I don't know if people here are following along to this auction of a Rotus here:
https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1994-rotus-7/

However, some fascinating posts have emerged from the gentleman with forum ID "redcloud1728" on the back history to Rotus, their emergence and chassis design.


A few words to set the record straight on Rotus cars, and Chris Custer. I was there from the beginning until Chris’s lying cheating and general dishonesty made it impossible to remain. I am in fact the person who designed the car in its entirety. Chris had no design knowledge, and hence no meaningful input. The final straw was when Chris took a deposit for 20 cars that couldn’t possibly be built, from a multi dealership owner from Japan, who later successfully sued him.

Firstly the name. It has nothing to do with rotary engines as the first rotary powered car came much later. It was in fact Chris’s rather insulting take on the limited ability of Japanese to pronounce an L, as there is no L in their language. The car was a “Lotus 7 based on Japanese components, hence a Rotus”, his words not mine.

The first car started with a 2TC Toyota engine, and was later fitted with a Rover V8. The second car was built for Ralph who’s last name I no longer remember, and had a 2TG (Toyota’s version of a Lotus twin cam). I built those two cars with a bit of help from an employee we called Moose.

To the seller, if your chassis was there at the time it’s one of the chassis I skinned, and the SCCA car you saw would have been Pete LoBianco’s. I left after that and Chris hired some seriously unqualified individuals to continue building cars. They started ‘improving’ the car, redesigning the Panhard rod configuration which raised the rear roll center by about 5 or 6 inches, making the cars rather tail happy. Then they eliminated my custom gear set in the Toyota steering rack, screwed up the steering geometry to the point where the steering wheel would not self center when you let go, and for added measure threw in some bump steer, on what had been a 0 bump steer arrangement. Along with that they had no idea how to create a cowl, which is the one relatively difficult bit in the skinning of a 7. All the cowls had insufficient joggle, since they didn’t know anything about metal shrinking, so none of the hoods could be fitted flush. The reason for the front rocker arm and inboard shocks was to achieve a shock travel ratio of greater than one, resulting in excellent wheel control and an much improved ride. I designed a rocker scheme for the rear that did the same thing, but it was to expensive to produce. That same design was later independently created by someone else and sold to Suzuki, where it became the “Full Floater” rear end on their MX bikes. Even without it, both of the first two cars circulated the BF Goodrich skid pad at better than one G in 1985 on street (not auto cross special) tires. It was the first time they had ever seen it. That was with the original suspension design, with no sway bars, (which only make the good end stick worse) but with correct geometry.

By the way nothing like 70 cars were built, by my best guess it was closer to 30, maybe 35.


If you are interested in Rotus cars then it is worth read of the full thread and all the comments.