Lotus, itís a Lotus. Now, thatís for titling, registration, and state inspection purposes, there are still rules about trying to sell it to some unsuspecting person like it was a real Ford or Lotus, and if you want to put a Lotus emblem on the nose you might have to deal with Lotus though Iíve heard they donít really care; now that part might not be all that accurate. Iím sure youíll hear horror stories and the DMV does check the engine serial number to make sure it isnít on the hot sheet, and you do need to keep receipts so you can pay the taxes on it. Even before the bill passed it was pretty easy to title a home built in Texas if you kept all the paper work. We built about 22 T-Bucket kits and all of them are on the road.


Paul



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/27/2011 08:32PM by pspeaks.


roverman
Art Gertz
Winchester, CA.
(3035 posts)

Registered:
04/24/2009 11:02AM

Main British Car:
74' Jensen Healy, 79 Huff. GT 1, 74 MGB Lotus 907,2L

Re: Lotus 7/square tubing ?
Posted by: roverman
Date: August 31, 2011 05:39PM

Paul, You may know this, but you will want suitable corner radii on tubing to prevent stress risers and load kinking. "If" you rotate the tubing 45 deg.(end veiw), biased towards major loads, your flex strength will be increased measurably, with no increase in weight. Of couse the (miters), will be more of a challenge.I hope you go the "Rover V8". Good Luck, roverman.



pspeaks
Paul Speaks
Dallas, Texas
(698 posts)

Registered:
07/20/2009 06:40PM

Main British Car:
1972 MGB-GT 1979 Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: Lotus 7
Posted by: pspeaks
Date: August 31, 2011 07:04PM

Thanks Art, actually I didnít know that. I have a pretty extensive fabrication background, but this will be my first go at a Seven and a space frame type chassis. I think I understand what youíre saying about stress risers, but when the time comes to start doing it I might have to pick your brain again. As I said my ex-son-in-law built a basic frame, but we arenít exactly on speaking terms anymore and Iíve had no contact with it. All I really know is from the McSorley drawings and videos which answered a lot of questions about front suspension. Trust me, I can use all the advice I can get. I like the idea of using my MG motor, but if I had been happy with its performance, it would still be in the MG rather than the 302 and a T5 would be a great improvement over the old non-overdrive 4 speed. I have been seriously looking at the Rover and its weight compared to other choices. I understand that 93í or 94í blocks are 4 bolt main and can be stroked. As compared to the McSorley frame, what needs to be done to use the Rover rather than a 4 cylinder? It will be a while before my son and I start it, but as I run across parts I need, Iím sure Iíll pick up stuff so it's best to have a well thought out plan before you start spending money.



Paul



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/31/2011 07:11PM by pspeaks.


pspeaks
Paul Speaks
Dallas, Texas
(698 posts)

Registered:
07/20/2009 06:40PM

Main British Car:
1972 MGB-GT 1979 Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: Lotus 7
Posted by: pspeaks
Date: September 04, 2011 03:52PM

Had breakfast with the group from the old T-Bucket Shop Saturday and the owner, who drives the Viper, said he wanted to do a Seven years ago but everyone else wanted to do hot rods and thats how we got into Buckets rather than Lotus. He and his son, who has a Speedster, still wants to do a Seven so it looks like we are going to built three of them. That will make the project much more fun and we can spread out the fabrication. Appearantly my ex-son-in-law abandoned the 7 frame and left it in my daughter's garage, I'll have to give that one some thought, and I also still have my 302 roller motor, shame they're so heavy. At any rate, thought I'd keep everybody updated.


Paul


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