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looking for a DeDion Caterham

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  • looking for a DeDion Caterham

    I'm looking for a street Caterham, DeDion, in good condition, under $30K. I'm in the SF Bay area.

    Thanks, -David Lenzi (Menlo Park)

  • #2

    Welcome to our mad world! What kind of driving are you planning to do with the car? Are you looking for a track car, or a street legal car?

    Any particular engine you are looking for?

    Do you want a std chassis or an SV?


    Tom "ELV15" Jones


    • #3
      Thanks for the welcome. I'm looking for a street car, and for occaisional autocross use. I don't want an SV, just regular size for me! As for engines, I'd love an injected ZTEC, but in my price I may need to go with a 1700 supersrint crossflow. I know I want a DeDion car, probably with adjustable seats and full weather gear. I'm on the fence about cycle vs clamshells. I've been driving a Lotus Europa for many years, but I've wanted a Seven since I was about 12!

      -David ([email protected])


      • #4
        There is a Caterham on E Bay listed on the site in the for sale section. If it could be bought for under $20M, unassembled, it could be a bargain. The buyer should go to MI and arrange for shipping of the car and parts and all of this should be factored into the price. Some of the spare parts could probably be offed to defray the cost, either in MI or CA.

        Here in CA Woody or Kampena Motors could handle the assembly and roundup of any needed bits & peices, I think. The engine should be assembled by a guy with Cosworth experience, credentials and reputation. Cosworth in Torrance might take on such a project. Bill Schlossnagel in SD could also do it. These are not cheap assemblers, but they are up to the task. Perhaps Woody or Kampena can also do it; I personally have no experience with either of them that is relevant to Cosworth motors.

        If the buyer is in CA be sure to photograph the car without the motor and trans installed for documentation @ DMV. Also, if you contact Caterham in the UK I believe that they will provide a a certificate of origin to verify that it is a kit car; which will smooth the SB100 process @ DMV.

        This car comes with a lot of good stuff. Buying it at the right price is the key!

        There is an active 7 community in MI and the seller may be able to recommend additional alternatives.


        • #5

          The key is being diligent in your search. As Brad suggests, it is worth it to put in a call to Rich Kamp and Woody to see what advice they can give you:

          Rich Kamp:707 933 8039
          Woody Harris:707 448 3322

          Also keep your eye on these sites:
          here ie:

          Forum for those who appreciate cars inspired by Colin Chapman's brilliant Lotus 7

          Buy & sell electronics, cars, clothes, collectibles & more on eBay, the world's online marketplace. Top brands, low prices & free shipping on many items.

          and finally the USA list:

          Ideally you want a car that has been given a SB100 number so that your registration process will be easy.

          I also advise getting a ride in as many sevens as you can, so you can see/feel the differences in them. I'm in Santa Cruz, and would be happy to meet up with you sometime. Send me a PM if you are interested.


          Tom "ELV15" Jones


          • #6
            Thanks for all the good advice. I knew about all those websites, as well as, and sevens and Elans in Mass, and I know Rich Kampena (I've bought Europa parts from him), but I don't know Woody. Who is he?

            Re the Michigan car, interesting, but its too much of a project for me at the moment, I'd like a running car. I have test driven a couple of 7's, a Zetec Superlight, and another which had its crossflow replaced with a carb'ed Zetec. Both wer DeDion, and I was amazed at how easy they were to drive, and how good the ride was.

            Agreed that SB100 would be nice. What are the issues with brining in a car from out of State? Does one have to wait until Jan 1 to register it in the SB100 mad rush at the start of the year, or is there another route.

            Thanks again, -David


            • #7
              Registering an out of state car can depend.

              At least one member bought his car from another state with papers that already had it as a pre smog Lotus Seven. He got it registered without SB100 no problem.

              There was a company that would register your new specially constructed vehicle in Alabama as what ever you wanted, send you the paperwork and you then transfer title to yourself in California.

              The DMV got wise to this and I believe the guys either paid a big fine or are doing the time.

              For an out of state car that is registed as say a 1993 Caterham the only way I know of using an SB100 number is thru the SB 1578 program.

              You would need to wait until January and have the paperwork ready.

              I also drove my car for a couple of months on a DMV temporary operating permit. This might work for awhile.



              • #8
                Originally posted by Doug Liedblad View Post
                ...At least one member bought his car from another state with papers that already had it as a pre smog Lotus Seven. He got it registered without SB100 no problem.....
                Not sure if you mean my is actually registered properly as a "Birkin Lotus Replica". Well, a 1969 one, that is. But although purchased out of state, the original title was issued in California in 1998 not some shady Alabama title or similar, which made it easy. But I think this is a special situation and can not repepeated nowadays.



                • #9
                  It appears that the 7 on EBay sold at the buy-it-now price: $23,000.

                  For a guy that knows what to do on a 7 this was a really good deal----if the car is as represented.

                  Some say that a built Cosworth motor costs $15-25M these days. With an aluminium block this guy may have bought a motor with a car attached, as the great Clark T once said...


                  • #10
                    Dear God, please let Brad have confused $15-25M with $15-25K.

                    Else I will surely commit suicide over such a missed deal.

                    /Magnus F.


                    • #11
                      Magnus, I consider the M and K interchangeable. Each is used a multiple of $1000.00.

                      My habitual use of the letter "M" is from my training in the financial services industry. We MUST use that letter ONLY to prevent errors, which can be hugely expensive; as indicated by many financial institutions in their recent operations reports.


                      • #12
                        In retrospect, maybe the financial services industry should have focused more of their attention on the numbers they were handling instead of the letters...

                        | | Sean


                        • #13
                          Can't disagree with you on that one.


                          • #14
                            A 7 is being offered on the site today that would meet your requirements on price, motor and condition (hopefully).


                            • #15
                              Thanks. I've already spoken to the seller (it was flagged to the USA7's list a few days ago). The car is interesting, but I won't be able to get up to Seattle for a couple of weeks. Its registered as a '65 Lotus.... could Cal DMV bust you down the road for the fakery? There was an article in Autoweek last year about CHP pulling over Cobra replicas at car shows sniffing for cars registered as 1960's. Anyone any any thoughts about having it registered as a '65?

                              Thanks a ton, -David