Lotus 7 dream comes true

NATASHA THYNE
Last updated 13:52 30/07/2014

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It took almost 50 years, but Andrew Lush is the proud owner of his dream car.

It all started back in England when he was 8 years old and saw a Lotus 7 parked outside his school.

"Being a young, impressionable schoolboy who followed motor racing, I had to have one."

Unfortunately it didn't happen until 2012, when he was able to buy his turquoise replica Lotus 7. Lotus 7s are small two-seater sports cars with an open top, first produced by Lotus Cars between 1957 and 1972.

After Lotus Cars ended production of the Lotus 7, Caterham Cars bought the rights and produced kit-set cars based on the original Lotus 7 design.

A number of other replicas were produced, including those by New Zealand companies McGregor Motorsport, Fraser Cars and Leitch Motorsport and Restoration, all of which are still called Lotus by enthusiasts, said Lush.

Lush purchased his Leitch model from a Christchurch vendor. He is the third owner of this particular kit-set car, built between 1990 and 2003, and bought it because it was a more

traditional design.

"They've all got their own personality and all got their own design ... The reason I got mine was because it's more old school, with the clam shell mud covers."

His model has a Ford 1600GT Kent Crossflow motor from the early 70s with a 711M block. It has running twin 40mm Dellorto side-draught carburettors.

It has 120 Brake Horsepower (BHP) and the same fuel economy as a jumbo jet.

Lush said he tried to take the car - which is "exhilarating" to drive and corners like a "house fly" - out as much as he can in summer.

The car is also popular among members of the public.

Lush used to own stretch limos and Rolls-Royces for his wedding hire company, but the Lotus gains more attention than they ever did.

"[I] get swarms of people on it taking photos, just unbelievable."

There is a Lotus 7 club in New Zealand. If other Lotus owners are interested in getting together contact Lush on 03 615 9330.

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- The Timaru Herald

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