looking to buy my first caterham

looking to buy my first caterham

Author
Discussion

peter2704

Original Poster:

186 posts

172 months

Friday 5th February
quotequote all
Ok, so I have had the nod from the wife to buy my first a caterham,budget is not massive ,would like a modern engine k series zetec etc and de dion.What is the corrosion like on these cars? the chassis worries me a bit.Any do's and dont's I should know.budget around 10-13.5K will this land me a good one in paint.would prefer 2000 or newer,advice welcome and pics

BertBert

14,879 posts

175 months

Saturday 6th February
quotequote all
The mid 90s about 1996 were pretty neat for chassis corrosion, but it improved after. However you do need to we wary of it. The tubes especially at the back can have surface rust but it can usually be treated, cleaned up and painted. The grot trap is the bad one though. This is along the bottom side of the chassis about in line with the windscreen. If you follow the body back from the front, the side panel goes from curving underneath to having a right angle bend riveted to the chassis. That's the grot trap area. Check both inside and outside. Any bubbling of the paint here, beware!

Your budget is low. I don't think you've got any hope at 10k. 13.5 might just do it though. Don't rule out older live axle cars though, there's a lot of fun to be had. You should be able to find a basic k DD car though.

Bert

blackmamba

677 posts

200 months

Saturday 6th February
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Did the grot trap corrosion only affect earlier 7s or is the trap there on all cars, just less noticeable due to better chassis protection? Do you have any pictures of the area and what to look for?

Thanks

peter2704

Original Poster:

186 posts

172 months

Sunday 7th February
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think it can happen to all cars

Murph7355

28,880 posts

220 months

Sunday 7th February
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peter2704 said:
think it can happen to all cars
I'd agree.

The cause of it (different metals in contact with each other) hasn't changed. Initial protection *may* be better in later cars, but ultimately it's there waiting to happen.

My car was used all year round for a good while and suffered it badly. Had it reskinned and it's fine now having not been used in anything other than dry weather (and effectively being stored for a good number of years now smile).

peter2704

Original Poster:

186 posts

172 months

Monday 8th February
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you need to sell it thensmilelaugh

Amris

153 posts

132 months

Tuesday 9th February
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Hi Peter,

Don't be put off by the ex-academy race cars, a friend of mine just bought one for 10k, and is now retrofitting windscreens, leather seats etc. These are often road legal and give great bang for buck.

Just maybe check the chassis is straight with a local specialist before buying ;-)

peter2704

Original Poster:

186 posts

172 months

Tuesday 9th February
quotequote all
where are these cars to be found?

BertBert

14,879 posts

175 months

Tuesday 9th February
quotequote all
I presume it's not a recent ex academy car as they don't run screenless?

Boggo

72 posts

18 months

Wednesday 10th February
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If its been raced for more than 2 years (Academy then Roadsport) the screen will be gone - don't assume anything!

Amris

153 posts

132 months

Wednesday 10th February
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peter2704 said:
where are these cars to be found?
eBay is your best bet for a bargain. There is also a good FaceBook marketplace group. Other than that some of the race support teams advertise used cars e.g. PT sports cars and usual other Caterham specialists (Sevens&Classics, GP Sevens etc)

Amris

153 posts

132 months

Wednesday 10th February
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Also Lotus 7 Market place - great idea to join the club anyway and you can post a wanted add on the for sale board.

peter2704

Original Poster:

186 posts

172 months

Wednesday 10th February
quotequote all
joined already and ad placed