I bought my seven back in 1979 and started a chassis up rebuild in my father's garage, working on it during the weekends as I was then working for the Forestry Commission in East Anglia as a production tree faller.

We quickly realized that the original aluminium panels were corroding where they contacted the steel chassis, we therefore removed them and made up new panels on the garage floor, flattening out the originals and using them as a template.

The chassis was cleaned, repaired in a couple of places and painted with good old red oxide and hammerite paint. Next order of business was to check all of the suspension pick up points for alignment and replace the old metallastic bushes with polyurethane and rose joints. Dad turned up all of the poly bushes on his lathe which saved some money, and we pressed them into the wishbones, trailing arms and shock absorber mounts, securing them with new bolts and lock nuts.

Before attaching the new floor pan and body panels we painted the area where they would interface with the steel chassis with a special paint to prevent a recurrence of the corrosion problems experienced in its previous life.

To avoid electrical issues we decided to replicate and replace the wiring loom with all new cable and connectors, fortunately my uncle ran an auto electrical shop in Coventry, therefore this phase of the project was relatively easy due to his expertise, specialist resources and professionl advice. I particularly like his switch to turn the alternator off for a little extra horsepower when needed, I guess the equivalent of the Champ car push to pass button, its easy to forget how ingenious the early grassroots racing enthusiaists and innovators were back in the day !

FIA safety upgrades

Next we took the chassis to a race car fabricator to make and fit an FIA specifcation roll bar, seat mounting, side intrusion bars and harness anchors. Because I am relatively tall (6'3") the roll bar had to be custom made to ensure it met the FIA clearance requirements, the mounting plates and chassis strengthening is a delicate operation with a seven, mostly due to the chassis tubing wall thickness and small in diameter. Ingenuity expert metal work, and perseverence are needed to succeed.

Fuel cells were not as readily available back then so we took the original fuel tank to another local fabricator who made an aluminium copy complete with internal baffles and ready for the installation of safety foam.

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