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The Caterham Super 7: don’t call it a kit car

Posted in Cars, Custom, Expensive Cars, Fast Cars, Lotus by Geoff | August 29th, 2008 | 1 Response |

Caterham Super 7
Caterham Super 7

At first glance cars individually handcrafted by Super7 Cars Inc. of British Columbia look like something from a bygone era of racing.  Essentially minimalist open-air engines with a seat.  But don’t let it’s looks fool you.  This is not some teetering relic from the 50’s, but a speed freak’s dream car.

The roots of Super 7 cars can be traced back to the designs of  Colin Chapman in the 1950s.  Born in London in 1928, Chapman studied structural engineering, was a pilot in the Royal Air Force and went on to become one of the great innovators in motorsports design.  A highly successful race driver, Chapman founded Lotus Engineering Ltd. in 1952.  Chapman’s vision of light, powerful cars and performance suspensions guided much of his development work, and in 1957 Lotus debuted the 7 at the Earl’s Court Motor Show in London.

Super 7 GSX 1300R Hayabusa
Super 7 GSX 1300R Hayabusa

After dominating open class races for decades, a one-make championship for Caterhams was begun in 1986; Super 7 circuits have since expanded to include club and competitive races in the United Kingdom, continental Europe, Canada, the United States and Asia. The Super 7’s size was changed only once, when in 1999 Caterham introduced the SV chassis, an expanded tubular frame designed to accommodate a greater number of drivers. 

A Super 7 Doing What It Does Best
A Super 7 Doing What It Does Best

The Super 7 GSX 1300R Haybusa is the fastest legal, road certified car available in Canada and is available as either a road vehicle or as a specialized race model.  Super 7s are individually built in close cooperation with its future owner, using top-of-the-line import components.  Powered by the Suzuki Hayabusa engine, the GSX 1300R road model includes a 6-speed sequential gearbox, separate reversing gearbox, digital fuel injection and ignition and full all-weather equipment.  A true high perfomance sports car in every sense of the word, the GSX 1300R combines speed and handling with the traditional styling that embodies the Super 7’s long heritage.  185 horsepower is produced from the Suzuki motorcycle-derived engine, capable of propelling the driver to a top speed of 146 mph and from 0 to 60 in less than 3.5 seconds.  Given the position of the driver in relation to the road and the minimal amount of actual machine separating the same driver from that same pavement, I can only imagine how much more exciting and fast this car must feel to drive than those respectable numbers can communicate.  The price for such a thrill is in the 60 grand range.  There are a few options available for customizing the Super 7 to an individual’s taste, but I think most would agreee that the previous stats make them fairly irrelevant.

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One Response

  1. Vito Rispo says:

    I’ll take it.