LOH's Caterham 7 Super Sprint

LOH's Caterham 7 Super Sprint

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LaurasOtherHalf

Original Poster:

21,429 posts

199 months

Tuesday 24th August 2021
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Time for a thread at last! Despite making one for the Mrs' i3S and even thinking about one for my V6 Amarok I've waiting doing a proper one until I managed to get another proper car. Not that I don't love the other two-I absolutely love the cars we have, probably as much as I've loved anything we've owned-if not more.

But, I have been waiting a couple of years to get to this point and even though it was a bit of a rush deal and wasn't exactly what I was going to do, well it just had to be done.

For more examples of my frivolous automobile purchases look no further than my readers cars threads below-there's always something daft that happens along the way and not a single one was purchased with much in the way of thought or consideration...

MINI GP2

Porsche 911s

MX5 diary

As usual, there's a bit (a lot) of a backstory to all this but while I type all of that piffle up you might as well have some pics of what I think is one of the most beautiful little cars made in years...










Edited by LaurasOtherHalf on Tuesday 24th August 21:22

HustleRussell

24,900 posts

163 months

Tuesday 24th August 2021
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That does look great, and when it comes to Caterhams for road use I’m very much on board with the relatively low power and low grip thang thumbup

paulguitar

24,651 posts

116 months

Tuesday 24th August 2021
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Great looking car. I’d really love to get one of these.

LaurasOtherHalf

Original Poster:

21,429 posts

199 months

Tuesday 24th August 2021
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So what is it if you don't know caterfields or whatever?

It is a whole hunking 880cc of Japanese Turbo power in a retro Caterham body.

The story goes that Caterham worked out that if the power train matched the requirements, a narrow body Caterham could actually qualify as a Kei Car in Hong Kong. So with typical British brio, Caterham went and sourced a Suzuki three cylinder turbo engine, box and live back axle and went and built one. A whole 80 bhp, which is more than what a Kei Car can have but your guess is as good as mine.

For clarity, I think this is the story and with along with the rest of this post in particular I'm just going off what I've read on the net. It may be wrong and I'm happy to be corrected

So once that was all done, Caterham now had a new little car to play with.

A couple of years later in 2017, caterham was celebrating their 60th anniversary, well actually the 60th anniversary of the Lotus & and they decided to cobble together some typical British MotoCo special editions. What came out was the bloody beautiful little Caterham Sprint, the little green one with the old school wings and red interior.

As you can imagine it was very well received and thoughts turned to another special edition.

As stunning as the Sprint was, what followed in the Super Sprint was everything the Sprint was and more. Sorted by Caterham Works, the engine was tuned to a heady 95bhp (hold on tight!!), the suspension was adjustable and the diff was of the limited slip variety. Skinny Avon tyres, Brooklands screens and a no cost option of passenger seat delete.

These were announced at the Goodwood Festival Of Speed and immediately sold out, 60 cars, 30 for the rest of the world and 30 for the UK. The headlines were 60 sell out in 60 minutes.

Six colour schemes, all with Scottish Tan Leather and you could add lowered floors, tonneau covers and even a roof and windscreen if you were southern.

Each car came with a matching helmet and not surprisingly, many were ordered by collectors/speculators either looking for something to covet or make a quick buck from.

As soon as they were announced, basically on the premise of "look at what you could have won" I absolutely loved them. All sold out and let's be honest, with only 30 in the UK with some already likely exported or SORN'd, squirrelled away in collections finding one would be hard.

It became the type of car you kept looking at in the classifieds with a view of "one day", in the hope it doesn't become one of those "oh so nearly but now you can't get one" cars...

HustleRussell

24,900 posts

163 months

Tuesday 24th August 2021
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660cc no?

snoopy25

1,901 posts

123 months

Tuesday 24th August 2021
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Bookmarked! This looks like a right little fun car!

LaurasOtherHalf

Original Poster:

21,429 posts

199 months

Wednesday 25th August 2021
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HustleRussell said:
660cc no?
Yes! I keep telling people it’s 880cc for some reason confused

Regardless, despite swearing I’d never own one (a friend had a bad accident in one) in amongst my saved searches of GT3s, Boxster Spyders and the like I kept coming back to these little things.

Around a year to six months ago there would regularly be three or four of the U.K. cars up for sale. All were always sub 1000 miles and all were about the list price when new or the invoice price including a couple of options.

I kept my eye on a couple, I particularly wanted either Zandvoort Green (pic below) or Dijon Blue-I thought it looked best in the blue but the green appealed as the quirky option.



One in particular was a gorgeous Dijon Blue with all the right extras for me-tonneau covers, brooklands screens and lowered floors. It had also been wrapped in clear film for protection which although I’m not bothered about was a decent extra.

It was owned by a racing team who ran in the Caterham Cup as a bit of a show piece. Hardly used and probably bought because they could, with the hope of a bit of appreciation. I know a couple of their drivers have had a go in it as it’s appeared on some social media but I don’t think it’s been ragged as a track car!

What intrigued me more was it was number 60 of the build run of 60. Such things don’t really bother me at all but seeing as most of these have covered minimum mileage, my thought was the significant build number might negate some of the depreciation I’ll cause by actually using the damn thing.

It sold at the end of last year and slowly but steadily, most of the usual suspects disappeared from the market.

Up until a couple of weeks ago the owner of no60 put a for sale ad up in a Facebook group I’m on. A few hundred extra miles of summer use on the odometer and a bit cheaper I was on the phone straight away.

A video call, some bartering and a deposit was paid. It kind of felt like it was meant to be-the original car I’d wanted plus it’s racing number was the same age I will turn this year. Fate!

Fate also decided it was situated at just about the furthest point in England from where I was.

A scramble round the local motor club to find a suitable covered trailer and a road trip was planned…



Om

1,856 posts

81 months

Wednesday 25th August 2021
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LaurasOtherHalf said:
Fate also decided it was situated at just about the furthest point in England from where I was.

A scramble round the local motor club to find a suitable covered trailer and a road trip was planned…

A trailer? Wus!

Scoobyshue

236 posts

165 months

Wednesday 25th August 2021
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That is a great looking thing.

I've been a bike rider for years. Aprilia RS125, SV650, CBR600RR, R1, Hypermotard.....

I've always had a thing for Caterhams. My uncle used to go on about them all the time and I drove one at a Palmer Sport day at Bedford. My enthusiasm for them has also rubbed off on the missus so one day we will have one.

Enjoy it!

LaurasOtherHalf

Original Poster:

21,429 posts

199 months

Wednesday 25th August 2021
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Om said:
A trailer? Wus!
hehe


Cambs_Stuart

2,987 posts

87 months

Wednesday 25th August 2021
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That is a lovely thing. It looks very "right".

Toma500

1,221 posts

256 months

Wednesday 25th August 2021
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Love it especially those wheels bet it sounds great too like a mini porsche

Mezzanine

9,408 posts

222 months

Wednesday 25th August 2021
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That Zandvoort Green one looks superb.

Great purchase LOH, looking forward to seeing how you get on with this smile

ATM

18,621 posts

222 months

Wednesday 25th August 2021
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LaurasOtherHalf said:
HustleRussell said:
660cc no?
Yes! I keep telling people it’s 880cc for some reason confused
Poetic License

LaurasOtherHalf

Original Poster:

21,429 posts

199 months

Wednesday 25th August 2021
quotequote all
Actually I think the smaller sounds cooler!

So after hearing from a fellow club member that his trailer would be available my next door neighbour and I went round last minute to pick it up.

I mention the next door neighbour as I’d done home a favour the previous weekend by taking him to collect his new (old) Mini Cooper S rally car. It was campaigned by him and his friend for many a year and whilst the owner was now in his 80s it was time to sell. It probably won’t be competed in any more, it will do some sprints and track days etc.

It is a pucker original rally car, I was needed as although it was local (same street that I grew up in and that my parents still live so I’ve known it for years) it also came with enough spares to fill 2 trailer full, 2 pickup trucks full as well as an X5 with the seats folded! The attic of the garage was full to the rafters, spare engines, glass, about a dozen heads, interiors, wheels, gearboxes, I think over 10 carbs.

All original mk1 Cooper S bits.



So after a deal was done the following day Rob said he’d make the journey as back up driver if needed.

We set the alarms for 4:30am and we’re on the road by 5. A terrific journey there and back saw the car in my hands. To be fair, at 1300 miles on the clock you’d expect it to be like new and it was.

Long day but we’ll work the effort.








The_Doc

4,976 posts

223 months

Wednesday 25th August 2021
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That's very classy. Very nice. Elegant.
I'd better make good on my threat and get one too, although I was thinking more along the lines of https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202107104...

which would make mine the brash, yah-hoo cousin!

LaurasOtherHalf

Original Poster:

21,429 posts

199 months

Wednesday 25th August 2021
quotequote all
The_Doc said:
That's very classy. Very nice. Elegant.
I'd better make good on my threat and get one too, although I was thinking more along the lines of https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202107104...

which would make mine the brash, yah-hoo cousin!
I think if any readers were to meet us, there's only one who would be described as the brash, yah-hoo cousin (despite the finer taste in motor vehicles) and it aint the doc!

I have to admit as part of the story, my test drive was actually my first ever drive of not just a three cylinder Caterham but any Caterham at all.

The vender looked horrified when I turned up wearing my work steelies but I did fetch along my racing boots. Whilst everyone else made small talk I took the car for a blast along the Solent to make sure everything worked as it should. It's a strange thing to drive at first but you soon get used to the off beat sound and it doesn't half rev!

The other thing you notice is everyone looks.

I've yet to work out whether it's with the thought of "wow that's cool" or "look at this plonker!". With it's illegal black and white plates (which I think were put on by Caterham themselves as they all seem to have them) and retro graphics it really does look every inch the vintage race car.

Regardless, car home tucked up and a nightmare couple of days at work with staff waiting for bloody covid tests meant it didn't move much.

I made my old man stay out of the garage whilst the 'rents were babysitting for us so I could surprise him with it-his comment of "you're supposed to get more sensible with age" probably said it all-he did enjoy the quick blast out in it though.

Our local classic car show was on the Sunday, I'd planned to take it with the girls going ahead in the truck but the weather forecast ended up taking a turn for the worst on the day so we left it.

Typically by Monday of this week a heatwave was suddenly upon us. Kids to bed early after swimming on Tuesday and the first drive out was planned for last night...

The_Doc

4,976 posts

223 months

Thursday 26th August 2021
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3cyl turbo, sub 1000kg, Life!

Welcome to my world.

LaurasOtherHalf

Original Poster:

21,429 posts

199 months

Thursday 26th August 2021
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The_Doc said:
3cyl turbo, sub 1000kg, Life!

Welcome to my world.
Come back when you're sub 500kg wink

SpudLink

6,206 posts

195 months

Thursday 26th August 2021
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Congratulations on the new toy, LoH.

I remember when these were launched, and thought it was a great idea for Caterham to build a kei car for the Japanese market. I’ve always liked small cars with modest power.
I actually bought a Suzuki Cappuccino new in the mid-90s and it was a lot of fun. However if you saw it next to something like an MG Midget it wasn’t as small as you might think. I suspect Caterham made much better use of the engine.

Hopefully we will have a dry sunny Autumn for you to make the most of it.