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Hello all. After a few years wanting a Lotus Seven, I found this little S3 powered by a 1600 Xflow and 4 spd tranny that looks promising. However, being the first time I'm face to face to one of them, I cannot even tell if it's real. According to the current owner (and I have no reasons to doubt) this is probably the lowest mileage, most authentic S3 out there. After some talking I learned that the exhaust pipe is not correct, the rear fenders are not original (see the square taillights), the windshield brackets might be not, and the hood... I'm not sure... it looks like a different material but it might be because someone tried to clean it with a brill-o sponge. Another thing that caught my attention was that the rear wheels are not centered under the rear arches, is that normal? The front cone and probably other parts were recently painted, so I don't know about the actual condition or originality of those, or if there's any rust on the metal parts (roll bar, struts, dampers etc.). Other than that lights, instruments, wheels and tyres seem to be original and Made in UK.
So, look at the pictures (http://flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/y4Avi1/) and tell me what do you think... should I bit the bullet? Is it as original as advertised? Thanks all!
 

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Nice find. Looks quite original. As you stated the rear wings are Caterham (about 2" wider than the original 9" wide). Tail lights are correct for an S3. Dunlop wheels are pretty rare. Has the original red plastic clutch hose, get rid of that ASAP! Bonnet looks correct, although the finish has much to be desired. Even the tires look original, Dunlop SPs (I would not drive on them for any meaningful distance).

Good luck!
Kiyoshi
 

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I was prepared to knock it but lots of the details look just right. I had a S2.5, one of the 20 transition cars and lots of that one looks perfect. Rear wheels non centre is also dead right. Amazing condition kept making me look for the errors but I didn't find any. Whats the chassis number?
 

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Thanks guys. Chassis number was hard to read, it was hand engraved (is that right?) and it was something like LSB 254? Couldn't read the last number... Which looks correct. However, that round mark on the top left corner of the serial plate is suspicious... Was it re-riveted?
 

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Thanks guys. Chassis number was hard to read, it was hand engraved (is that right?) and it was something like LSB 254? Couldn't read the last number... Which looks correct. However, that round mark on the top left corner of the serial plate is suspicious... Was it re-riveted?
Hand engraving is correct and the number looks fine. The plate may have been re-riveted which explains the round mark you mention (likely caused by the chuck of the drill when the old rivet was drilled out).

So... buy this car already!!! :D

Cheers,
Kiyoshi
 

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If it was RHD I'd be buying it out from under you. The biggest downside is that it is such a time machine piece you would need to own it carefully and try and keep it as nice as it is. Things like the metal fluid reservoir caps, air cleaner etc are such sweet period pieces. Ours had the same side screen mounts on the pillars. Do it or lose it.
 

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You absolutely need to walk away from this one; and please give me the current owners full contact information (and price), so I can give him a piece of my mind for attempting to sell it to an unsuspecting owner. BTW, does he want cashier's check?
 

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You absolutely need to walk away from this one; and please give me the current owners full contact information (and price), so I can give him a piece of my mind for attempting to sell it to an unsuspecting owner. BTW, does he want cashier's check?
Wow what did I miss? If you don't want to say it publicly can you PM me for my (re)education?
 

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LOL, I am joking, I was asking for the information to steal it away under the original poster!
 

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LOL, I am joking, I was asking for the information to steal it away under the original poster!


Haha got me hook, line and sinker. ROFL

I keep worrying that it might be a mid 70s Caterham but I think the seats were different. Unless you were paying a very high price for the Lotus badge it doesn't really change how nice it us.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You absolutely need to walk away from this one; and please give me the current owners full contact information (and price), so I can give him a piece of my mind for attempting to sell it to an unsuspecting owner. BTW, does he want cashier's check?
Hahahahaha.... That's funny! I know, I already consider myself damn lucky to have come across this babe... But as I said before, i've been never been this close to a Seven. The tires are original for sure, dunlops... Same with the wheels... There are so many original pieces in this car that it just doesn't make sense it being a cat or a copy. Now I'm mostly concerned about hidden rust or damage to the frame, but I guess there's no easy way to tell. I really want to drive it regularly (up to 2x a week in perfect technicolor weather) rather than letting it age in my garage. How do you guys feel on a public road when a big lorry pass by you? Scary? Any near miss? Probably material for another forum.
Thanks all!
 

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There are so many original pieces in this car that it just doesn't make sense it being a cat or a copy.


Now I'm mostly concerned about hidden rust or damage to the frame, but I guess there's no easy way to tell.
Thanks all!

Ok Don't forget a caterham can be as early as 73 and is almost completely indistinguishable from a S3 Lotus 7 and marginally less valuable.

Rust? If they have any chassis rust it is in the bottom tubes below the door opening. The aluminium bulges as the rust grows. From 12000 miles away I can see this one has no rust.

Damage? It's a tube frame. If perchance it was damaged(and lets fact it what evidence is there that this one is?) every race shop thats ever run a formula ford will fix it faster than you can write the cheque to pay them.

Procrastination and over thinking is your biggest risk I suspect. Remember how they always say don't buy the first one you see? The people who said that have seen others and are currently putting a deposit on this one.
 

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Hopefully I'll test drive it this weekend. Then the seven and me will have a nice honest conversation and we'll decide if we're mean to be together.
Thanks a lot for your support guys! I'll keep you posted
 

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I am emphatically not an expert, but from my reading wile I owned a 1979 Caterham, this car looks good to me.
 

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Thanks phil, however I have my money on that being a Lotus and not a Caterham... Wish me luck!
Maybe I didn't phrase that well. The reading I did while I had my Caterham leads me to believe that this car is a Lotus.
 

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I have a 1969 Seven S3 and this one looks accurate except for the rear taillights which are Caterham. The serial number will have 4 digits. Also the wheels have been bead blasted which look fine as is, but they can be easily painted back to the original black if you want. By the way I need a lug nut to fit these wheels, if any one has a spare to part with, PM me.
 

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Hopefully I'll test drive it this weekend. Then the seven and me will have a nice honest conversation and we'll decide if we're mean to be together.
Thanks a lot for your support guys! I'll keep you posted
How did you get on? :)

In (late) response to your earlier question of how it feels to be next to a big truck (or bus or even modern SUV) it is amazing and nerve wracking the first time... but the cars agility provides a huge amount of confidence so it really isn't a problem.
 
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