A return to the Swinging Sixties with the Caterham Seven Sprint

Caterham Seven Sprint

This may look like a prop from Dixon of Dock Green, but it is in fact a new car – the latest model from Caterham, the Seven Sprint, says Will Beaumont in Evo magazine. It has been built to commemorate the 60 years since the Lotus Seven was first launched, and has been built to look like a Series 2 Seven. You get more retro styling than is normal for the Caterham Seven models, red leather seats, a large wood-rimmed steering wheel, and the choice of colours that would have faced a 1960s’ buyer, including British Racing Green, Misty Blue and Mellow Yellow.

The 660cc Suzuki engine also does “a good impression of being ancient”. It makes a “dreadful industrial noise”, which won’t matter so much once you’re going as the wind noise is so great it gets drowned out. But for all the flaws, this Seven is still a colossal amount of fun to drive. It feels like you’ve borrowed it from Toad of Toad Hall, and is “delicate, immersive and entertaining” to drive.

The £27,995 price tag is eye-watering, says Ben Whitworth in Car, but the car has successfully recaptured the mood of the Swinging Sixties, without “the slightest whiff of retro cheesiness”. It’s a “great car to look at, and an even better one to drive”. It is a fitting tribute to the 1960s roadster, says Jonathan Burn in AutoExpress, and is “dripping with character and charm that is elsewhere hard to come by”.

Sadly, though, you can’t have one: all 60 examples have already been sold. Still, as Whitworth points out, a ready-to-drive Caterham-built 160 is a lot cheaper. Use your imagination and console yourself with the thought of your £8,500 savings.

Merryn

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