Feeding my addiction

Hello, my name is Malc and I have a 7 problem.

It's been a month now since I purchased my own Seven and it has become an obsession. Every spare moment is dedicated to planning my next drive, weighing up options for weather, traffic avoidance and hunting for the next best 'B' road to explore.

It began for me with a long-weekend break in the Scottish Highlands, and a trip to meet Boyd Stokes at Highland Caterham Hire. I'd known about Caterham's from an early age, as my mum grew up in nearby Coulsdon and we would drive down Caterham Hill when visiting my grand parents. Mum and Dad liked their Triumphs (in the 70s) and I heard many stories of my mother four-wheel-drifting her Herald or Dolomite Sprint on wet roundabouts before 'the children' came along. I guess it was fate… I never stood a chance really.

So a brief taste of 'Seven heaven' in the Highlands had me hankering for more. First up was a 4-day trip to navigate the North Coast 500 in another of Boyd's SV 7s , taking my fellow petrolhead and lotus-loving best mate along for the experience. Then followed a couple of dry years while I plotted and saved, saved and plotted my way to my own Seven. This included a garage demolition and new garage construction. A big project with many phases. A brief foray to Book-a-tracks' Drift Experience confirmed that a Series 3 chassis was a 'good fit' and the hunt was on.

With a partner, two kids and a dog plus mortgage to feed, the off-the-shelf purchase price of a new Seven was never in contention. I looked a a loan, decided the interest rates were too high, and settled on sourcing an affordable Seven for cash. Lots of reading. Lots of web searches. Lots of 'this is never going to happen'… until finally it became the right car, at the right price, at the right time (well maybe 2 months earlier than planned… it is an addiction after all).

So now I have the car and the garage. She's an older lady, with personality, but she wears her miles with pride. She gets me out of bed at 5am on a weekend (sometimes earlier) and we play together for a few hours until the roads become clogged with normal folk. There are plans in the making for longer travels (next year) and I would really like a house (with garage) in the far north west of Scotland… 

It's been two days since my last drive. Thanks for listening.







I think all of this will seem very familiar to anyone with a 7. The years hankering and planning, hours desperate weather watching, empty pockets and then a few snatched drives that keep you going till the next window of spare time that matches the weather. 

You will soon tire of " Did you build it Mister?"', but will never of the waves from passing motorists, the feeling of freedom and the connection to the car. There will always be something to tinker with and long winters will pass like an age till you can get her out again. But on the right road, on the right day, it's all totally worth it. Till the next time anyway! 

Welcome to the the mad house!

I succumbed again today. Two great hours of twists, turns, hills and crests. The sweet singing of the 'K' ringing in my ears, the light movement of the Momo wheel in my hands. As darkness lifted we drove as one out of the night. The ritual is complete. Today is already a good day.  

Three blats today. Danger of overdose? One for me (5am start, about 100 miles) then a sunny day drive with my supportive partner, which she rather enjoyed and wasn't **too** nervous. And finally a local loop with my teenage daughter. All good. This addiction thing is hard to crack.  

The American Psychological Association has a six step programme (as its American, should that be 'program'?) for dealing with such addiction:

1.  Admitting that one cannot control one's addiction.  Well done, you've already achieved that.
2.  Recognizing a higher power that can give strength,  I've been told, however, that a power between 140 and 180 bhp is the 'sweet spot'.
3.  Examining past errors with the help of a sponsor (experienced member).  E.g. "don't mash the throttle on the exit."
4.  Making amends for these errors.  E.g. having to buy a new wing after mashing the throttle on the exit.
5.  Learning to live a new life with a new code of behavior.  E.g. 05:00 starts help you avoid the "grockles" bimbling about (well done), and remembering that other drivers always underestimate how quickly you come off roundabouts.
6.  Helping others who suffer from the same alcoholism, addictions or compulsions.  E.g. posting idiot responses like this one.





P.S.  Always remember that, like all addiction sufferers, you are not alone.