The history of all Sevens and Lotus Cars began in 1952 when Colin Chapman and Colin Dare founded Lotus Engineering Ltd., followed by sister company Team Lotus two years later. Lotus Cars Ltd. was formed out of a company restructure in 1959, and by then Colin Chapman had already sent Lotus down the road of reputed sports car manufacturer and Formula One titan.
Team Lotus began competing in Formula One in 1958 and went on to become one of the most innovative and successful teams in history. Between 1958 and 1994, Team Lotus and Lotus F1 cars competed in 491 Championship Formula One races and achieved 7 F1 World Constructors titles, 6 F1 Drivers titles, 79 race wins, 107 pole positions and 70 fastest laps. Significantly, the development and ingenuity seen Lotus Formula One cars filtered down into Lotus road cars.
Sports cars that have rolled out of the Lotus factories have always been excellent drivers cars, in terms of handling and performance. Financial woes and the death of Colin Chapman in the 1980s lead to a near-collapse of Lotus, but it is currently on a resurgence and again produces some of the best drivers cars in the sports car market.
The Lotus Seven was designed by Colin Chapman in 1957 as a minimalistic sports car for the road. The Lotus Seven was so uncompromisingly performance focused that it was essentially a road legal two-seater race car. Available in kit form and factory finished, Lotus Sevens ceased production in 1972, but the rights to produce it were secured by Caterham in the following years. Today, Caterham Cars and Birkin are amongst the 120+ registered manufacturers of Lotus Seven replicas and modern re-engineered versions of which. The Seven hasn’t changed much over the last 57 years, because it hasn’t needed to; it has always been the most performance focused affordable sports car design available.
It would seem then, that there are no better beginnings for a sports car club.
"Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere." – Colin Chapman
- Lotus Seven
- Birkin 7
- Caterham 7
- Super Seven
- Other Sevenesque kit cars
- Genuine Lotus Elise, Lotus Exige, Lotus Esprit, etc.