- Replica of the legendary Lotus 7
- Built to high standard
- Full wet-weather gear
The Lotus 7 was launched way back in 1957 yet the concept is, if anything, more popular today than it was then. When Lotus ceased production of the 7 in the early 1970s, Caterham acquired the manufacturing rights and have built cars to the original design ever since. However, such is the demand for affordable sports cars that a number of other companies have successfully marketed replicas and kit-cars, among which was Robin Hood Engineering of Mansfield Woodhouse in Nottinghamshire.
Founded in 1980, Robin Hood started by making Ferrari Daytona replicas, based on the Rover SD1, and Lotus 7 lookalikes. The monocoque-chassis cars (formed from sheet steel without tubes) were manufactured using Triumph Dolomite, Ford Cortina and Ford Sierra donor vehicles. Most were supplied as kits and home-built. Production of Lotus 7 replicas was briefly threatened by legal action from Caterham, but continued after Robin Hood agreed to stick within strict guidelines.
The vendor knows very little about this particular car, but it appears to have been built to high standards and to run well.
The History and Paperwork
- V5 document
- Currently SORN
- MoT valid until end of May 2023
- New MoT before sale
- Haynes manual for Ford Sierra
As most Sierra-based Robin Hoods were built between 1994-96, it’s likely that the registration plate and the year of manufacture on the V5 come from the donor car – there are complicated rules in the UK about registering kit cars, but if enough criteria are satisfied then the identity of the donor car can be transferred to the finished car.
The vendor recently acquired it from the previous owner, an older gentleman who bought the car ‘on a whim’ only to find that he struggled to get in and out of it and was not able to drive it as he had hoped, so sold it on soon after purchase.
The vendor will secure a new MoT before sale.
- Minimalist interior
- Mountney leather-trimmed steering wheel
- Comfortable vinyl seats
- Securon seat belts
- Sony stereo with rear speakers
- Rear luggage compartment
- Basic toolkit
- Ford switchgear
- Grey carpets in very good condition
As with any small two-seater sports car, the interior is spartan but functional. The seats here are firm and comfortable, but as the original Lotus 7 was designed and built by the diminutive Colin Chapman taller drivers will find it a tight fit. The pedals are also close enough together in the narrow footwell that those with bigger feet will need to be careful! The Securon seat belt harnesses give a good feeling of security.
The instruments are minimal: speedo, rev counter, fuel and temperature gauges, but are clearly visible from the driver’s seat. We were not able to verify the operation of the stereo – it switches on and the display lights up but as there seems to be no aerial we couldn’t get the radio to work.
There’s a small luggage compartment behind the seats, with speakers mounted in the cover of this.
- Looks like a genuine Lotus 7
- Built to good standard
- Roll bar
- Headlamps, rear lamps, indicators all look good
- Smiths alloy wheels
- Chrome wing mirrors
- Spare wheel mounted on rear
- Side-screens and hood in excellent condition
- Car cover included
The Lotus 7 is a key part of British motoring history, and this replica looks very similar to an original car, even down to the ‘7’ logo on the front grille. Only the vented engine cover gives away the car’s more recent origins. There are also Lotus badges. The bodywork all looks good and it would seem, from the indicated mileage, that the car has had relatively little use since being built.
- 5-speed manual gearbox
- Ford Sierra 1.6 litre engine
- Starts and runs well
The vendor believes that this car was built from a Ford Sierra donor car, an assertion backed up by the presence of a Haynes Ford Sierra manual in the paperwork. As the engine came from a donor vehicle, the indicated mileage of 1732 on the car’s dashboard does not include miles done previously.
The car starts readily, idles well, and the exhaust has a lovely note. Even just moving the car around for photography, it was clear that it has a lot of power and should provide a thrilling driving experience.
Despite its lack of history, this little sports car should appeal to the enthusiast driver who has always hankered after a Lotus 7 or a Caterham 7. It appears to have been built and finished to a good standard, and while it would make a great track-day car or club racer, its wet-weather gear makes it practical as well.
Notice to bidders
This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*
UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check. On the HPI report, this vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft. It is currently not covered by a finance agreement.
A non-refundable buyer’s deposit is payable on this item, refer to FAQs and T&Cs for the applicable percentage.