Bitten by the Caterham bug

I’ve been a bike rider for many years – just short of 20 – but I started to cast about for another driving experience on the road with just as much fun but perhaps with a reduced level of risk. Having also become a bit of a fair weather biker, I wanted some additional weather protection too. I looked for a car solution that could suit me and came up with quite a short list.

  • Caterham 7
  • Ariel Atom
  • Zenos E10

The Ariel Atom was similarly priced but completely impractical off the track. Similarly, the Zenos E10 is roofless, and not suitable for touring. Other options like kit cars requiring donor vehicles did not inspire me; too many potential problems hidden at the start of the process that only become obvious later. Larger production cars like a 911 or fast Audi, although fantastic machines, did not offer me the level of engagement of the bike.

I could not find anything else that was road legal, at least a little bit practical (weekends away and longer touring trips need to be possible) and which still gave me the excitement and level of control of a bike. Perhaps another bike is what I needed? Or perhaps I should get into a Caterham to drive it and see what it is all about.

I decided to hire one for a day. In Scotland, currently the nearest dealer is in Northwich in Cheshire, some 240 miles away, so test drives are out and I don’t have connections to anyone currently driving a Caterham apart from a work colleague in London…who was selling his.

Step up Boyd and Highland Caterham Hire. I had an excellent day in the car with my brother, Brian (see the review on Trip Advisor) and Boyd’s enthusiasm, helpfulness and advice sealed the deal.

Highland Caterham Hire Caterham

One of Boyd’s Caterhams (1.8 K Series)

We drove through rotten weather around Loch Ness – the Cairngorms were out due to snow – but still had an absolute blast. The level of feel, connection to the road, being “in” the car rather than “on” it. This was what I was looking for.

IMAG0476

Brian driving, me hanging on for dear life

I had to have one.

4 thoughts on “Bitten by the Caterham bug

  1. I’m in the same position you were, deciding which lightweight road/track car to buy. I’m enjoying the choosing process. And I love the atom, and the exige, but nothing compares to the caterham. Truly amazing machine!

    • Hi Mark,

      Good stuff – I hesitate to call the Caterham practical, but compared to the other options, it is. Scotland’s tracks are few and far between, and weather less than perfect, so really it was the only option for me. Just practical enough that I can cope with rain, but still be driving a really focused machine.

      Enjoy the selection process – have you already picked a Caterham out?

  2. Given the funds I’d have a 360S SV. And build it myself. Best all round car in the range I think.

    Unfortunately I’ll have to work my way up the ladder a little as that car is way beyond my budget. So I’m searching for a roadsport/supersport SV on a budget. It’s proving difficult but I’ll find one 🙂 run it for a couple of years then trade up to the 360.

    Just can’t wait to get one. But whilst I wait I’m enjoying your posts, looking forward to reading more…. 🙂

    • Thanks Mark.

      Your plan has it’s advantages, including much quicker gratification. I’m in the middle of the waiting list wait; two down and four to go. It is slow and painful. Are you planning on buying one that needs some work and doing it yourself? That would be a more cost-effective way into the game.

      Good luck with the search and let me know what you end up getting. I’m sure it’ll be fun and engaging, whatever it is.

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