We are not sure whether our Seven had a 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 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 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, even 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.
The steering wheel was donated by Caterham Cars during restoration and we have been told it came off a Lotus in the Caterham historic collection. The wheel was custom built for Lotus by Moto-Lita probably in the 50es. We would be most interested in hearing from anyone who knows more about this steering wheel – including which car it came off.
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.
With their leather trim and almost comfortable shape, the seats on SB2237 are far from original specification. Apart from their nice look and feel, as they were made by an upholsterer in Hong Kong they are a part of the car’s history.
As can be seen on the pictures, not only the seats, but also the dash, side panels and piping are black. Although this is somewhat unusual for an S2 it was how some of the late production S2s were delivered.