Steering wheel

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.

Seats

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, but although this is somewhat unusual it was how some of the late production S2s where delivered.

Cheshunt Factory

Our 7 was manufactured in the Norwich factory where Elises are done nowadays. However, many (most?) Sevens were produced in the Cheshunt factory in the Great London Area.

 

A visit September 2008 confirmed that the old Lotus buildings are still there. The Lotus main building is now a plastics factory and the building where Lotus Components resided is now a fitness center. The buildings as such seem unaltered, even the winch where they lowered the Sevens from the first floor remains, as does the ramp of the Lotus factory.

50 Years of the 7

In September 2007 we took our Lotus 7 to the 50 Years Celebration in Norwich. The longest journey we have ever done with it, so we were quite excited to see if we had cured all the minor engine problems, so we could get back safe. To our delight, the car performed excellently, with acceptable oil consumption.

 

The event itself was a big venture which we enjoyed a lot. The focus of the celebration, the 7, outshone the rather casual planning and made it a memorable tour for us. It was indeed impressive to watch the showground carpark with more than 300 Sevens, Caterhams and Loti.

The highlight of the event, we think, was the exhibition with Lotus cars from all years, beginning with the Sixes up to the end of production of the Seven in 1973.

 

We also enjoyed the visit to the Lotus factory and the morning blat to Sandringham Castle where the picture of our Lotus was taken. It evidently shines among compatriots. A very memorable journey, indeed.

History of SB2237

According to a letter from Peter Brand of Lotus Cars Ltd., SB2237 was manufactured in December 1967 and delivered to the customer in January 1968.

SB2237 was initially registered in Dudley, UK with the license plate PFD 550F (see the BW picture from 1968 and an artist’s impression of the car with its original blue/white colour scheme). The car had new owners in UK in 1969 and 1970 trading through the Caterham dealership.

A Hong Kong vehicle registration document shows that SB2237 was registered in Hong Kong in 1974 and had the same owner at least from 1980 to 1987, but no further record of SB2237 exists after 1970 until a garage in Happy Valley, Hong Kong in 1987 sold it to an English expat. According to the garage it had been raced in Macau (see photos where the car is white and red). At one occasion the car had an accident and was subsequently stored for some length of time in the 80es. Apparently, the garage acquired and rebuilt the car with the purpose to sell it. Any further information of SB2237′s Hong Kong history is most welcome.

In 1991 the car was shipped to Caterham Cars in the UK for a full restoration which was completed in 1993. The careful restoration was supervised by Simon Nearn, David Wakefield, and a well-known Lotus specialist, with full respect to the car’s heritage as a 1967 Series 2 Lotus Seven.

After the restoration SB2237 was in storage until the owner sold it in 2004 with just a few miles on the odometer.

The car has the original braced Standard 10 rear axle (4.11:1) and the standard Ford 4-speed gearbox (see last picture from 2011).

This is the best knowledge we have of SB2237′s history. The information has been kindly provided by the Lotus Registrar, previous owners, and contacts to Vehicle Registration offices in the UK and Hong Kong. There are no apparent contradictions in the information we have gathered but there is missing information, e.g. who registered the car in Dudley in 1968 and who brought it to Hong Kong.