No-one needs us to remind them of the popularity enjoyed by retro Caterhams. But, for the sake of this story, we're going to. The Seven Sprint, that sepia-toned 60s throwback from 2016, sold out in a week; the SuperSprint follow up, of which 60 were also made, was accounted for in just seven hours. Now the nostalgia is going into series production...
Welcome to the Caterham Super Seven 1600, a car described by its maker as "designed to evoke the glamour, colour and joy of motoring in the 1970s, with none of the drawbacks of 70s technology." Unlike those Sprint Sevens, which used the three-cylinder 160 engine, this Super 1600 is powered by the 135hp 1.6-litre Sigma found in the 270 models. However, there's one vital tweak here to align the SS1600 with its 70's aesthetic in the form of DCOE throttle body injection (note the K&N filters poking out of the bonnet) meaning it gurgles and growls like an old Seven. Marvellous.
Indeed there's plenty to convince the casual onlooker they are looking at a classic Caterham, as the Super 1600 features the flared wings not seen for decades, the spare wheel out back with carrier, a wooden steering wheel, "classically tailored" leather and a new 14-inch wheel design that harks back to the good ol' days as well. Also, unlike the three-cylinder throwbacks, the Super 1600 will be offered in narrow-body and SV chassis widths.
All of these Super 1600s will come as standard with the Caterham road suspension pack, Avon ZT7 tyres and a five-speed manual. Buyers will get the choice of seven heritage paint options: Racing Green, Caribbean Blue, Tuscany Red, Saxony Grey, Oxford White, Bordeaux Red and Serengeti Orange.
So that's the spec - how much for Caterham's "reimagining of a true modern icon"? It's £33,495 as a DIY kit, so potentially the perfect project to take on in quarantine. Bear in mind, however, that the more powerful Seven 360 costs £2k less in component form - nostalgia doesn't come cheap in 2020!