Celebrating 50 years of Caterham – Automotive Weblog

Caterham Seven 420 Cup

Feast your eyes on these 50 details to mark the fiftieth anniversary of British sports activities automobile producer, Caterham  From the model’s success in motorsport to greater than 100 variants of the enduring Seven.

Caterham will have a good time its milestone yr with its fiftieth Anniversary Competition at Donington Park on September 2-3.

The timeline begins in 1973 when Caterham was born after a handshake between Graham Nearn and Lotus founder Colin Chapman in Pub Lotus in Primrose Hill, London.

Lotus founder Colin Chapman and Graham Nearn 

In Might that yr, Caterham Automotive Gross sales & Coachworks acquired the tooling, designs and unique rights to the Seven and commenced manufacturing in City Finish, Caterham, a month later.

Caterham has bought greater than 22,000 vehicles in its 50-year historical past. There have additionally been a number of celeb house owners, together with Sir Chris Hoy, Rowan Atkinson, Simon Cowell, Eddie Irvine, Chris Rea, Nigel Mansell, Man Berryman, Jonathan Palmer, Theo Paphitis and Lee Dixon.

Caterham: 50 details for 50 years

  1. Caterham acquired the tooling, designs and unique rights to the Seven from Lotus Vehicles in Might 1973. The handshake between Colin Chapman and Graham Nearn came about in Pub Lotus in Primrose Hill, London.
  2. Caterham began constructing vehicles in June 1973 in City Finish, Caterham, at a charge of circa one Collection 4 automobile per week. Simply 38 Collection 4 vehicles have been constructed earlier than manufacturing ceased lower than a yr later.
  3. All the first 10 Caterham orders have been exported, with the primary 5 going to Germany. Three vehicles went to Luanda, Angola and chassis #10 went to Guatemala. Chassis #6 was bought by Jose Rebocho to compete within the Grande Prémio Café de Angola, a two-hour race held on the Autódromo Internacional de Luanda.
  4. Caterham relaunched the Collection 3 mannequin in 1974 that includes Lotus Twin Cam and Ford Crossflow engine choices. It acquired robust demand from export markets, with the primary 100 S3 vehicles constructed going to locations such because the US, Canada, Germany, France, Belgium, Sweden, Japan, Hong Kong, Qatar and Libya.
  5. French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo drove a Tremendous Seven within the 1979 French motion film “Flic Ou Voyou” or “Cop or Hood”.
  6. Caterham revealed the Silver Jubilee version Seven on the 1981 London Motorfair, restricted to simply eight examples, to mark 25 years of the Seven in 1982.
  7. In 1984, Caterham launched the Cosworth-powered 1600 BDR mannequin. On the time it was the quickest manufacturing Seven constructed thus far and boasted a power-to-weight ratio of practically 300bhp per ton.
  8. In 1986, an HPC mannequin launched with a Cosworth 1700 engine, and gross sales have been restricted to consumers who took Caterham’s two-day Excessive Efficiency Course. Simply 62 vehicles have been constructed and it was able to 0-60mph in 5.0 seconds.
  9. Caterham launched Tremendous 7 Racing in 1986, the model’s one-make championship.
  10. From the onset, vehicles have been constructed within the city of Caterham however in 1987, manufacturing moved to a bigger premises at Kennett Highway, Dartford, the place vehicles are nonetheless constructed at present.
  11. In 1989, the ‘Prisoner’ version was launched in homage to the 1966 TV Collection, by which Patrick McGoohan drove a Lotus 7 at the beginning of each episode. The Prisoner version made its debut on the 1990 Birmingham Motorshow with Patrick McGoohan flying in from Hollywood for its launch. It featured a singular color scheme and alloy wheel design.
  12. In 1990, Vauxhall grew to become a brand new engine provider with its engines used within the HPC VX and HPC VXI fashions.
  13. Caterham switched from Ford engines to Rover Ok-Collection engines in 1991 with the launch of the 1.4 Ok-Collection taken from the then-new Rover Metro GTI.
  14. The 35th Anniversary version launched in 1992, marking 35 years of Seven manufacturing. The mannequin acquired huge press protection when it was photographed being pushed by HRH Prince Edward and Lord Montagu of Beaulieu.
  15. Caterham received the ‘Longest Day of Nelson’ 24-hour endurance race at Nelson Ledges Highway Course, Ohio in June 1992. The HPC Twin Cam automobile constructed specifically for the race received by seven laps and coated 990 laps and 1,980 miles. The driving force crew consisted of Jez Coates, Reg Worth, Robert Nearn and George Alderman. The scale of the trophy meant that on the flight house, it had its personal seat on the aircraft.
  16. The 1992 Jonathan Palmer Evolution (‘JPE’) mannequin featured a Swindon Racing Engines modified Vauxhall 2.0-litre 250bhp engine with a specification nearly equivalent to these used within the British Touring Automotive Championship. It achieved 0-60 mph in simply 3.4 seconds and set a brand new world file for the quickest accelerating, unmodified manufacturing automobile.
  17. In 1994 Caterham launched the 21, a two-seat roadster which was based mostly on the Seven’s chassis however wrapped in a extra sensible physique fashion, with doorways, aspect home windows and a boot.
  18. The Caterham Scholarship, now often called the Caterham Academy, initially launched in 1995 and has since seen greater than 1,300 novices develop into racing drivers.
  19. The 1999 Superlight R500 mannequin launched with a power-to-weight ratio of 500bhp per tonne. It was powered by a Caterham-modified 1.8-litre Rover Ok-Collection engine with curler barrel throttle our bodies to offer uninterrupted airflow into the engine on full throttle.
  20. Caterham launched a motorbike-engined automobile in 1999, the Blackbird, utilizing a Honda Blackbird CBR1100 engine that delivered 170bhp and redlined at 11,750 rpm. In 2001, a specifically tailored Caterham which used a Honda Fireblade engine set a brand new world file for the quickest velocity pushed in reverse at 102.52 mph by the hands of Darren Manning.
  21. The Seven’s chassis dimensions remained unchanged proper up till 2000 when the bigger ‘SV’ chassis was launched, rising the size by 3 inches and the width by 4.3 inches, permitting for extra inside area.
  22. Constructing on the good success of the R500, the R300 and R400 fashions have been launched in 2002. On the 2002 Nürburgring 24-hour race, the R400 received its class by 10 laps, and got here 11th general out of round 200 starters, by the hands of Chris Harris, Clive Richards, Chris Cooper and Peter Haynes.
  23. The 2004 Superlight R500 Evolution used a Ok-Collection engine elevated to 2.0-litres developed by Minister Racing Engines, and achieved a 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds, 0-100 mph in 6.9 seconds and 0-100-0 mph in 10.7 seconds (sooner than the £425,000 Ferrari Enzo).
  24. The Cosworth-powered CSR200 and CSR260 fashions of 2005 featured the primary use of totally unbiased rear suspension, reprofiled entrance wings and an all-new inside with a curved cockpit subframe.
  25. In 2006, Ford Sigma engines changed Rover as the principle engines within the Seven, with the launch of the Roadsport fashions and the Superlight 120 / 150 fashions.
  26. Caterham partnered with Axon Automotive in 2006 to create the Axon 2R/Eco-M prototype. It featured a carbon fibre spaceframe and enhanced aerodynamics, enabling the automobile to realize 131mpg within the 2007 Eco-Marathon.
  27. The Superlight R500 badge was reborn in 2008 with the launch of a Duratec-engined mannequin. It had 263bhp with a power-to-weight ratio of 520 bhp per tonne. Choices out there for the primary time included a six-speed sequential gearbox and launch management. It was subsequently named ‘Automotive of the 12 months’ by Prime Gear and famously set a lap time of 1:17.9 round its Dunsfold check observe – sooner than the £1 million Bugatti Veyron.
  28. In 2011, Terry Grant set a brand new world file for the best variety of continuous donuts, managing 566 in a 150 bhp Roadsport.
  29. Caterham Vehicles was acquired from Corven Ventures by Group Lotus Enterprises in 2011, a gaggle led by Malaysian, Tony Fernandes. Group Lotus Enterprises entered System 1 that yr as Group Lotus (although it was not associated to Lotus Vehicles). For the 2012 to 2014 seasons, the F1 crew grew to become ‘Caterham F1’. A Group Lotus version Seven was additionally launched, completed in an identical color scheme to the F1 automobile.
  30. In November 2012, a deal was signed with Renault to collectively develop a brand new mid-engined two-seater sports activities automobile, the Caterham C120 / Alpine A110 – separate vehicles with shared structure and parts. Nevertheless, Caterham and Renault/Alpine parted firm in mid-2014.
  31. Since 2013, Caterham has now not been based mostly within the city of Caterham, after it relocated to a bigger, extra fashionable unit close to Gatwick Airport.
  32. Caterham revealed a brand new idea for a low-cost karting championship in 2013, aimed toward novice drivers aged 13 to 16, which might have used its personal newly designed kart, the CK-01.
  33. The 620R was launched on the 2013 Goodwood Competition of Velocity by F1 drivers Charles Pic and Alexander Rossi. It was powered by a supercharged 2.0-litre Duratec engine, featured an all-new six-speed straight-cut sequential gearbox, a LSD and race dampers.
  34. Caterham launched a brand new entry-level mannequin, the Seven 160, in 2013. Weighing simply 490kg, it was powered by Suzuki’s 3-cylinder 660cc turbo engine delivering 80 bhp – the same engine is utilized in at present’s 170 and Tremendous Seven 600. It featured a rear reside axle, reasonably than the conventional De Dion unit. In Japan, the mannequin was launched at an occasion on the British embassy in Tokyo.
  35. Because the launch of the Seven 160 and 620R, Caterham has used a ‘double horsepower’ naming technique. This was continued in 2015 with the launch of the two.0-litre Duratec-powered 360 as a alternative for the Roadsport 175, together with the 270 and 420 fashions.
  36. Caterham launched the Kamui Kobayashi Version for the Japanese market in 2014, designed by F1 driver Kobayashi, which was a single-seater and featured inexperienced lacquer carbon fibre entrance wings and rear wing protectors – Caterham’s first use of this end. All however one of many vehicles constructed have been bought in Japan.
  37. Caterham partnered with LEGO in 2015 to supply a 620R LEGO set consisting of 770 items. Greater than ten LEGO Sevens have been bought for each full-size Caterham.
  38. The limited-edition retro impressed Seven Dash launched in 2016 was created to commemorate 60 years because the launch of the Lotus Seven. It was based mostly on the Seven 160 with the identical Suzuki engine, however featured flared wings, pink leather-based seats, pink dashboard and a wood-rimmed steering wheel. It was solely out there in paint colors supplied by British producers in 1967. All 120 vehicles (60 in Europe and 60 in Japan) bought out inside days.
  39. The Seven 310R launched in 2016, based mostly on the 1.6-litre Sigma engine used within the 270R however with reprofiled cams and a remap to ship 152 bhp (in comparison with 135 bhp for the 270R). It featured double-wishbone entrance suspension and a LSD.
  40. Caterham launched its ‘Signature’ customisation programme in 2016 with a particular Harrods mannequin to exhibit the breadth of choices out there.
  41. In 2017, Sir Chris Hoy – each a former Caterham proprietor and racer – set a brand new world file for the variety of donuts in 60 seconds, managing to do 19 in a 620R.
  42. The limited-edition retro impressed SuperSprint of 2018 used an uprated 95 bhp model of the 660cc Suzuki engine, tan leather-based seats and race-inspired particulars corresponding to an LSD, spherical chrome mirrors and interval decals. It was out there in six color combos, every named after a historic racing circuit corresponding to Zandvoort. Restricted to simply 120 models, it bought out inside the first day.
  43. Caterham starred in The Grand Tour’s ‘A Huge Hunt’, with James Might utilizing a 310R with off-road modifications to journey throughout Madagascar.
  44. In 2021, a Seven 170 was inbuilt lower than six hours on this planet’s highest automobile dealership – the highest of Brighton’s 450ft British Airways i360 Tower.
  45. At 440kg, the 170R (launched in 2021) is Caterham’s lightest mannequin but and one of many world’s lightest manufacturing vehicles.
  46. Final yr the 420 Cup was launched, a street authorized automobile constructed for the observe. It contains a 210 bhp 2.0-litre Duratec engine, 6-speed sequential gearbox, totally adjustable dampers and carbon seats.
  47. Now owned by VT Holdings, Caterham has had three earlier house owners through the years: the Nearn household till 2005, Corven Ventures till 2011 and Group Lotus Enterprises till 2021.
  48. There have been a number of celeb Caterham house owners, together with Sir Chris Hoy, Rowan Atkinson, Simon Cowell, Eddie Irvine, Chris Rea, Nigel Mansell, Man Berryman, Jonathan Palmer, Theo Paphitis, Lee Dixon and Jeremy Clarkson who bought one for his ex-wife Frances Cain.
  49. There have been over 100 variants of the Seven because it was launched in 1957.
  50. Caterham has bought over 22,000 vehicles thus far, in each equipment and factory-built kind, and used over 35 engine variants. 2021 was a file gross sales yr for the model, with 670 models bought.