Independent rear suspension

Independent rear suspension

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Discussion

PiersR

98 posts

120 months

Friday 4th December 2020
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I believe that Lotus licenced the 7 to be made in South America - Argentina and also Spain. According to Legend of the 7 by Dennis Ortenburger, not much is known about the South American build. Lotus provided the rolling chassis and Fiat 1500 engine was the power unit.

The Spanish 7 was made in 1975 by Hispano-Aleman and called the Mallorca. The engine was Seat. Only a few cars built and non exported - at the time the book was written in 1981.

Then there was cars built in New Zealand under licence - series 4 with a 907 engine..

Then there were cars built in the Netherlands by Donervoort and he was the Caterham agent. I don't think they were built under licence.

Then there is the DSK 7 made in the USA. Initially using Lotus parts, then building their own.

I am not sure about Birkin is South Africa. Did they get a licence?

I found this: Since the 1980s, Birkin has expanded several times, but has kept its base of operations near Durban in KwaZulu-Natal. Cars are currently sold through dealers around the world in the United States, Japan, and across Europe.[2] The car can be purchased as either a turn-key car, or as a DIY kit, that can be completed by the owner. Several inline 4 cylinder engines, such as the Ford Zetec[3] and Toyota 4AG can be used in the vehicle. Further developments to the car include using an independent rear suspension as opposed to the previously used live axle.



Edited by PiersR on Friday 4th December 10:45


Edited by PiersR on Friday 4th December 10:48

ken46

18 posts

5 months

Friday 4th December 2020
quotequote all
HustleRussell said:
Birkin.
No,not Birkin. Birkin was an illegal rip-off of Chapman's original design. When Lotus stopped making the 7, manufacturing rights were sold to their agents, Caterham Cars in England and Steel Bros.in New Zealand. Steel Bros.ceased production of the 7 (S4) in '79, leaving Caterham as the - as far as I'm aware - sole manufacturer of the original Lotus 7. So if your car was not built by Lotus or Caterham or Steel Bros.,and you describe it as a 7, whom was it made by?

PiersR

98 posts

120 months

Friday 4th December 2020
quotequote all
I just found this on the Total Kit Car web site:

Motorcycle racing guru, Russell Savory, had a period of marketing the Birkin range here several years ago although this didn’t develop as everyone hoped and as recently as last autumn rumours of a new operation for these shores abounded although these too came to nought.

So if this "7" was built by Russel Savory, it would be to a very high standard.

Edited by PiersR on Friday 4th December 12:53

DCL

1,141 posts

143 months

Friday 4th December 2020
quotequote all
ken46 said:
No,not Birkin. Birkin was an illegal rip-off of Chapman's original design. When Lotus stopped making the 7, manufacturing rights were sold to their agents, Caterham Cars in England and Steel Bros.in New Zealand. Steel Bros.ceased production of the 7 (S4) in '79, leaving Caterham as the - as far as I'm aware - sole manufacturer of the original Lotus 7. So if your car was not built by Lotus or Caterham or Steel Bros.,and you describe it as a 7, whom was it made by?
Birkin is probably nearer the original Lotus 7 than the Caterham itself. Caterham bought rights to the 7 in the UK, but the various legal cases that followed determined they had not acquired the rights in South Africa (and probably many other places in the world too). So there are copies of the Lotus 7 around the world that have just as much right to use name and number as Caterham, and are possibly closer to the original 7.

Edit to add, they were also sold through Lotus dealers, so I guess it was sanctioned by Lotus, and probably a similar vague deal to that which Caterham had in the UK.


Edited by DCL on Friday 4th December 14:09

ken46

18 posts

5 months

Friday 4th December 2020
quotequote all
Pretty good! I like the look of this car so I'll just copy it without contributing to the design and development costs and call it a seven. Sure the Birkin's not made in China?

PiersR

98 posts

120 months

Friday 4th December 2020
quotequote all
Birkin Cars, Ltd. is a South African -based car manufacturer. The company's specialty and only currently-produced vehicle is the S3 Roadster, a kit-car copy of the Lotus Super 7. The founder and owner of the company is John Watson, a descendant of pioneering race car driver Tim Birkin . Birkin Cars was formed in 1982. Aug 6 2019
Birkin Cars - Wikipedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birkin_Cars
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birkin_Cars

PiersR

98 posts

120 months

Friday 4th December 2020
quotequote all
PiersR said:
Birkin Cars, Ltd. is a South African -based car manufacturer. The company's specialty and only currently-produced vehicle is the S3 Roadster, a kit-car copy of the Lotus Super 7. The founder and owner of the company is John Watson, a descendant of pioneering race car driver Tim Birkin . Birkin Cars was formed in 1982. Aug 6 2019
Birkin Cars - Wikipedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birkin_Cars
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birkin_Cars
I don't think they are made in China. However, I have an old business pal who lives just outside Durban, near their factory and I will ask him. Funnily enough, when I last visited him a few years ago, I saw a 7 close to his house and assumed it was a Caterham. I suspect it was a Birkin now.

HustleRussell

19,050 posts

124 months

Friday 4th December 2020
quotequote all
ken46 said:
HustleRussell said:
Birkin.
No,not Birkin. Birkin was an illegal rip-off of Chapman's original design. When Lotus stopped making the 7, manufacturing rights were sold to their agents, Caterham Cars in England and Steel Bros.in New Zealand. Steel Bros.ceased production of the 7 (S4) in '79, leaving Caterham as the - as far as I'm aware - sole manufacturer of the original Lotus 7. So if your car was not built by Lotus or Caterham or Steel Bros.,and you describe it as a 7, whom was it made by?
It's not my car we're talking about, calm your tits.

DCL

1,141 posts

143 months

Friday 4th December 2020
quotequote all
I think Colin Chapman was very good at networking with his racing friends. I am sure that there were many gentlemen's 'agreements' and 'understandings' to build the Seven at several locations across the globe. Graham Nearn clearly had agreement to produce it in the UK but actively attempted to close down as many other constructors as possible. Birkin won the case Caterham brought against them as there was sufficient evidence to show BIrkin had legitimate right to manufacture a Seven in South Africa.

Circumstantial evidence suggests the Tom Birkin family (a racing family) would be well connected Colin Chapman and Lotus. They also started production of the Birkin before before Chapman's death and sold them through Lotus dealers. I'm not sure that would have been possible without some legitimacy.

ken46

18 posts

5 months

Friday 4th December 2020
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HustleRussel: I was replying to both you and 'the av8er' in the same post. Sorry for the confusion.

PiersR

98 posts

120 months

Thursday 31st December 2020
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Interesting that no response from AV8er

W11PEL

666 posts

127 months

Saturday 16th January
quotequote all
the av8er said:
Well.
After a little research and a lot of thought I've decided to stick to the 7 I have.
Be nice to own something new or nearly new but having looked about, I realise that my car is better built, better finished and definitely better spec,ed than nearly anything available. Also it's still mint.

Changing it would be a step down, though as it's not made by caterham I'm sure some of you would automatically disagree.
I wouldn't be seen dead in a snide Seven copy.

The Caterham is the true legal authorised DNA successor to the Lotus 7.

To say a Caterham is too expensive is EXACTLY the same argument I hear day in day out with Brompton bikes.

I have a Brompton and I have a new Caterham coming. The car handles superb on the De Dion rear end.

if you can't afford Notting Hill then don't moan if you have to live in Romford.


Equus

10,792 posts

65 months

Sunday 17th January
quotequote all
W11PEL said:
I wouldn't be seen dead in a snide Seven copy.

The Caterham is the true legal authorised DNA successor to the Lotus 7.

To say a Caterham is too expensive is EXACTLY the same argument I hear day in day out with Brompton bikes.

I have a Brompton and I have a new Caterham coming. The car handles superb on the De Dion rear end.

if you can't afford Notting Hill then don't moan if you have to live in Romford.
A really top class example of the snobbery that turns people off Caterham as a marque.

All it does is single you out as a brand-obsessed idiot with more money than sense (sadly commonplace in the Caterham community - indeed more so than any other marque I can think of).

Murph7355

28,837 posts

220 months

Monday 18th January
quotequote all
Equus said:
A really top class example of the snobbery that turns people off Caterham as a marque.

All it does is single you out as a brand-obsessed idiot with more money than sense (sadly commonplace in the Caterham community - indeed more so than any other marque I can think of).
A little harsh and I'm not convinced the Caterham community are the worst in this respect (Porsche and Ferrari circles are hardly free of it smile).

The wording of the poster you replied to may have been poor, but I know where he's coming from. When I decided to buy one (25yrs ago now) only a Caterham would do. Not because money was no object, but the history, success of the product, the aesthetic etc etc etc. The "brand" covers all aspects of these sort of things.

These cars are all fripperies. Many would consider spending any amount on any 7 type car a bit "more money than sense" stupidity.

Equus

10,792 posts

65 months

Monday 18th January
quotequote all
Murph7355 said:
A little harsh and I'm not convinced the Caterham community are the worst in this respect (Porsche and Ferrari circles are hardly free of it smile)
It was a considered statement: Porsche and Ferrari owners don't even come close. You won't get anything like the level of snobbery from (say) a Ferrari owner against Lamborghini or whoever.

A percentage of Caterham owners are so far up themselves over what is ultimately just another kit car that it's comical.

Sure, it has evolved from one originally built (but not, in S3 form, designed) by Colin Chapman, but when you knew enough about Chapman and his attitude to, ahem, 'value engineering' his road cars to maximise profit at his customers' cost, you wouldn't see that as much of a recommendation.

I speak as someone who has owned many genuine, Lotus-built cars from the Chapman era.

And the way Caterham themselves have evolved the design (some of their solutions being bodges that would have Chapman spinning in his grave), along with simple changes to accommodate rising performance, mean that the way it drives has little in common with the Lotus-built variants in any case.

Edited by Equus on Monday 18th January 15:20

W11PEL

666 posts

127 months

Monday 18th January
quotequote all
Equus said:
W11PEL said:
I wouldn't be seen dead in a snide Seven copy.

The Caterham is the true legal authorised DNA successor to the Lotus 7.

To say a Caterham is too expensive is EXACTLY the same argument I hear day in day out with Brompton bikes.

I have a Brompton and I have a new Caterham coming. The car handles superb on the De Dion rear end.

if you can't afford Notting Hill then don't moan if you have to live in Romford.
A really top class example of the snobbery that turns people off Caterham as a marque.

All it does is single you out as a brand-obsessed idiot with more money than sense (sadly commonplace in the Caterham community - indeed more so than any other marque I can think of).
Snob?

Hmm OK Mr "I'm a Director of Chartered Architects & Planning Consultancy". You are having a laugh!! You call me an idiot? More money that sense. Err OK.

There is only one true Rolex Submariner. That's the reason the residuals are cast iron. All copies are simply that. A fake replica. I have no problem with that but I wouldn't want a copy of anything.








Equus

10,792 posts

65 months

Monday 18th January
quotequote all
W11PEL said:
That's the reason the residuals are cast iron.
The residuals aren't cast iron - that's another regular point of self-delusion among Caterham owners.

If you look at depreciation vs. time, they're great.

If you look at depreciation vs. mileage (ie. actually using the thing, instead of just polishing it), not so much.

And if you look at the actual amount of money lost in £ and pence, not as a percentage, many other Locaterfield types do better.

You're really not doing either yourself or the marque any favours. smile

Murph7355

28,837 posts

220 months

Tuesday 19th January
quotequote all
Equus said:
....
A percentage of Caterham owners are so far up themselves over what is ultimately just another kit car that it's comical....
The same thing goes in Porsche and Ferrari circles IME.

Fortunately the percentages aren't huge (IME) and there are some incredibly nice people involved in them all. Key is not to take the minority or the hobby that seriously and to find circles to hang around in that suit what you want from it.

Equus said:
...
If you look at depreciation vs. mileage (ie. actually using the thing, instead of just polishing it), not so much....
Sadly something that also afflicts a lot of fun cars.

Was never that bothered myself. Like you say, you buy these things to use them otherwise what's the point. (And I've never enjoyed cleaning cars smile).

HustleRussell

19,050 posts

124 months

Wednesday 20th January
quotequote all
Equus said:
W11PEL said:
I wouldn't be seen dead in a snide Seven copy.

The Caterham is the true legal authorised DNA successor to the Lotus 7.

To say a Caterham is too expensive is EXACTLY the same argument I hear day in day out with Brompton bikes.

I have a Brompton and I have a new Caterham coming. The car handles superb on the De Dion rear end.

if you can't afford Notting Hill then don't moan if you have to live in Romford.
A really top class example of snobbery
I agree with this part of your post.

As for the rest, I would invite you to read the fifty or so posts in this thread prior to W11PEL’s contribution. I don’t think anybody else was snobby about the brand and you are now attempting to tar all of those other contributors with the same brush.

In fact this entire thread has been carried by a Seven owner asserting the inferiority of the Caterham compared to his particular Seven, and nobody is calling him a ‘snob’.

W11PEL

666 posts

127 months

Wednesday 20th January
quotequote all
Conversely I'm reading this debate differently.

The basic sentiment here is that Caterham's are too expensive new and that the rear suspension set up it not considered acceptable in comparison to IRS on a Westfield.

A new Morgan Plus Four with a few mandatory options is circa £70k. Now I think that is a pretty punchy figure. However times move on and both the Caterham and Morgan are specialist vehicles going back many years.

I am not a snob. I happen to want a Caterham and not a Westfield. Anyone wanting a Caterham does not have to justify their decision to all and sundry. Any car will have some kind of competitor in its field that offers better (perceived) value and better engineering solutions. A Caterham's handling is sublime. The DeDion rear end seems to be excellent and works perfectly well. It's not like A 50's Beetle or Triumph Herald which providers lethal snap oversteer when the camber goes horribly out of whack. The back end on a Caterham works. In fact it works extremely well. So what if it doesn't have double wishbone rear IRS? Take a look at Chris Harris driving a Caterham a few years back. He is gushing praise for the way it goes. Not kicking it in the nads because it perhaps could be better.

A Brompton is an expensive bike for what it is. There are other cycles but none are a Brompton. They are made in the UK. If they were made in say China then the price could be posted at say 50% of what they retail for. But they are built here and the costs are commensurate.

What I find amusing is that armchair experts think a Caterham is expensive. Well so is a Sports Rolex.

For real liberty taking take a look at supercar option prices. £40k for some carbon interior options on a Ferrari. £20k for special paint over standard offerings. An oil change on a Veyron is about £20k which is outrageous. A roof scoop option on a McLaren 675LT is/was circa £35k.

On that basis I don't think an entire hand built British sports/racing car is too bad value give the above.









Edited by W11PEL on Wednesday 20th January 18:23