This morning we received a wonderful email from Jim Sieling, who purchased #SB1290 from Willis Welden (who also sent a wonderful email this morning) in 1968 after he witnessed Welden dominate the D-Production race at the Reading, PA Airport Races. The photo seen here is SB1290 as it entered his garage, still painted metalic green with the yellow band from Welden's ownership.
Sieling went on to autocross the car until the mid 1970s, when he parked it to help raise his family, and then got it out for one last run at the 2008 Hershey Vintage Hillclimb.
Like Welden's time with the Lotus, it often took top honors in Sieling's hands.
And like that, many, many years of wrongs are about to be corrected for Lotus Seven #SB1290.
Its going to be an absolutely superb driver when finished, mainly on the road. As expected, many Paul Jay upgrades are in order, along with a slew of recommendations that have come from friends in the Seven community. Our friend Mark is going to help with its rebuild, as he enjoys cars that are ultimately packed with enjoyment potential.
Many giggles are enroute.
Jim was a cool guy, always came up to us on the grid to tell us how happy he was to see a DGF in the Formula Ford field.
He was a driving coach extraordinaire, and behind the wheel won the 24 Hours of Daytona, among many other wins.
He also famously back flipped a Shadow at RA this past summer. We made sure to tell him it was nice to see him right side up at the fall VSCDA event.
That made him laugh. That was our last interaction.
Made the final fitment of the Elden Mk10b nose. PJ primed it yesterday and fixed the bottom seam that all Elden Mk10b's seem to have an issue with. Next up: blue.
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.