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						Westfield Prototype7
Is This Westfield’s First Seven?

MG-based Westfield Seven prototype

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, Hemmings Classifieds

Westfield Sports Cars got its start back in 1983 after a fellow by the name of Chris Smith built himself a 1956 Lotus XI replica for his own use, prompting other classic motoring fans to inquire whether he could build more. Many milestones came in the following years, and to date, Westfield has sold more than 13,000 cars and has become one of the biggest names in the replica inustry. But something that’s missing from the company’s official record is this car, an MG Midget-based Lotus Seven replica that was allegedly the first one constructed at Westfield as a prototype.

The creation of this little Seven is credited to Mark Hancock, who the seller claims was involved with Westfield “since the beginning.” Search “Mark Hancock Westfield Sports Cars” on Google, and you won’t come up with a ton. But I did stumble upon an article titled “The Origin of Westfield” that was written by (you guessed it) Mark Hancock and originally published in a 1994 newsletter for The British Automobile Club of South West Virginia. In it, Hancock details the origins of his association with Chris Smith, and how the idea for Lotus replicas came about from the discussion of a derelict Lotus Eleven chassis. Is that a smoking gun, maybe? It’s also worth mentioning that Hemmings and other outlets have shared this car as well, detailing the Mark Hancock connection, so it’s probably pretty credible.

Getting back to the car itself, it’s based on a 1967 MG Midget donor car and is titled in North Carolina as a ’67 Midget. I’m not keen enough on my MGs to know the visual differences under the hood, but 1966 was the first year for the more powerful 1,275 cc engine — a nice bonus for the next owner of this car, provided it hasn’t been swapped. Coilover suspension is used on all-four corners and the body construction appears to be done in the standard aluminum and fiberglass fare. The cockpit is spartan, utilizing simple upholstery and MG Midget instruments. The steel wheels contribute a ton to the car’s appearance, and are a refreshing change of pace when compared to the modern street wheels and tires found on many of the Lotus Seven replicas being built today. Overall, some parts of the car show wear, like the suspension arms up front, but the rest of the car seems to show very little use.

Upon the car’s completion, it allegedly remained in Hancock’s ownership for 31 years before being purchased by a second owner in New York. Today, the car’s third owner has it listed for sale and states that almost nothing has been altered since its construction, other than a new set of tires.

It’s hard to say what sort of premium should be placed on the car given its history as a prototype for Westfield Sports Cars, but this thing seems hard to beat for $24,000. Check it out here on Hemmings Classifieds.

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