Saturday, 23 March 2013

Spotted on the Allon White, Morgan Dealers News letter

This photo is of the Iconic photo of Patrick McGoohan and the 'Lotus Super 7' 
The car was used in the making of the television series called 'The Prisoner'.

Lotus Seven - the one that got away?

Lotus 7

Continuing with our occasional series on different Lotus models, the subject of this month's newsletter is the Lotus 7.
The original Lotus Seven was first produced in 1957 and could be bought unassembled, avoiding car tax.  Nearly half the price of the built version, it came with "disassembly" instructions, a ruse of Colin Chapman's to get around the tax laws which forbade assembly instructions.
The original Series One was known as the Lotus Seven "F", due to its 1172 cc side valve Ford 100E engine.  Extremely lightweight, around 1100 lbs, with rapid acceleration for the time and sharp handling thanks to the chassis and suspension layout.  Its design was radical with limited creature comforts, but it gave motorists an exciting sports car experience for little money.
The car evolved with Series Two, Three and the controversially styled Four, incorporating various chassis enhancements, to accommodate increased dimensions and various drive train changes.
In 1973 the license for manufacture was sold to Caterham cars, who have been making them ever since based on the styling of the Series 3 version.
And arguably the most famous Lotus Seven?  The one in the photo, immortalised by Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner.
For more information on this iconic Lotus which has spawned many imitations, check out the Lotus 7 register website - see

The Opening Sequence

The Prisoner Episode 04 Free For All

The Final Part.

Why have I posted this you may ask? Well, while on my Around Britain's Coast Roads Trip, my route took me past Portmeirion Village in Wales where the Prisoners Prison was located and most of the series was filmed there as you can see by watching episode 04 above. Have a look at this wonderful website to see for yourselves.

Some History from the Website

Clough Williams-Ellis

Clough 90 And Lion 1973Bertram Clough Williams-Ellis, Kt. CBE. MC. LLD. FRIBA. FRTPI. FILA etc. (1883-1978). Born at Gayton, Northamptonshire on 28 May the second son of the Rev. John Clough Williams-Ellis and Ellen Mabel Greaves. Educated at Oundle School; Trinity College, Cambridge; the Architectural Association School, London (for three months, 1902-03).

The first article about Portmeirion appeared in The Architects Journal (January 6 1926) with photographs of scale models and preliminary designs prepared by Clough to impress potential investors. In this article John Rothenstein writes: "On the sea-coast of North Wales, quite near his own old home, Plas Brondanw, he has acquired what he believes to be an ideal site, and he is engaged upon plans and models for the laying out of an entire small township. The results of his scheme will be significant and should do much to shake the current notion that although houses must be designed with due care, towns may grow up by chance."

My Visit to Portmeirion

I managed to 'Blag' a free visit of just enough time to take some photos.  I based my request that I needed to drive their piece of Coastal Road for my quest.

While there, not only did I meet a large coach party from Scotland who made some generous donations to Help for Heroes.

One of them asked me if my car was like the one used in the filming of 'The Prisoner'. I could not mislead him so told him about the Lotus Super 7 actually used.

One of the few photos of me in the car.

 In the Village Square

Looking down the road towards the Hotel & Harbour.

The Kind and Welcoming Gentleman who obtained the permission for me to Drive into the Village.

If you ever find yourselves visiting Wales it is well woth making a visit to Portmeirion and maybe stay in the Hotel overlooking the estuary,

No comments:

Post a Comment