Reason you purchased your Caterham

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Tigs's picture
Last seen: 39 min 11 sec ago
Joined: 19/08/2019

Cheers, Billy.Whizz. Yeah, not the best year to get it but at least I have it now and it's not going anywhere anytime soon so many miles of driving to come. Back is, thankfully, all better thanks! 

Richard_W's picture
Last seen: 15 hours 28 min ago
Joined: 13/09/2019

The main reason for me getting one was to have something fun to drive, maybe not outright fast, but lots of fun. Plus I wanted something that I can work on myself and make mine.

I've been through a whole host of different cars in the past... Just about every modern Lotus having had an S1 Elise and Exige as well as a Europa. I had lots of hot hatches and still have a couple plus a lot of Land rovers. Bizarrely I think the 7 has much more in common with the Landies than other cars, I still have my S1 Land Rover as a comparison.  I've come to the conclusion that the key has to be something with involvement that can be personalised... The cars also sit alongside 9 bikes... That got a bit out of hand a few years ago! The garage is now full but I am trying to solve that by building a new garage...

The actual catalyst for buying the car was sitting by a pool in Frejus last year reading a copy of Classic and Sportscar. A cross-flow 7 was in the tried and tested section. I read that, thought it sounded fun and decided to get one when i got home. Not that I bought a cross-flow. The bank account probably wishes I hadn't gone on holiday!

BMS7's picture
Last seen: 1 day 40 min ago
Joined: 17/04/2014

In the late 80s I saw a Lotus 7 in the window of a dealer's showroom. They were happy to allow a test drive and started it up right then and there. When I got in to drive it there were two problems. At 95kg, I was more than a tight fit with uncomfortable pressure on both hips. And my feet were under the pedals and I could get neither of them onto the pedals. So, no a Lotus. 
Fast forward to 2011 and I sold my business and my darling wife said I needed to get myself something in addition to a comfortable bank balance. The dealer here in a Australia only sells a handful of 7s a year so didn't have a demonstrator and was unwilling to let me drive his own CSR200, until I wore him down with five visits including at a motor show. A very gentle fifteen minute drive around the downtown area, including a handbrake start with a lightweight flywheel - and a learner driver close behind on a steep hill was all it took. I paid the deposit and we began to plan the car. 
the hardest decision was colour. I spotted a car in LF that looked perfect and asked Sam at HQ to put me in touch. That chap not only was of great assistance but is now one of my closest friends...even though he lives in the Cotswolds. We've had many drives with him in his new 420S and me in a hired 7. I drove a 7 to the 60th and have hired three lovely cars from Boyd in Elgin including a CSR200 to drive around the NW of Scotland. The last two years have included Derek and Kay from IOM just to liven things up! 
Unfortunately I wrote the car off a few months ago and am now pondering what to do. There is nothing like a 7. But we have limited choice given EU6 regs. So it looks like either a 275 or a 485. 132hp or 240hp. Many would say an easy choice but at twice the price ( more than a 620) and the fact that we are still in hard lockdown for awhile yet ( don't GP get me started) I have time to ponder. 
great thread. Thanks


john aston
john aston's picture
Last seen: 43 min 40 sec ago
Joined: 17/04/2014

I fell in love with cars and motorsport in 1967.- until then I had no idea what a Seven was. I saw an S2 - the same one - in Autocross, trialling , racing and hillclimbing, was given a lift in an S3 , then an S4 up Harewood (by another marshal ). I adored the whole Lotus thing - Clark, Rindt ,  Hill, Fittipaldi and  Peterson - and although I was (and still am ) besotted by Elans , it had to be a Seven because they won everything , looked weird , epitomised form driven by function and lacked the eff you aggression of so many sports cars . 

Seven -less now , but 100000 miles of happy memories , from feeling like a hero on race tracks (obviously I wasn't , but felt as if I were), countless dawn starts to distant race circuits and the utter euphoria  of having driven a 500 mile , almost non stop journey to the NW coast of Scotland   - on a whim  

Kevin60's picture
Last seen: 1 day 11 hours ago
Joined: 05/08/2020

My first post as a newbie member.

I have always been into cars and watching motorsport, although my mechanical knowledge and ability is limited. My wife had always said we should buy something a bit different as we approached retirement to keep me amused. Sadly she passed away earlier this year and my kids, knowing that I had always hankered after a Seven, hired me one for the weekend for my birthday in July. I didn't stop smiling the entire weekend and as a result I hope to pick up my 270s a week Friday. I joined this club which has been a real insight and benefit, and I am looking forward to Seven ownership and everything it entails. I just hope that October remains relatively dry!

Last seen: 15 hours 3 min ago
Joined: 12/01/2019

When my kids were born I had to give up Scuba Diving as a main hobby as it kept me away from home for one or two weekends a month which isn't fair when you have little kids at home. A passenger ride around a track with a mate in his M3 convinced me that cars would be suitably adrenaline inducing as a replacement so I bought a Subaru Impreza and fettled it for the track. 

Had to sell that after a few years due to house moves and family but I always wanted a replacement and after a big heavy Impreza I wanted something light, small and simple to maintain.  I'd seen plenty of Caterhams on the track and hired one for the day at Donington from Bookatrack, which got me hooked. 

Did a few more days in hired Caterhams at Silverstone, Donington and Brands Hatch and resolved to buy one.  I wanted to start simple so choose a roadsport that was just over 3 years old so nothing too bad would go wrong early on in owning it.  

After 18 months I've used it as I expected - mixture of driving around the roads of Hertfordshire and track driving.  I've not done a L7 club event yet, but depending on the dratted virus I should be at Donington on 5th October.

The upgrade itch started early, so I've upped the power to 150bhp but I'm planning to keep it more or less the same for the next few years. I've been considering the Academy, but I'd have to part ex my current car and I really like it. Added to that I'm competent but not very fast on track, and I don't want to spend £30k to be last in every race, and I may stick with what I'm doing for a bit longer.  Sprinting might be something I look at in the future however.  It won't feel as bad being bottom of the timing sheets rather than lapped time and again on track!

Midlife crisis begun....

Colin Cooper
Colin Cooper's picture
Last seen: 23 hours 18 min ago
Joined: 17/04/2014

I had wanted one since the Prisoner days, and used to dribble over a white one when working in Reading in '68. No chance though with family and mortgage as priorities. The nearest I got was an Escort 1300 GT, and later when the kids had left, a 3ltr Scimitar.

When the ex also left, I somehow had the money to rapidly pay off the mortgage, and save some cash. I had joined the club, and saw one advertised in LF just off of my way home from the midlands to Southampton, and made an appointment to see it one Friday evening. I bought it on the spot - the very thing everybody says not to do - without even being driven in it. When I picked it up the following week it was the first time I had been in a 7, and immediately felt at home, but blimey was it low!

The idea was to keep it for a season and move it on. 14 years later, its been re-paneled, resprayed, wide tracked, new suspension, crossflow out and Zetec in.  

From 2006 until I retired in 2013 it was used at weekends for trips out to virtually every NT property within a two hour drive, and as general transport. Since then its been a tad further to the Loire, Sorrento, France, Belgium, Holland (meeting up with the L7C), Spain & Portugal (again L7C), and we should have been on a three week circular French trip this May meeting the L7C in Laon along the way; now rebooked for next May, fingers crossed!

We have attended the 50th & 60th anniversaries, Stoneleigh, Sossiges, and many other L7C 'do's'. Its been out for solo blats during the summer, and on the recent Cheddar Gorge run. It is a runner not a polisher! 



Petethediesel's picture
Last seen: 16 hours 46 min ago
Joined: 10/12/2017

There won't be a war Derek, but the bridge area might get very "rich" as we launch into mass production of kipper baps for us all. Sounds good to me. I hear a decision on racing next year, in the island, will be made by the end of December. Let's hope it's positive.

  To the post:  My earlier fun motoring years were mainly centered on motorcycles. A couple of Alfa Romeos/Golf GTI company cars lightened the working mileage, but bikes were the refuge. I'd driven a few sevens and loved the handling and spirit of them, but the usual priorities of life prevented adding one to the bikes. Early retirement and a rebuilt Marlin put myself and a pal into endurance events. Much enjoyed, but the hankering for a 7 remained. Bit the bullet 2 years ago and built my 360SV. No regrets at all and a great community in the 7club to boot. It's been said before, but a 7 is truly visceral and tactile in the same way a good motorcycle is. I don't bounce as well as I did at 20, so I can see the 7 taking over, as I become even more ancient. 



Pete C

mandalman's picture
Last seen: 1 week 10 hours ago
Joined: 29/08/2019
I've just bought my first Caterham this year, a 1999 K Series Superlight R after wanting one for many years. Like many my introduction came from watching the prisoner as a child although my childhood was probably quite different. I suspect many Caterham owners I are quite mechanically astute having learnt their skills from their fathers. My dad never drove due to a rare eye disease which his four brothers also had (fortunately for me it skips generation), so cars never figured in my childhood. As a result I didn't even take my test until my early twenties and had no idea how they worked. I then bought a series of Triumph Herald convertibles which were fun cars and allowed me to get a bit of knowledge working on cars. We had a great dane at the time who used to sit in the back of the heralds and lean out to stick her head through other car windows at traffic lights. Scared the Sh*t out of people but amused me. Having got a taste for this driving thing i aspired to move up to a Stag or TR6 but raising a young family with little money ensured this remained a pipe dream. The motor racing bug hit me big time during the Nigel Mansell era and I scratched my itch to experience it first hand with a few single seater experiences and karting which I was surprised to find myself quite good at. I then started to look at seven 'style' cars although Caterhams were never seriously considered due to cost, only envied. I spent many years looking at things like Westfields and tigers which I figured I might be able to afford if I bought a kit and built it myself although my wife eventually convinced me my lack of mechanical prowess would just mean we would have a pile of bits hanging around unassembled. She wasf probably cruel but fair. Then I found a 1972 TVR 1600m at the right price and I was seduced by its beauty. I convinced myself this would te better tban a 'kit car' and bit the bullet. I enjoyed a few years with it including a couple of North Wales rallies with Midland Automobile Club but ultimately I fell out of love with it because it spend more time on a recovery truck than the road. I still have it,, will probably never get rid of it but sitting in the garage unused it wasn't scratching my itch for a fun reliable toy car Having started my own business seven years and working very hard in a stressful industry I decided that it was time to reward myself before I got too old to enjoy life. Looking at Westfield and Tigers again I decided they just didn't look right and when I did the maths I reallised that whilst Caterhams might be more expensive they were better investments and just looked right! I decided it had to be a Caterham and spent about a year looking until I found my perfect Superlight at GP Sevens. I bought the car in July and with all the workload getting my company up and running again out of furlough I've hardly used it but I am looking forward to bettter times when I can attend club meets and track days

1999 K Series Superlight R, plaque Number 43

Garth's picture
Last seen: 13 hours 40 min ago
Joined: 17/04/2014

Grew up with cars and bikes around in South Africa. Dad rallied various cars and raced Formula V in a car prepared by a very young Gordon Murray!. Was grinding valves aged 4!

First car was a beach buggy on a shortened Beetle pan. Swapped that for a Merc W114 which I rebuilt in the workshops at the university I was at instead of studying!

Always wanted to build a kit car but it was downhill after that for many years! Friend then invited me to drive to Le Mans and put me on the insurance of his Gulf coloured R400. Came home determined to get a 7.

Opportunity came when the wife and children started getting really pushy about getting a dog. Suggested I would consider dogs if I could build a 7 with my boy! The money was found and have now had 10 years of ownership with many to follow I hope!