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A Lotus for Lars


Vinman1
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As suggested by Steve (bball7754) and JohnCh, here is the build adventure of a Lotus for Lars. 

Lars and our families became friends when after my wife overheard him talking about a Cobra kit car his brother David was building. Lars was a great guy with an infectious laugh and sense of humor. His preferred transportation was on a motorcycle (various street/trail bikes or a Ural with a side car) wearing old leathers well into his 70's. When the helmet came off, the usual hat of choice was a beat up "Manure Movers Local #" hat! You just had to laugh.

Turns out, they both had Sevens too. David bought his complete and Lars bought a kit (Arch chassis #282 of 1979). A cross flow engine was sent out for rebuild, and for reasons unknown was never returned. Along came two great daughters, college, and medical school expenses, and the Seven hung from the rafters of a barn for nearly forty years. We lost Lars in 2019 and David in 2003. When told of plans last winter, to have a scrap metal guy take the car, I was compelled to not let that happen. So I asked if I could put it together as a tribute to Lars, as I had done with a 31 Chevy Street Rod, which belonged to another friend and later my father in law.

The series of events and the people this build has led to has been incredibly rewarding! While cleaning and organizing the parts, I came across some parts and instructions from DSK and Raceware, Inc. which were in Marblehead, MA. A google search led me to SimpleSevens.org, John Donohoe, and the story of DSK (I urge all to read). John put me in touch with David S Kaplan, who it turns out, lives 20 mi from me! David advised me on a better (spherical bearing set up) for the rear a frame.

Then, John and I convinced our wonderful wives, that we should meet at the Watkins Glen vintage race, with a Bonnett, nose cone, and steering wheel John was supplying. Turns out we have much in common from cars, the IT field, to hot dogs!  Kudos to the girls for keeping up while John and I chased down cars of interest like kids in a candy store!

One of those cars was a Red, 1971 Capri, and having had the same car in high school, I had to check it out. A conversation with two great guys, the mechanic Mark and driver Ira, about cross flow engines and my need for one, and a couple months later, a buddy of mine and I are at Mark's in Virginia, talking cars and picking up a cross flow for the Seven!  A debt of gratitude to John, David, and Mark for being such a big part of this story. When it is done, pick the track, and we will meet there with our cars!

Lotus in Barn.jpg

Parts 1.jpg

Lotus in Dway2.jpg

Lotus 12-20-21 (1).jpg

Edited by Vinman1
Grammar
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Great, albeit sad, background story. Based on the evolution between the last two photos, this tribute to Lars looks like it's well on its way to a successful conclusion.  I'm looking forward to following this journey.

 

-John

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  • 4 weeks later...

Appreciate the encouragement! The front suspension was all removed to be bead blasted and painted, so the body was buffed before suspension installed. The only rust found on the frame was where Lars had a rope around the tube above the steering rack to suspend it from the barn rafters. That area was cleaned up and POR 15 applied. The main frame paint was good, but I masked off alloy, then repainted visible areas. I used a scotch-brite pad and some aluminum boat cleaner on the alloy. I found a great kid (to me, anyway) Patrick, who is a car addict too, and owns Cape Cod Metal Polishing. He does the aluminum tanker trucks. Came to my place and spent 7 hrs wet sanding, then final buffing in the driveway!

Frame paint project 6.jpg

Body cleaning 1.jpg

Body buffed 1 (1).jpg

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