Sunday, March 30, 2008

Two British Lightweights

When I started researching for my locost build, I'd never seen a real Seven in the flesh. As of the beginning of this month, the closest I'd ever come was checking out Andrew's build-in progress. Fortunately, in the last month I've gotten to check out my two favorite cars (and biggest inspirations) in the flesh...er, metal. Both experiences were carried out with huge child-like grins!



First up was an honest-to-goodness Lotus Seven Series II that I caught at the 2008 12 Hours of Sebring. Actually, there were two of them - a racing and street version. These cars are owned by Paul Stinson. He races the high-output version in the SVRA and SCCA. The street car is his golf-cart substitute for commuting around Sebring!



He was kind enough to let me sit in the street version, which reaffirmed my need to lose weight or build a larger chassis. I was able to catch the car on video as it went out for a recon lap of the Sebring infield.



The best photos I took of both Sevens are up on my Flickr site.

The other car is the ultimate evolution of the the light-and-agile Seven. The Ariel Atom is my favorite car. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I'd drive to pick up my check in this bad boy. This particular Atom was parked nonchalantly at the 2008 Georgia Tech Auto Show.



I could have stared at this car for hours, but I was taking care of my daughter and had to look fast (fortunately pictures last longer). There are so many fantastic details, so many awesome welds and crafty bits of carbon fiber! Everything clearly had a lot of thought put into it. Even if my Locost doesn't go as fast as the Atom (which it certainly won't), I hope that I can put as much effort into the design and construction of my car as the folks at Ariel do in theirs. It's really a stunning car.

The Atom at the show was for sale for the cool price of $79k. It's tempting to sell our house and buy it, but since there are no body panels and no roof it wouldn't be very good to sleep in.

Both of these cars capture everything that is good and holy about sports cars. They're light, agile, responsive and provide the right medicine to treat the current pandemic of bloated, overweight and overwrought sports cars. I hope my locost comes close to their awesome example.

4 comments:

A said...

Series II's are beautiful cars.

Did you get a chance to check out Paul W's stalker 7 at the gatech auto show?

-Andrew (eVox)

William Conway said...

I really didn't get to see the Stalker. Wish I had, Rob said that it was really cool.

Maybe he'll be at the Mitty...

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caGGTgBEGhY

Lotus Seven........ a bug in the grille.

The real one is even faster than this one. The 7 isn't even in the same league.

This doesn't need an "antidote"

William Conway said...

The Caterham R500 Superlight just beat the Bugatti Veyron around Top Gear's test track.

Add lightness, FTW!