Engineer Rich enjoys sports car ‘hardtop’ success

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A Spalding car lover is revelling in the success of his invention after it was unveiled at a national event.

Rich Howlett has spent more than three years designing, developing a prototype and manufacturing a “hardtop” for his beloved Lotus 7 sports car.

Rich, who has a career spanning 25 years in the road and racecar industry, came up with the design after he increasingly found the need for a hardtop for his sports car.

The new GRP hardtop has been designed to complement the existing lines of the Lotus 7, while still offering easy access to the car.

It recently went on show to prospective buyers at the National Motor Show, in Warwickshire, with overwhelming success.

Rich said: “The responses and positive feedback from the public has been outstanding.

“Our stand was constantly full and buzzing throughout the show.

“With sufficient interest to enable small batch production I will be happy to reproduce the creation for other owners of the Seven marque.”

Over the past 50 years the iconic Lotus 7 has become a firm favourite among sports car fans.

As a result there have been many “modifications” available, such as stripped down lightweight cars with data logging for motor racing purposes or show cars with full leather trim and sat nav for European touring,

Although manufacturers offer soft top options, professionally designed and manufactured hardtops have not been available.

Racecar engineer Rich, who has produced racecars for many of the great names in motor racing history such as Andretti, Fittipaldo and Rahal, believes he has changed.

For details go to howlett.