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Thinking of buying over the next few months...

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  • Thinking of buying over the next few months...

    I cross-posted this on usa7s...I'm in Portland OR, but this forum seems friendly and I know a few PDXers lurk. I'm a few months away from buying, but had some questions:
    1. If $25k is too low a budget for a decent used Caterham 7, and/or whether I'm better off saving to get a new Classic....
    2. Whether there were any owners in Portland OR who would mind me having a look at the dimensions of the various models (happy to bring beer...)
    3. If I am mad looking at these as the ideal car to head out for the weekend with the wife and dogs. Not that I've seen anywhere to put the dogs, or any luggage, but I'm sure there's got to be somewhere on the things ... or are these cars really just for racing?

  • #2
    There is one right now in the For Sale Section. Not much info about the engine etc. though. Generally that money gets you an older Caterham with a Kent engine or a newer Seven of other brands with a Zetec. But it always depends on how urgent the sale is.

    Weekend and vacation trips with your wife is no problem. We do it all the time up to 2 weeks and 4000 miles.

    As for the dog(s) it depends. I think you can keep a Chihuahua or two in the boot (i.e. trunk). If you have a Great Dane you may have to leave your wife behind.


    • #3
      Point taken on dogs. What sort of lifetime mileage can a Caterham manage if it is looked after properly? Or are they such projects that I'll be upgrading the engine after 10k anyway?


      • #4
        Clark has over 70,000 miles on his, same engine and transmission (stock Zetec) I'm not sure when he bought it ~2000.

        Magnus has his apart every couple of weeks.:rolleyes:

        My car has about 22,000 miles in 8 years. I upgraded the transmission at 1000 miles, the engine at 15,000 (stock Zetec to SVT Zetec with Jenveys)

        It really depends on what you want to do with it, and your budget.

        I'd upgrade more if I had the time and money to spend on it.



        • #5
          It's not so much a project as it is that each owner wants to tinker with a good thing to make it even better. The cars are very personal. No two are the same. I think that this is an excellent attribute. As Doug mentioned it really allows you to get whatever you want out of the experience. :D
          Tom "ELV15" Jones


          • #6
            My Seven is a '62 and runs very strong on its original driveline. And it was mostly used as a race car. I don't know about the mileage (no odometer) but this car is just out of a near 40 year storage and came to life with just basic freshening. What this has to do with Caterhams is that the design is fundamentally sound and I think that one should basically last forever as long as it is well cared for.

            '62 Lotus Seven
            '84 Turbo Esprit (x2)
            '14 Evora
            '77 Esprit S1 (RIP) :(

            "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom." -Michel De Montaigne 1588


            • #7
              I can only agree with Tom's opinion about personality.

              Last winter, when we gathered for a blat, I had a look at our parked cars and thought: "There is no way in hell we can sell these cars, they are all too customized to our individual quirks."

              I think Gert (slomove) is leading the way in this trend, but we are all following him.

              The Zetec/Duratec/T9 (gearbox) drive train is pretty indestructible with regular maintenance. These units were made to propel cars more than twice the weight of a Caterham. Even with all the whipping they get in their new, lighter, setting, they don't really break a sweat in the long run.

              /Magnus F.


              • #8
                Here is a nice one that just came up. You may have to get rid of the roll cage for touring, but I would take it

                You may have to sign up for this forum and see the pics but the content of the message is:

                2003 Birkin S3 for Sale $27,000.
                This Birkin is powered by a 2-liter Ford Zetec. It has a shaved head along with the Raceline Throttle Body, Water Rail, Thermostat and Wet Sump. The transmission is from SPC and has standard ratios along with the Birkin Sport light weight flywheel-clutch kit. It is a one owner car with only 2,200 street miles. I just recently had a full roll cage built for the car and also have the full weather gear of tonneau cover, doors, top and wind deflectors. Feel free to call or email me for any other questions you may have.

                Steven Gilo
                stevengilo at comcast dot net