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This website demonstates and promotes different ways to build a replica of a Lotus Seven. You can...

There are many options to build a car at home and on a budget. Some people choose "the book" approach by starting a donor car and a pile of steel. Inspired by Ron Champions book, a car that is hand-built from scratch is usually called a "Locost" (pronounced 'low-cost').  This sound-alike name pays hommage to the original Lotus 7 while reminding us that you really can build your own car on a minimal budget. For those who prefer simplicity over savigns, there are turn-key solutions from the original licensed manufacturer and other kit suppliers from around the world.

I refer to all of these options as "sevenesque roadsters" (pronounced 'sev-uhn-esk') because they resemble an original Seven both visually and in spirit. They are true roadsters with no side windows or a permanent roof (or even doors for that matter.) Please join me in celebrating, studying, building, and sharing the experience of building your own sevenesque roadster!


Latest Updates...Link to latest updates


Adjustable Front Suspension Design

Latest Updates: Front SuspensionI am often asked if I have plans for a suspension design to go with the chassis drawings on this website (such as the McSorley 442). Until now, the answer has been an apologetic, "sorry... I don't have anything to go by" and, "I don't know anything about the geometry of your donor parts (wheels, uprights, etc.)" In short, I couldn't possibly come up with every combination that someone might encounter with their particular donor parts and chassis plans.

But now there is an answer. You can build a front suspension with adjustability and then fine tune the geometry after everything is built. The approach is flexible enough to work with just about any combination of donor parts. Just follow this 3-step process, get the basic measures within about 1/4 inch, and then adjust everything to fit your needs (something I'll detail later in my build).

The track width of your rear end is where it all starts. Installing a fully adjustable upper control arm is the heart of the solution. Fine tuning the upper control arms geometry is where you will finish, probably once the car can be driven (hopefully not at the same time). The "generic" solution that I show here will work on your build too... without the need for any drawings or plans. "Shenanigans!" you might say. And to the purists, I won't argue. But what we can all agree on is that a double wishbone suspension design is a tricky business, and many builders want to build... not analyze.

Caster, camber, toe, pivot points, track width, roll-center, spring rate, wheel rate, scrub radius, KPI... Lions, Tigers, and Bears... Oh My! Having studied and thought about the front suspension design for my build over the last 8 years (on and off... mostly off), I was determined to find a simple, practical way to build the front suspension with little math, to fit nearly any donor, requiring no drawings, yet still providing a solution that will work for your build just as well as it does for mine. The approach that I came up with relies on some basic assumptions:

  1. the front track should be at least (if not more) than the rear, as defined by your donor rear end.
  2. it shouldn't matter which chassis design you're using
  3. it should work with almost any choice of uprights, wheels, and/or wheel offset spacers
  4. you are willing to spend some money for off-the-shelf parts
  5. off-the-shelf "thread-in" ball joints are available for your uprights (or you have access to reamer)

 Let's face it... most of the geometry of your suspension is defined by your selection of donor parts. Chassis ride height is an easy measure to choose (typically about 5 inches)... and you probably have a set of wheels and tires already in mind. So, unless you modify the donor parts (or add additional parts such as wheel spacers) certain measures like track width, KPI and scrub radius are basically predetermined. So if you want to keep it simple and avoid some serious math... just follow the process that I demonstrate in my assembly journal. The latest updates start with article number 34: Preparing the Front Uprights.


McSorley.net is now "sevenesque.com"

Can you believe that it has been six years?! I'll bet you thought I gave up on my Locost build for good?

Rumor has it that I sold my incomplete project and disappeared off into the sunset. Well I'm here to dispell that myth... and to let everyone know that I'm "back in the game." Not only have I been making progress on the front suspension, I've also revamped my website and set up a cool email newsletter tool.  I have some other tricks up my sleeve that will be revealed over time.  Be sure to join my email list to learn about changes to this new website as they happen.

Technology has come a long way since I first started my project in 2001; now I can update my website with photos and even videos directly from my cell phone!  (I'm not sure why I want to... but it's pretty cool that I can!)  It will also be easier to keep in touch, share mutual interests, provide quality information, and continue to improve upon chassis plans like the McSorley 442.  Please post comments to this site and join me in celebrating the journey!