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There's trouble in river city...

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  • There's trouble in river city...

    With a capital "T" that rhymes with "C" which stands for Caterham!!

    Apologies to those who've read this at USA7s, but seriously this is trouble.

    You know what I'm talking about. You see a machine that is of such engineering purity, form following function, that you must have it. You can't stop thinking about it. Take for instance my V-Rod, the black sheep of the Harley family. When I saw the engineering behind it, the purity of it without a lot of fluff, I got this feeling of "I gotta have one of those." Wouldn't go away, kept getting worse over time. Eight months later I'm on a one-way plane trip to El Paso Texas and ride home my baby who's now pushing close to 100k miles. All ridden in less than 7 years. Let's say I do like to motor, preferably on 2 wheels or so I thought...

    But then a little while ago, admittedly on BBC's Top Gear, I catch whiff of these amazing cars known as Caterham's, as pure and as bare as you can get with a street legal machine and made to perform like a race car but yet within my budget. Uh oh, I start to get that same "I gotta have one of those" feeling I had back in 2002. And it's getting worse as time goes on. I suspect some of you had the same reaction, hence a web community like this. So I'm here to get as much advice as any care to give, and will be joining your ranks of nutter drivers out on the road in our 7's soon enough.

    Oh yes, count on it. This is merely a question of when, not if. Frankly right now it's all about figuring out which one would be best for me (would love the new 500, but that's a bit too maniacal methinks -- maybe not...??)

    "Maybe not"? See??!! Thoughts like that are going to get me into Trouble!! Anyway, I look forward to learning as much as possible before plunging in. And in I will plunge headfirst. Because, as you can see from my cycle story, once I get it in my thick head I need to do something like this, it's pretty much a done deal and nothing's really going to dissuade me...!

    V-Robb, soon to be C-Robb, or maybe 7-Robb??


  • #2
    Build a car sez I. You'll know it completely that way.

    You will fit in the S3 although you won't be mistaking it for a Caddy. Get one w/ the Tillets seats for best (comfortable & secure) fit. Pedal box is no problem, just don't wear shoes.:D

    This board is fairly quiet most of the time. It's mostly a bulletin board for events and such like. Technical help is good here too as most of us built our cars.

    There's a few cars in your vicinity. If you want to have a look just say so and I'm sure we'll figure something out.

    Two of us are pretty active in NASA TT track events. Running on the track (w/ slicks - yeah!) is the only place you can really discover just how brilliant these cars are. Next event is mid October at Buttonwillow if you're interested.

    Far and away the Caterham is the best car thing I've ever done, and I've done more than a few. All the others pale by comparison full stop. It's very rewarding to utterly trounce vehicles whose wheels cost more than my entire car.:D
    Last edited by moosetestbestanden; August 21, 2009, 10:50 PM.
    A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted


    • #3
      Thanks for the feedback, moose. I'm totally with you on the 'build it yourself' angle. I'm an Engineer by trade, so the machines I work on all day are interesting already, but I don't get to climb in and zoom around in them at the end of the day!

      I'm hoping I can spot a club meeting happening someplace in SoCal that I could horn-in on, I'll ride on down on the bike, and meet some of the members. That way I can get a good look and smell up close.

      ...of the cars, not the drivers!!


      • #4

        You are more than welcome to swing by my house in Manhattan Beach for an inspection and ride. As Moose pointed out, once you've tasted blood on the track in a Seven, driving on the highway becomes quite boring. We hit the mountains every now and again, allowing our cars to stretch out to a degree, but we are still only using 30-40% of their capacity.

        I started out using my Seven as a daily driver, but have slowly morphed it into a track weapon.

        Mopho, who is a professional car photographer, and I discussed the Seven vs. other cars last weekend. He gets to drive all kinds of cars in his line of work, including high end Italians and Germans. However, he has completely lost his awe and respect for these brands. When he test drives something in the six figures, he goes "Mmm. Nice handling. Strong engine.", but he is never impressed by them anymore. Same with me.

        The acceleratgion (low threes) is one thing, but it is the 120mph-40mph braking with a subsequent 90 degree turn on the track that blows you away. Also when you exit a hairpin turn behind another car and shoot by them, as their mass forces them out toward the outer edge of the track while you can hug the inside, is pure bliss.

        The standard braking technique for, say turn two on the streets of Willow, is to floor it through turn one and keep it planted toward turn two, which is a 180 degree thingy, until you think "I'm gonna f-cking die!". You then wait a bit longer before you start to apply the brakes. By that time you will have passed at least one Corvette and a GT3, which started braking a second or two earlier.

        A Seven is noisy, bumpy, hot and brutal, but you will love it as nothing else.

        Endless fun.

        /Magnus F.


        • #5
          Thanks for the offer to see your machine, and once my schedule opens up I'll definitely take you up on it.

          In fact, to all the generous folks here willing to show off their cars to me, if you're so inclined I would offer up my V for your enjoyment when we meet up if you got an M1 endorsement on your license, or know of a private road...

          Quid pro quo, non?
          Last edited by V-Robb; August 22, 2009, 10:04 PM.


          • #6

            Can you make it to SuperCar Sunday the last Sunday in August?

            This is in Calabasas at the 101 and Mulholland. South East side of the freeway.

            We can try to get a few cars out for the event with a drive to the Rock Store for breakfast.



            • #7

              That's very doable! Today, in fact, we're riding Angeles Crest stopping at Newcomb's for lunch - always a great time. I will keep next Sunday open, and as long as something stupid doesn't happen at work I'll see you guys there. About what time does everyone start showing up?


              • #8
                Btw, both ScottE (2.3L Duratec - he's a clams guy!) and I have V-Twin powered issues, his Murican (no, not that one, the other one) and mine Eye-Talian.

                Shiny side up!
                A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted


                • #9
                  Duc? You would have liked the bike show we stopped by for a bit before heading up the 2. Pro Italia in Glendale had a bike show, with Steve Jones (you know, never mind the bollocks...) and Capt. America himself as a couple of the judges! Some great Duc's and Aprillias there.


                  • #10
                    ScottE lives in Eagle Rock, Moosetestperson in Tujunga near La Tuna Cyn and the 210.

                    We'll post an event for next week but I just found out I might be out of town.



                    • #11

                      See the events posting for SuperCar Sunday, Aug 30.

                      The place is generally full by 7:30 AM or sooner.

                      We can just meet and leave when everyone is ready. Breakfast at the Rock Store maybe?



                      • #12
                        That works for me. Breakfast at the Rock Store will be nice. I believe Sunday is the most likely day for a Jay Leno sighting there too...


                        • #13
                          If I can get another "hall pass" I will try and make it. Hopefully I can get that TPS connector taken care before then.

                          Leno tends to show up late, we usually miss him

                          The funny thing is my wife goes " What is that car a Morgan ? " and I said "No that's a Caterham but there is a Morgan driving it " -delise


                          • #14
                            That's funny actually. Usually when we're riding to the Rock Store we arrive later and missed Leno.

                            I still haven't gotten my pic with him, in the denim shirt pointing back at me...


                            • #15
                              Uh oh, this is getting serious...

                              An older post, the seller is on the USA7s site. Any feedback would be appreciated. What do you all here think about this? Not registered in Cali so that would need to be done, however it has been registered in Ohio since the ad was placed according to the seller.