I own a Caterham Super 7 "Classic". The car has an optional vinyl top which nobody uses so it basically is an open roadster, it is extremely noisy, hard to get into and out of since there are no doors. In addition, there is no air-conditioning, nor radio. The car has its 3 foot long 6 inch diameter exhaust pipe running along the driver's side of the car with the exhaust pipe exiting just in front of the rear wheel. When you decelerate after hitting 5,000 RPM, you hear several back-fires ( like cherry bombs going off ) both from the exhaust end but also from the K & N Air Filters which cover the 4 Weber carburetors. Also when decelerating, a blue-orange colored ball of fire one foot long shoots out the exhaust which is only 3 feet from your ears. The driver is only 4 inches above the road pavement. In fact, I can reach out and put the palm of my hand against the asphalt. You cannot hear anyone talking in the car above 3,000 RPM. Above 3,000 RPM, the engine sound changes into a live beastly deep growl you heard from the Indy racing cars from the 1960's and 1970's. The Lotus Super 7 is actually the precursor to the Lotus Formula 1 race car that won the Indy 500 in 1965 with its distintive british racing green paint exterior and bright yellow front nose cone.
You actually hear the car 3 blocks before you see it. In the wrong hands, the Caterham Super 7 is a very dangerous car to drive. In fact,you have to take a week-long driving class in England at the Caterham Driving Academy in order to buy their highest horsepower Super 7. I've heard in the 1970's and 1980's, it was banned from racing for a period of time in both the United States and also in Europe for "being too fast".
In summary, it is the best car I have ever owned and will never sell it for the above reasons. As Charlton Heston said at the annual NRA convention years ago, " you'll have pry from my cold, dead, hands " the MOMO Formula 1 steering wheel of the Caterham Super 7 from me before you can have it..
The car was originally designed by Mr. Colin Chapman, the head of engineering for Lotus, in 1957. He designed it as a race car. Being an engineer, he knew that horsepower is not the secret to win a race. it is the ratio of the car's horsepower divided by it's gross weight. That is why the Super 7 only weighs 1,145 pounds. In addition, the Caterham Super 7 is the longest single production-run car in the world. The initial exterior design of 1957 has never changed. Lotus sold the building rights of the car to Caterham, also based in England, in the early 1970's, thus the name "Caterham Super 7".
On December 16, 2008, Top Gear ( a british race car show ) announced that the Caterham Superlight Super 7 R500 as its "2008 Car of the Year". The Superlight R500 is the most extreme version of the Caterham Super 7.In the annual Top Gear race, held at an old abandoned WWII airfield in England, the Caterham R500 had a time of 1.17.9 and placed in 5th place while the Bugatti Veyron which had a speed of 1.18.3, placed in 6th place. The Bugatti Veyron has 1,010 hp and costs over $ 1 million U.S. Dollars. The Maserati MC12 placed in 8th place with a time of 1.18.9, the Ferrari Enzo placed in 9th place with a time of 1.19.0 and the Porsche 911 GT2 (997) placed in 10th place with a time of 1.19.5. The important thing here is that the track has 4 corners and a speed bump so a car's top speed and also its acceleration from 0-60 mph mean nothing.
The nimble Caterham R500 exploits its featherlight, 506 kg chassis to its full potential when combined with a 2.0 Ford Duretec Engine, tuned by Caterham Powertrain (CPT) to achieve 263 bhp. The resulting 520bhp-per-tonne beats that of the Bugatti Veyron and is capable of propelling the two-seater from 0-60 mph in a staggering 2.88 seconds.
In the "Fastest Cars by Acceleration : Top 10 list " for 2014, the requirements were that the list include street-legal cars and modified cars only. Concept cars, strictly "race only cars", and one time only vehicles may not be included.
In the list, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport ( 0-60 mph in 2.4 seconds ) was Number 1. It is priced at $ 2,400,000. The Bugatti Veyron is also the fastest car in the world by top speed. But as a result of the design of the Caterham Super 7 Superlight R500, it was the 7th fastest car in the world in the 0-60 mph class for 2014 going 0-60 mph in 2.88 seconds with the 263 hp Duretec engine beating out the Ferrari LaFerrari with a 963 hp engine and a 0-60 mph of 2.9 seconds. Another Caterham, the Caterham Super 7 CSR placed in 9th place with a 0-60 mph time of 3.1 seconds. In 10th place was the Ferrari Enzo with a 0-60 mph of 3.14 seconds.
The "history" behind a car is as important to me as the car itself. And the Super 7 has a long history of records. I wouldn't own anything else. This is my final dream car.
I have always loved fast cars. I used to own 2 corvettes, a 1981 C3 and a 2002 C5 but grew tired of them as time went on. Plus there were so many C5's on the road, nobody even noticed my car. So I sold both of them and bought the Caterham Super 7. That was the best car purchase I have ever made. You NEVER get tired of driving this car. And EVERYONE asks me at stop lights what it is. I always get smiles from everyone seeing it, from grandmothers to little children. Plus it DEFINITELY is a babe magnet. I also bought a blue SPARCO racing suit and motorcycle helmet and blue racing gloves so I would look the "racing part". No matter how bad my day is, driving this car just transforms me back to happy emotions and memories.
I have never seen another Caterham Super 7 on the road my entire life which is good for me because I like to get noticed. Caterham makes about 500 Super 7's a year in England and ships 50 of them to the United States. I only pray I never see another Super 7 on the road. This is MY road.