How the Seven came to be?
Peter Lucas, Chief Draughtsman at Lotus, related the following:
“Gilbert ‘Mac’ McIntosh told me the story of how the Seven came to be.” (Peter Lucas referred to it as ‘Lotus Folklore’). “Colin Chapman, Hazel Chapman and Mac McIntosh were spending time together after Hazel had invited Mac round for an evening meal. This was just after Mac had been working on the Lotus 11 competition car. Hazel turned to her husband and said, “Why don’t you build a car for “the lads”? Very shortly after this the minimal Mk.7 appeared based on the Lotus 11 with a simpler chassis, beam axle and bodywork by Williams and Pritchard”.
Peter also related another story he read by Peter Ross, which told of how Colin Chapman had given Mac the gift of a Lotus 11 GT car for working on the 11. Some years later, Lotus staff came knocking on Mac’s door demanding that he pay for it. Mac’s call to Colin Chapman went unanswered, but in 1969, Colin Chapman asked Mac to become the Chief Designer at Lotus, but Mac declined.
The Mallock Connection.
The following information is from an article in Motor Sport Magazine, dated November 1990, (available from the Motor Sport Magazine web site). It was by WPK (identified in the magazine archives as William Kimberley), titled “The Clubman’s Formula”. This article followed on from two much earlier articles “A Poor Man in Search of Motor Sport” and “A Poor Man Goes Motor Racing” (MOTOR SPORT, October 1959 and March 1961 respectively), regarding Arthur Mallock and his company, which still produces Mallock Clubman’s racing cars. A paragraph in the article contained a reference to the good working relationship between Arthur Mallock and Colin Chapman.
“It is the propensity of Mallocks never dying which makes them such a popular clubman’s car. They inundate hillclimbs, and they are popular in trials as well. According to Arthur Mallock, there must be at least 190 currently competing, for according to his company’s own records, they have logged that number which have needed their back axles straightened. The days have long gone, though, when Arthur Mallock was helped by Colin Chapman in setting up his cars, such as the time when the Lotus founder allowed his rival to trawl Lotus Engineering for high tolerance camshafts which Chapman himself had scrounged from the local Ford agents” (WPK November 1990).