Today we took delivery of a British Racing Green 1962 Lotus Seven, #SB1290. We completely lucked out on this historic find thanks to Geoff Wise, a friend from
California who has one of the nicest original Sevens on the planet.
This particular machine left the Lotus factory on July 28, 1961 and was sold to a J. Bedford, who lived less than a mile from Buckingham Palace.
Sometime during 1963 or 1964, #SB1290 was listed for sale by Ian Raby Racing Ltd. and his Empire Motors firm in Brighton, England and sold to Willis Welden of Pennsylvania. If you ever get a chance, do some proper research on Raby, he co-drove LeMans with Jack Brabham, was a top small Formula driver in the 1950s, and was a well respected Formula 2 driver until his death at Zandvoort in 1967.
The Seven was originally painted green with cycle-type front fenders, which were immediately changed upon its arrival in the US.
From 1964-1968, Willis Welden raced the Seven in SCCA regionals, nationals and Autosprints in the Northeast. He also ran and finished the Marlboro 6 Hr. event with the car, which was thought by many to be too tough for the fragile Lotus.
From 1969 through 2008 the car was a top hill climb and autocross racer in the northeast, taking many top honors at various competitions.
Since 2008, it has been a street machine for two subsequent owners. We'll mainly use it on the street, but we know of a few events that it would be an absolute delight for.
We are planning many upgrades in the name of safety and reliability over the cold Wisconsin winter. Expect to see it on the roads in the Kettle Moraine region before too long.