Lotus 30/L/7

Known Owners

11/64 – Importer – Duchess Autos Inc, Lotus East Racing, Main St, Millerton, New York, USA

1964 – Newton Davis, New York, USA

1978 – Hans Olaf Rocke, Islamorada, Florida, USA

1979 – Alex Seldon, Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom

1981 – Jeffrey Wakelin, United Kingdom

1981 – Unknown Owner, California, USA

1999 – Mike Paton, California, USA

2001 – Marcel Pund, Galerie Du Darnier, France

2002 Feb – Gerard Marcy, Belgium

2012 Apr -Anthony Schrauwen, Belgium, current owner

Duchess Auto / Newton Davis

This car was originally sold to Duchess Auto, a Chevrolet dealer in Millerton, New York, in November 1964.

Fred Stevenson and Newton Davis (who ran the Lotus Division of Duchess Auto) collected the car at JFK Airport. Peter Pulver, Vice President of the company and a racing driver himself, tested the car at Lime Rock shortly after delivery. Pulver recalls, “The front brakes would overheat, the car would understeer, and you could feel the chassis moving around under you. The hot air from the radiator was exiting the front brakes causing them to overheat. We decided to reroute the air flow, by cutting a full flow vent on the nose, which also corrected the understeer. We also beefed up the frame by spot welding on an extra skin.”1

More photos of this car can be seen here.

Gerri Georgi

It was then raced by Davis in the Nassau Trophy and Govenor’s Cup where he retired in both races.  The car raced in several SCCA events in 1965, notably winning at Lime Rock. Gerry Georgi, a fellow club racer, filled in when Davis was not available.

Years of Storage

The car went into storage at the end of 1965. It has been said it was “more for partying and posing, and the racing was somewhat incidental.” The car was in display condition. In 1978, 
Hans Rocke of Florida briefly owned it.

Alex Seldon wins 1980 Classis Sports Car Champion in 30/L/7

Alex Seldon, Guilford, UK, bought this car in 1979 from the USA and prepared it for vintage car racing. Alex had success in HSCC events with it and won the 1980 Classic Sports Car Championship for its class.

By this point, the car was updated similar to a Series Two, with 15″ wheels, a detachable chassis section, and other improvements. Seldon’s mechanic installed a Ford 289 (a very early Ford Advanced Vehicles GT 40 engine prepared by Stuart Mathieson’s Mathwall Engineering) rated for 380 bhp.
Weber 48 IDA carburetors replaced the Tecalemit-Jackson fuel injection, and the horsepower was now around 350 at 6500 rpm. The car had a restored ZF 5 DS-20 transmission.

The Beautiful Miscalculation

It was sold in 1981 to Jeffrey Wakelin, just before being featured in Doug Nye’s excellent Old Motor article “The Beautiful Miscalculation” in October 1981. Nye shoehorned himself into Alex’s car and did a few laps in it. Seldon remarked that the car was a most enjoyable if demanding car, “though positively evil in the wet.” [footnote]Nye, Doug “Beautiful Miscalculation.” Old Motor. October 1981: p. 41[/footnote] He also commented on how hard the brake pedal initially was, “like hitting a wall with your foot and still nothing happened.” Seldon modified the pedal geometry to improve that situation. He also mentioned that while at the foot of Paddock Hill at Brands Hatch the car bottomed out so bad that the front tires punched holes through the bodywork!

Jeffrey Wakelin

Seldon sold the car to Jeffrey Wakelin in 1981. When Seldon sold the car, it was in gorgeous condition with medium red paint. Wakelin did some racing with it and then put it up for sale the same year.

Missing Again

In 1999, Mike Paton bought it. It stayed three years in California for sale without success.

Rétromobile 2002

It was bought by Marcel Pund (FR) in 2001.  The car was displayed at the Rétromobile show by Pund’s “La Galerie des Damiers” on 2 Feb 2002. Despite being in rather rough cosmetic condition, it sold that same day.

The new buyer, asked to keep the car out of the Rétromobile show. So it stay 2 days at Rétromobile 2002, and was replaced by a Lotus 11.

The full set of photos from the 2002 Retromobile Show is here.

Life in Belgium

The April 2002 issue of Classic and Sports Car has a photo of this car with the following information:

“LOTUS BIG-BANGER FOUND IN BELGIUM

“This fabulous Lotus 30 has been unearthed in Belgium by French dealer Christophe Pund. It had been in storage for 20 years. The car was delivered to Duchess Autos, California on November 11, 1964, and campaigned at Nassau and selected SCCA events. However, it was primarily used for display purposes. By the late ’70s, it was in the keep of Alex Seldon who had the car restored, racing it with some success at HSCC meetings. It subsequently passed to Jeffrey Wakelin, who in turn sold it on. The car is complete, but requires comprehensive restoration. It’s for sale and Pund can be reached on 0033 328 405924.”

The new buyer was Gerard Marcy (BE). The car was restored by Bernard de Dryver between 2003 to 2005.

Current Owner

Anthony Schrauwen of Belgium is the current owner. He’s owned the car since about April 2012.

Here’s a clip of 30/L/7 at Goodwood below. It spins out at 0:48 seconds into the clip!

30/L/7 spins at Goodwood.

Race History

 Date:
YY/MM/DD
Lotus East Racing Entry Number Driver ResultComment
64/12/04Governor’s Trophy, Nassau, Bahamas#33N.DavisRtd11 laps
64/12/06Nassau Trophy, Bahamas#33N.DavisRtd28 laps
65/02/28Daytona Continental 2000#39N.Davis/A.JohnsonDNAdid not arrive
65/04/17Lime Rock, SCCA Regional#14N.Davis1stCM Class Race
65/05/01Lime Rock, SCCA Regional#14N.Davis7thCM Class Race
65/05/16Cumberland, SCCA National#33N.Davis3rdCM Class Race
65/05/23Vanderbilt Cup, Bridgehampton#38G.GeorgiRtd42 laps
65/06/27Watkins Glen GP, USRRC#38N.Davis14th74 laps
65/08/22Watkins Glen 500, National SCCA#7N.DavisDNAdid not arrive
65/09/19Bridgehampton Double 500, USA#8G.GeorgiRtd15 laps
65/12/05Nassau Trophy, Bahamas#33G.GeorgiDNAdid not arrive
1965:SCCA Final National Standings
Northeast Division Class CMN.Davies11th4 points

Sources:

Joucla, Emmanuel, personal correspondence, various dates.
“Lotus Big-Banger Found in Belgium”, Classic and Sports Car, Apr. 2002, p. 76. with photo.
Nye, Doug “Beautiful Miscalculation.” Old Motor. October 1981: p. 41-42.
Varani, Franco. personal correspondence, various dates Jul 2012.

Last Updated on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.