Even when indirectly involved with the build - I can barely build a sandwich, let alone a Seven - what faced all of us at 9am was distinctly daunting. Though much of the wiring and more tedious jobs had already been done, what sat there was a Miami Blue tub and plenty of boxes with all the parts that needed to be fitted. Over to the guys...
"Before long my hands were covered in copper slip and I was as happy as a pig in a doughnut shop", said Ben H, who was working with Ben N on the front of the car. So that's steering rack, brakes, suspension and so on. In no time at all the Seven became more recognisable - "our car had a face", as Ben H put it - and, with the array of hammers serving us well, progress looked good. Well, apart from that particularly awkward anti-roll bar...
Ben and Ben were working fast elsewhere, with the next task installing the rear wings and seals: "It wasn't rocket science but it was very fiddly and required a good eye for craftsmanship, something I lack!"said Mr Nicholls, then we were onto the big jobs before lunch: gearbox and engine.
With those in "surprisingly simply" according to Jan - I was making more tea at this point - the afternoon of the first day could be spent on more minor but equally important jobs. "The boot carpet was a sod to get right and straight" said Ben N, although that could just be the glue talking. Indeed Ben H was expecting bare metal on an R-spec Caterham, so perhaps it can be eliminated for weight-saving purposes...
Despite that, there was plenty of enthusiasm from the group: "I assembled all the rear suspension components, which included special permission to use the hammer!" said Chris. Those hammers again... "I mostly wrestled with coolant hoses and a mountain of jubilee clips, some more recalcitrant than others" added Martyn, who was very pleased to see the coolant stay in the car when fired up! Having described working on the rear suspension as a "pleasure" - no really, it says so here - James was tasked with fitting the silencer. Over to him: "Having been shown a trick for fitting the exhaust retaining springs using cable ties, I tried with all my might to get the thing to hook in place but failed dismally. Becky [Caterham staff] then took over and, with seemingly zero effort, pulled the spring over its hook." Don't worry James, could have been worse!
Predictably enough time began to get away with the guys, though it sounds like a great deal of fun was still had as the build progressed. "Very satisfying!" is how Chris described using an air powered rivet gun, while Stephen "could definitely see myself coping with a Caterham build in my single garage." Very keen!
To read through the reactions to the build is heartening: "a great day out", "I can't wait to be reunited with the car", "when can I come back?" and so on. Thanks all! We would have loved to feature more of your insight on the weekend but we would be here for dozens more paragraphs. Now it's time for the IVA...
Car: Caterham Seven 310R
Run by: Whoever gets it first
On fleet since: April 2017
Mileage: None as yet, but it runs!
List price new: TBC, c. £33K kit
Last month at a glance: It's built, now to get it on the road!
We need help building 'our' 310R