Maxime Gransart grew up around motorsport. His father raced all over France in the 1960s in various cars–including a go at the 24 Hours of Le Mans—but his Lotus Seven left the greatest impact. Maxime was set on owning one, but when it came time to purchase his first car he went with something a little more modern in the form of a first-generation Elise. He loved it and bought another one, but he eventually found his way into this 1964 Super Seven.
A longtime devotee of Colin Chapman and his emphasis on lightweight, minimalist designs, Maxime fell in love with the tube-frame chassis, its street and on-track characteristics offering an experience that no other marque can. When he isn’t heading for the backroads in the Seven, you might find him sharing another Lotus—an Elite—with his friend in the Le Mans Classic. His actions follow his words: “I started with Lotus. I’ll continue with Lotus.”
Even as a young kid yet to obtain his driver’s license, Maxime felt that Chapman’s approach to sports and race car design was the one closest to the “truth.” The Elise that he would come to own in due time—his first foray into Lotus ownership, and a piece of evidence in full support of said truth; minimal, purposeful, agile, a car that didn’t rely on its power to conjure its pace—was enough to keep him fixated on this particular breed of British sports cars, known today for the same agile personalities and advanced chassis and suspension engineering as always. Maxime, clearly smitten with the Elise, went out and got another one before “crossing over,” as he puts it, into the world of vintage cars with the purchase of the Super Seven. The excessively feathery car (weighing in at a slim 500-or-so kilos) was something he’d wanted since his dad had introduced it to him in his childhood, and it soon proved to be one of the heroes in the automotive world worth meeting.
There’s also a deeper connection beyond what it’s like to drive the little Lotus. His father had raced for Normandy in the Cup of Provinces during his career as a professional driver, and had done so in a Lotus Seven. Father and Son don’t talk much about cars these days, but when Maxime brought his car over to show him, he felt that his father was proud of his choice; “I saw a lot of emotion in his eyes.”
Maxime found it impossible to step out of the classic car world, and he’s since participated in a number of shows and events with his Super Seven, which have led to numerous new friends and acquaintances formed over the mutual interest. One such friend, Giles Courodon, eventually asked Maxime if he’d like to join him as a co-driver in the Le Mans Classic. Of course he said yes, and the pair have since shared seat time around Europe in Courodon’s competition-prepped Lotus Elite.
Like nearly every car to wear the badge, it doesn’t possess the outright power of some of its class competitors but makes up for it by way of less weight and a more advanced suspension design, which helps put Maxime and his friend on the podium often enough. They’ve raced it at Spa and other well-known circuits around the continent, but as far as Maxime’s story is concerned it’s all just a natural extension of growing up in a house full of racing trophies and a father who earned the majority of them behind the wheel of a Lotus himself.