Caterham 7. Classic car – Classic cars in Auto Motor Klassiek

Caterham 7. Classic car – Classic cars in Auto Motor Klassiek

It’s hip-high ADHD and you’re shoehorning it in. Rara, what is that? That is of course the Caterham 7, the sole successor to the Lotus 7.

Caterham and Lotus

Colin Chapman, the legendary founder of Lotus Cars, presented the Lotus Seven in 1957. It got its name from a model previously rejected by Lotus that would be used for Formula 2 racing. Although the Lotus “7” was allowed to drive on the road, it was designed for the track . Based on the Lotus “6”, also produced by Colin Chapman, the “7” was powered by a side valve 1172 cc Ford that produced 40 hp. This cheap and reliable engine was especially suited to popular low-budget racing.

Other possible options were the BMC A series or the Coventry Climax engine. A lightweight chassis made of square hollow steel tubes was completed with aluminum body panels. The panels were kept as straight and flat as possible to reduce costs as much as possible and for the same reason the car had simple plastic doors that attached directly to the windscreen supports.

Everything as light as possible

The nose and fenders were also made of aluminum, but these were replaced by fiberglass parts in the later S2 and S3 models. The newcomer was a lightweight, entry-level sports car with the front lines of a Grand Prix car and was more affordable. Especially since it was sold in kit form. The angry little frog had a satisfying success. So much driving pleasure for so little money? That was unprecedented! And still it is. Lot Seven fought each other with the most interesting competition on the circuit. It is known that there, in the heat of battle, sometimes things went wrong. So always check clone 7 or below clean for old damage.

A good plan

Because of the English tax system in use at the time, it was worth buying a car as a kit there. That made a big difference in taxes. However, the tax law indicated that no assembly instructions could be included in the purchase as a kit car. Chapman interpreted the tax laws in his own way: if the car was bought as a kit, no assembly instructions were issued. However, the customer received a disassembly manual that he could use ‘backwards’.

It will continue. Like Caterham

Following the success of his Series 1, Chapman built the Series 2, 3 and 4. In ’74, when the founder of Lotus wanted to stop production of the Seven, Graham Nearn, owner of Caterham Cars in Surrey, England, bought one of the biggest cars. Lotus Seven dealer in the 1960s, production rights and continued to build the 4 series. So the Caterham 7 is the only legal successor to the Lotus 7. No matter how many free translations / copies are built in England. Notable names in the ‘real life’ field are Westfield and Robin Hood, Dutton, Dax, Haynes, Aphax, Sylva and Locust. There are over 150 suppliers of ‘7’ copies. In that corner, many parts of the Ford Sierra are used. The quality of the replicas of lesser-known kitcar builders is not always good. The block versions of the latest high-powered motorcycles are of a completely different order.

Caterhams, however, were pure classic cars and Caterham clearly outsold Lotus. And Caterhams now, depending on their year of manufacture, are sought after, true classics.

It only takes a special kind of courage to participate in everyday traffic with about 7. Residents mainly look at other road users at bumper height. But when the road is smooth and hilly… PARTY!