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AK/CO Duratec Seven Breaks Cover

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I faced reality in early July 2009 that the major mechanical fitment of my 2007 Seven S3 would never get done at my present pace (I started assembly in June 2007, still had the engine/trans and major electrical to figure out and install in July 2009). The car was in Colorado, i was in Alaska, and my 14 round-trips to work on the car over 2 1/2 years (141 days total) just weren't getting it done. (Little did I know in July of 2009 what major obstacle -- an incorrect wiring harness -- still lay before me).


So I trailered the Seven to Thomas Vintage Motors in Boulder, CO, where ace Seven mechanic and ex-pat Brit (and former Caterham engineer) Nathan Down works in restoring and fettling such local vintage racers as a Lola T-70 and Alfa T33/2.


Nathan is both an imaginative problem-solver and a perfectionist, with an encyclopedic knowledge of Caterham Sevens (he designed the SV model). My car is now in the carpeted garage at his home, where he can pop out to fiddle with it on days when he doesn't go in to Thomas in Boulder. (He has thus been able to satisfy much of my upgrade-itis, even before the car turns a wheel under its own power!).


Last week we rolled her out on Nathan's snowy driveway (no driving under those conditions, unfortunately), and fired up the 250 hp Cosworth Duratec 2.3 to check the sound level (it's not quiet!). There are still a few bits to finish (rear wing guards, exhaust location and mounts, etc.), but next time I'm down to Colorado to actually drive the car (weather permitting, of course).


Attached are some snaps.







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Thanks for your note -- you should know that you were an inspiration for me when I met you and saw your car on the 2005 Sevens Tour at Vail, Colorado!


Yes, mine is one of the last of the Arch Motors S3 chassis; purchased before anyone at CC had put a Duratec into an S3 lhd chassis. So CC helpfully installed a Zetec wiring harness; Nathan had to pull more than 50 feet of additional wire into the harness to get the current Duratec functions to work with the Zetec harness.


I believe that all of the S3 lhd chassis now coming out of CC are the new metric chassis, with a completely different pedal box, remote brake and clutch reservoirs, etc., among other changes. I definitely wanted the Arch chassis, because Arch is the original maker, from 1957.

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In my haste, I think I got the wrong "yellow Seven." I confused your handle with the yellow Seven of Tom Jones (California) who I should know is "pierats" on USA7s.


Sorry to you both for the confusion....

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You almost made it to the PNW 2007 tour :toetap05:







let upgraditis continue. i'd like to see the new caterham graphics, teh double stripe and side side w/ name in black on the silver. i think that would make it really sharp. and waiting for it should keep it siting still tll 2011:deadhorse:

congrats on seeing it nearly finished. sucks as old man winter has now crossed the continent.

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Here are some more photos of the CC carbon fiber airbox. I'm not sure how it fits "stylistically" (or even if such a word can be used in conjunction with a Seven).


The standard, long dome-shaped foam Pipercross air filter that came with the Cosworth Duratec was an air-restrictive press-fit inside the airbox, so we substituted individual foam socks over the inlet trumpets.


Cutting the hole in the bonnet is an exercise in 3-dimensional jeopardy, like cutting the side skin for the exhaust primaries. Nathan has done it more than a few times, but this may have been his first with this airbox. He said it was his most difficult and time-consuming. (Note the copper-wire jig he solders up to position the opening in the right place on the bonnet).

bonnet jig.jpg


c:f air intake.2.jpg

c:f air intake.3.jpg

c:f air intake.jpg

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It will be a beast on the track. Looks like you have really put a lot of thot (and buckets of $ and time) into making it your dream Se7en.


Now I am getting antsy for it to be done and it's not even my car:).



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Great job with your Seven . I like the fenders, it looks like carbon ??

And the Duratec looks perfect with all that carbon, makes my Zetec look like a lawn mower engine. Great luck with it, Enjoy, Steve

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Looks like your man is doing a fine job.

Just one thing, and I know this is a very personal field but...

when I looked at the fist pics I thought the car was still in bare ally / primer, I see now it is bright silver which is nice but a little bland IMHO, do you intend to stripe it up or graphic it at all. I know often less is more but in this case I think more would be better.

Good Luck with the rest of the build.

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The body color is 2004 Audi light silver metallic. I chose it because it was closest to the early, traditional unpainted ali on the first Sevens.


I had the CC 15-inch wheels repainted an Audi grey color -- in my opinion, the stock CC wheels in dark graphite color are way too dark, and the wheel gets lost in the tire. If I had it to do over, I might have chosen an even lighter silver/grey for the wheels.


The front and rear wings are carbon fiber. The nose is also carbon fiber, but I had it painted body color, as I don't care for the Sevens that have a nose that is not colored the same as the rest of the body -- they don't look "of a piece," but instead like some beaters that you see with a replacement fender or door off a similar car but with another color......... just my opinion.


I'm considering body stripes, but haven't followed up on that yet.

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