In The Beginning

... was the Lotus Seven Monday October 22nd, 2012 Of course I was aware of the Lotus Seven before 1967, after all I was a motor racing junkie, well, perhaps more accurately, I was a racing car junkie and still am. I spent my 'pocket money' on Motoring News and Autosport every week, turning up at the News agent's every Thursday morning before catching the bus to school and being disappointed in the extreme if both were not available. I knew the Seven was one of Colin Chapman's earlier designs, I really had no idea that you could actually buy one and drive it on the road. I would always read Autosport and MN cover to cover, especially in the dark months of the English winter, for that was the time when the new F1 cars would break cover in preparation for the coming season. I was a technical glutton (I suppose a typical 'anorak' in Brit' speak), I drank in every detail, fascinated by the latest innovation, clever solution or great leap forward. Of course, Mr. ACB Chapman was the greatest leaper and innovator of all. Turning out brilliant chassis after brilliant chassis from the magical world of Hethel, the 25, 33, 49, 72, 78 and, my ultimate favorite, the 79.  But actually owning and driving a Lotus, I couldn't quite conceive of that. An Elan or Europa seemed so exotic and out of reach, something that rich people owned, certainly not for middle class boys from the Wirral like me. And then, sometime in late 1967, along came 'The Prisoner' and that wonderful opening sequence, with Patrick McGoohan flying in the Seven, all steely blue eyed determination and righteous anger. Every week he thrashed that Seven, pounded the table and succumbed to the sleeping gas before waking in The Village and becoming Number 6 ("I am not a number, I am a free man"). Fantastic stuff, see for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tra3Zi5ZWa0 Along the way somebody told me that you could buy the Seven as a kit which, at age 13, seemed like something I might be able to make happen at some point in my life. Especially as, at the time anyway, there was no purchase tax on it, as it was a kit and you built it yourself. It even sounded like it might be fun ... and so began the dream. In the end it took forty-five years. And now it's 2012 and those years have gone so fast, the Lotus has become a Caterham, but the dream remains the same. I have a family that has been nothing but supportive of my dream and have finally persuaded me that now is the right time. I've also been persuaded, by some friends who really should know better, that the story of acquiring and enjoying the Caterham  might be something of interest to others. I can't quite see why, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, carpe diem, all that stuff; and here I am ... This Blog is the story of my big adventure, the 45 year dream, about to come true  ...  

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