Lotus Super 7 Series 2 (Tamiya #2446)
Nothing new on my bench so I decided to take photos of a favorite from my collection. As far as I know this kit is out of production. My kit has 1984 dates on the instruction sheet.
The original Lotus 7 was introduced in 1957. At the time a factory-built model sold for $2900. $968 of that cost was tax. To get around the tax Lotus offered a kit which could be purchased for $1472. The design was a minimalist sports car in classic Colin Chapman fashion. The lightweight tube frame relied on the aluminum body panels as stressed members to achieve sufficient chassis strength. Seating is little more than thin pads sitting directly on the sheet aluminum body panels. Curb weight was around 1100 lbs.
In 1961 Lotus released the Super 7 Series 2. Among the changes in the Super 7 was a significant engine upgrade to a Ford Cosworth 1300cc producing 83 BHP (compared to the original 7 which used a 40 BHP engine).
Lotus discontinued production of the Super 7 in 1973 and sold production rights to Caterham Cars in England. An evolved version is still in production as the Caterham 7. The high-performance R500 model uses a 2 liter Ford Duratec engine rated at 263 HP. Quoted performance for the R500 is 0-60 in 2.88 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph.