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Secondhand Super Seven Shootout

Affordable Lotus Seven replicas from Craigslist

You’d be hard pressed to find a better replica car for the money than a Lotus Seven recreation. The Seven provides an elemental driving experience through superior light weight, providing the perfect mixture for a street-driven race car. There’s a wealth of information on building your own Locost Seven, and interesting builds can be had for around $10,000. On the flip side, you could invest in a brand new Seven from companies like Caterham, and have a brand new car with pro build quality.

But what about something in the middle? Something that offers nice quality and features on a budget. We grabbed a couple affordable Sevens and one wildcard Locost Seven from the web to show what you’ll get for the coin.

1984 Westfield L7

"Unknown (irrelevant) miles. Runs very well, handles even better."

For the last 36 years, Westfield has been building renown Lotus Seven replicas in the U.K. Do the math, and you’ll see that this Westfield on San Francisco Bay Craigslist is an early model, and a classic car in its own right. It wears traditional Lotus colors of yellow, British Racing Green and raw aluminum, capped off by Minilite-style wheels — a time-tested look.

The car is powered by a Ford Kent Crossflow engine, which is an overhead-valve I4 used predominantly in the late 1960s and ’70s. This one is topped by two Weber DCOE carburetors and has an aftermarket camshaft installed. A Ford Type 9 transmission sends power the rear with five forward gears.

This Westfield looks the business and comes with some nice extras and “spares” including a complete short block. The seller is asking $16,500 for the car.

See it here on San Francisco Bay Craigslist.

1990 Birkin S3

"Fantastic performance for little $. Efficient and easy to store and to maintain…"

Birkin Cars opened its doors in 1982, just like Westfield, and the company still produces quality Lotus Seven replicas today in South Africa. This 1990 model has logged 5,000 miles over the years and appears to be in good mechanical and cosmetic condition. A familiar Ford Kent four-cylinder powers the car with twin Weber DCOE carburetors, and a four-speed transmission sends power to a rear live axle.

Bodywork consists of raw aluminum with fiberglass components finished in a dark blue shade. Wantanabe minilite-style wheels wear Falken Azenis tires, adding a bit off attitude to the classic design.

The seller is asking $20,250 for the Birkin, which is a significant amount more than the Westfield. But I’d argue that the Birkin has some upsides in terms of condition and fit and finish.

See the seller’s ad here on Los Angeles Craigslist.

Rotary-Powered Locost Seven

"If you are big and tall, this is a car for you."

As opposed to the Westfield and Birkin cars, this Seven recreation was constructed by a smaller manufacturer based on the Locost build formula. Built by Wharton Industries, the car is scaled up slightly for more width and length in the interior. A mix of Jaguar front end parts, Miata rear suspension and differential and a 13B Mazda RX7 driveline were used to complete the build, along with an Arkley SS fiberglass body.

Green, yellow and raw aluminum finishes on the exterior make for a traditional looking Seven, but the black D-window wheels leave a bit to be desired.

The seller estimates the car’s weight to be around 1,850 pounds, which should make for lively platform with the 13B rotary and upgraded differential. Given the more homebuilt nature of this Wharton, the seller is asking a reasonable $11,000.

See the seller’s ad here on Washington D.C. Craigslist.

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