In 1973, Graham Nearn made a very smart purchase. With Lotus ceasing production on their iconic Seven to break out of its kit-car image, Nearn snapped up the rights to produce the two-seater sports car under the name Caterham Cars, ensuring the beloved Seven could live on for decades to come.
The Seven owes much of its success as the ultimate two-seater roadster to its Lotus DNA; performance through lightweight and intelligent engineering, not just a double-serving of horsepower. A lightweight steel space-frame, with unstressed aluminum panels making up the majority of the bodywork, kept weight down, while the front-mid mounted engine and transmission kept the center of gravity low, making for an incredibly nimble package. Keeping on the lightweight theme, no space or weight is lost to amenities like air conditioning, a fixed roof, radio, cruise control, or ABS. Power came in the form of a variety of four cylinder engines, mainly Lotus TwinCam, Ford Crossflow, and Rover K-series engines; never outrageous horsepower monsters, just stout little motors that fit the narrow space between the frame spars.
If there ever was a car that provided a masterclass in the simple joys of motoring, this is it.
This Caterham Seven sports a 1600cc Ford Kent Crossflow engine with Weber DCOEs, paired to a 4-105E transmission sourced from a Ford Cortina, with further parts sourced from Dave Bean Engineering between 1987 and 1991. Interior touches include a Lotus-badged 3-spoke steering wheel, walnut shift knob, and Netami safety harnesses, as well as ammeter, oil pressure and fuel level gauges, and speedo and tachometer. A tonneau cover, soft top, and fabric doors accompany the car.
Purchased as a kit in the late 70s, this Caterham came together in the 1980s, and was registered in California as a 1968 Lotus Seven.
Included with this Caterham is documentation, build sheets, and service receipts dating back over 40 years.
Aston Martin of New England/Lotus Motorsports, Inc.
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