Does your Locost have Character?
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Author:  rx7locost [ January 21, 2020, 11:53 am ]
Post subject:  Does your Locost have Character?

Here is something I wrote / modified years ago and just ran across today. You may find it fun to score your build.

Does Your Car Locost/Seven Have Character??

(derived from Road & Track, March 1998. by Peter Eagan)

Points can be totaled at the end of the quiz. A Locost/Seven achieving 150 points or more has character. Those with fewer than 150 points should be sold as soon as possible, unless you actually enjoy a car without character. Some do. Here goes:

If >80% of you car's overall design is your own and was not built from a set of plans from a book or downloaded from the internet, give yourself 50 points.

25 points if you have built (and welded) most of your frame. 25 points bonus if you designed your own suspension without the use of some computer or web based analysis program. String computers are OK.

Reward yourself with 25 points if you have “modified” a donor’s steering rack to minimize or eliminate bump steer.

50 points for any chassis, body and/or interior has any wood content. Another 10 if it already has termites, carpenter ants, or dry rot.

If you feel compelled, at the time of build, to write an Official Factory Parts List to go with your car, give yourself 25 points. Add another 25 points if you wrote a Service Manual to go along with it.

25 points if you carry a useful tool kit everywhere you drive. Add 20 points more if the tools have ever actually used to fix the car; 10 more if it was raining or snowing when this happened.

25 points if you carry a fire extinguisher. Another 25 points if it is openly visible and accessible.

If you died suddenly and no one else on earth would be able to start the car or keep it running, give yourself 65 points.

If your car can be driven by another person with LESS than fifteen minutes of careful instructions on its peculiarities, deduct 20 points.

40 points for wire wheels. 10 more for "unsafe" knockoff spinners with ears.
Deduct 200 points for wire-wheel hubcaps; 50 off for "bolt-on" wire wheels.

50 points for SU or Weber carburetors. If it has three or more, add another 20 points. If your carburetors are located above the distributor and you never carry a fire extinguisher, give yourself another 50 points for hubris.

50 points more if you have carburetors with velocity stacks and no air cleaners; 25 points more if the velocity stacks protrude from the bodywork.

Add 50 points if you have used an aftermarket EFI control system that must be programmed by the end user. Add another 25 points if you have built your own Megasquirt system and gotten it to actually run the engine reliably.

75 points extra if any of the words "Halibrand", "Judson", "Shorrock" or "Offenhauser" appear anywhere on your car.

Subtract 200 points if you car has a radio.

Add 50 points if your donor vehicle was British. Award yourself 200 points if the powertrain was French. You deserve it.
10 points if you have used any “vintage” British components used on your car. Modern aftermarket replacement parts count.

20 points if your engine’s Official Factory Shop Manual recommended "decoking" the cylinder head at intervals of less than 1,500 miles.

Add 25 points if you have no roll bar.

25 points if, while fully seat belted in, you cannot reach all of the dash-mounted switches and controls.

Give yourself 50 points if you designed the front fender stays AND have driven over 2,000 miles without having to rebuild them.

50 points if your car has no adjustment for different sized drivers such as seat slides, collapsible or tilt steering, brake box adjustability, or the like.

If checking the transmission fluid requires that the entire engine and transmission be pulled, give yourself 50 points. If you would rather commit suicide than check the transmission fluid again, give yourself an added 50 points.

If checking or filling the differential requires the removal of the gas tank and/or luggage bin award yourself 40 points.

If your engine has no exhaust valves, give yourself 75 points. Add another 25 points if you have to mix oil with the gas at every fill-up.

Award yourself 50 points if your street-driven Locost/Seven has no reverse gear designed in. Any non-functioning reverse mechanism does not count.

50 points for any car with a Laycock de Normanville overdrive unit. 10 more points if you just love to say "Laycock de Normanville" aloud, apropos of nothing, in the checkout line at the supermarket.

25 points for any car whose engine heat has caused passenger(s) to request you let them off early, near "a friend's house" or a phone booth.

Give yourself 50 points if you, your passenger(s) or any innocent bystander have suffered any 2nd degree burns from the exhaust pipe of muffler. Another 25 points if you never warned the passenger or bystander beforehand. Add 100 points if you normally carry burn ointment and bandages.

Automatic 50 points for any air-cooled car. And a bonus of 10 if the fan belt makes a right-angle turn from the crankshaft pulley. Air-cooled cars with swing axles located ahead of the engine get another 50.

Give yourself 50 points if you have to describe your car for more than 10 minutes to your insurance agent over the phone, and then it still end up being declined.

Collect 50 points if your car has no windshield.

Subtract 50 points if you have installed a heater.

25 points awarded if you have ever had a flat tire and not had the prerequisite jack and/or lug wrench to change the spare. Add 50 points if you had no spare tire and motor club card.

25 points if you have ever been caught in the rain while driving in your Locost/Seven. Another 25 points if you do not drive with any kind of top or raingear. 50 more if you were in stop and go traffic at that time. Subtract 250 points if you were in a Locost/Seven with both a top and doors.

100 points if you have ever had to push-start your Locost/Seven without any assistance.

50 points if you have had you Locost Dyno’ed. Another 50 points if it tested at more than 1.5 horsepower for each mm of tire width.

Add 50 points if you have driven your street Locost/Seven to the track for “track days” or parking lot autocross. Add another 25 points if you drove your Locost/Seven to actually race in some class.

25 points if you have been stopped at the gas station, or anywhere else for that matter to answer the question “What kind of car is that?” 20 more points if you have ever spent more than 30 minutes afterwards discussing your car and what kind of car(s) the person has owned back-in-the-day. Add another 50 points if that person was a Law Enforcement Officer while on duty and in his/her patrol car.

200 points if you have ever been “pulled over” for doing >25MPH over the posted speed limit AND talked the Officer out of giving you a ticket.

If you have ever been to a car show and accidentally try your keys in another car that looks just like yours, subtract 500 points. This has NEVER happened to a Locost/Seven with character.

If you've purposely taken pictures of your car in a scenic situation, give yourself 250
points. 100 more if they're taped to the wall above your word
processor or carried in your wallet. Equal points if you have no
pictures because your hands are always too dirty to handle a camera.

Author:  Lonnie-S [ January 21, 2020, 1:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Does your Locost have Character?

Good find, Chuck. I enjoyed that one.

Mine isn't finished, so I'm in a "no points" zone, but I think I'll make it once it's on the road. :mrgreen:

Funny, I got my first subscription copy of Road & Track just a few days ago. I stopped reading the mainstream car mags when all the attention and reviews were on telling the reader what a superb car they were going to get for just a measly $120,000 from their local Porsche/Audi/Jaguar/. . . whatever dealer. Well, hell yes, for 120K you'd better get a superb car.

The R&T subscription is in lieu of my Autoweek/Competition Press subscription, which has gone out of print. I was heartened to see one of the first stories is that the R&T staff is going to actually build a new Caterham from a kit. There may be hope yet. Stay tuned.


Author:  KB58 [ January 21, 2020, 2:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Does your Locost have Character?

I'm down for 1255 points, who's next?

Author:  seven13bt [ January 21, 2020, 5:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Does your Locost have Character?

I scored the three sevens that I've driven.
The Lotus 7 S2 got only 250 because I drove it 100 miles one night to get to an autocross the next day and because it was raining the top and side curtains were on. Other than that one trip it would have gotten 500.
The S3 Caterham got 645.
The current Locost has only been used for less than two years but scored 400 points.

Chuck, Thanks for the evaluation exercise.


Author:  rx7locost [ January 21, 2020, 10:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Does your Locost have Character?

Glad you guys enjoyed it. I remember modifying the R&T article way back when.

I scored 945 points on my old Locost.


Author:  RichardSIA [ January 22, 2020, 2:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Does your Locost have Character?

Hmm, I don't have a 7 yet, but the list certainly brings back memories of varied Healey's, Jags, Austins, Fiat's, Alfa's, Triumphs,.....

How many points for pushing a car more than a mile by hand because it;
A. Ran out of gas when you forgot to check the level with a stick.
B. Broke the crank just as the speedo read 100 MPH.
C. Was left in storage with a "Friend" who then moved out, so the building owner was trying to claim ownership "For abandoned/storage".

How many points for fixing your cars ignition using a pencil eraser?

Replacing the broken windshield with a wind wing from a 40's American heap? (Cheap Brooklands screen).

The exterior bonnet latches were worn out, within five miles of purchase the TR3 bonnet flies up and taps you on the head to be certain you notice it wrapping itself over the windshield frame.

The Healey 3000 exhaust system falls off while on a hot date, you toss the exhaust to the side of the road and continue with the date.
Wood floorboards do not catch fire, but they do begin to smoke pretty heavily.

I've done each of these, and much more.
Not sure which I miss more, youth, or such adventures. :wink:

Author:  davew [ January 22, 2020, 9:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Does your Locost have Character?

As usual I'm low man at 730
I want a re-count :cry:
You should get 200 points for driving in the rain with a top and it still takes 3 days to dry out the seats when striped down to just the foam padding.

Author:  rx7locost [ January 22, 2020, 11:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Does your Locost have Character?

Dave, Driving in the rain is only one of the fun parts about these cars. Those 200 extra points you want still won't change your standing. BTW, you beat all 3 of Ron's cars. Quitchurbellyaching! :lol:

Under your proposed scoring system, how many points would I get for running my transmission 50-100 miles on only 3 tablespoons of oil? Or for performing a roadside repair using only baling wire?

I do admit to writing in a few scoring criteria specifically for my car/ experiences. But in my defense, I did leave out having a luggage rack or hinged hard top.

Richard, in a different car, I have had to push start a Karmann Ghia when it died at a toll booth at 3AM. I have changed plugs, points, rotor, condenser and ignition coil on the side of the road, each on different occasions. Do they count?

And I know of one person, whose name shall not be mentioned, used a hose to blow into his gas tank in an attempt to clear a clogged fuel line, only to find his gas tank was empty. That picture was memorable.

Oh the fun we have with our little cars! It makes life worth living for sure.

Author:  GonzoRacer [ January 22, 2020, 1:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Does your Locost have Character?

The math was too complicated for me... Actually, a lot of the categories just didn't apply.
Front fender stays? Front fenders? Huh? Whut dat?
Never talked to an insurance agent about the Slotus. Are you kiddin???
Passenger wanted dropped off at a phone booth? Passenger burned themselves on the exhaust, etc, etc... No passenger seat!

But I'm sure that the Slotus has character, just from association with the cast of characters around it. I mean, there's Bubba, Earl, HamDip, TWWTFM, the donkey next door, a lizard in the frame and a snake in the garage, not to mention "you lot"... How could it miss? :mrgreen:

About those "Been caught in the rain" questions:
Allies vs Axis Last Run 2018.JPG
Allies vs Axis Last Run 2018.JPG [ 44.07 KiB | Viewed 2339 times ]
I win!

Good article, Chuck... I was always a fan of Peter Egan's writing.


Author:  JPS Europa [ January 22, 2020, 2:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Does your Locost have Character?

...only 690 points. New low man :(

Author:  davew [ January 23, 2020, 9:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Does your Locost have Character?

I suggest that you just lie about the 25+ MPH ticket :lol:

Author:  dfdahl [ February 10, 2020, 6:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Does your Locost have Character?

1025 for me, never been caught speeding.

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