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  • Read this first.

    Brad has this very good introduction:

    If you are considering a buying a 7esque car the posts in this area are intended to help you make the best decision possible, whether or not you join us. A 7 definitely ain't for everyone; but, those of us that have them would not be satisfied with much else!!

    Around five years ago a guy (whom I subsequently met) made a really good buy on a Lotus 7. One knowledgeable enthusiast remarked that the guy had bought an engine with a car attached, when he heard the price, and that the car had an original Lotus 1500cc motor. Not long after buying the car and showing it to us at an autocross he had some mechanical difficulties. He found a local mechanic who greatly overcharged him, some thought. While driving the car home it caught fire. A new wiring harness was procured (from the UK) and installed at considerable additional cost. As a guess he probably spent as much as the car originally cost getting it back in running order; and maybe more. Solution: Post the problem on this website and ask for help! What would have happened? Between the local 7 racer that owns a car exactly like his, and the rest of us, he would have been directed to an individual experienced with the unique problems such a car can present. To this day I believe that a single post here would have saved the gent as much as $10,000, and quite possibly the fire. And 7 owners are happy to help. We want to help each other. Since there is no dealer in SoCal that I am aware of, we are the default dealer network for each other, which is a lot more fun!

    Another gent bought a car a while back without expressing interest on this site. I knew some about the car that he bought, prior to his purchase, because a former 7 owner from the UK had looked it over passed on buying it; and then explained to me why he passed on the car (some of us had been helping the UK gent to find the car he eventually did buy). The reasons for passing were several, related to condition, rust and evidently a low quality of care on what was originally a superlight R. The new owner discovered that the motor was also near death, shortly after buying it. Some large checks should turn this 7 into a good car again. Solution: Tell us in a post that you are looking for/at a 7 and see what comes back. In this instance one phone conversation would have tipped the new owner off to some of the issues and possibly enabled him to negotiate a better price; or pursue a different car. He will end up with a good car, at a higher price than he might have paid. It might been a $10,000 saving post on this site. So, give us a chance to possibly help you in the quest for a 7. It's free!

    Most of us are not trying to sell you our cars, though parts frequently change hands among us! We do want more 7 owners to join the fun with us. Letting us know of your interest will likely turn up some cars for sale that we know about, and can save you money and headaches in the process. I'm looking forward to meeting two gents at a San Diego Autocross this weekend to show them my 7 (DEFINITELY NOT 4 SALE!!). Both are considering taking the ultimate automotive lunatic fringe step.

    Buying a 7 is absolutely one of the very best things I have done in my brief adult life. The people I have met are a terrific gang from SD clear across the country and more from the UK. And all the fun times from buying the car, to improving the car and then driving the car on blats, in autocrosses and around various racetracks has added a passion and quality to my life that I did not know was lacking; until I discovered it in this little car that looks like a toy and is an absolute giant killer against almost all other performance cars.

    A 7 will change your life in ways that you are unlikely to anticipate. New friends. How you spend your spare time. Vacations. Autocrosses. Weekends at race tracks. How you spend $$$. Where you surf the net. Your opinion of many previously admired performance cars. And if you really love your 7, the dreaded upgradeitis. This insidious malady affects many of us and causes endless lust to constantly find ways to improve your car. A neverending passion...

    There are many versions of a 7 available at many different price/performance points. ALL have something to offer and are worth knowing about. Each of us has opinions about the merits of various cars/engines and you are likely to gain from hearing these thoughts, which certainly will not always agree. Those that buy a 7, any version in my view, are hearing the same music that we have become addicted to. Driving is the passion! Or, is it working on the 7?

    Good luck in reaching a decision on a 7! Be sure to ask every question that you can think of on this site and the site. Plus any other 7 sites which I have inadvertently omitted or you may stumble across. This will enable you to make a better decision on a 7 and you just might even go faster (than us).
    Last edited by magnusfeuer; January 31, 2008, 07:26 AM.

  • #2
    lookin' for a 7

    I've just joined this forum and am looking for my first 7-ish car. I'd like to find something a bit wider than a standard Caterham as I'm a bit of a "wide-body" myself (5'9" and 240lbs.)
    I can budget up to $25K for a car that works well on the track and can be street driven for tours, meets, etc.
    Any help, contacts, leads, etc. would be greatly appreciated.


    • #3
      You surely won't get an SV or CSR for 25k but there is this one in Chandler, AZ for ~22k:

      You will have to clear the usual registration hurdles, though...


      • #4
        As Doug mentioned a SV or CSR is wider than the standard body Caterham. You could also try a Westfield, they are also wider - although I'm not sure by how much.
        Tom "ELV15" Jones


        • #5
          I'm 5'8", 240 and fit nice and snug in a standard Caterham with standard bucket seats. Although I can tell the difference between wearing Levis and Dockers.

          There are two or three Sevens not too far from Altadena you could try on for size.

          Slomove, moosetestperson (Tillets, you won't fit), ScottE. Not too much further away are Morgan who has a Superlight with Tillets and Magnus with an SV. I'm in Thousand Oaks and am willing to meet someplace in between.

          Tom - I think you mean Gert.
          Last edited by Doug Liedblad; December 6, 2009, 10:40 PM.


          • #6
            I know this site is for Caterham owners but they have been nice enough to welcome us other 7ish owners in California too. Caterhams are definately the top of the line when it comes to 7s. And having a group like this to help with issues is a great plus. There's pros and cons to all of these cars so check as many as you can.
            My World Class Motorsports S2K is about the size of a SV Caterham and has a pretty large driver's seat, as the honda motor is slightly over to the passenger side (though you need to be about a 34in waist to get in the passenger side). It's the widest I've sat in.
            I'm actually going to add 3/4in to an inch of padding on on each side bolster as it's not that snug for me. I have a 34 waist and wear a 44 size coat.
            I have an album here with pics you can check out(click my name).
            If the 7s you try locally feel too tight, you can always give me a call up here in Bakersfield for a ride.
            You can pick up a nice one for about $25K when they're available.
            Good luck in your hunt... these things are a blast!
            Attached Files
            Last edited by Mondo; December 7, 2009, 12:27 PM.


            • #7
              Seven test fit

              Hello jcab, my name is Steve and I'm about as close as your going to get! (La Canada), your welcome to come over for a test fit anytime. I have a Caterham SV that you can try on for size, just let me now when. Steve


              • #8

                There's a Donkewort for sale over on the USA7 site. If I recall correctly, those are a bit longer and wider in the cockpit. That mght be worth looking into, they have a huge reputation for quality.

                I'll echo the invitation for a test fit--though I'm a short bit further from you than some. I'm at the LA/range county border, with a 2001 Brkin.


                • #9
                  Hi Guys,
                  Just discovering the site/blog and I'm not sure I'm posting this one at the right place.
                  I'm from the East Coast and I'm also looking for a 7 for daily driving (yes even during the winter time!).
                  My budget is... limited but I'm actively searching for my dream car and hope I will get here help and support from members.
                  And I'm ready to sale the 3 cars in my drive way for this damn 7!
                  Cheers and Be Seeing You!


                  • #10
                    The Caterham offered a few days ago looks to be very good at the price. A new version with such specs would cost at least twice that price. I don't personally know the car or owner.


                    • #11
                      Extra Size 7 style cars

                      Originally posted by Roll a 7 View Post
                      The Caterham offered a few days ago looks to be very good at the price. A new version with such specs would cost at least twice that price. I don't personally know the car or owner.
                      You may want to explore a Stalker out of FLa. For extra size in the seats. Their cars fit larger people with larger engines as well.
                      Dave Ball
                      62 Lotus S7 Replica
                      2.0 Duratec


                      • #12
                        For any Lotus 7 enthusiast looking to join, you need to be approved by a moderator which is I.

                        As the forum is currently not very active I don't check as often as I used to. If you are waiting for an OK, feel free to email me at doug at tidsales dot com
                        Last edited by Doug Liedblad; September 12, 2020, 01:39 PM.


                        • #13
                          Hello all, I am brand new to the group and have been a fan of Lotus 7s and now Caterhams. It looks like Hillbank USA is the only seller of Caterhams in California. Thanks for allowing to be in this group. Owning a Caterham new or used is just a dream for me right now.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Peter115 View Post
                            Hello all, I am brand new to the group and have been a fan of Lotus 7s and now Caterhams. It looks like Hillbank USA is the only seller of Caterhams in California. Thanks for allowing to be in this group. Owning a Caterham new or used is just a dream for me right now.
                            If buying new, there are multiple dealers in the western USA. Many options for pre-owned.
                            REF: Caterham's list of USA outlets:
                            (I recommend using the "show all" button)
                            Last edited by Sean; November 27, 2020, 11:49 AM. Reason: added the part about "show all"
                            | | Sean