LOTUS SEVEN REGISTER
the web site for the
~ The Lotus Seven
The Lotus 7X.
first experience of racing was when, aged just 18, he borrowed his brother’s
Lotus 7 and won his class at Brands Hatch on the 26th. April 1964.
At the end of 1966 with the help of £1,000 left to him by an aunt, he bought
the Lotus Three-7 from Peter Deal who was going into Formula 3. Tim’s three
year ownership of the Three-7 culminated at the end of the 1969 season with
him winning the 1600cc class of the BRSCC Clubmen’s Championship.
LOOKING FOR A
Selling the car
to Peter Valdar, Tim was now looking for a new competitive racer. He confided
in his friend Simon Taylor of Autosport who suggested that he write to Lotus.
The result was positive as Lotus were looking for a project to promote Lotus
Components, their production race car arm, and the 7X Clubmen’s car was born.
Clubmen’s Race Series for 1970 was to be contested over 12 rounds and there
were to be two classes. The cars competing in these national championships
included small makes such as Rod Mansfield’s Dino, Ian Bracey’s Ibec, Sid
Marler’s 1600 Ellova, Noel Stanbury’s 1000cc Gryfon, Rob Cochran’s Bladon,
Clive Santo’s Haggis and Keith Howe’s Centaur as well as a number of Mallock
U2s and Lotus 7s including the previous years winning Lotus Three-7.
THE LOTUS 7X:
Designed by Mike
Pilbeam (now of hill climb fame) who was then working at Lotus, the 7X bore
little resemblance to any of the previous Seven models. Made of square and
round tubing with stressed aluminium panels, the car featured independent
suspension all round with double wishbones, Triumph Spitfire uprights and a
roll bar to the front and an Elan differential driving the wheels via double
jointed drive shafts to the rear. On each side, the rear suspension utilised a
top link, bottom wishbone and a radius rod with a Lotus 61 Formula Ford
upright. There were disc brakes to all wheels with 8 inch wide front and 10
inch rear rims shod with Firestone YB11 rubber. Aluminium was used for the
body and the front wrap-round cycle wings. The 1600cc crossflow Ford engine
tuned by Holbay produced about 140bhp and was mated to a close ratio Elan
Tim Goss and the 7X at Brands
Hatch - May 1970.
A WIN RIGHT
FROM THE START:
The building of
the car was completed at Lotus’ Hethel factory on Christmas Day 1969, only
just in time for the race meeting at Mallory on Sunday 28th
December; the Brands Hatch Boxing Day event being cancelled that year. Despite
no previous track time and therefore no time to set the car up properly, Tim
had a convincing win in the opening 10 lap race, coming home some 35 seconds
ahead of Jeremy Lord in his Mallock U2 Mk 8. Later, on January 25th.
at Brands Hatch on just their second outing further laurels were gained making
the score two wins from the first two races. However as the season and the
championship itself progressed Tim and the 7X weren’t to have it all their own
way by any means as competition from the likes of Ray Mallock in his U2 Mk 8b
and Rod Mansfield in his Dino 6 was stiff.
By the end of
the season, after all the rounds, Tim and the 7X had produced 13 victories 4
second places and a third and the final results table looked thus:-
Clubmans Championship sponsored by Gregor Grant.
Tim Goss (Lotus
7X Ford) 34
Ray Mallock (U2
Mk 8b Ford) 26
(Dino 6 Ford) 15
(U2 Mk 8 Ford) 9
(U2 Mk 8 Ford) 7
(Dino 6 Ford) 6
Brands Hatch - May 1970.
season Tim and the 7X took lap records at no less than five race circuits:-
Club - 52.6secs 84.87mph (1.24 miles), Castle Combe - 1min 07.6secs 97.99mph
(1.84 miles), Mallory Park Full - 50.2secs 96.81mph (1.35 miles), Oulton Park
- 1min 45.6secs 94.13mph (2.76 miles) and Rufforth - 1min 18.2secs 78.26mph
The lap time at
Castle Combe was just 0.2secs outside Carlos Pace’s Formula Three record of
THE ST BRUNO
season the car was looked after by Team Lotus mechanic John Robinson who later
worked in Formula One for the company. Much of the hours that John spent on
the car were unpaid and Tim made some of this up by splitting any prize money
won 50/50 with him. At the end of the year Tim had the chance of buying the
car from Lotus at a favourable figure which he did and then sold it on to
Barry Foley, the “Catchpole” cartoonist, at a profit. Barry, who had been
runner-up to Barry Flegg in the smaller under one litre Clubmans Class that
year went on to campaign the 7X with sponsorship from St Bruno, the pipe
tobacco company, calling the car “The St. Bruno Roughcutter”.
The 7X as The St. Bruno
Roughcutter with Barry Foley in 1972.
Tim went on to
race in Formula Three in an uncompetitive car and also raced Minis for many
years. The car has been with a Lotus collector in the UK since the late 1970s.
Lotus Seven by
Jeremy Coulter (1986/1995)
I am very
grateful for Tim Goss’ generous help in compiling this article.
JWW - January
Seven made by Lotus between 1957 and 1973