June 13 I once won a set of tyres driving a Caterham Seven on a handling course. Based on the original Lotus Seven, the Caterham version has changed little since the original Colin Chapman design of 1957. It’s a brilliant handling car but bonkers to the core.
This 620S model is the maddest of them all. And I mean mad. Kicking out 310bhp at 7,350 revs, you need all your wits about you to enjoy a motor that will go sideways at the slightest opportunity.
My spell with the Seven started at Heathrow airport. The car was delivered with the roof down (mostly because it’s painfully hot inside with the canvass in place) and by the time I reached the M4 it was lashing with rain.
Stuck in traffic, I put an umbrella up. Then I made it to a filling station canopy and fought for 20 minutes popping the roof in place.
It still leaked of course but at least I wasn’t sitting in a puddle. Then the windscreen wipers stopped working. I became a Chinese acrobat trying to find the right fuse but discovered something else had broken instead.
So I drove the rest of my journey without wipers and cursed the day the car was born. It’ll get better but £45k for this Caterham is simply too much…