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So, tell us a little about yourselves


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Let’s see—I was working for the local Datsun dealership when my Dad said he would send me to college. Thought it was a waste of money but decided to try it anyway. Graduated with a degree in both mechanical and industrial engineering--spent a lot of time thanking my father for his wisdom. Most of my classes were automotive and aerospace related. Currently working for the Marine Corps in the area of Infantry Weapons.

 

Had the car bug since high school and upon graduation(1978) bought a 1966 Shelby Mustang that needed a lot of attention. Spent about two years on it and kept it for 10. I was restoring a “Mustang” when the rest of my friends were building Corvettes—they said I was wasting my money—little did they know what the Mustang market would do. I’ve completed restorations on a variety of cars to include Porsche(2), Triumph(2), Military Jeeps(3), and Camaro(2). Besides the Seven, I'm currently working on my wifes' horse cart(got to keep her happy)!!

 

While I was finishing a Triumph Spitfire a friend of mine recommended that I look at a Seven. My first response was “ What’s a Seven?”   A few months later, a retired USMC Colonel mentioned to me that he had one and was starting to restore it. I followed that car for 5 years before he offered to sell it to me. I bought the car in the spring of 2003 and brought it home. Decided not to start on it right away as I need to finish the restoration on the latest Jeep project. Great plan until a crazed 17 year old driving a BMW ran over me while I was trying to help victims of a car accident. Lost a full year but spent the time researching the car, parts, etc. Probably the most amazing thing it that I have traced the car all the way back to it’s beginnings when the Colonel mentioned above, wrote to Caterham when he was a newly promoted captain as an embassy guard. I have all the correspondence from that day. Really neat to see how it all came about. He had it shipped to the US in two pieces into two different entry ports—and now I know why.

 

The car is coming along nicely and should be ready with time to spare for 7-7-7. There are a few folks on this board who have helped me a lot and got me going in the right direction. Thanks to all of them. Most of the cars mentioned above were sold so I could buy something else. This is not the case with the Seven—it will be part of the family for a long time and I plan on giving it to my daughter when I know she can handle it.

 

My daily driver is a Subi WRX STi and occasionally the 1952 M38 Jeep(originally delivered to the Army but “liberated” by the USMC at some point in its life).

 

 

 

Looking forward to meeting everyone at next years event.

 

Sal

 

 

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Alaskossie,

 

 

 

If you come to Charlottesville to visit your son, let me know. I have my Caterham here (my second), and used to own an Escort RS 4X4 (production model). Prior to that owner a series of Sierra Cosworth's which between them were stolen 12 times. Yes, 12 - the 'cossie' was the car du jour for bank robbers in the UK in the 80's. Plus, I' lived in a dodgey part of South London. Prior to that had a Mk 2 Escort RS 2000. What does your son do here?

 

 

 

Best, Steve.

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SteveT,

 

 

 

My son Scott is an attorney with a national legal research firm in Charlottesville. His wife is a history professor at VA Commonwealth University, and commutes to Richmond. Scott is planning to join me for a part of the 2007 West Coast Tour, but we have yet to learn whether he comfortably fits in a Tillett seat, which is what my Seven will be equipped with... Hope he does!

 

 

 

BTW, my mother's maiden name was Taylor.....

 

 

 

All the best,

 

 

 

Tom

 

 

 

 

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Steve,

 

I'm sure Scott will fit in the standard Caterham seats, but the Tillets have an iron grip on some people... Hate to arrive in California, to find tht he doesn't fit!

 

 

 

Send me your e-mail address and I'll follow up on this with you.

 

 

 

Tom

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Guess I will finally get in on this. Been interested in Sevens for I don't know how long, 1st memory is of a Doctor driving one when I was in high school around 1988 or so. I did start a Locost project back in 1998 the frame is rusting in a side yard right now. A few months after taking a job in Virgina (I work in auto restoration and work with an auto appraisal company) I said to my wife I want a Lotus 7 (or Caterham)lets go buy one, this was in 2000. We drove to GT Classics and spoke with Chip Bond, wife after her drive told me to figure out to pay for one. Things got busy and I shopped around thinking $40K was a little expensive for a toy and ended up buying a Stalker. Got the rolling chassis built until life did it agian and I got busy, moved, home projects. Got back to the Stalker earlier this year and had it updated to SuperStalker specs, when it returned from Florida I was not interested in building choose to sell the car (traded for a 73 Twin Cam Europa to go along with my 91 Elan) and then by accident found a 78 Caterham Twin Cam which is now in my driveway. That is my long story.

 

 

 

I was one of the earliest registered for the 7.7.7 event and maybe have seen some of you at the USGP events.

 

 

 

Be seeing you

 

John V

 

73 Europa Twin Cam (with AC)

 

78 Caterham Twin Cam

 

91 Elan M100

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Guess I will finally get in on this. Been interested in Sevens for I don't know how long, 1st memory is of a Doctor driving one when I was in high school around 1988 or so. I did start a Locost project back in 1998 the frame is rusting in a side yard right now. A few months after taking a job in Virgina (I work in auto restoration and work with an auto appraisal company) I said to my wife I want a Lotus 7 (or Caterham)lets go buy one, this was in 2000. We drove to GT Classics and spoke with Chip Bond, wife after her drive told me to figure out to pay for one. Things got busy and I shopped around thinking $40K was a little expensive for a toy and ended up buying a Stalker. Got the rolling chassis built until life did it agian and I got busy, moved, home projects. Got back to the Stalker earlier this year and had it updated to SuperStalker specs, when it returned from Florida I was not interested in building choose to sell the car (traded for a 73 Twin Cam Europa to go along with my 91 Elan) and then by accident found a 78 Caterham Twin Cam which is now in my driveway. That is my long story.

 

 

 

I was one of the earliest registered for the 7.7.7 event and maybe have seen some of you at the USGP events.

 

 

 

Be seeing you

 

John V

 

73 Europa Twin Cam (with AC)

 

78 Caterham Twin Cam

 

91 Elan M100

 

 

 

John, that was freaky... I was reading your post, thinking this guy's jaw is gonna drop when I post back and tell him I know a guy in VA who had a stalker, upgraded to super stalker, AND has a Europa AND an Elan... Then I got to the last line, and it says John V. http://www.usa7s.com/aspnetforum/images/emoticons/lol.gif

 

 

 

 

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Ok, with a little help from Al, I guess it's my turn....

 

I'm married with 3 kids ages 20, 22, and 24. I'm a QC inspector/engine technician at PWA in Cheshire, CT. I've been a sports car nut for as long as I can remember. Every drive in the back of the family station wagon growing up, was spent with my head hanging out of the window trying to catch a glimpse of ANY sports car buzzing around the local roads. My dentist had a Porsche 356 that I used to drool over, a friends boyfriend had an MG TC that I could just stare at and lust for, for hours. Waiting at the bus stop, occasionally a red Fiat Abarth "Double-Bubble" with a white racing stripe would drive by and I'd be speechless!! I could never understand why nobody else had the same reaction as me!! So I started reading SCG, C&D, and R&T and dreaming of the day I could have my own sports car. That car would be a $275 1961 Bugeye Sprite that I dragged home to my parents house, and proceeded to learn all about brakes and cylinder heads and sanding and painting. Spent about four months getting it road legal and what a blast I had buzzing around in that thing for the summer!! But a lady ran a stop sign, and my Bugeye was totalled...

 

So, I replaced the Bugeye with a 1972 MG Midget which was a little faster and a much better daily driver. It was in that car on one of my first trips to Lime Rock, that my new wife and I saw our first Lotus 7 and original Mini Cooper in person. My wife was immediately drawn to the Mini Cooper, and I was mesmerized by the Lotus 7's and 11's. The polished aluminum bodies with the intricate space frame, wire wheels, Raydot mirrors, and red dash boards with Smiths gauges, to me, were just the pure essence of a sports car. I was hooked, and I knew that some day I would own one....

 

Well, that day came a few years ago when, with my very understanding wife's blessing, I picked up a 2001 Birkin that was a dealers demo. I'm sure her blessing had nothing to do with her needing a new daily driver that arrived in the form of a 2003 MINI Cooper!! Well she got her dream car and I got mine! So I drove my new toy that summer and after many years of driving more mundane Brit sports cars, what can I say but what a rush!!! The acceleration, the handling, the ride (ouch)! The looks from other drivers on the road were priceless!! Every drive was an adventure. You could drive that car at 30 mph and watch the suspension move up and down, the reflections off the chrome headlights, and the heat waves coming out of the louvered bonnet. And then you could come to a highway entrance ramp or a set of curves and it would just blow you away!! Maybe the actual speed wasn't THAT fast, but it sure felt fast sitting a few inches off the ground and being blasted by the wind!! There was nothing like it!

 

So that fall I started taking my Birkin apart to fix the wipers that didn't work and a few other niggling little problems and pretty soon I had it "almost" stripped to the frame. So I redid the wiring harness, installed stainless steel/braided fuel lines, Fuel Safe fuel cell, Jenvey throttle bodies with an Emerald ECU, rebuilt the tranny with the help of Cherik and a close-ratio BGH gearset, and many other little jobs too numerous to mention. I've pretty much left the ZX1 motor alone other than ARP rod bolts, Esslinger cam gears and under drive crank pulley, and a Raceline water rail. My plan from here is to have it all back together for the springtime so I can celebrate my 50th birthday driving my toy again, the same year that the Lotus 7 celebrates it's 50th birthday!!

 

Well, sorry for the long rant! I hope to meet up with some of the local crazies at some point and would love to make it to the TotD if a spot opens up!!

 

It's somebody else's turn now....

 

Bruce "Budlite" Wiser

 

       11Budlite2006-11-26 07:18:24

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Bruce-

 

 

 

Thanks for that. I have to say that I really appreciate finding out more about the forum participants and their cars. Still catching up on email and posts after a few days away from the computer.

 

 

 

-Al

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Hi there,

 

 

 

I'm new to the forum and don't have a Seven yet, but I keep asking Santa Claus to bring me one. I've always wanted a Seven, but the closest I've ever been was when I parked next to one at the All British Car Day in Dallas.

 

 

 

http://www.ntahc.org/pastevents/2000/AllBrit2000/04300019.jpg

 

 

 

I do Procurement QA at a military aircraft manufactory. Basically, I write hate mail to other companies when they send us bad parts. I usually start out with "Jesus loves you, but Lockheed doesn't...". I know it doesn't sound like much, but my creditors are thrilled about it.

 

 

 

My daily driver is an old Porsche 968, and my little blue car has been gone for several years now. I still miss it, but who knows, maybe this year I'll find a Birkin under the tree (in the yard).

 

 

 

Birkinpilot2006-11-27 18:01:05

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Birkinpilot - Beautiful car!! Was that a Westfield 11? Back when we were saving for/building our house,

 

I wanted one of those in the worst way. One of my all time favorite magazine articles is Peter Egan's "Northeast by Westfield",   http://members.toast.net/joerger/north.html   

 

Hope you get your Christmas wish to replace it!!

 

PS: Hope none of those "bad" parts are Pratt & Whitney parts!

 

 

 

Al - You're welcome!

 

 

 

I can't seem to get the link to work. Sorry, I'm computer illiterate... 11Budlite2006-11-28 04:34:53

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I live in Southern Ontario, Canada.

 

I am 1/2 owner of a company supplying mechanical engineering services, primarily for industrial automation, but some product development as well. One of more interesting customers is Sean Hyland Motorsports were we have helped Sean with the design of some of his products. My companies web address is http://www.appliedkinetics.ca/ for those curious types.

 

 

 

Had spent a number of years racing motorcycles in Canada and the US and managed to win the Ontario and Canadian national battle of the twins class back in 1993. Moved on to racing Superbikes in Canada and FUSA in the states, but only managed a 2nd as my best result. Enjoyed my time racing but gave it up to start my business.

 

 

 

My current hobbies include mountain biking, trail riding dirt bikes, and snowmobiles, but am still missing the track. To rectify this, I've started a project to build up my dream Lotus 7. I've had an infactuation with them ever since high school. As times changed, so have my dreams, but I have settled on putting a Honda S2000 drivetrain into a Birkin. Everyone I've talked to said it can't be done, but by my measurements it should be possible, but will require a lot of work. The engine itself doesn't fit too bad once the right side engine bay diagonal brace is removed. It will need to be dry sumped and the valve cover cut down a bit to get it to fit with no hood bulge. The transmission is a bit more challenging, but with redoing the tunnel, it is possible. Drivers side foot well width is the biggest challenge. I've currently got the chassis stripped down and most of the design work and FEA analysis done. Wanted to engineer the solution before I start cutting metal so I'd know that it would work in the end. Hopefully the fab work can start over the winter. I'm anxious to get the car on the road, but I'd rather take the time to do it right.

 

 

 

I guess the route I'm taking is a lot more involved then most who go with the Birkin factory recommended drivetrain, but I figure half the fun of these cars is building it and making it your own. Could have started from scratch, but that looked like a lot more work still. Also talked to Dan at Deman quite a bit, but in the end decided to take on the project myself. I guess in time we will see how I make out.

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Thanks B42!

 

 

 

It's pretty amazing to see how this forum has grown over the past year. And even though it's called USA7S, we're getting all international on ourselves.

 

 

 

Other newcomers, please chime in. We don't bite.   And don't forget to say how you found out about USA7s.com (can you tell I'm in advertising?).

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My turn to have a go at this. I am a 29 year old sales rep in the professional beauty industry. Yes I sell shampoo.... I have been in love with 7's for about 15 years. I can't remember where I saw my first one but when I did I said to myself I will own one of those one day. When I graduated from Highschool my parents took me to England for a month. we rented a car and drove the country. At the time I was really into Merkur XR4TI's and Ford Sierras. We went to some junk yards and some chop shops and bought some parts and then the highlight of the trip. We went to the Caterham factory. It was by no means the most impressive place I have ever been. It was like a 5000 square foot warehouse. But all the cars and the race cars they had simply made me want a 7 even more. While there the guy who gave us the tour told me to stand on top of a work bench and look over the wall to the other part of the facility. I looked at him and said "what's over there?" he said "just take a look." I looked over the wall and there was the very first Caterham 21. After this whole trip I came back and I wanted a 7 so bad but I 18 and poor. I plugged away with my Merkur for another 10 years building the greatest XR4TI ever as far as I am concerned. I then saw Alec Lichtmans car for sale and went out to Maryland to visit a client and looked at the car. I came home and called Alec and we made the deal. I will be picking up my 7 in 10 days and believe me I can't wait. Unfortunately I probably won't be able to drive it until spring because it is so cold here. But at least I have finally got my 7. The downfall is my wife said I have to sell the XR4TI if I am buying a new toy. I have completely dismantled and sold for parts the car I just spent 12 years building. I wanted a 7 that bad.

 

 

 

Happy Holidays to all,

 

      Robert O. Urfer II

 

      Toledo, Ohio

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I have completely dismantled and sold for parts the car I just spent 12 years building. I wanted a 7 that bad.

 

 

 

Happy Holidays to all,

 

      Robert O. Urfer II

 

      Toledo, Ohio

 

 

 

Yup, you got the bug bad.

 

 

 

I could've sold my other baby to buy a nicer Seven, but didn't have the heart to do it.

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Robert,

 

 

 

Sorry you had to sacrifice your built XR4ti to your Seven dream. I own a 1995 Ford Escort RS Coswoth 4X4, and I imagine that your XR4ti had some engine and mechanical parts in common. What modifications had you made to your XR4ti?

 

 

 

 

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