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Everything posted by Kitcat

  1. That’s a tempting offer Croc, made even more so by the opportunity to expalin, yet again, to Tom (YellowSS) that it’s not too late for him to receive political enlightenment:). So, I have it on my calendar and, if all goes well, I will be there in my Miata with the same power as my Caterham, but carrying an extra 1,000 lbs! Although I won’t be in your run group I will hang with the se7ens in the paddock, etc. I just hope it’s not like bringing a Birkin to a LOG event:)!
  2. Update: my beloved Caterham is being sold. A forum member who wants to start racing has contacted me, a fair price has been agreed upon, down payment received, and delivery is in 10 days. The car was uniquely attractive to the buyer as it has all of the required safety items for racing. Even the fuel cell is still current. I probably spent more time debating this sale than I did any other decision in my life:).The deciding factor was simply that, at age 75, I have become less able to handle the car’s physical demands (noise, heat, vibration etc.). The adrenaline hit was no longer sufficient to offset the toll the car took on my body. I am still bombing around racetracks in my Miata and terrorizing drivers half my age:).Folks who have tracked with me at NJMP jnow what I mean. So all is not lost. And, there is no law that says I can’t buy another one some time in the future. I plan to still hang out here, so the USA7S component of my car life will remain. In the meantime, keep the faith and keep blattin.
  3. My custom cage is 17&1/2” above the top of the rear bulkhead (top of the “boot”), 40” above the floor. The driver’s side protrudes 7” from the side frame(supplying crumple zone not provided by the stock Caterham cage), 3” on the passenger side. Aesthetically, it comes in a distant 2nd to the Caterham cage but seems to offer greater protection. I’d guesstimate its 125-150 lbs. The seat height must be factored in. My current Caterham seat puts my butt 2” lower than the FIA compliant racing seat it replaced a few months ago. I will try to attach some photos of my cage.
  4. And just when I was starting to think of your vehicle as “Jeff’s Caterham”:).
  5. Stewart/Jeff’s blue BDA Caterham is now on BAT. One of my all time favorites! GLWA!
  6. Cueball: sorry you missed out on that amazing Stalker but there is always a “next time.” I don’t own a Stalker, and I dont auto-x my Caterham, so I have no opinion on large vs. small Stalkers in the auto-x environment. Based on my experience at NJMP against V8 Stalkers tho, I think they are track day beasts, whatever their size.
  7. An amazing se7en and an even more amazing price! Congratulations! A bonus is, if you do track days, you will no longer have to watch your mirrors or give point-byes:).
  8. A while back I bought a driver’s suit for track days (which is the only place my non-street legal Caterham is used). I was amazed at how much it calmed the driving experience (less buffeting, fewer noticeable pebble strikes, etc.). Combined with a full face helmet and ear plugs, it made the experience much less frentic and tactile. I find myself more able to focus on the track. Of course, it can get a bit toasty in what is essentially a snow suit in the hot Caterham cockpit during summer months…. Adding a full windshield and 1/2 doors creates a similarly quiet environment. But, by trapping so much cockpit heat, it’s still a pretty hot experience.
  9. Slightly off topic, but my ‘97 Caterham had an 8 gallon tank. The fuel gauge was never accurate, so I just filled it up every 100 miles to be safe (Fortunately, the odometer was accurate:)). On long trips I took a 2 gallon container of gas(my own crude reserve system ).
  10. Jon: Gone, but not forgotten. I got my only clean run at the LOG 30 auto-x after you jumped in as a passenger and told me when to turn:)! You also came to USA7S at the Tail of the Dragon in ’07 and you hauled an Automobile magazine scribe with you in your Caterham as he was covering the event and did a great write up after the event that commorated the 50 anniversary of the Lotus 7.
  11. Steve, so you have been a se7en owner since ‘05? Who here has owned longer? I guess Tom G (Yellow SS, who went to the LOG event the year before)? Anyone else? Speaking of longevity and se7ens owners, Josh Robbins of RMCaterham told me recently that new orders for Caterhams are split equally at age 45. Half are older than that, half younger. In any event, Nathan would be a great track mentor: easygoing and low key. But also smart and talented. He was a US Caterham dealer for a moment in the early 2000’s.
  12. Nathan told me he drove a Caterham in the 2003 25 hour event as part of the Car and Driver team. It didn’t hurt that he was an ace Caterham mechanic (or that he was faster than the Car and Driver writer/drivers:)). He and Josh Robbins were at my refurbished Caterham’s shakedown track day 4 days ago. They were able to diagnose why my Caterham 6 speed suddenly wouldn’t go into reverse. And fix it the next day. It turns out that the spring loaded Quaife manufactured Caterham shifter can wear out. Who knew? They swapped in a spare and all was right.
  13. Or, Tom, why don’t you meet the southern members of USA7s at Barber? As you say, it’s only a day’s drive and you have a trailer and tow vehicle now:)! Just kidding (sort of). I thought I had heard all of your se7en adventures but this is a new one. That’s a full day, given that se7en miles are like dog years:1:7. Impressive!
  14. Hey Steve: My Caterham took first in class, thrird overall, in the 2009 edition of 25 Hours at Thunderhill. It was an effort put together by Bruce Beachman, who as you know, is now a Caterham dealer par excellence. The car started out as a race car built to SCCA E-Production class, in 2003 and was upgraded by Bruce and owner/driver, Mark McClure, in 2008 to ST class, as I recall for the 2009 race.
  15. Carl, I don’t have that. Since mine is from’96, I don’t think it’s relevant to your spec. You may need to contact Caterham UK with your car’s serial #. It was all done so seat of the pants, even they may not know?
  16. Those who have followed my Caterham’s occasional issues know that my rear suspension was “solid” at last year’s NJMP. I had it properly sorted over the winter at Rocky Mountain Caterham. It turns out I replaced the A-frame (damaged when I had a half shaft break on track) with one of the wrong spec. So wrong that when my mechanic forced it into place, it bent the shock absorbers and the shaft was unable to move in the shock tube. Per Nathan Down, who did the suspension over the winter, there are many varieties of Caterham A-frames: at least 8 between ’96-98 alone. Nathan, who was a Caterham engineer in the ‘90’s, said the company kept tinkering with them until they were happy with the results. Apparently, since my’03 Cat was a race version, speced for the SCCA in the US, it came with one of the many late ‘90’s versions, not the final version (so much for racing improving the breed…). When I replaced it, I was sent the ‘03 version which was completely wrong.
  17. My Caterham’s mechanical refurbishment was pretty comprehensive (shocks, springs, wheels, tires, alignment, front brakes, steering rack with a slower ratio, etc), so the handling should be much improved. So we shall see. Speaking of seeing, I like the new mirror concept!
  18. Deal Croc:)! See you in September, in either the mighty Miata, or the even mightier Caterham. Will this event see the debut of the CatKong? Or, is NJMP too small to contain it:)???
  19. Hard to believe its up to 12 years. Where does the time go? This event’s gestation actually occurred the year before when some of us participated in the Lotus Owners Group 30, in Gettysburg. That event brought Croc, Tom (YellowSS), Scott Lentz (RIP), MichaelD, and myself together for the first time. We had so much fun at the event’s track day at Summit Point that Tom, as I recall, came up with the idea of doing it together again, but this time without our friends in the Lotus Owners group. It has proven to be a huge success, in no small part due to the tireless efforts of Croc and Tom, combined with the world class track facility at NJMP. Not clear if I will sign up. As noted elsewhere, my 15 years of se7en ownership may be drawing to an end. I get my refurbished Caterham back from Rocky Mountain Caterham in 2 days. That will be immediately followed by a track day at nearby High Plains Raceway and then the long haul back to Cincy, so plenty of time to decide Stay tuned.
  20. Cable ties: Sounds like this Caterham is done! Nice job on the recessed roll pad. I just pulled on my cable ties until they disappeared into the foam:). Far less professional looking than yours.
  21. Hmmm, 75 more hp and 30 more lbs torque than my Zetec. Given the likely 10-15% drivetrain loss and those are big numbers.
  22. Plz share the dyno results: It will be interesting to see how your Honda engine compares to the current version of the Duratec used in the Caterham 420. Of course, every dyno is different but still its interesting.
  23. Define “younger”, many of us se7en owners are in our 70’s:).
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