Lotus 7

In 1957, Lotus launched the Colin Chapman designed Lotus 7, a small, simple, lightweight two-seater roadster. The original Lotus 7 was highly successful due to its attraction as a road-legal car that could be used for clubman racing.

Colin Chapman was a bit offhand about the Lotus 7, saying, "There wasn't much to it really. It was all well-known stuff, the sort of thing you could dash off in a weekend." While he was modest about it, the Lotus 7 indeed was a bareboned roadster, very unsophisticated, and existed for the pure thrill of driving fast.

In 1973, Lotus decided to dump the Lotus 7 and make up-market sports cars and the racing cars it was well known for. However, the Lotus 7 was so popular, it could carry on, even without the Lotus name. So Lotus struck a deal to allow Caterham to continue building the 7. They have continued to develop the 7 from its basic roots, trying out wider bodies, powerful forced-induction engines and more sophisticated suspension. 

Today, Caterham 7 is still sold, although it's nothing like the Lotus 7 of the past with modern updates and safety tech. Nevertheless, you can still identify the lightweight design features that made the 7 famous when released in the 1950s.

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