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Clamshells vs. cycle fenders aero effect?


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Does anyone recall any definitve testing that compared lap times or top end? I like the looks of clamshells since that was required back in the 1960s and 1970s in the USA and it kind of stuck with me.

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I Love clams too but for sport, its better to see where the front wheel is tracking.

I have also heard of the clam tips being forced down.  I can't verify that. 

The Clams give the car that familiar MG TC look that complements the short boot as Lotus marketed the S2 as more of a road car, which carried over to the S4.  This continued with Caterham well into the 80s until Cat introduced the cycles in fiberglass.

I can't think of any Lotus 7 S2 or 3 that had factory cycle wings.  Once Lotus was done banging out alloy noses and fenders of the 6 and S1 Seven, that was it.  GRP was cheaper to make, required less skill set and didn't need painting.   Also,  as these parts tend to get damaged easily,  GRP makes a lot more sense.

 

 

Edited by IamScotticus
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Thanks---Now I understand why I like that clamshell look. My older brother had a used1949 MG TC which I drove more than he did. That is, until a front spindle broke. He then got a 300SL but my experience with that was limited by very expensive issues with the special injection system. But at 16-18 years old you could not beat the driving experience. Stuck on sports cars ever since.

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On 3/27/2022 at 10:50 PM, IamScotticus said:

I can't think of any Lotus 7 S2 or 3 that had factory cycle wings.  Once Lotus was done banging out alloy noses and fenders of the 6 and S1 Seven, that was it.  GRP was cheaper to make, required less skill set and didn't need painting.   Also,  as these parts tend to get damaged easily,  GRP makes a lot more sense.

 

 

There were some early Lotus Seven S2 that were available with cycle wings in the UK market.  I don't think they were ever available in the US because we got the clamshells.  This photo showing what they look like is from the Lotus Seven Register Series 2 page.

sevPressphoto3.jpg

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Awesome picture! 

Things that I recall from my reading/investigation when I began my Seven adventure;  All Lotus Sevens delivered to the USA were considered to be a Lotus Seven America, LHD, clamshell fenders and fully assembled. 

 

Incidentally my car was UK delivery, a kit with clams.  

 

Tim

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As an owner of a 1990 Cat with Clams, although they do flap around a bit, there is no obvious problem with high speed lift at highway speeds (an idicated 80 mph, probably  bit less actual velocity!).

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I guess it's just the guys who do flat out racing and I understand they've got enough power to get above 120 mph. Not sure what you do then. There was a rumor that some of the guys lifted the rear end of the clamshells up a little bit for better aerodynamics but got caught by the scrutineers

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They sure look like they'd create drag and lift, the opposite of what you want on the track. On the street though, who cares. If you like them, by all means get them.

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