SB2237 is a Lotus Seven Series 2, vintage 1967, first registered in Dudley UK beginning of 1968. Today it lives in Copenhagen, Denmark. It has had various engines during its life but now is equipped with a pre-crossflow 1500 cc engine with one Weber 40DCOE 2 as when it was delivered. It has the original braced Standard 10 rear axle and the standard Ford 4-speed gearbox.
We bought the car in 2005 and have continuously amended and updated it in order for it to be close to original specification while respecting its history and – within this framework – a fast and enjoyable Seven. We have established most of the car’s history and in the process have been in contact with a number of very helpful people with knowledge of the car, including Lotus Cars, the Lotus Seven registrar, previous owners, and other Lotus enthusiasts.
This site is about how we have gone about this. We hope you find the site of interest, and we welcome any help, input and exchange of views.
Please also feel free to visit our list of what we have found to be useful Seven links.
We attended the Gavnø Classic Autojumble in 2017, an event that has been hosted by baron Otto Reedtz-Thott, himself a racing and classic car fan, at the Gavnø castle every year since 1986.
With a great location, lots of activities, and more than 1,000 classic cars attending, we were very impressed with the event.
Situated in the centre of Copenhagen, Kastellet, or the Citadel, is an old fortress and a great venue for kicking off the classic car season every year in May. We try to make it as often as we can.
We are not sure whether our Seven had an anti roll bar when delivered. The one we have on the car was fitted when the car was restored in the 90es.
Besides the (debatable?) safety improvement of having one fitted, the anti roll bar is of course a topic for purists, as the look is more clean without and as most Lotus Sevens were not delivered with one.
For a long time we had been contemplating switching to narrow rear wings from the somewhat wider wings that were on the car when we acquired it. Opinions differ as to whether the narrow rear wings are actually too narrow, even when using wheels and tires in line with original specifications.
A common ‘trick’ back in the 60es seems to be to simply cut away part of the rear wing edge, which can actually be seen on the 1968 picture of SB2237 with Elan wheels.
Having changed from wider Minilites to Elan wheels and also fitted narrower 145 tires, the wider wings did look a bit odd, so we decided to give the narrow wings a try. We sourced new wings from Redline and we are quite happy with the result.
The Standard 10 rear axle of the Lotus 7 Series 2 is probably the most controversial component of the car. Colin Chapman’s concept of a lightweight, live axle with a simple A-frame to provide longitudinal and lateral guidance gives a performance that is close to an independent suspension. The concept is brilliant, but its implementation is doubtful. Had the axle been suspended the way it was designed for, no doubt it would be capable of handling the most powerful Series 2 Sevens. However, Colin Chapman’s concept supports the axle in a manner it was never designed for, leading to frequent failures, also on the not so powerful cars. One problem is that the suspension introduces large torsional loads on the axle casing leading to cracks and oil spillage, and subsequently seizure of the differential. The addition of the Thesaurus plate helped that problem to some extent.
To make things worse, the concept introduced large local loads where the A-frame is attached to the lower part of the differential casing. This led to a crack in SB2237’s casing as far back as in 1968, according to a previous owner. The crack was braze welded and doesn’t seem to cause any problems.
We treasure our Standard 10 rear axle which has caused no trouble since we bought the car. We inherited a minor problem caused by bad shimming of the half-axle making it difficult to fixate the left rear hub. This problem was solved by our Lotus mechanic.
With our engine and tire selection we do think that our Standard 10 rear axle will survive. However, if we should ever think of reinforcing the axle, we are much impressed by the Standard 10 axles that Chris Beebe builds. Due to the requirements of the racing rules in the US it has been mandatory to use the original axle. Chris Beebe’s approach to support the torsional loads and relieving the loads of the A-frame attachment is very appealing and, most importantly, has proved its worth in practice.
Some critics may question the originality of the reinforced axle, though.
When we bought the car, the instruments were not original but would pass as period and the original lay-out of the dash had been kept. We have through the years changed the instruments to new (old) ones to original specification.