Throughout the build I’ve debated whether to go direct to IVA, or to take the less-risky route and take advantage of the post-build check (PBC) first. The PBC is effectively three hours of mechanic labour, paid for by Caterham, to go over every nut and bolt and ensure the car is well put together. Up here in Scotland, there is only one garage I am aware of which offers this service: Dreadnought in Callendar. This is about 40 minutes drive from me, so not too distant. It’s a similar distance to the IVA centre in Livingston, but in the opposite direction.
Initially, I was going to go straight to IVA because I can legally drive to the IVA test on insurance taken out on the chassis number, and I would not have the hassle of finding a trailer to hire, fitting a towbar to the 4×4, and driving up and down the country with it. However, I decided with a couple of months to go that I would book the car in for a PBC at Dreadnought. I wanted the extra reassurance that I wasn’t about to break down or a wheel fall off on the drive to the test. After all, not having done this before, who knows what mistakes I might have made without realising it?
So in the those two months I found a garage to install a towbar, and a hire centre to rent a Brian James trailer from; great for low ground clearance cars as the bed tips up with a hydraulic ram, and it’s fitted with a winch, meaning I could haul it up on the ramp by myself and not have to climb out with the car at an angle, to lower the bed again. This would be even more of a challenge as I’d decided to fit the full hood for the PBC as I could not rely on the weather.
I held off doing all the IVA trim on the car prior to PBC, just doing the bare minimum. I arranged with Dreadnought to drop it off on 6th May (a Saturday) and pick it up the following Saturday. I also asked them to do a wheel alignment, headlight alignment and bleed the brakes for me, all of which I was paying for on top of the PBC. Nervously towing my first trailer, I set off taking corners wide and braking sloooooowly.
Picking up the car on the 13th, they confirmed my build was decent, just replacing a couple of bolts on the rear offside which I had put in the wrong way around so they weren’t quite reaching the nylon in the nyloc nuts.
Checking the brakes post the Dreadnought bleed, I’m not sure I hadn’t actually done the job with my four bleeds. Not knowing what the new pads on new discs would feel like, there was no way I could tell spongy from needing to bed in. Still, they are sorted and I no longer have any doubt about it, so for me that is money well spent.
Dreadnought were awesome, giving me confidence in the car now it was checked and I spent some time talking cars, racing and mods with Paul who showed me his sleeper Metro which looks stock apart from the exhaust, but has a 200 bhp engine installed. Cracking service overall, and thanks especially to Darren who did the PBC on my car, and chatted to me over the phone for about 20 minutes about the car and the build.
I wasn’t as lucky with the weather on the return leg to bring the car home. It poured, and the car got properly filthy from the road dirt thrown up by the CR-V, probably made worse by this being the end of a long dry spell. First wash coming up as a result. She breezed through PBC though, she deserves it.