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60th birthday celebrations for the Lotus 7

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Lotus 7 S2, image courtesy the Lotus Seven Register

For six decades, the Lotus 7 has been the Peter Pan of automobiles, refusing to grow up, wear a tie, comb its hair and find a responsible job. In outward appearance, it appears to have changed amazingly little since its launch in 1957, yet under the skin, it’s never ceased being improved upon. In fact, it’s still in production, ranking behind only that other minimalist British icon, the Morgan 4/4, in longevity.

Lotus built about 3,000 examples of the 7 in four series, using a variety of four-cylinder engines from Ford, BMC, and Coventry Climax. In 1973, Lotus sold the design rights to Caterham Cars, which has kept the 7 in continuous production ever since. Over the decades, it has remained absolutely true to its origins as a no-frills, all-fun sports machine.

David LaChance photo, Thompson Vintage Races

Members of Lotus Ltd., North America’s largest Lotus club, will be celebrating the 7’s big birthday at Lotus Owners Gathering 37. which takes place May 19-22 in Birmingham, Alabama. The weekend’s events include hot laps and an autocross at Talladega Superspeedway, a concours, historic racing at Barber Motorsports Park (and a tour of the park’s expanded Lotus collection), and a day-long visit to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

In its native United Kingdom, the 7’s big birthday bash takes place at the Silverstone Classic, to be held July 28-30 at Donington Park Circuit in Leicestershire (which is itself celebrating its 40th birthday). Among the highlights planned is a track parade of more than 100 examples of this forever-young sports car.

You can find Lotus and Caterham 7’s for sale on