Saturday, June 16, 2012

Caterham 7 CSR for Sale

I'm a huge fan of Lotus cars. Lotus was founded by Colin Chapman, whose all-consuming philosophy for building cars was "add lightness". His earliest car was the Lotus Super Seven, which he introduced in the 50's.

Lotus continued to make the car into the early 70's. It was then that Colin Chapman sold the rights to the design and name of the car to Caterham. To this very day, Caterham continues to pump out a full line of Super Sevens over in England (

You can still get a Caterham in the United States. But because of Federal regulations, it can only be sold as a kit and must be assembled  by the owner or a mechanic of his choosing.

Caterham's top-of-the-line is the Caterham 7 CSR. The car weighs in at a minuscule 1,268 pounds and is powered by a 260 horsepower Cosworth engine. With numbers like that, it goes from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds. By comparison, a new Porsche 911 (350 horsepower) requires 4.6 seconds to cover the same ground. This is understandable when you consider that the 911 weighs 1,800 pounds more than the Caterham

I follow the cars on a web site called USA7's ( One of the members on the site had gone full in...purchasing a Caterham 7 CSR and spending $95,000 to realize his dream. He drove it, enjoyed it and tried to sell it through the web site. I believe he started in the $80K's and it did not move...which is understandable when you can find used Caterhams all day long in the $20K-$40K range.

So now he's trying to move it through Park Place LTD, one of the largest exotic car dealerships in the US. The starting price was $68,950, but they are now offering it as a web special for $59,950. That is the bargain of the century for what is one of the most remarkable and rare automobiles on the planet.

Would I love to own this car? But of course. But unfortunately, this Caterham is simply a used car. It will continue to depreciate. I'd rather spend $30K to $40K to get one of the early Lotus Super Sevens...and watch it appreciate. Check out this gorgeous 1959 Lotus Super Seven:

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