ENGINE 1691cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 135bhp@6000rpm TORQUE 122lb ft@4200rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 111mph 0-60MPH 5.8sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 16-21mpg TRANSMISSION RWD, five-speed man MoT 12 months from sale ODOMETER 13,200 miles
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
It’s fabulously noisy, egging you on to drop down a cog and give it a good spanking. Downshifting is a blissful process thanks to the taut throttle response and snappy action of the shortthrow gear lever. There does appear to be some play in the steering wheel with the car parked up; it isn’t noticeable once the road wheels are turning but might be something to keep an eye on. Other than that we detected no excess play or vibrations, and the brakes are firm and nicely balanced, having benefitted from a recent overhaul.
A troublesome bonnet catch has resulted in a small scrape in the Flame Red paint on the front off-side wheelarch, but it’s only visible when viewed from above. Other than that – and a gentle ding on the nose cowl – it’s a fabulous looker all round; we could find no unsightly corrosion anywhere. The 14in wheels are shod in nearly-new 185/60 Goodyear tyres, with one tiny patch of kerbing on the front nearside wheel the only niggle. The vinyl door screens and collapsible roof show no cracks or significant fading and the lamps and lenses are clear and unbroken.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
There’s not much to look at in any Caterham cabin, but nothing is damaged in this one, everything seems to work and the heater emits a generous blast of hot air. The only sign of wear is to the carpet over the transmission tunnel, which has been slightly abraded by elbows resting on it. There’s a four-point harness for the driver, and a regular three-point seatbelt for the passenger. The black leather seats and leather-trimmed steering wheel are in excellent condition with no splits and the chip-free windscreen is heated.
UNDER THE BONNET
The Ford Crossflow engine has just received an unleaded petrol conversion by the vendor as part of a £3200 recommissioning process to put the car back on the road after some years in storage. The invoice for the work is reassuringly thorough, and includes having the radiator re-cored and wheel bearings tightened. New dampers have also been fitted, along with a new clutch cable. The battery expired on our test run, so the seller will be fitting a new one. There are no visible leaks anywhere on the engine, and the twin Weber carburettors appear to be nicely tuned. Brakes and suspension components look clean and fresh – overall the car seems mechanically impeccable.
THE CCW VIEW
If your limbs and ears can take it, you’ll want to drive this little gem every day. And its solid condition and low mileage suggest you probably could. Beware though, if you’re over six feet tall – later Caterhams (post 2000) are a bit roomier inside.
EXTERIOR Excellent paint Loose bonnet catch INTERIOR Simple and fully functioning Good leather MECHANICALS Thorough engine refurb
PROS Factory-built, low mileage, good condition
CONS Only recent service history, steering play
BUY IT FROM Stratton Motor Company, Long Stratton, Norfolk NR15 2XJ 01508 530491, www.strattonmotorcompany.com
ASKING £15,995 PRICE
Ford Crossflow has just had an unleaded conversion.
Strong heater and heated windscreen in basic cabin.