One of things that I’ve always wanted to do in the Seven was go on a long road trip. However I’ve always been afraid of mechanical breakdowns which is why I took the Elise to LOG 31 in Vegas two years ago. Once the 2013 West Coast Lotus meet was announced for Seattle in July, I started toying with the idea of taking the Seven but kept prepping both cars so that I could make a last minute decision. As luck would have it I was changing the oil on the Elise a couple of days before the trip and found a transmission leak which meant that the Seven was now the only option for the 2000 mile trip.… Read the rest
Celebrating the fact that the Seven is up and running with an autocross video from Marina. The car still has an intermittent misfire that I am trying to iron out but it is running well so far.
… Read the rest
The only major dynamics complaint I had about my Ultralite was the rear lockup issue under hard braking. The car comes with a very nice set of Wilwood brakes (front and rear) with separate master cylinders for the the front and rear so it definitely wasn’t a component quality problem.
The issue I was having is that under hard braking at autocross the rears would immediately lock up and cause a lot of oversteer. This was even worse at the track where braking at the end of straights would lock the rears well before the fronts leading to bad porpoising at the rear.… Read the rest
After 18 months of procrastinating about updating the blog about the Ultralite I figure its time to start putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Regular followers of the blog may remember that my Buttonwillow adventure ended with the Ultralite being flatbedded home as it looked like on of the two bolts holding the diff in place had backed out and gas tank prevented me from doing a roadside fix. I was thus still quite happy on the truck ride home as I thought it would be an easy fix and I should be back on the road soon – little did I know that I was in for some “diff”icult times.… Read the rest
I have made a long list of modifications to the Seven since my last blog update which I still need to document on here. In the meantime I wanted to share this video from the GGLC autocross on Saturday (watch in fullscreen).
The Seven may be unreliable, impractical and difficult to live with but the few days like this when everything works are absolutely worth the hassle. Incidentally we found the reason for the surging idle it ended up that I couldn’t drive the car for the rest of the day 🙂… Read the rest
When I initially purchased the Ultralite it was running on a set of generic 7.5″ wide alloys with 235-width Falken Azeni RT-615 tires all around(above). While the Azenis are decent tires (we use them on the Lemons car), they are still street tires and just cannot cope with the absurd power of the seven. After having a few moments of wheelspin in 3rd gear, I decided that while long slides are fun, I did want to go to more grippy setup as well as increase the rear grip level to give the car some better balance.
I quickly learned that one of the more annoying things about having a kit car is the extreme amount of pain you have to go through to get a set of wheels.… Read the rest
As you can see from the picture above, when I got the Ultralite it came with a simple asymmetrical rollbar that was barely taller than my head. While most track clubs would let me drive the car as is, the lack of side impact protection meant that I was not comfortable tracking the car without a full roll cage. Additionally the existing Ultrashield race seat had no head and neck support and the harnesses were long expired which meant I generally had to perform a full safety upgrade before tracking the car. For this I turned to Tony at TC Design who is the Bay Area’s premier roll cage fabricator.… Read the rest
As many of you know I purchased a Lotus Seven replica called the WCM Ultralite S2K late last year to make it a street legal track toy. While the Ultralite may maintain the spirit of the original Seven, as you can see below, it has a distinctly different shape and has generally larger dimensions to accommodate drivers of all sizes. In order to move this extra bulk (relatively speaking) around it comes with the incredible F20C engine out of the Honda S2000. The end product has some astonishing performance figures:
Weight: 1300 lbs
Horsepower: 240 bhp
Redline: 9000 rpm
Power to weight ratio: 400+ hp/ton
0-60 mph: 3.5 seconds
My particular car was the first prototype built by World Class Motorsports and is the actual car used in most of the magazine tests.… Read the rest