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Thread: The name - "Super Seven"

  1. #1
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    Default The name - "Super Seven"

    So I've done digging to this in the past and couldn't really find any particular articles on this explaining the name "Super Seven".

    I'm sure they are out there, I just couldn't find them.

    When/where did the "Super Seven" moniker come from and why "super"?

    As a Lotus is was the model 7. Then when Lotus closed the factory on Friday and Caterham started building them on Monday it became "super"?


    I remember originally it wasn't called a Caterham, it was now sold in the same dealership where it used to be sold before in the town of Caterham, so the people would reference the town name more so than the model moniker.


    I could never narrow down the origin of the "super" name. I'm assuming that it's referring to the next iteration in the history of the model but I'm also pretty certain it didn't start from the start?


    What do the experts have to say?
    2001 Caterham Superlight R

  2. #2
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    The "Super 7" destination originated in 1961 with the introduction of the S2 chassis which featured a bigger engine.

    Then there is this:

    Between 1970 and 1975, following a representation agreement, Lotus Argentina SA obtained the licence to manufacture the Lotus Seven in Argentina. This production reached approximately 51 units. These vehicles were not replicas, but built under licence and original brand Lotus.[6][7]
    ...

    In 1973, Lotus decided to shed fully its "British tax system"-inspired
    kit car image. As part of this plan, it sold the rights to the Seven to its only remaining agents Caterham Cars in England and Steel Brothers Limited in New Zealand.Caterham ran out of the Lotus Series 4 kits in the early 1970s. When this occurred and in accordance with their agreement with Lotus, Caterham introduced its own brand version of the Series 3. They have been manufacturing the car ever since as the Caterham Seven. Steel Brothers Limited in Christchurch, New Zealand, assembled Lotus Seven Series 4s until March 1979 when the last of the 95 kits provided by Lotus was used up.[8][9] Steel Brothers had a much wider range of factory options than the UK models with carpet, centre console glove-box, radio, window-washer and hard top. Sold largely to competition enthusiasts, the NZ cars also had engine modifications, close-ratio gears and adjustable suspension as factory options. As such they were very successful in local racing. With officially licensed production stopping in 1979, the last Lotus badged Seven, a Series 4, was therefore produced in New Zealand.[10]
    Steel Brothers Limited attempted to make a wider, modernised version of the Series 4, the Lotus Super 907, using the twin cam Lotus 907engine. In the spring of 1978 it was announced that this was to be sold in the United States[11] - but the American importer had no funds and the project came to naught.[12] The single finished Super 907 was moved from the New Zealand to the United States in 2010 to undergo a full restoration.[13]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_Seven
    Last edited by Nick O'Teen; 06-18-2020 at 10:29 AM.

  3. #3
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    According to the HLR, the first Super Seven was introduced in 1958 with the Coventry Climax FWA motor. Also known as the Seven 'C': http://www.lotus7register.co.uk/ser1page.htm

    I think the name "Super Seven" became more popular, and is more identified, with the intro of the Ford Cosworth powered S2 version.
    Bruce

  4. #4
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    The Climax engine was a casualty of the redesign for the Series 2 designation. Instead it was fitted with Ford's 105E engine from the Anglia with twin SU's, giving about 40 BHP. It was supplemented by the Lotus Super Seven S2 in 1961 which initially used the Cosworth modified 1,340cc Ford Classic engine with twin Weber's giving 85 BHP. Later examples were fitted with larger 1,498cc Ford non-crossflow engines and twin Weber's giving about 95 BHP. It was this version that the Sports Car Club of America accepted, and then banned, as it was too good… winning virtually every time it ran even though classed in “C” production with cars whose engines were far bigger.

    From "The Lotus Book" by William Taylor which is pretty much the authoritative source and from the Rocky Mountain Caterham website Heritage Tab.

  5. #5
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    Well covered by the last 2 posts. Here is a snippet from Ortenburger's Legend of the Lotus Seven on the topic:Name:  IMG_20200618_182158.jpg
Views: 167
Size:  54.0 KB
    Henry
    1965 Seven S2
    1969 Elan S4

  6. #6
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    I always thought it was more of a marketing ploy than anything else.
    This was the era of the Humber Super Snipe, Chevrolet Impala Super Sport...
    Most of these had larger engines and upgraded trim packages.
    For the 7 it meant a wood-rim steering wheel!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Petty View Post
    I always thought it was more of a marketing ploy than anything else.
    This was the era of the Humber Super Snipe, Chevrolet Impala Super Sport...
    Most of these had larger engines and upgraded trim packages.
    For the 7 it meant a wood-rim steering wheel!
    On the Chevy side of things, with the SS package, it was a trim package only, at least on some Chevy IIs and Chevelles. The earliest Chevy II SS models were 6-cyl only as the SS option pre-dated the V8 availability in that chassis. I have seen a couple of documented mid-60s Chevelles with factory 6-cyl engines. Badge marketing at its best! Not to mention the obscure trivia that you can remember from your youth when you get old!
    Ron

    '14 Evora IPS
    '84 Turbo Esprit
    '77 S1 (deceased)
    '62 Lotus Seven S2 109E Cosworth

  8. #8
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    Ferrari came out with its first Superamerica in 1957, Lotus was probably just trying to hang with them.
    Kitcat:AKA, Sir Spinsalot
    '97 Caterham Super Sprint, 1700 Crossflow-sold
    '09 Birkin S3, Duratec-sold
    '03 Caterham Zetec track car
    '19 Honda Type R, sold
    '19 Miata Clubsport

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