Wanted: A very specific Caterham!

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MN Munky
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Wanted: A very specific Caterham!

Hi there. 

I’m a new member here and also a displaced Englishman, banished to the US for the crimes of marrying a lovely American girl. Cool

About a million years ago I owned a pre-litigation ‘W’ car that looked very much like a Lotus 7 but wasn’t. I used it as my daily driver for two years before moving on to something a little more practical.

I’m now trying to relive that ‘youth’ and import a Caterham to the US as a sunny day driver.

Because of the import thing, I have to have a car that is at least 25 years old (so 1994 or earlier) with the original engine so that I can import it easily. It can’t be a Q plate either, but that seems very rare on Caterhams. 

It must have a windscreen and either come with or should accept weather gear.

I would prefer the following but negotiable - nothings ever perfect (except my lady wife, so I’m told):

Cycle wings (the swoopy wings on my last car made the front end go light at speed), heater, 5 speed, and preferably a K series 1.4 (1.6 don’t seem to be available on models of this age).

I would consider a x-flow as my last one didn’t seem to have the troubles some seem to mention here (but was a 1.6) and also a 4 speed but my preference would be a K series.

GP seem to have the perfect car in BRG with Lotus stripe for £12k, but someone beat me to it and have a deposit on it. They have a second car with a 105bhp K series, but that is also on deposit.

Sevens and Classics have a couple of X flows that fit the bill, but one is a 1700 and reading these hallowed pages seems to indicate that this might not be the most reliable of engines. They also have a 1600 which I hope to fly over and see, this weekend.

Does anyone have any leads or a car they are looking to sell that fits this description?

Thanks so much!

Kester

 

 

Golf Juliet Tango
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As the owner of a Seven with 1700 Crossflow engine since 1998, I can assure you it is a very reliable unit. I have 126,000+ miles on the clock.

Very little has made it become unwontedly stationary. Clutch cable (several times), jammed throttle pedal and cable (less often), a couple of prangs (sadly).

If the authorities will accept a modified (i.e. +90thou) Crossflow, I would not turn away. It is a really tough and reliable engine.

I accept that a K is your preference. 

Stephen Hubbard

Democratic dissent is not disloyalty, it is a positive civic duty

Golf Juliet Tango
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It is worth checking UK Sports Cars; see their advert in LowFlying. They are long established supporters of the club.

Stephen Hubbard

Democratic dissent is not disloyalty, it is a positive civic duty

Wrightpayne
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The K has its issues too - head gasket failure for one. I have a K but would be happy with a xflow too.

MN Munky
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Hi GJT

Thank you for your input. I was a little put off by a thread I read about Caterhams own 1700 due to using 1300cc pistons. 

Probably sacralidge but I’m not looking to use the car as something that gets thrashed every day but occasionally... Is your car an original Caterham 1700? 126,000 on the clock is pretty amazing!

Thank you for the UK sports cars suggestion. I’ll keep an eye out on their website too now!

Wrightpayne, thanks for the advice. My old X flow engined car was great fun and would happily have one again. I think the fuel injection is a slight swing point of the two, but only just. Thinking about it, I’m more likely to be able to get parts for a x flow in the US (thanks to the racing the engine has been put through over the years) compared to a 1.4 K series.

 Thanks again for the thoughts both! :)

Wrightpayne
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Is there a budget? What about a BDR?

MN Munky
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Unfortunately it is pretty low. 

I have to factor in shipping (£2500) and tax leaving me in the lower end of the market. 

£12 - £13.5k is about it. Still much less than buying a US Caterham kit, but I’m swapping out my 911 project car for this, so the home accountant is making sure I don’t blow the food budget for the next couple of years. :D

Wrightpayne
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Ohh 911 - I think we need some pictures!! I have a 996 c2

Stridey
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There are quite a few ‘Q’ plates of around 25 years old, in fact my chum who recently bought a 25 year old Crossflow had to wait a long time for a non ‘Q’ of his preferred specification to crop up.

Cycle wings... again, cars of that age may well be clammed. My ‘96 was, though the dealer did an excellent job of converting to cycle wings and adapting the lamp stays to cycle wing style. They (7s and Classics) also resprayed it and you cannot see where the 5 fixing holes for the clams were. 

I was lucky to get a 1700 Crossflow that had been worked on by Roger King to 150bhp, with bills from previous owner. I am delighted by it, and have noticed Roger King engines are often mentioned in ads.

Good luck in your search!

 

 

MN Munky
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Nothing as nice as a 996 I’m afraid. 

I have a couple of old 911s. One early 70s project that is going to make space for the 7 (I hope), the other an 80s 3.2 Carrera unrestored and peachy which is my pride and joy. 

Stridey

Thanks for the comment. It seems like Roger King engined x flows are pretty special. They certainly seem to command more money than stock. I’ll have to keep my eye out for those as well. 

There is an 89 Roger King engined car on eBay right now but it’s just a little out of my price range. I should probably contact the seller to see if there is any OBO in his price...

I guess it can’t hurt to ask!

Finmac
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Owned two 1700 crossflows - great cars!

I am very interested in what’s involved with importing to the States as it’s on my radar to maybe do that at some stage in future? 

 

Whcih state do you live in and are they all different rules re importing (I’d probably be looking at SC).  What’s required re getting the car legal and registered and what’s the tax cost please?

 

All the best with your search!