What is your experience with Caterham? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
View Poll Results: What is your experience with Caterham?
I own/have owned a Caterham. 22 22.22%
I have driven a Caterham. 9 9.09%
I have ridden in a Caterham. 9 9.09%
I have sat in a Caterham. 9 9.09%
I have seen a Caterham on the road/track. 21 21.21%
I have seen a Caterham parked. 13 13.13%
I have never seen a Caterham in person. 16 16.16%
Voters: 99. You may not vote on this poll

 
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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What is your experience with Caterham?

Choose the first that applies.

Jason
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amazingjason View Post
Choose the first that applies.

Jason
Usually see them going past me.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 05:29 PM
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i got a 2003 caterham and i love it

2006 k24 powered Lotus Elise-way too many mods to list (k24 swap 300whp NA!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uOFOm5xTZA
2003 Caterham Super Seven DeDion
2008 Maserati Quattroporte Executive GT
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 05:32 PM
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A friend of mine had one and gave me a ride in it.
That was back when I was 20 (so 21 years ago).
That ride back then was what turned me on to Lotus.

Now that I fulfilled my dream of owning a Lotus (Elise) in 2006 the R400 in my next dream car to have.

And yes, usually they just fly by me on track...

If I die, my biggest fear is that my wife sells all my toys for the price I told her I bought them for...
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 06:52 AM
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I own two, one is an E Production race car my son and I drive in SCCA, the other is a street/autocross car. I had an Elise briefly but sold it as the Caterham was more fun in autocross or track and the Elise just had too may luxuries I mean A/C, ABS, Power windows, a radio! The cars are relatively trouble free if you build them right and maintain them. Caterham USA are good people!
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 12:08 PM
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I own a Caterham and a Birkin. Each has its pluses and minuses.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 12:53 PM
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I've sat in a caterham. I have driven an miata based locost.

Mike
2005 Arctic Silver Elise (Ohlins, Factory SC)
Thousand Oaks, CA
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 10:20 PM
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I bought a 2003 model with a 2L Zetec last summer (was searching for an Elise when I found this caterham). I also built one with a friend back in 1992.

In most cases, I think a lot of people don't really know what they are getting into when they buy a Caterham (or one of the clones). The car is not for everyone, even when we are talking about serious sports car enthusiasts.

A standard 7 with the typical engines offered is actually not that fast by modern day standard. The suspension is also not that spectacular by modern day standard. There are many good sports cars on the market these days that can out perform a 7 in every single performance parameters you can think of. The only thing these cars can't duplicate is the absolute rawness of the 7. The car is difficult to drive fast at the limit. The standard brakes are actually not that great. Overall, a modern day car like the Elise is a substantially "better" sports car than a 7 in my opinion. No surprise there, the 7 is an OLD design. What it does offer is a driving experience which only a crude machine can offer. Just think about writing a letter on a piece of paper with a manual mechanical typewriter instead of using a computer keyboard. Yes, it's that different. And if you have never used a mechanical typwriter, I suggest you try one. It's actually a lot of fun.

Last edited by Joe Cheng; 01-28-2012 at 12:59 PM.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 12:39 AM
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I voted "owned" even though it was a Westfield not a Caterham. Built it in 1995 and drove it for ~35,000km over the next four years.

As Joe says they are a dated design (the Elise leaves it for dead in the suspension and roadholding stakes) but they are just laugh-out-loud fun to drive briskly
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 05:09 AM
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I have two. A track R409 and a street R300 SV. But then I am the dealer for Caterham in California.

Today we are taking both my SC Exige and the R300 to an autocross to race against each other. Should be fun.

#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7

Zenos E10S for Sale! www.zenosforsale.com

There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 09:52 AM
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Mine was a 1990 185bhp crossflow engined car. I found it a more forgiving track car than the Elise. Biggest drawback was cockpit heat in the summer. Best drive? - the Isle of Man TT circuit at 6am on a summer Sunday morning. (The pic was taken at Port Erin, IoM on that trip) Next best? Winning "Best Novice" at the UK Lotus 7 Owners Club annual meet.

2006 Elise, Chrome Orange, Sport Pack, Touring Pack, Stage 2, LETSLA, Quick Rack, Sport ECU
2004 Cooper S, Black, -15% s/c pulley, 22mm sway bar
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
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Mine was a 1990 185bhp crossflow engined car....
Wow, that was a maxed out Kent.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 11:40 AM
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I have a 1993 Dedion Car with a 149HP Jay Ivey crossflow. Bought new in 1993 and built it myself. I have built 4 or 5 of these for friends and with friends over the years.

Nothing like a Caterham.

As my best freind passed last year, I now take care of his 2010 R400 with a Duratec and the big roller bodies. Dont know what that puts out in HP but it is quite a bit. I think about 240 or so. My friend's son now owns the car and he lives overseas but his car is here. I drive his car every once in while to keep it current and used.

I usually have a few for sale on our website, LotusOwners Lotus Owners of New York

185HP crossflow? Well I have built several over the years. Had several built by others including who I consider the best, Jay Ivey at Ivey Engines, Inc. up in Portland OR. Most I have ever seen in a streetable car was one we had built by
Marcovicci - Wenz of Ronkonoma, NY which was dynoed at 166 hp @ 7000 rpm. That motor had 45DCOE (normal Caterham XFlows have 40DCOEs) and was stroked to 1800. Dont see how you could get 185HP out of a crossflow without making it really undrivable on the street. Full race cam, stroked and bored to within an inch of its life. Not to argue with you about it, I just didnt think it was possible.


That car with the Marcovicci - Wenz motor is now on the LOONY website for sale.

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.

Last edited by tvacc; 01-29-2012 at 11:48 AM.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 01:50 PM
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This is a video of our lower powered street Caterham R300 yesterday (Saturday). It hit 2Gs on the turns and set fast time of day in it's rungroup. And we found that with 170hp, it could easily break the tires loose under throttle.

http://youtu.be/ofKCtS0yVhU

#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7

Zenos E10S for Sale! www.zenosforsale.com

There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 04:40 PM
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Was in the market for a Caterham or 7 several years ago, and inquired about a car advertised in the Baltimore area.

If you haven't heard of Dennis Simon, you've seen his artwork somewhere along the line...

Century of Speed | Dennis Simon

It was his car I went to look at and drive. He took me for a test drive on the back roads of northern Baltimore County. That was one of the scariest, most fun rides I've ever had in an automobile.

Owned, loved, enjoyed, and now gone:
1969 Europa S2 Blue
1970 Europa S2 White
1974 Europa Twin Cam Blue
1974 Europa Twin Cam Blue
1984 Turbo Esprit Calypso Red
2005 Elise Starlight Black
2005 Elise Saffron Yellow
2005 Elise Ardent Red
2006 Exige Graphite Grey
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 05:25 PM
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Had a 1979 Caterham for a bit. If I had a big barn, I'd still have it. Replaced it with a compromise car (Elise) because I'm a weather wimp.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 06:09 PM
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I'm in the process of building an R400. While I have thoroughly enjoyed the build process, the number of incorrect and missing parts has been shocking. And it wasn't just the intial kit order . . . subsequent parts orders have been wrong. I've even received parts I didn't order - I had to forward them back to Caterham USA as they were supposed to have been for another US customer.

I'd still recommend one, as the product is very, very good . . . but the order fulfillment process reflects a lack of care.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 03:50 PM
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xxx

Last edited by s2kseven; 05-08-2012 at 12:31 PM.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-08-2012, 04:50 AM
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Amazingly fun car to drive. 295 HP Cosworth 2.3L Duratec, Sadev Sequential Gearbox, Nitron Dampers

2010 Caterham Superlight R400 SV
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-24-2015, 09:20 PM
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I've only been in an old Kent powered one. I didn't think it was better than my '65 Cosworth 1500 Seven. It has an old Vanguard built engine in it. I like the free revving nature of the shorter stroke. One of my street Cortinas has a Ivy built 1680 cammed, 40mm Delorttos with 32mm chokes It is a pump gas and iron crank motor, and its set up to move a 2000 lb car. 135 on Jay's dyno. Kent 243 or 244 cam, I can't remember. Alden distributor. Oversized valves, too. 185 is a big big number. I think the 145 advertised by Caterham in the Super-sprint was rated at the brochure, knowing how I got 135.
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