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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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      EB110Americana
      • 10 Months Ago
      It would be great to see someone build replicas or find classic examples of Lotus 1-through-7 and put them on display in a museum.
      tbird57w
      • 10 Months Ago
      zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
      sparecr
      • 10 Months Ago
      Actually check out www.barbermuseum.org. Largest collestion of Lotus racecars in the world. Now at 52. (is you do a quick search on Autoblog for Lotus Mark X, just a few weeks back you can see the car they just finished restoring. The collection include a replica Mark I and II, does not include a Mark II (yet) and has the only Mark IV ever constructed. Lotus never made a mark V other than a drawing and again Barber has 3 Mark Vi's.. All this in good old Birmingham, AL. The true Mark VII became the Clairmont Special. The Mark VIII - Mark X were rebodied reengined Mark Vi's. The Lotus Seven as discussed above actually came after the Lotus Eleven. The Lotus Seven being no more than Eleven with the smooth aero body stripped off. I will admit I am the guy who restore the cars at Barber and am mentioned in the above referenced article. So I kind of know my Lotus history.
      James Hoyt
      • 10 Months Ago
      I'm restoring a 1973 Lotus Europa Twin Cam Special (only 3100 made in a 5 year production run)This is my 2nd Europa the first was a S1 1969 (only 676 made) These cars handle like a CAT. Getting into one is like putting on a condom in the dark for the first time. I have been catapulted off a aircraft carrier while stationed on board the USS Forrestal CVA59 as the fly boys will tell you "It's the most exciting thing you will ever do with your cloths on". The Lotus comes in 2nd. www.fieldofdreamsrestorations.com
      Masterskrain
      • 10 Months Ago
      KAR 120C