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Tracking an anti hero's 7


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This is a rare moment where two of my interests collide. The photo below just came up on my Instagram. It's of a well known surfer called Bunker Spreckels (RIP), and there's a ? about whether the Lotus in the background was his or belonged to an infamous surfer named Miki Dora (RIP). 

Does anyone recognise the car? 

The source on Instagram is sure it belonged to Dora, I'm wondering whether Spreckels first initials being AB is just a coincidence. I think the picture is taken in the USA. It would be kinda cool to track down the car. Both surfers were characters with Dora being an inspiration to many many people world including former surfing world champs.

Sorry if if this is in the wrong place, I'm browsing on my phone and can't see a 7 section on the forums? (Is 7 rather than Seven ok?)



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A little more info in case this is found and is of some interest to anyone - 

Spreckels full name was Adolph Bernard Spreckels III, and was given the "Bunker" handle by his family who were sugar magnates. He left his family and (their fortune) to live hand to mouth as a surfer, but in an unexpected twist inherited a reported $50m at the age of 21. He lived ostentatiously (hence my suspicion the car is his, complete with personal reg.) and died in 1977 at the age of 27. So the photo is near 40 years old at least.

Dora on the other hand was anti establishment, sometimes nefarious, and always enigmatic. He lived hand to mouth and on his wits so I feel it unlikely he would have afforded such a thing, let alone cared for one. 

I've emailed Mr. Watson at the Lotus Seven Register and will report back if I find anything. 

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Last post on the subject (unless I trace the car)

Turns out I shouldn't have been suspicious. The car was seemingly stolen in Ireland where Dora was hanging out (for the all time surf of course). He bought it on the grey market and I saw it written that the original owner received an insurance pay out. The car turned up "with Dora at the wheel" on the docks in the USA sometime later, and he used it in and around Malibu, CA. It's quite distinctive with its cosmic alloy wheels.

Oh and one other bit of interesting info on the other guy Bunker Spreckels; he was Clarke Gables step son, the actor being quite an influence on him from teaching him to hunt to coaching him about women and how to conduct himself.

Here are a few more photos I found whilst scratching around the interweb. If anyone can identify which model Seven the car is I'd love to know.



Dora 7 Motorway.jpg

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  • 2 months later...

Thanks Trevor. 

The Lotus was probably just another relatively short episode for Dora, he was always scamming and scheming. He would have had more surf friendly cars I'm sure. And no doubt he found ways to balance a board on the Lotus. Took this from one of the many articles written about him:

"...a gifted party crasher who kept a tuxedo in the trunk of his car for quick-change makeovers that got him into some of Hollywood’s most exclusive black tie events."

"For the Malibu morning surf check, he’d step out of his car in tennis whites, or a smoking jacket, or a black leather Nazi trenchcoat."


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  • 4 months later...

The Lotus Seven is a S1!

It has the rounded rear wings and S1 dashboard. So it must have been "upgraded" to look more like a S2/S3.


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