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Build cost

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  • Build cost

    If I have a dealer build a Caterham SV for me, what should the build cost be? I have heard quotes from $4k to $8k.
    2005 purchased, Caterham SV with SVT engine, 24 miles..

  • #2
    The cost sounds reasonable. Although, in these though times you should be able to get it down to the lower end of the spectrum.

    A tip is to keep quiet about that you had the kit built for you when you register it. The DMV seems to frown upon professionally built kit cars for some reason. I do not, however, have any definite proof of this.

    The upside of having the car built is obviously that you get handled a pair of keys and can drive away (to the DMV).

    The upside of building the car yourself is, apart from the saved money, that you will get to know the car intimately from the smallest bolt and up. You will not be afraid of breaking anything since you know exactly how to repair it.

    You will be much more in tune with your car since any new noise, vibration, smell or sight triggers not fear but the fault-searching mechanism of your brain.

    When a new noise presents itself during a blat, you will not go "Oh shit! I wonder how bad it is!", but rather "Hmmm. That sounds like the right rear wheel bearing is dying. That's easy to fix!"

    I did not know anything beyond basic mechanic stuff (brake service, shock replacement, etc) when I built my car. Now I (occasionally) map other peoples' cars on a dyno and build my own engines.

    Caterham ownership is almost as much a mechanical relationship as a driving experience. (No puns about Caterham sex, please.) You always carry a mental list around with you about the next upgrade or improvement. For me it is currently upgraded brakes and master cylinder and a titanium muffler from a very skilled guy in the UK. After that I am looking forward to a fuel cell and a roll cage.

    I am not saying that you will miss out on all this if you have the car built for you, but doing it yourself gives you a flying start on your Caterham marri... ownership.

    /Magnus F.


    • #3
      Totally agree with Magnus. But two more things....

      Don't discount the option of buying a used Seven (especially if it already had the precious CA title). While they all have pretty stable long term value, the initial depreciation out of the crate is quite substantial. Accordingly you may save a ton of money, have the immediate gratification of driving it, and learn in practical use what your real Seven preferences are. After a few months you can start the perpetual upgrade business, or you can sell it with little if any loss and specify/build/buy the perfect new Seven or move on to a Lamborghini.

      The other thing: if you have it built make sure to pick a reputed and experienced builder. I have heard a few horror stories here (not to mention the idiots who imported and assembled my own car).



      • #4
        I'll can build it for you for about just a little less than that much. Way (way way) faster than Sean too.:D Multiple ribbons w/ pot metal hanging in garage a testimonial to my skillset.:D

        (No puns about Caterham sex, please.)
        In case you haven't already sussed it out, Magnus is Sveeedish.:D

        (not to mention the idiots who imported and assembled my own car).
        In case you haven't already sussed it out, Gert is German:D

        I'll can build it for you for about just a little less than that much.
        In case you haven't already sussed it out, I am an American.

        if you so choose, know that I'll be outsourcing the work to some smuggled imprisoned illegal Chinese immigrants I know of. All the rapacious rich smart guys say it's the thing to do (globalization doncha know - it makes US Stronger).:D

        p.s.: This is the 1st auto-quoted forum posting in the history of the Internet. Al Gore told me so. This was verified by the soon to be departed Monkey Puppet (Tuesday, finally, whew. Why, we may even make it through the damage done. Eventually).:D
        A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted


        • #5
          Hopefully this post will override Manfreds.
          Tom "ELV15" Jones