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Lotus 7

When it came to minimalsim. it was hard to beat the Seven, which was supposedly sketched out by Colin Chapman on the back of a napkin. Despite its utter lack of creature comforts the car has always been hugely popular thanks to a raft of copycat designs, plus the official continuation model courtesy of Caterham. The key to the Seven’s success is its light weight; the result of a car that offers electrifying performance without the need for a huge, thirsty engine. Who needs more?

Any Seven sold with assembly instructions was subject to purchase tax. So cars came with details of how to dismantle a Seven – which could be read in reverse…

The first Sevens had Ford side-valve engines, but Coventry Climax and Lotus twin-cam units came later, before the project was sold to Caterham in 1973.