Caterham Cars started out in the 1960s as a dealer for the Lotus 7 which had
been designed by Colin Chapman. The Lotus Seven was launched in 1957 as a low
cost lightweight sports car and also was successful as a race car.
In 1960 came the Series 2, then in 1968 the Series 3, then in 1970 the Series 4.
In 1973 Graham Nearn(founder of Caterham Cars) purchased the rights of the Lotus Seven design from Colin Chapman as the model was going to be discontinued by Lotus but Nearn felt that it could still be a popular model. Unfortunately the Lotus Seven Series 4 wasn't popular and in 1974 production changed back to a Series 3 model.
Under the name of Seven Cars Ltd. 20 production cars were built by Caterham and also 1 prototype. 20 of them were fitted with the Ford Lotus Twin Cam 1557cc engine apart from chassis 7 which at the request of the New Zealand purchaser was fitted with an Alfa Romeo engine(1962cc twin cam) as it was destined for racing.
2007 was the 50th anniversary of the car being in production.
Tubular steel chassis with aluminium sheet bodywork and GRP or carbon fibre nosecone and wings.
Front engined, rear wheel drive 2 seater.
Most importantly is the light weight which is generally less than 500kg which gives the extremely high performance especially when a high performance engine is fitted.
Unfortunately light weight comes at a cost and in this instance it is comfort and safety equipment but you don't buy a Caterham Seven for either of those. Usually bought as self construction projects(can be bought as a kit), out and out sports cars for weekend fun or track days.
With a powerful engine and low weight the performance has always been high
and with good suspension and rear wheel drive the handling has been the hallmark
of the Caterham car. For any car of this type braking is also of paramount importance
and various braking equipment has been available through the life of the Caterham.
Calipers of various sorts provide the stopping power and these include:
On the front:
- Triump Spitfire 1500 calipers
- Girling Type 14
- Ate M16
- AP Racing CP5119
- AP Racing CP3228
- AP Racing CP7600
And on the rear:
- Lucas CN3 Ford Scorpio
- AN other - TBC
- VAG Part 1J0615423, rears for Passat, Golf and A3.