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new 310r on order - color change?


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Longtime lurker and, thanks to a few Atlanta locals and Rocky Mountain Catherham, current allocation holder for a 310R. I'll test my wife's patience by building the car at home, hopefully next fall/winter. To make room, I am selling my Factory Five MK4 Cobra replica if anyone wants to scratch that itch . . . .

 

 

Question for folks that have darker colored Caterhams or that switched from a dark color to something bright: is the "buy bright so people see you" something that you personally can attest to? My order is for a Black Grey with Marigold triple stripes and a Graphite pinstripe. However, my second choice is Riviera Blue with Marigold/orange stripe.

 

 

This is coming up now because I had a close call yesterday in my Cobra.

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Different people will have different opinions on this subject, so you need to go with whatever makes the most sense to you. Having owned two small cars in black (e36 M Coupe) and silver (NA Miata) and two very small cars in red (Westfield) and screaming yellow (Elan), I would never buy something in the latter category that wasn't close to eye searing in color. I've had more people do dumb things around the black and silver cars than around the red and yellow variants. I also find that I spot brightly colored cars more quickly when I'm behind the wheel.

 

Now if there was quantitative data that a red or yellow car was measurably safer than a black or silver vehicle, I suspect my insurance company would have different rates based on the color. Since they don't, my assumption is the collision frequency difference isn't substantial. Regardless, I'm more comfortable in a small car when its color is anything but subtle. As lucky dawg writes, running with headlights at all times is a smart approach for any se7en.

 

-John

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I'm under the opinion that if somebody isn't paying enough attention to see you to begin with, a little bit of color isn't going to help. It's not a "blending in" problem as much as people not seeing you at all problem.

 

Best advice is drive defensively. If you ride a bike you're very familiar with the concept. You can't be hit if you don't put yourself into a position to be hit/not seen.

 

We are so low and small people just don't see us. Bikes get cut/off turned into all the time with people saying "I didn't see him". They aren't just making excuses, their eyes saw them but their brain physically didn't register them as an object to avoid. For that reason it's particular dangerous to be riding bikes at the start of the season when people gotten out of use of seeing and expecting motorcycles.

 

I've had a bright red Miata and somebody turned into me while being right next to them. They just weren't thinking paying attention and the thought of missing a turn caused them to react immediately without thinking of consequences or safety.

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Longtime lurker and, thanks to a few Atlanta locals and Rocky Mountain Catherham, current allocation holder for a 310R. I'll test my wife's patience by building the car at home, hopefully next fall/winter. To make room, I am selling my Factory Five MK4 Cobra replica if anyone wants to scratch that itch . . . .

 

 

Question for folks that have darker colored Caterhams or that switched from a dark color to something bright: is the "buy bright so people see you" something that you personally can attest to? My order is for a Black Grey with Marigold triple stripes and a Graphite pinstripe. However, my second choice is Riviera Blue with Marigold/orange stripe.

 

 

This is coming up now because I had a close call yesterday in my Cobra.

 

If you built your MK IV, your Caterham build will seem almost too easy, so much so, your wife might even decide to assist as a bonding expereience...This coming from a multi generation FFR builder/restorer who started with an original MK I and the original "39" page mimeographed assembly manual :banghead: . As for color, based on my experience both in the NE and the SE, yes, I'd agree a louder color and horn assembly are warranted. Especially if you had an issue with the MK IV and the sidepipes singing. People just want to check the car out while they are driving, never realizing that they are drifting towards you. Others are just blissfully unaware, my Grabber Orange 69 Shelby being the perfect example of several near misses with the offender stating "I did not see you" :leaving:

 

Just my two cents worth

 

Bill S.

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Here is a Riviera Blue Seven we sold: https://www.instagram.com/skyeblugarage/ We have also found a good set of LED headlamps that are set up for a daytime running lamp and aux. turn signals. I ordered our demo 310 in Firecracker Yellow so as to be very visible, a Seven is effectively a four wheel motorcycle so situational awareness is a must. Remember in a Seven you are looking UP at Miatas! And here is a "black grey" 420 https://scontent-lga3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/p720x720/121619037_3528380297226183_8266911153920709521_o.jpg?_nc_cat=111&ccb=2&_nc_sid=730e14&_nc_ohc=BvI7CvINw6IAX_08LAR&_nc_ht=scontent-lga3-1.xx&tp=6&oh=582339a46f2ef52537d6ebb9f5f8ca47&oe=601291AB

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..... situational awareness is a must......

We can't "over-emphasize" what Mark said above: You can't count on other drivers seeing the Caterham--or any LSIS--cause some of them don't pay that much attention. You MUST look out for them. While a bright paint job may help, I wouldn't count on it too much.

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I vaguely recall R&T reporting bright cars have 50% less accidents than dark cars.

 

What little I have found on-line says black cars are the most dangerous and white are the safest (by 12%). Gray and silver are also more dangerous. And it gets worse at dawn and dusk when lighting is marginal.

 

And there are subtleties: an orange or yellow car "swells" and is perceived as larger while a green or blue car "feels" smaller (so the car behind may start to tailgate).

 

I can say that I put 10K miles on my original midnight blue Caterham with zero close calls. My problem was people losing their minds on first seeing it and trying to get close enough to take a cell phone picture:).

 

Also, my motto was tread softly, but carry a big horn. It didn't hurt that my X-flow was always blasting, sort of how you hear a Harley before you see it. And, as others have mentioned,biking and cycling experience is good practice for developing better situational awareness. The bikers' motto of "assume you are invisible" is good advice in a se7en.

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All good comments. I agree that a bright color "may" help. Mine is BRG, I also have a flag up at the back.

But the main think is assuming they are all dummies. With all the electronic toys, people drive even worse now than 15 years ago. It is hard to see with a phone held in front of the face or looking down at the lap. Years ago, people ran red lights and would swear it was still yellow, close to the light change. Now about once a month I see someone go through a red light that may be half way through the cycle. They are truly driving blind. Same with stop signs. Not a slight roll, but straight through at 35 mph. Yikes! Stay away from everyone and keep your head on a swivel.

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We can't "over-emphasize" what Mark said above: You can't count on other drivers seeing the Caterham--or any LSIS--cause some of them don't pay that much attention. You MUST look out for them. While a bright paint job may help, I wouldn't count on it too much.

 

This...and what Vovchandr said is the best advice. Drive defensively. I've been riding motorcycles for nearly 40 years and I've always applied the lessons learned from that to driving my small cars, TR6, Spitfire, Z3, M Roadster and now my Caterham(twice). Always assume that nobody else sees you and they are about to do the worst thing possible. Not out of fear, because you would never drive again, but out of survival.

I've had brightly colored bikes and dark colored bikes and I'm not sure it makes a difference but others mileage probably varies. Lights on all the time does, highbeams during the day and the brightest bulbs you can get.

 

"Get the color you want and drive with your lights on." And always be prepared to defend yourself.

 

My 2 cents,

Bill

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Color is important-- but-- not that much. My road color (darker grey/blue) xj jag has the most close encounters followed by the medium dark 7. The problem is US, even those of us who have experience with motorcycles in traffic. We do not naturally notice smaller objects, we are programed to notice what is easy. I have read that our view is like a computer screen and sometimes is not refreshed unless we do something to refresh it. Be aware, drive as if you are in a large Mexican city and being stalked by bandits. (or the insurance fraud sters) It will improve your driving and lessen the risk of some cotten head like me looking right at you and then pulling out. We is the problem. john

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One of the first things I did after buying my Caterham was to install an air horn on a separate button. I have used it several time on the highway when SUVs and trucks start pulling into me because I am below their window bottoms. This is made worse by a number of drivers who apparently don't understand what rear view mirrors are for.

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I carry a set of three juggling practice bean bag balls ($10-12 bucks on Amazon) in the car whenever I drive the Seven, to throw into the body panel of any car that threatens to collide in a low-speed or parked situation, such as a car/truck/SUV in front of me at a traffic signal that decides to reverse. My thinking is, when the bean bag makes contact - *THUMP* - that will immediately get noticed and the driver is most likely to stop and REALLY look, and most likely get out and look. And the bean bag is very unlikely to cause any damage at all to the other car. Haven't used 'em yet, but have heard multiple stories from Seven drivers seeing a reversing car approaching, using the horn thus causing the other driver to look around but still not see, and get crunched into anyway. Driving a Seven increases drivings risk, so you could say it takes some balls. :)

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