Most common eras
Historic Classics
East Sussex

Tel:  01825 831028
LIVE adverts (11)

1959 Lotus 7 S1 Exceedingly rare with period competition history For Sale

1959 Lotus 7 Series One

Colin Chapman’s Lotus Seven is a true icon and this exceedingly rare Series One boasts fantastic period competition history.

Exceedingly rare Lotus Seven Series One
One of approximately just 243 built
Period competition history
Recently discovered period pictures & footage
The origin of the ‘Seven’ phenomenon
Highly eligible for historic motorsport
Infectiously enjoyable as a road car too

Supremely rare and with period competition history, this is a stunning example of Lotus’s diminutive yet indomitable Seven.

The originator of a new and enduring genre of car, the Lotus Seven opened up motorsport to make it a hobby for the many and not just the few. Like the Mini and Jaguar E-Type, the Seven is a Great British icon and a household name, immediately recognisable the world over by everyone from children to their grandparents.

Sevens dominated club racing in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and with Team Lotus starting to give the established ‘scuderias’ cause for concern internationally, the fever to go racing was rife for Lotus’s in-house stores man Jay “J.J.” Hall. Astonishingly our research into this car led us in early 2020 to catch up with Jay, who is now in his 80s, and discover the story of this Lotus direct from the source.

Jay started working for Lotus in 1958 and, like all new recruits, was told upon his induction not to have any wild fantasies about ‘staff discounts’. So when the itch to race needed scratching, Jay and some likeminded and highly talented colleagues sought to build their own cars instead. Led by renowned car designer Len Terry, the group’s resulting sports car specials were known as the Terriers and they proved very effective. Too effective, in fact. Several wins and podiums not only upset Lotus owners, who disliked being beaten by something built by the factory workers, but Colin Chapman himself was furious. Len Terry was fired over the fiasco and, on the advice of Mike Costin, Jay sold his Terrier back to Len so that he could “build a demon Seven instead.”

Jay ordered this Seven as a complete set of un-assembled parts from Lotus Components, which was an option many Seven owners took as it saved the new car purchase tax that was applied to a car completed by the manufacturer, and was released from Lotus’s new Cheshunt factory on 20th November 1959 – Jay’s birthday. Lotus had moved its operations from Hornsey earlier in the year and Jay had found accommodation at the nearby White Horse Inn, negotiating the use of its garage in the process, and it was here that Lotus Seven chassis No.787 was delivered after Jay had pulled a favour from Lotus’s van driver.

Jay also persuaded Hertfordshire’s registration office to allocate him the very appropriate registration number ‘787 JJH’ – the car’s chassis number, followed by his initials!

All that was left to do was build it. The build was gradual, using spare weekends and evenings, and completed with the help of Lotus colleagues who all helped each other build their various projects. Jay would later ease the financial burden by selling a share in the car to colleagues Peter Hutcheon in 1960 and Mark Roberts in 1961.

A ‘Series F’ car this Seven was fitted with the ubiquitous and reliable Ford 100E engine and 3-speed gearbox, and its 40bhp was more than enough to make this sub-500kg Lotus a real giant-killer. Once built, all that the Lotus needed was a livery and Jay commissioned sign-writer Roy Elmore to replicate the scheme adorning his traditional pudding bowl crash helmet: pale blue with a central white stripe.

Jay and his ‘shareholder’ Peter Hutcheon spent their first three race meetings finding their feet at Silverstone over May & June 1960 and, in this evocatively innocent era, taught themselves to drive quickly using the a book called ‘How to Drive a Racing Car.” This culminated in a 5th place for Jay in the 10-lap scratch race on 18th June. Jay and Peter continued entering as many events as possible throughout the summer and into September and even entered the hotly contested 1172cc Chapman Trophy series. Their exploits were captured in a number of stunning images, a film recording and a few column inches in Autosport. By the end of 1960, 787 JJH’s scorecard read: one win at Silverstone, a third at Snetterton and 12 further top-ten finishes.

Having campaigned no fewer than 26 races, 787 JJH required some attention in preparation for 1961. Mark Roberts, Jay’s best friend at Lotus, took over Peter Hutcheon’s share and as an extraordinary engineer helped Jay improve the Seven by canting over & boring its engine. Mark Roberts went on to found his eponymous film and TV camera company, which was awarded an Oscar for its innovation before being acquired by Nikon.

The time spent working on the Seven left little time to race it in 1961, but Jay and Mark crammed in no fewer than 10 race meetings between August and October. The highlight was Jay taking his first win at Mallory Park.

A full list of race results can be seen below.

Jay sold the Seven after 1961, a consequence he says of getting married, but a chance encounter saw him reunited with it a few years later in Brighton, where he’d gone to see the finishers arrive from the Veteran Car Run and recognised ‘his’ Lotus parked on the seafront. From that point in the mid 1960s, the Seven relocated to Scandinavia and was the property of Mr. Per Roxlin by 1985. Recognising it as a rare and very special Series One, Roxlin undertook a full restoration of the Lotus and upgraded it to ‘Series A’ specification with the celebrated BMC ‘A’ series 1098cc engine and 4-speed gearbox. The bodywork was carried out by Williams & Pritchard no less, who were the original coachbuilders for Lotus.

Repatriated in 1995 by classic car dealer and AC Cobra specialist Rod Leach, the Seven was in a private collection for around 20 years before we were able to acquire it.

Hugely eligible for historic motorsport today, the Series One is the purest, prettiest and most coveted of the breed. An immensely fun road car too and, with period competition history to boot, this is a charming example of the iconic Lotus Seven.


1960 Race Results

21-May-60
Silverstone AMOC (Event D, Race 1) 10 lap Handicap Sports Cars up to 1600cc
J.J. Hall
87

11-Jun-60
Silverstone Eight Clubs 5 lap Scratch
J.J. Hall
149

Silverstone Eight Clubs 5 lap Handicap
Peter Hutcheon
149

18-Jun-60
Silverstone NSCC (Event 6) 10 lap Scratch Sports Cars 1101cc & over
J.J Hall
44

Silverstone NSCC (Event 7) 10 lap Scratch 1200sv/ 1000ohv
J.J. Hall
44
5th

26-Jun-60
Brands Hatch Trio (Race 2, Heat 1) 5 lap 1172cc Formula
J.J. Hall
62
10th

Brands Hatch Trio (Race 12) 7 lap Lotus 6s & 7s
Peter Hutcheon
139
5th

Brands Hatch Trio (Race 16, Heat 2) 7 lap 1172cc Formula
J.J. Hall
62
8th

02-Jul-60
Silverstone MCC (Event 6) 10 lap 1172cc Formula
J.J. Hall
255
9th

Silverstone MCC (Event 9) 5 lap Handicap
Peter Hutcheon
281
1st

Silverstone MCC (Event 11) 10 lap Scratch Unlimited
Peter Hutcheon
281
6th

23-Jul-60
Oulton Park L&CCC (Event 1b) Half-Hour High Speed Trial
Peter Hutcheon
55
DNQ

Oulton Park L&CCC (Event 2) 10 lap Scratch 1200sv/ 1000ohv
Peter Hutcheon
55
14th

Oulton Park L&CCC (Event 6) 10 lap Scratch Sports Cars up to 2-litres
J.J. Hall
64
15th

Oulton Park L&CCC (Event 7) 7 lap 1172cc Formula
J.J. Hall
64
6th

31-Jul-60
Snetterton 750MC (Event 1, Heat 2) 1172cc Formula
Peter Hutcheon
14
3rd

Snetterton 750MC (Event 1, Final) 1172cc Formula
Peter Hutcheon
14
7th

13-Aug-60
Silverstone 750MC Birkett 6 Hour Relay
J.J. Hall (Club Lotus 1172)
28C
13th

21-Aug-60
Snetterton WECC (Event 6) 7 lap 1172cc Formula
J.J. Hall
118
7th

27-Aug-60
Silverstone AMOC
Peter Hutcheon

03-Sep-60
Silverstone SUNBAC (Event 5, Heat) 6 lap Handicap
J.J. Hall
42

Silverstone SUNBAC (Event 7) 6 lap Scratch Sports Cars under 1200cc
J.J. Hall
42
13th

Silverstone SUNBAC (Event 10) 6 lap 1172cc Formula
Peter Hutcheon
42
6th

17-Sep-60
Silverstone PMC (Event 4) 5 lap Handicap 1101-2000cc
Peter Hutcheon
145
7th

Silverstone PMC (Event 9) 7 lap Scratch 1101-2000cc
J.J. Hall
145
7th

Silverstone PMC (Event 12) 5 lap 1172cc Formula
J.J. Hall
145
Ret.


1961 Race Results


06-Aug-61
Snetterton 750MC (Event 1, Heat 1) 5 lap 1172cc Formula
Mark Roberts
185
8th

Snetterton 750MC (Event 3) 7 lap 1100-1500cc
J.J. Hall
93
Ret.

Snetterton 750MC (Event 2, Final) 1172cc Formula
Mark Roberts
185
DNS

07-Aug-61
Mallory Park NSCC (Event 5) 10 lap Sports Cars up to 1172cc
J.J. Hall
57
1st

12-Aug-61
Silverstone 750MC Birkett 6 Hour Relay
J.J. Hall
15F
13th

26-Aug-61
Oulton Park 750MC/ CMC (Event 1) Half Hour Speed Trial
Mark Roberts
24
12 laps

Oulton Park 750MC/ CMC (Event 2) 7 lap 1172cc Formula
J.J. Hall
24
10th

Oulton Park 750MC/ CMC (Event 4) 7 lap Unlimited Sports Cars
J.J. Hall
24
15th

02-Sep-61
Silverstone SUNBAC (Event A) up to 1200cc
J.J. Hall

Silverstone SUNBAC (Event E) 1172cc Formula
Mark Roberts

Silverstone SUNBAC (Event G) Half Hour Speed Trial
Mark Roberts

16-Sep-61
Silverstone PMC (Event 4) 10 lap Handicap
Mark Roberts
DNS: too many entries

Silverstone PMC (Event 8) 7 lap 1101-2000cc
J.J. Hall

Silverstone PMC (Event 10) 5 lap 1172cc Formula
J.J. Hall

23-Sep-61
Silverstone NSMC (Event 2) 7 lap 1172cc Formula
J.J. Hall
47
5th

Silverstone NSMC (Event 3) 7 lap Sports/ Racing Cars up to 1600cc
Mark Roberts
47
Ret.

Silverstone NSMC (Event 9) 5 lap Handicap
J.J. Hall
47
13th
30-Sep-61

Oulton Park L&CCC (Event 1a) Half Hour Speed Trial
J.J. Hall
31
Ret.

Oulton Park L&CCC (Event 3)
Mark Roberts
31
DNS

Oulton Park L&CCC (Event 7) 10 laps Cars up to 2000cc
J.J. Hall
31
DNS

Oulton Park L&CCC (Event 8) 1172cc Formula
J.J. Hall
31
DNS

07-Oct-61
Silverstone (GP circuit) 750MC/ AMOC/ 8 Clubs (Event 1) 5 lap 1172cc Formula
J.J. Hall
26
Ret.
This advert has now been removed through sale or otherwise, please see the list below for similar live adverts
Year Make Description Price
Lotus Lotus Elise/Exiges Wanted! Wanted £1,111,111,111
1957 Lotus 1957 LOTUS ELEVEN LEMANS For Sale £240,000
1956 Lotus 1956 LOTUS XI For Sale £180,157
1955 Lotus 1955 Lotus MK9 For Sale £140,000
Lotus URGENTLY REQUIRED Wanted £99,999
2019 Lotus 2019 LOTUS EXIGE CUP 430 TYPE 79 // ONE-OFF ANNIVERSARY EDITION For Sale £94,995
2020 Lotus 2020 LOTUS EVORA GT410, 2 + 2, NEW For Sale £90,800
1964 Lotus 1964 Lotus Elan GTS Race car For Sale £90,000
2021 Lotus 2021 LOTUS EVORA GT 410 2+2 (Brand New Delivery Mileage) For Sale £89,900
2020 Lotus 2020 New Lotus Evora GT410 Sport Pre reg with 0% offer For Sale £87,995
2020 Lotus 2020 Lotus Exige S SPORT 410 For Sale £87,370
1962 Lotus 1962 Lotus Elite Type 14 For Sale £85,000
1959 Lotus 1959 Lotus Elite Type 14 Restored For Sale £85,000
2017 Lotus 2017 Lotus Evora Stratton GT Limited Edition Car No.3 Vat Q For Sale £84,950
2020 Lotus 2020 Lotus Evora Stratton GT Limited Edition Car No.4 Vat Q For Sale £84,950
2017 Lotus 2017 Lotus Evora Stratton GT SWIZZ BEATS Edition No2 Vat Q For Sale £84,950
2021 Lotus 2021 Lotus Exige V6 Sport 410 20th Anniversary For Sale £82,850
2021 Lotus 2021 Lotus Exige 410 Sport 20th Anniversary (NEW CAR) For Sale £82,400
1962 Lotus 1962 Lotus 22 (1962) For Sale £78,750
1961 Lotus 1961 Lotus 20/22 (1961) For Sale £78,050
1964 Lotus 1964 Lotus Elan GTS For Sale £77,500
1981 Lotus 1981 Lotus Esprit Turbo - The Very Best Available. For Sale £75,000
1965 Lotus 1965 Lotus Cortina Mk1 FIA For Sale £69,995
1960 Lotus 1960 Lotus Elite 14, series 1, original numbers. Price lowered! For Sale £69,950
2019 Lotus 2019 Lotus Evora GT410SPORT For Sale £67,995