Hank Mauel sent in an email telling the story of his 1963 Lotus 7:
My vintage racing partner purchased this Lotus 7 in 1991 with the idea of restoring it to vintage racing standards and adding it to our one-car stable—a 1959 Lotus Elite—and campaigning both in West Coast vintage racing activities. Well, the “best laid plans…” left the car in the rough for 16 years. The car had a twin-cam, dry-sump engine, DSK front suspension and other upgrades that were not eligible for vintage racing.
As it languished in the shop, I always had the idea of putting it back into street condition. So, in 2007 I said, “Let me make it street legal.”
The dry sump twin cam was replaced with a period-correct BMC A-Series engine and transmission; the front suspension was returned to stock; skinny rear fenders replaced the wide racing fenders. The car was also rewired, repainted (British Racing Green over aluminum with yellow nose cone) and re-tired to skinny 80 series on 13-inch rims.
Period-correct instruments were procured through various eBay listings and they include both chronometric tachometer and speedometer.
In honor of the late Patrick McGoohan it was licensed as “PRISNER” with the license plate bracket reading “I am not a number. I am a free man.”
It is an absolute blast to drive and gets frequent thumbs-up from those in the know. I take it to local shows and cruise nights in the Sacramento Valley area.
Why don’t you share your car story and become the next Collector of the Week? Send us a photo of you and your car, a short description of the car and your thoughts on performance. Check back next week, as you may be our next featured collector.