The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
488 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Given that I'm on such a long list, and that my dealer appears to be playing some interesting games with the line, AND that I picked a dealer w/a smaller allocation, AND given that the first price increase will likely be followed by more than one more by the time I actually may get a car...

I'm in serious discussions to acquire a Super 7. I'd use it for about the same thing, a weekend play car. I have no intention of using the Elise as anything other than a fair weather recreational vehicle, and the 7 can accomplish the same thing. No commuting, no daily driver, no beltways or interstates...just back road bashing and the occasion autocross.

I'm not naive about the relative reliabilty of the 7...my prior Lotus' were a 69, a 70, a 74, and an 84. I can do the basic stuff, have a good mechanic to do the rest.

I'm just getting a increasingly bad taste in my mouth re the Elise experience, and have every expectation that the price of admission, by the time mine comes, will be beyond what I am willing to carve out of the family budget relative to the actual value of the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,802 Posts
Assume your speaking of a caterham seven, for your use, it's an exc. car. Reliability is as good as the powerplant you choose. JamesA recently built one up which is absolutelly gorgeous.

You'll love it;.

Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,315 Posts
The Lotus/Caterham 7's are still the most fun cars I have ever driven. You'll be able to out corner and accelerate an Elise. I've been seriously tempted to buy one too!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
670 Posts
I put up a post on the same subject a while ago looking for info about the Seven. I got several useful links. I have since discovered that a Seven is not a large mans car. I'm 6'2" 235 lbs,
it is not a tight fit, it is an impossible fit. I can't get feet on pedals
without knees hitting underside of dash. I'd like to find a Caterham SV to try, whixh is a wider/longer version.

http://www.elisetalk.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=5673


Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,078 Posts
I'd concur with info provided above.
As an owner of a Birkin S3 since 1990 (edit, sorry 2000) I have to offer some tidbits or caveats that go along with these machines of the se7en ilk.

1, You have to be fanatical about checking the various components for warps, cracks and loose fasteners.
Thes cars have almost no rubber to isolate NVH so things vibrate loose.
2, Unless you install a cage, you have no protection from other cars.

3, the car attracts a LOT of attention, but ironically it is almost invisible to lane changers.

4, Older people tend to totally misjudge the size (thinking it is further away than it really is) and speed of an approaching se7en and they WILL pull out in front of you as you count the veins in the whites of their eyes.

It will be difficult not to want to get in the thing and drive it at any opportunity.

The lack of inertia is addictive.

Having said that, owning and driving one of these machines is one of the rawest and awesome driving experiences.
You have to recallibrate your brain even if you're simply pootling down the street.
They are easy on tires. I've got 17,800+ miles on the Kumho V700 victoracers.

if you think getting in and out of an Elise is difficult, try one of these with the hood up:D
m
 

·
Forum Founder
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
Filmed at PPIR, CO May 2004 using ChaseCam equipment.

Camera is mounted in a Caterham Superlight R

Video
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,766 Posts
Kusheen, for pure fun and performance the Caterham is the way to go. It is not as practicle as the Elise but for pure performance and weekend fun the Caterham has it all. Reliability is not an issue with the Ford Zetec engine either. Steve, I am 6'-4" and have an SV and fit fine, try one out there is much better leg room than the standard model.
I built my Seven as a interim car waiting for the Elise, but now that the Elise is here the Caterham stays also, I love the 7.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,425 Posts
Sownman said:
I put up a post on the same subject a while ago looking for info about the Seven. I got several useful links. I have since discovered that a Seven is not a large mans car. I'm 6'2" 235 lbs,
it is not a tight fit, it is an impossible fit. I can't get feet on pedals
without knees hitting underside of dash. I'd like to find a Caterham SV to try, whixh is a wider/longer version.

http://www.elisetalk.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=5673


Steve
Steve, sounds like you and I are about the same size.
I can tell you that a Caterham SV fits just fine. The one I drove wasn't sorted, so I didn't really get to wring it out, but it certainly had me thinking. Plus, there's some new technology now available from Caterham which makes it even more attractive:

http://www.caterham.co.uk/news/index.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,078 Posts
Thanks for the vid.
Reminds me why the se7ens are hated by the SCCA and MCSSC.
They are just too bloomin' cheeky.:D
you chase the guy down. Size him up, and smack him. Man do they hate that.
m
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
206 Posts
How telling

Per James A "It is not as practicle as the Elise but for pure performance and weekend fun the Caterham has it all."

You know it's a seriously dedicated enthusiast's car when someone uses the Elise as the distant reference benchmark for practicality. That and it handles better? Sounds like a winner to me.

Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,766 Posts
It is funny Jim, but compared to the Seven the Elise is luxurious. AC, radio, roll up windows, a top that doesn't leak too much. The guys on the UK Lotus 7 forum sneer at the Elise as over weight and under powered!
On a nice day the Seven is hard to beat for fun. I guess that is true of the Elsie also, there are not many cars I would rather have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,802 Posts
WHere the elise differs markedly from the caterham I had. I easily did 650 mile roundtrip day to deals gap and back with the elise, could never dream of doing that with a caterham. Longest one day drive for me in the 7 was about 350 miles and I was beat half to death. Not to mention mine having a few cell which only gave me about 110 mile range.
Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
488 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
indeed

Indeed, I am 'wavering,'

But, just to set the record straight...I'm not looking at a Caterham, but an actual Lotus, a series 4 to be precise.

Cosmetically, it's the least desirable 7, with the fiberglass body that looks like it should be on a dune buggy, BUT it's got a better chassis (backbone) than the earlier 7's...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,293 Posts
Re: indeed

kusheen said:
But, just to set the record straight...I'm not looking at a Caterham, but an actual Lotus, a series 4 to be precise.

Cosmetically, it's the least desirable 7, with the fiberglass body that looks like it should be on a dune buggy, BUT it's got a better chassis (backbone) than the earlier 7's...
I would go with the Caterham 7 over a Lotus 7 S4 any day of the week. Have you spent much time with a Caterham? They are very nice cars and that is why they still build them but not the S4...

Patrick
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,941 Posts
Caterhams use an updated version of the 3rd Seven variation. Which most consider to be the high water mark. And they have just announced an amazing update variation.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top