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2003 Caterham SV Zetec 5spd

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2003 Caterham SV Zetec



I am selling my 2003 Caterham SV Zetec. This was the first SV chassis imported and built in the US and was used as a demonstrator car with the various car magazines of the day.


I used the car primarily as my road touring car and occasionally on track.


Key Specs

  • Ford ZX3 2L Zetec. It was modified by Caterham USA with a slightly warmer camshaft. This took the original 130hp at the flywheel up to a supposed 160hp. While it has not been dyno’ed, from my seat of the pants driving it feels like about 140hp area.
  • T-9 5 speed gearbox – regular gear ratios unmodified. Synchro feels perfect.
  • De Dion rear end
  • No limited slip differential
  • Cloth seats
  • Perspex (or polycarbonate) wind wings
  • Side wings for weather protection with integrated mirrors
  • Hood (no hood bag)
  • Boot cover (no tonneau)











Edited by Croc
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Belts were replaced at the beginning of this year with 4-point Caterham belts. The crotch belts come with the car but are uninstalled. Expiry date on these belts is 2021.







For around town the three point belts are installed.




One set of 6”x16” Caterham ‘Wagon Wheels’. These are the original wheels that the car came with. Four are fitted with Bridgestone Potenza tires with approximately half to 1/3rd life left. Spare is fitted with a new tire.


One set of 6”x13” (front) and 8”x13” (rear) Caterham Diamond Cut Wheels in Black fitted with Avon ZZRs at approximately half-life. 6”x13” Spare is fitted with an Avon ZZR.







Windscreen is standard Caterham frame but does not have the heating elements within it that usually come standard on new kits – so the glass must have been replaced at some point re-using the existing frame.


During my ownership the clutch was replaced. Usual consumable service items such as fluids, plugs, hoses, wheel bearings, bushings, ball joint boot, etc. were replaced.


The car comes with the Caterham jack kit - never used by the looks of it.

Edited by Croc
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New Penske adjustable shocks have been installed. These were custom valved by Meteor Motorsport to be suitable for the lightweight of a Caterham. Currently they are set up on the second last softest setting, as it is perfect for road touring.




I also installed a battery cut off switch plus an Odyssey PC680 lightweight battery.




Mechanically it is up to date with its servicing. The only small thing is a quarter sized drop of oil from the bell housing will sometimes appear on the floor overnight after a run.


Mileage is approximately 11000 as I continue to use the Caterham prior to sale.

Edited by Croc
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Referring to the Caterham VIN this car was a 2001 SV chassis that was first registered by Jon Nelson of Caterham USA in June 2003. It was used as athe SV demonstrator and media car in late 2003.


The road tests are available to read online. Originals of the articles come with the car documentation package.


Car & Driver February 2004




Automobile February 2004








It also appears in the LOG 36 Princeton preview video here:




Reconstructing the ownership history, I am the 4th owner. The chain appears as:


June 2003 - Registered in CO by Caterham USA as new.

January 2004 - Purchased by gentleman in VA or West VA at 2508 miles

June 2013 - Purchased by a gentleman in GA at unknown mileage.

April 2014 – Purchased by me at 9000 miles


The car has a clean title in NJ as a 1967 Lotus 7. It uses the CO assigned VIN and description as it was originally titled and registered back in 2003.


A package of documentation from previous owners, service history, etc. will come with the car. This includes the assembly manual plus the Zetec installation supplement manual.

Edited by Croc
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Body Condition


It looks better than me but it is a 14-year-old seven – it has some stone chips. The worst is on the passenger side front wing – this was here when I got it.




Both sides of the bonnet have some light scratching from where the previous owner let the windscreen fall over. So light that I could not get it to appear on my iPhone!








There is the usual scratching underneath the bonnet scuttle lip but this is not visible with the bonnet on.

Edited by Croc
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The stone protectors on the rear wings have seen their share of stones but it is not bad for the age/mileage of the car.









How does it drive?


Really well. I use the 16” wheels when driving on the road to give sufficient ground clearance given the pathetic state of NJ/PA/NY roads. It rides very well – better than all of my cars other than the Caterham CSR.


The car was corner weighted for a driver of my (significant) weight. Its easy enough to re-weight.





The car has been taken on the track. I have a logbook, which will come with the documentation package. It handles very well and is very enjoyable to drive. It can lap faster than Xcarguy’s V8 Stalker in the rain. It has embarrassed its share of bigger hp cars.



A track video should give you an idea of its performance





While it is a wet sump engine, I have been careful to ensure the oil levels are precisely correct before going on track and not had any fluctuations in oil pressure despite having the 15 degree long sustained banking on the last corner of the Lightning Circuit at NJMP. The same corner can produce trace oil smoke at wide-open throttle coming out of the banking but that’s because there is a residual oil at the top end that makes it way into the inlet and ultimately combustion process. Backing off fractionally solves that (you can hear me do that in the video). If you wanted to track this car more regularly then I would suggest installing a dry sump or Accusump and potentially shifting away from the current plenum intake (which would give you more hp too).


The car comes with a brand new Raceline baffled oil sump (and installation kit) which has never been fitted. There is also a new Raceline cam cover in black crackle finish - again uninstalled - with the gasket. The original engine camshaft will come with the car should you wish to revert back to stock.


The "warm" camshaft fitted by Caterham USA upon original build in 2013 works best once it is warmed up as it can be lumpy and require additional revs when cold immediately after start up. This is normal from my owning/observing other sister cars with the same engine spec. At any rate T-9 gearboxes work best when allowed to warm a little.



Will I fit?

It’s a Caterham SV – it’s as big and roomy as a seven comes. I am very confident you will fit. I am 5’11; size 11 feet, with a substantial bulk reflecting I have more chins than a Chinese phone book. I have squeezed an anonymous forum member (lets call him Karl) into my previous yellow sister Caterham SV who was 6’7, size 13 feet and 320lbs. I have jammed a 350lb chap into my CSR for a track run as a passenger. With a quart of oil, some slim line moccasins or race boots I am confident I will get you fitted in the car and driving. Getting out may be the issue though….




I am asking $30,000 firm/no haggles. I don’t need to sell it for financial reasons and could quite happily keep it for drives. However, I don’t drive it enough given my various other cars, restoration projects and other substantial time commitments on me so the fair thing to do is help it find a new caring home.


Car is located in Millville, NJ in a very nice climate controlled garage. I travel frequently so some level of advance warning is needed to inspect the car or for me to take additional photos.


This may be a lost effort but to those people who wish to make silly low-ball offers – please don’t.


To everyone else, I look forward to your serious inquiries.






Edited by Croc
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The car has been taken on the track. I have a logbook, which will come with the documentation package. It handles very well and is very enjoyable to drive. It can lap faster than Xcarguy’s V8 Stalker in the rain.


Hey, if it helps with the sale, I want commission.:jester:

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LOL - no Miata. Having two sevens is a little greedy. Having one seven will allow me to (hopefully) better focus on finishing off my 3 active restoration jobs - the Beemer, the Blue Holden and the cigarette packet.


You are right on the registration - if that Caterham cannot be easily registered in any state then I don't think any can.

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Lovely, well maintained car at a lovely price. One of the (many) nice things about this less tiny version of the even tinier standard Caterham is there is lots of room under the bonnet for a supercharger or turbo system:). Not that it lacks power as is. The video shows it acquiting itself quite well on the track.

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Darn it Mike, my sports car funds are tied up in a Europa restoration. Figures your 7 would be up for sale when I was tied up in another Lotus project. As they say, timing is everything and clearly mine is off! Very nice car and can testify that it is well taken car of. AND NJ registered!

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Maybe I’ll be lucky and finish my Europa restoration, sell it and Mike’s car is still available.......


You never know Glen - it may just work out that way. Anyway it only takes a month or so to restore a Europa.... :seeya:

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Unfortunately I had to wait 6 months just to get in line for the painter and then it’s another 6 months in the paint shop. TC engine almost done at the machine shop (just a little more performance and a complete rebuild). Rebuilding the transaxle as we speak (all new bearings & seals). Chassis and all suspension parts media blasted and powder coated. Will spend the winter reassembling the chassis with all new bushings, coil over shocks, brakes (removing rear drums and replacing with disc), engine and transaxle. All fluid lines replaced with new. By the time the body is done the chassis will be rolling and ready to run. Then it’s only

new interior and bolt back on to the body. Just a little longer than a month Mike :driving:


Edited by Certified Lotus
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Oh I knew it would be more than a month but I had to troll you as I know how you do your restorations! :jester: I bet it will look absolutely brilliant when finished.

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