All modern Caterhams are based on the Lotus Seven – a small, lightweight roadster developed by Colin Chapman back in 1957. That car has evolved into an entire range of models, spanning from the new, affordable 160, shown below in the latest video from XCAR, to the maniacal 620R.

Over the years, the Seven has come to be a known quantity among auto enthusiasts. What isn't as well known is the origin of the Seven and the cars that came before it. As XCAR points out, "What happened to [the Seven's] earlier ancestors? What happened to the Lotus numbered one through six?" The answer probably isn't what you'd expect.

Scroll down for a great look at unique motorsport that inspired Colin Chapman's earliest efforts in the latest video from XCAR.

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