42 years after seeing a line of Sevens at a Prescott Hill Climb event & lots of dreaming ever since, I've finally put a down a deposit for a kit - building my own one has been part of the attraction & I've now got a keen son to help me.
I thought making the decision to actually buy one would be the hard bit, but I've now realised finalising the spec (the engine in particular) is the real challenge - although there are much worse problems to solve!
I'm planning to use it mainly on the road for day blats, but also for longer trips from Essex to places like Scotland & Wales. I'll also be doing the odd track day, & I suspect that the number of these will increase over time.
Despite planning to use it for some reasonably long tours I'm going for a S3 (with lowered floors) as it will be living in a narrow home at night, I prefer the classic looks of the S3 & I've done lots of cycle touring with a tent over the years so I'm used to travelling light with as little as possible! I've also decided to go for a R Pack with a windscreen & hood although sure I'll mainly use a half-hood. Other extras I'll go for are a heater, removable Momo wheel and battery isolator.
I've become a regular visitor to Crawley and have tested a 360R, 360S and a 420R, as well as hiring a 310R for a long weekend. However, despite experiencing the different characteristics of these, and also spending endless reading blogs & forums, I'm really struggling to reach a decision about what engine to spec - this is where I need advice from some time-served owners...
My thoughts so far;
310R - I loved the high-revving nature of the engine, and the pops & farts from the exhaust are quite good too. It's plenty fast enough for my current abilities but conscious that I might benefit from more power on the track and I might start wanting more power in the future.
360R - Driving this after the 310 I really noticed the extra low down torque & I couldn't stop grinning at the instantaneous & savage acceleration. Trying to control the rear end was also fun (the 310R had 8" rear tyres & I felt it almost had too much grip). Compared with the 310R I think that a Duratec would make the motorway sections of tours a bit more bearable (I won't be able to visit Scottish roads & family solely on B roads). Also there are probably more opportunities to further upgrade than a 310 Sigma engine. I was starting to conclude that a 360R was the one for me, but then I started reading tales of woe about the ground clearance of its wet sump. Which led me on to start thinking about the ...
420R - This is definately more expensive than what I want to spend, and probably more powerful than I'll ever have the skill to use, but I think if I had a 360 the thought of cracking the sump would always be at the back of my mind. CC offer a dry sump conversion on a 360 for £1500, but for (yet) another £1500 you get the 420R.
I apologise if these questions have been asked on this forum many times before but I want to make the best informed decision possible - although I don't think there are any bad Sevens out there :)