Lotus Elan

caterhams, Lotus 7 etc?

PostPost by: RobCapper » Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:23 pm

off topic I know, but as this is a pretty knowledgable forum, and as a number of you seem to own them, I thought I'd ask a quick question...

My dad and me are looking to buy a Lotus 7 (type) car for me to hillclimb and him to use occasionally on the road. Cost is a major factor (dad's just moved house and I'm 26 and poor!) and clearly a "real" 7 is out of the question. So too are caterhams I think as they're still fairly pricey...

however, I was wondering what the differences were with the Westfields, Robin Hoods, Tigers, etc... are they all essentially the same? (apart from the various engine variations etc?) What's best to go for, or best to avoid? We want a good runner, but not afraid of a little work..

Interested in all your thoughts.... Many thanks
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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:53 pm


As far a autocrossing is concerned, word on the street is that Birkin makes the best one, (and that includes Lotus and Caterham).
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PostPost by: steveww » Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:07 am

Although the Caterhams are more expensive they appear to hold their value better.

If you are seriously considering competition then get yourself along to some sprints and hillclimbs and have a walk around the paddock. Chat with the other drivers and find out what they think. Join the MSA to get a copy of the "Blue Book" and check the rules and regs, you don't want to buy a car that is not eligible for the series in which you want to compete. Check availability and cost of spares, competition tends to break things quicker.

May be look at some of the bike engined cars? Piston Heads has a comprehensive classified section.
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PostPost by: sparkey » Wed Apr 25, 2007 7:50 pm

I built a Westfield with a tuned 1700 crossflow engine some years ago and used it for Sprints, Hillclimbs, trackdays and general road use including several trips to Le Mans. I found it very competitive with equivalent spec Caterhams and Lotus 7s and probably more comfortable as the Westfields have a slightly bigger cockpit. It was much cheaper to build than a Caterham and I eventually sold it after around 4 years for what it cost me to build it.

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PostPost by: twincamman » Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:45 am

welll I built my Caterham in 1984 and drive it at every opportunity--the master cylinder is unobtainable and is currently in Virginia for a rebuild -----but I recommend them over others and cost is manageable in the long run ---ed
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