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Craftsmanship Unleashed: The Unique Story of the Handmade ‘Seven 50’ with 50cc Engine

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TEXT: 長尾 循(NAGAO Jun)  PHOTO: 近藤浩之(KONDO Hiroyuki)

It was the moped car hobby that made him feel positive again

It was a small moped car that saved Mr Nakamura from such disappointment. Driving a Mitsuka MC-1, which a friend had modified so that it could be driven with only the left half of the body, gave him the chance to start feeling positive again, and in parallel with his rehabilitation he acquired various mopeds through second-hand car dealers and private sales, serviced and restored them, and actively participated in events around the country. Through mopeds, he has made friends with similar tastes and interests.

“I’m getting old, so I’ve been doing a lot of decluttering recently.”

Although Nakamura-san’s garage and workshop are still full of moped cars (and their parts and wreckage?), he still has a lot to do with them.

And one of these cars that really caught the eye was the little ‘Seven’ introduced here. The full-size (i.e. real) Seven has a simple structure, and similar sports cars have been built in many countries, but this is a scale model that runs on public roads and has been further reduced to about three-quarters the size of the real thing.

The ‘Seven 50’, which was made to him exclusive specifications, is already numbered

This “Seven 50” is a base car that was ordered from the race car manufacturing specialist “Nautilus Sports Cars”, with whom Nakamura made acquaintance through this hobby, and was then customized and modified to his specifications in his workshop.

The engine, suspension, and other parts are cleverly adapted from small buggies made in China, and of course, the vehicle is licensed as a moped car and can be driven on public roads.

The original ‘full-size’ Caterham ‘Seven’ is still sold as a new car, but if you recall, many of the Lotus ‘Mark 6’ and ‘Seven’ cars that had their roots in this model were sold in kit form rather than as complete cars, and the users built them to their specifications.

The car was a business aimed at the market. Cars are not a business for the market, but a very personal hobby and life itself. The happy relationship between Mr. Nakamura and his Seven 50 and his wonderful life as a moped builder is akin to the way of life of such a British backyard builder.

translated by DeepL