I may have to blame the person that gave me the Corgi Lotus Formula 1 Climax toy car when I was only a couple years old. The toy was loved, like all little kids love toys...mouthed and I assume, in short order the little driver, the mirrors and tires were lost or consumed. Colleen has a theory....I swallowed the driver, and it is embedded somewhere in my body yearning to get out and drive his little green Lotus. Not long after getting the little Green Lotus I was given an orange Matchbox Lotus 7S4 which succumbed to the same fate. Both of these toys reside in my collection of Lotus toys in unrestored condition.
My love of British sports cars only grew...wanting a Lotus but could never able to afford a good one, and the ones I could afford were basket cases. I ended up deviating and purchasing my first TVR in 1986. My dreams of racing were just that, dreams. I did not have the resources to pursue it at the time, but enjoying unique British Sports Cars was a reality I could make happen, with the bonus of sharing it with my Dad. In the early 90s I met a fellow Henry Yee who campaigned a Formula 1600, he was looking for an additional crew member so I took up the challenge and joined him for one season. Since I could not afford to race my own car, why not be involved in racing, and crewing was the next best thing.
For the next 16 years I worked and travelled with Formula Continental and Formula B cars running primarily SCCA events. On my free weekends I would autocross or attend track days with my Caterham or Lotus Elise in an attempt to satisfy my desire to race my own car.
In 2010 I decided that it was time for me to be selfish and race my own car... but what should I run? I was set on Vintage racing with the love of the cars, the philosophy of showcasing the cars, and all the sights & sounds, whilst having the attitude of not winning at all cost yet still retaining the competitive feel. The other major factor was Colleen, my wife, who whole heartedly supports my efforts, it would not be possible without her. I was pretty much set on a Lotus as a race car, and considered building one but then came to the conclusion that I want to race, learn the art and craft of racing. I already knew how to fabricate, to build...but don't know if I can drive.
Therefore, in 2012 I decided to start my search in a serious way. After missing out on a couple Lotus Elans, I stumbled on a race prepared 1970 Lotus 7 Series 4, the UGLY DUCK of the Lotus 7 range. The price was good and being a Lotus 7, I already knew the mechanics of it as well as having a spare motor from my Caterham 7. The Lotus 7S4 is a simple and easy to fix car that is relatively inexpensive to operate as it used many common off the shelf production car components. Due to its light weight and suspension design, the Lotus 7 has proven itself over the years as a competent race car platform. One very nice thing about this particular Lotus 7S4 is that it came with its entire history, including build dates and proof of Authenticity from the Lotus Registry.
In Sept 2012 we got the car home and proceeded to update it to meet the VARAC (Vintage Automobile Racing Association of Canada) www.varac.com and CASC (Canadian Automobile Sports Club) www.casc.on.ca regulation. The car previously raced with a SVRA log book in the United States, and was in compliance with SVRA rules and regulations. The VARAC and SCCA regulations are a bit more strict in terms of safety and authenticity, so minor updates were in order. I still did not know if I could drive and I did not have a race licence. So in March 2013 I took the Skip Barber SCCA race school at Laguna Seca in California and then CASC race school at Shannonville, Ontario the following month. I was now officially a novice driver.
2013 was a fantastic season....lots of learning, great venues and fantastic bunch of racers....what more could one ask for.
We have installed a Quaife Limited Slip Differential over the winter in the hopes of reducing the rear inside wheel spin problem...and that is it mechanically....Oh...and I am splurging...purchased new tires and will retire the 8 year old ones that came with the car and that I ran last season on.
See the link below to the VARAC Calendar. We hope to do all of the Ontario races, Waterford Wills and Pittsburgh.