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Author: Subject: Help Identifying Chassis
jamriggsy

posted on 6/11/18 at 12:31 PM Reply With Quote
Help Identifying Chassis

Hello There,
Its been some time since my last post but im still busy working on bits and pieces when I have time.
anyhow, my Dad came back from an auction Yesturday with this and the history is vague other than it was built in South Africa by a Doctor who subsequently moved to Isle of Man and took it with him.

I wondered if anyone could assist in identifying the source of the chassis, as in Caterham, Tiger, Westfield etc etc

We do have a chassis number 001C9203048

Any help much appreciated.

Thanks


[img][/img]


[img][/img]

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JAG

posted on 6/11/18 at 12:48 PM Reply With Quote
Difficult to tell but first guess - Birkin?

Birkin build official Caterham Sevens in South Africa

...and it does look very much like the original Lotus Seven design

[Edited on 6/11/18 by JAG]





Justin


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Rosemary, the telephone operator? ...No.
Penry, the mild-mannered janitor? ...Could be!

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MikeR

posted on 6/11/18 at 01:36 PM Reply With Quote
Trans tunnel looks too square for Caterham
Exhaust manifold looks like a westfield - although the hole looks terrible, perhaps a second manifold?
Roll bar doesn't match any manufacturer i recognise
Side looks square - like a locost, caterham has a dip
Scuttle seems to have a bit that goes over onto the ali i've never seen before
Suspension doesn't quite look like locost from this angle ....

So my guess is either home built special

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wylliezx9r

posted on 6/11/18 at 01:52 PM Reply With Quote
Looks like a Birkin to me.

Too nice to be a home built special ........ (puts on flame proof suit)

[Edited on 6/11/18 by wylliezx9r]





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JAG

posted on 6/11/18 at 03:26 PM Reply With Quote
quote:

Scuttle seems to have a bit that goes over onto the ali i've never seen before



A feature of Caterhams and Birkins...






Justin


Who is this super hero? Sarge? ...No.
Rosemary, the telephone operator? ...No.
Penry, the mild-mannered janitor? ...Could be!

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jamriggsy

posted on 6/11/18 at 03:47 PM Reply With Quote
Excellent. Thanks chaps.
I have sent an email to Birkin to see if they have any old records or are able to identify another way.

I know that its origins are in South Africa so likely to be i suppose.

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slingshot2000

posted on 6/11/18 at 04:53 PM Reply With Quote
Another vote for Birkin here. Looks a nice car, what engine does it have fitted ?
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jamriggsy

posted on 6/11/18 at 05:02 PM Reply With Quote
Its a kent 1600 crossflow


[img][/img]

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Slater

posted on 6/11/18 at 06:37 PM Reply With Quote
As above most probably a Birkin, if genuine it should have a number on the chassis. When I lived in SA I bought a seven which was not an original Birkin but was built by a guy who used to weld the chassis's for them after he left the company. Mine did not have a number, but was v similar chassis. Have a look in my photo archive, file called SA seven.

The birkin has a unusual front mounting point for the front of the lower front wishbones. The bush goes directly through the square section on the front of the chassis, there in no separate welded on mounting point.

I have a kit car contact in SA who I could contact to see if he knows anything about the car if you want?





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MikeR

posted on 6/11/18 at 06:42 PM Reply With Quote
Rearward facing pedal box does look Caterham / Birkin.
I've since googled and seen some birkin scuttles with the lip - every days a school day.

If its a south african crossflow its likely to be the 'AX' block which was produced over there.

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MikeR

posted on 6/11/18 at 06:43 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Slater
The birkin has a unusual front mounting point for the front of the lower front wishbones. The bush goes directly through the square section on the front of the chassis, there in no separate welded on mounting point.



I'm sure my series 3 original chassis plans (not actually original, a picture the mrs bought me) had that design for the lower front wishbone mount

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jamriggsy

posted on 6/11/18 at 07:07 PM Reply With Quote
Well it looks like we might be getting somewhere. To be honest i have struggled to find any images of super sevens of any make from the early 90s to make a good comparison.

I shall take some more pictures with panels off etc when i have time. I havent found or looked for the plate yet but its quoted on the logbook i have.

What is very unusual is that it is registered as a "lotus 7" which is extremely odd and obviously inaccurate but im intrigued to find out more.

Slater. Absolutely any help would be of interest. As mentioned i have the original owners/builders name etc but i am assuming it was part of a probate sale or something. I might call the auction house to see actually.

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Slater

posted on 7/11/18 at 07:10 AM Reply With Quote
Here is the message I got back from a contact in SA. c/o The Lotus Register

------------------------------
"Definitely a Birkin. One of the very first ones +-1985.

My sonís Birkin is of similar origin ( it has since been converted into a race car)

The chassis number on this car is the only thing that looks inconsistent with Birkins numbers. On ours the chassis number is 20161985 not sure what the 2 is for but 016 is the 16th chassis built and 1985 the year manufactured.

the chassis number is stamped on the top of the rear shock mount ( righthand side) under the roll bar. Unfortunately one has to remove the rollbar to see it. On the later cars this number was stamped on the diagonal tube in the engine compartment.

Here is the contact detail of Birkin Cars founder / owner John Watson who might be able to confirm the chassis number. "
--------------------------------------

I can U2U the contact details if you want.

In a strange coincidence I had a quick look on the SA Gumtree website, typed in Lotus 7 in the search box and up came a nice yellow one, I looked through the the pics and thought it looked familiar, then realised it was the same car I owned for 9 months when I live in Jo'burg. It's changed hands a few times, now in Port Elizabeth and been painted yellow, looks good. I con't believe I just stumbled across it.

Linker to SA Gumtree if you're interested.

[Edited on 7-11-18 by Slater]





Why do they call Port Harcourt "The Garden City"?...... Becauase they can't spell Stramash.

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snapper

posted on 7/11/18 at 07:47 AM Reply With Quote
The ally folded over round tube down the sides and round the back also the visible round tube across the back and down tubes made me think original Lotus/Caterham, Birkin as I know of no othe 7 replicas that use very thin round tube





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jamriggsy

posted on 7/11/18 at 12:25 PM Reply With Quote
Fantastic news, I will U2U you about the details Keith.

So were looking at an very Early Birkin by the looks of it.

the Chassis number I gave above is quoted on the paper work but I haven't yet located it on the car. will be looking for it later though

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jamriggsy

posted on 7/11/18 at 04:56 PM Reply With Quote
Ok. No joy finding the chassis number athough theres a slim chance it may be under the seat belt brace which i was too lazy to remove.

But a couple interesting observations.

1. The roll bar is not removeable, it is entirely integrated as part of the chassis so the tube runs completely down to the floor pan.

2. The sump has been modified to flatten the bottom and match the bell housing. It all looks original.

3. Front lower wishbone is bolted straight through the square frame, presumably to a captive nut.

Here are some more pics.











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