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08-05-2007, 17:18   #1
coin
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Caterham7

Hi all,
I done a search on the above but couldn't find anything related.I've been looking around for last few weeks at buying a simple enough sports car and have started to seriously consider something in the Caterham or Westfield mould. Just for weekends and stuff.

Would basically like to know what you guys think of them or if any one has driven/owned one and could share their experience, I'd be very grateful.
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08-05-2007, 17:26   #2
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Is this it?
http://carzone.ie/usedcars/index.cfm...TOKEN=13727788
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08-05-2007, 17:28   #3
Henry Ford III
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STG£7500 would buy a nice one.
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08-05-2007, 17:31   #4
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How come the one on carzone is so expensive?

And you can't even test drive it. lol
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08-05-2007, 17:33   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxy
How come the one on carzone is so expensive?
that includes vrt and some profit and some room for discount
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08-05-2007, 17:33   #6
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no test drives available?
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08-05-2007, 17:34   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Ford III
STG£7500 would buy a nice one.
What year would that be and what would vrt be (approx)
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08-05-2007, 17:50   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drdre
Yep, thats the one alright. Seen a few available on ebay and places as well,roughly £5000 for a 2000 model.

Just to add more confusion to the car, other companies make similar models namely Robin Hood, Tiger, Birkin and of course Westfield.
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08-05-2007, 18:25   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Ford III
STG£7500 would buy a nice one.
You'll be lucky to find a nice Caterham for that kind of money. Westfields are considerably cheaper and many to be had for £7500, but they're not quite as good as a well sorted Caterham. There are other cheaper still similar marques, but many are best avoided. Robin Hoods are cheap but nowhere near as well sorted or fun. Duttons are worse. Tigers are cheaper than Caterhams or Westfields and not far behind in terms of fun, but you won't beat a well sorted Caterham. They are the best and the prices reflect that (and a good deal of snobery too).

I drive a Sylva Striker and can say that it is great fun. It's not as well sorted as a good Caterham, or even Westfield, but it's nice and light and with a 1.6 (Toyota Twincam engine), it pulls quite well. These can be had for a good deal less than Caterhams (£7500 will get a cracker of one). Whatever you pick be prepared for a fairly minimal machine which tranfers bumps in the road straight to your spine with little damping. Caterhams are generally smaller than most, though the new CSR is a fair bit bigger. Sylvas are smaller still. The Westfield SeiW is probably the best for bigger people on Irish roads, but it's not as light as some.

Get a drive in a good one before you even consider spending any money on one. You'll either love it or hate it. There is a club for like minded people:
www.irishkitcarclub.com

Edit: Age isn't nearly as important as condition. A car with few miles and many owners is most likely a problem car, beware. Cars built from plans are a very significant risk indeed and be very careful to inspect workmanship on the welds and bolts etc. If you're in it for the looks, get a Robinhood and tart it up. It'll look as good, ride closer to an "ordinary" car and cost a good deal less, but it just won't be as fun to drive.

Final edit: The devil is in the detail. Real lightweight wheels (magnesium) are worth a good £500. New sticky rubber a few bob (not ordinary car tyres but proper kitcar ones, like Avon RC500s or ACB10s), these will transform the handling and braking. Weather equipment is essential, though usually cheap enough to buy from the manufacturers. Seats and instrumentation is all important, but not too expensive to fix up yourself. One last thing, these cars need to be worked on, things go wrong and you'll have to fix them or pay someone in a garage a small fortune to do the same, don't buy unless you are comfortable with a spanner and such.

Last edited by nastysimon; 08-05-2007 at 18:37.
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08-05-2007, 18:43   #10
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Here's something a little similar to the Caterham that might interest you.
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08-05-2007, 19:02   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h3000
Here's something a little similar to the Caterham that might interest you.
Not bad for 11k.
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08-05-2007, 19:04   #12
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Thanks for all your swift replies.
Nastysimon thanks for the excellent post and heads up on what to look out for.
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08-05-2007, 19:04   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drdre
Not bad for 11k.
With a 2.0 pinto engine i would say its bloody quick.
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08-05-2007, 19:07   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h3000
With a 2.0 pinto engine i would say its bloody quick.
Id love to have some spare cash
Its not a everyday car, id love it for a track day
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08-05-2007, 20:17   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h3000
With a 2.0 pinto engine i would say its bloody quick.
I'm sure it's quick enough, though remember that these engines only did about 110bhp in standard tune and they don't claim to have done much to tune the engine. While the 110bhp will equate to about 180bhp/tonne in a car like this, there are much better engines out there (weight, power and tax wise). Personally, I'd look for 200+bhp/tonne. To put it into perspective, a 1.4 Rover K-series will give similar power to weight but be considerably lighter, lighter on the juice, save about €250pa on tax and should be cheaper to insure.

There is another issue that I would have with this particular car and that is the roll hoop. It's the simplest design, but not the strongest for a crash. The above Caterham has a good design which is designed to stay up in a crash, as does the Striker. While these style of cars are never safe in a crash, a decent roll hoop is one thing that I insisted on before I picked the car I did.
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