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post #21 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-26-2009, 10:56 AM
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Tony's analogies are spot on.
You definitely put on and wear a Caterham, it becomes an extension of your body. The seven is much more exhilarating than the Elise, but it comes at a price.
I don't find it all that difficult to get into the Seven (without a top) but I have had some practice, it is like dropping yourself into a race car.


I don't necessarily agree with the articles assessment that break away at the limit is not as progressive as the Elise, I have found just the opposite to be true. The seven is so predictable and has none of the snap oversteer that the Elise has, it is really easy to hang it out around corners


Also to note, as Tony will attest, I was really concerned about cockpit heat when I was on here asking questions about sevens before I bought mine. I was told that it was very hot and that some have even had there shoes melt. My car only has Caterhams optional heat shielding which amounts to a small amount of "foil" around the foot box, and I have found the heat to not be an issue. It only gets slightly uncomfortable when I have had to sit at a long stop light in 90+ degree outside temps.

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post #22 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-26-2009, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopho View Post
I don't necessarily agree with the articles assessment that break away at the limit is not as progressive as the Elise, I have found just the opposite to be true. The seven is so predictable and has none of the snap oversteer that the Elise has, it is really easy to hang it out around corners:
[/I]
I can hang out the Caterham in a 4 wheel drift perfectly. I have have not been able to do that in the Elise or perhaps I am too frightened to. You have to go a lot faster in the Elise to hang it out "there".

Another way to put it.....
I dont know Pam Anderson, but I suspect she is quite a fun person to be with and probably quite a handful day to day living. I saw on some show she has a stripper pole in her bedroom.....

Well....driving the Elise is like going out with a girl on a blind date and then going back to her place to have hot chocolate and to play scrabble.

Driving the Seven is like opening the door and finding out your blind date is Pam Anderson. You are in for a ride.....

Tony Vaccaro
2005 Elise Ardent Red, www.lotusowners.com LOONY (Lotus Owners of New York) and the Church of the HolyLotus, Drive Fast Take Chances, 93 Caterham 7, 71 Elan, 70 Elan GTS, 1991 M100, 1999 Sport 190 Elise, 1974 Europa TC, 1973 Europa JPS #15 TwinCam.
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post #23 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-26-2009, 11:36 PM
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I find the interminable admonitions regarding Lift throttle oversteer in the Elise to be comical.
It's about skill anyway, but it does indicate that breakaway is not as progressive as it is in a well set up se7en.

Having said that, A se7en encourages trailing throttle on corner entry. It is fun to back the car into a quick corner, then power out.....heaven

It is a much more malleable handling tool.
When you do spin, it most often takes a little more than a cars length to run out of momentum.

I had mine for 8 years now and look forward to the first drive in spring.

m
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post #24 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-27-2009, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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tony, is there a way that in the spring, the car could be trailered to where i live instead of me going out there and picking it up?

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post #25 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-27-2009, 11:12 AM
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I'll answer the question for Tony; It's easy and cheap to ship cars. I just shipped my wifes 3 ton Mercedes 450 SL to Florida from Wisconsin so she could drive it over the winter. Cost less than $700. I've had a car shipped from South Africa for less than $2500!! You should contact Frank Howard in Minneapolis, he can answer all questions pertaining to Lotus and Minnesota motor vehicle regs. I seriously doubt that street licensing a
Caterham or Birkin is any problem as there are several in Minneapolis. The Caterham's are really nice if price is no object but the Birkin's are a much better buy because of the exchange rate. Very well made cars (you can look up my article on the Birkin Factory in Lotus ReMarque, I believe it was published in 2001. You really should drive both of them before deciding. Attend the LOG in Birmingham in May and I'm absolutely certain people will let you try out their cars if they know you're interested in buying one. Dick Brink (Birkin) almost always attends and brings a demo car. A side note. Caterham is the only company licensed by Lotus Cars to build a Seven. Team Lotus (the then racing division of Lotus Cars) visited South Africa in the '60's for a race and saw a replica that was built by John Watson.They gave him permission to build replica Sevens to be sold in South Africa as import restrictions were so tight that it was not economically feasible to import them from the UK. There was a considerable internal row about that seemingly innocent on the spot decision back at Lotus headquarters. Caterham later sued Birkin in South Africa to prevent them from building replica Sevens but Birkin won the case in South African court. Controversy still exists over there "right" to sell the cars in other markets. Birkin is a great company and build a first rate product. It used to be that if you called the factory, they would accomodate special requests and custom options...Dave
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post #26 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-27-2009, 11:43 AM
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Team Lotus (the then racing division of Lotus Cars) visited South Africa in the '60's for a race and saw a replica that was built by John Watson.

Did you mean the 80's?

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post #27 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 04:22 PM
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tony, is there a way that in the spring, the car could be trailered to where i live instead of me going out there and picking it up?

Did you buy something?

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post #28 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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yes, i have decided that i am going to get the 2003 caterham super seven that is for sale on lotusowners.com. I prefer to get a caterham and this one is built and owned by the dealer and has very low miles with all the options from factory. I am starting to really like that blue color too the more that i see it.
Can't wait till the snow clears!

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post #29 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 04:45 PM
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Right on! That's a real nice one, fairly similar spec to mine. Look forward to hearing what you think about it

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post #30 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 05:11 PM
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MNLotus is getting what I think is one of the nicest Caterhams around. It was not my business to post that he had bought the car. I have driven this car many times...and it is absolutely fantastic. And the color looks fnatastic in person. Low miles...great engine.....car is like new. Great purchase and MNLotus will be very pleased.

For those that do not know the seller, we joke with him that he is the only one that can drive with us through a dust storm and his car arrives clean. It takes meticulous care of his cars and it was only driven in perfect conditions. It has never seen rain. Car is better than what most people can build.

Tony Vaccaro
2005 Elise Ardent Red, www.lotusowners.com LOONY (Lotus Owners of New York) and the Church of the HolyLotus, Drive Fast Take Chances, 93 Caterham 7, 71 Elan, 70 Elan GTS, 1991 M100, 1999 Sport 190 Elise, 1974 Europa TC, 1973 Europa JPS #15 TwinCam.
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post #31 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 08:39 PM
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We pulled the engine on my Caterham today...

pictures at LotusOwners Lotus Owners of New York

Tony Vaccaro
2005 Elise Ardent Red, www.lotusowners.com LOONY (Lotus Owners of New York) and the Church of the HolyLotus, Drive Fast Take Chances, 93 Caterham 7, 71 Elan, 70 Elan GTS, 1991 M100, 1999 Sport 190 Elise, 1974 Europa TC, 1973 Europa JPS #15 TwinCam.
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post #32 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
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tony, do you know about how much horsepower my caterham has? i know it has 200+ but i don't know the exact amount. And are these cars pretty easy to get a little more hp out of. i dont think id ever want more then 300 hp, but if i ever wanted to add more, would i be able to?

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post #33 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 08:42 AM
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I am guessing that your car has about 220HP. The only way to get more HP is to put on different Cams....and clean up the head more. I am not an expert on Zetecs...but I can try and find out for you.

To be honest...this car is really quick. Get used to it before you put any more HP into it.

I know that Dave's brothers' Caterham has a little more HP, but he has the SVO engine in that one. I think that puts out about 240. That increase comes completely from head work.

A basic rule of thumb is that HP increases in the Zetec come from the head. HP increases in the Duratec come from the block.

The nice thing about the Zetec is that there is a lot of info out there on it.

Raceline.co.uk has a lot of info on both the engines.

Tony Vaccaro
2005 Elise Ardent Red, www.lotusowners.com LOONY (Lotus Owners of New York) and the Church of the HolyLotus, Drive Fast Take Chances, 93 Caterham 7, 71 Elan, 70 Elan GTS, 1991 M100, 1999 Sport 190 Elise, 1974 Europa TC, 1973 Europa JPS #15 TwinCam.
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post #34 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the info. i dont plan doing anything to the caterham for at least a few years. i am planning on putting a k24 in my elise and then having a custom turbo and intercooler put in before i even think about doing any work to the caterham. im sure i'll agree with what was on the LOON site, "the car will blow me away"

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post #35 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 09:53 AM
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To be honest...this car is really quick. Get used to it before you put any more HP into it.


Very true. 0-80 in a Caterham is absolutely blistering,both in feel as well as raw numbers.

Of course thats only a small part of the equation of the Caterham experience. Visceral feel,6th sense communication w driver,even small items such as gear change feel make up the rest.
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post #36 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 01:01 PM
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Here is the spec of your engine and it already has cams, etc:

Quote:
The Seven America Zetec Supersport package includes; custom aluminum bellhousing, engine mounts, cast aluminum sump with baffle and windage tray, kit-ready engine wiring harness, one-piece throttle body fuel injection manifold, fully PC programmable direct fire ignition/F.I. control unit with mounting hardware, high performance street cams with fully adjustable vernier pulley set, spun aluminum air trumpets, ITG half-round high-performance air filter, annular clutch slave cylinder & release bearing with hardware, 9" clutch, 9.5 lb aluminum flywheel, front and rear O2 sensors, alternator, starter, water pump, coolant tubes & hoses, all necessary sensors, and mounting hardware.
Displacement: 1988cc
# of Cylinders: 4 in-line
Bore: 84.80mm
Stroke: 88.00mm
Compression ratio: 10.5:1
Valves: 16
Camshaft: DOHC
Ignition: Fully PC Programmable Direct Fire
Firing Order: 1-3-4-2
Fuel: Premium Unleaded 92 Octane
Fuel System: Throttle Body Fuel Injection
Maximum RPM: 7,500rpm
Maximum power: 202bhp @ 6,800rpm
Maximum torque: 165lbs/ft @ 5,000rpm

The ITB's are probably good for another couple of horsepower. If you have an SVT head, you maybe have 210hp

From what I have been told, this is about the most power you can get out of the Zetec without spending big bucks and sacrificing reliability (or going forced induction), so I would be really impressed if the car Tony was referring to has 240hp, perhaps it was something other than a Zetec?

One of the local guys here put a supercharger on his with good results, but said he could really feel the weight of it on the front of the car and ultimately ditched in favor of a Duratec motor.
The newer cars come with the Duratec, which is an aluminum block, it is lighter and more tunable, 250-265hp is easy to get out of it.

Also, quite a few guys have put Zetec powered Sevens on wheel dynos and got no where near the power that Caterham claims for the motor, some are stating that the engine is 185hp max based on their results.
That said, I don't put a lot of stock in wheel dynos for anything other than tuning and the car sure feels like 200hp. The car does 0-60 in 3.8-4.0s with the 200hp Zetec motor in it.

I have to say the Zetec is quite fabulous in the car, it is quite torquey with a pretty flat powerband, and the 6-speed gearbox is sex

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post #37 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 01:32 PM
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I can only tell you what I "feel" the car has in comparison to what other cars I have driven. I guess I should not be so "sure" without the dyno numbers of what they are in reality.

I know Dave's car was sent from Caterahm with in excess of 200HP. That is their figure. I have driven other cars with same HP to weight ratios and this car feels like it is more than 202HP. I have always felt that it had in the 215 or so range. Again this is subjective in my judgement. It is not Dave's representation of the car. The ad on the LOONY site says in excess of 200HP.

The other car they have there has the SVT engine with Throttle bodies. To me the car feels faster than other Zetecs I have driven. It definitly has more mid range power.

These cars have not been on a dyno, so it it tough to put a real handle on it.

I KNOW what 185HP Caterhams feel like. Now if Caterhams numbers are skewed then my point of reference is off. I can tell you that my 148hp crossflow is a hell of a lot slower then even 185HP Zetecs and my car is dynoed.


In comparison to my Elise which has the SC. Dave's car....the one that you are buying is faster. I think my Elise with the SC does 0-60 now in about 4 secs...or 4.5 easily. Dave's car is faster to my seat of the pants testing.


And yes...the Duratecs are faster and easier to get the HP out of.

But remember, all this is secondary to the real feel of the Caterham when driving it. It is an experience. And the 6 speed gearbox is heaven

Tony Vaccaro
2005 Elise Ardent Red, www.lotusowners.com LOONY (Lotus Owners of New York) and the Church of the HolyLotus, Drive Fast Take Chances, 93 Caterham 7, 71 Elan, 70 Elan GTS, 1991 M100, 1999 Sport 190 Elise, 1974 Europa TC, 1973 Europa JPS #15 TwinCam.
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post #38 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 01:35 PM
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Let me say one more thing.....the car really is perfect the way it is. The gearbox is matched perfectly to the engine so that you are always in the power band.

LIke Mopho says....it is really perfect. I could drive Dave's car all day long and never stop smiling.

Tony Vaccaro
2005 Elise Ardent Red, www.lotusowners.com LOONY (Lotus Owners of New York) and the Church of the HolyLotus, Drive Fast Take Chances, 93 Caterham 7, 71 Elan, 70 Elan GTS, 1991 M100, 1999 Sport 190 Elise, 1974 Europa TC, 1973 Europa JPS #15 TwinCam.
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post #39 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 04:55 PM
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While the Caterham has been the better and more developed car over the years, (in my opinion) the Birkin made a HUGE jump this year with the introduction of the IRS car. It is really something....and like half the price of a Caterham. I am working with Dick down in Texas. He is the Birkin Dist.

If I had not bought back my Caterham in August....I would have bought a Birkin.
You have my attention. I was thinking about getting an SV but I'll definitely look into this. I'll start looking but if you can point me to good sources of info on the new Birkin, I'd appreciate it.

The first step for me is to drive both.

-Shawn (2005 Elise) || New England Members of Lotus Ltd. (NEMOLL) - PM me to join local info list or NEMOLL || UberPost - Elise/Exige info: common problems/fixes, etc.

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post #40 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 01:08 PM
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Just a side note to this thread. I was down at Texas Motor Works this Saturday to drive the used Birkins and Caterham he has in stock. At the end of the day, I walked away thinking I would build one myself. These cars are all so custom that by the end of the day, the cost to get one of the used ones to where I want it is about the same as building a new one (not including all my labor, of course). The Duratec is such a cheap form of power now that it really makes the new ones competitive in cost.

Plus, I think there is something about knowing your car inside and out from building it.

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