If you did venture over there, you’ll have had the first glimpse of the new Caterham Sprint, a limited-edition Seven, with a distinct Sixties styling vibe, built, unsurprisingly, to celebrate the Seven formula's 60th anniversary this year.
Quite a lot of people did see it, judging by the number of orders Caterham took for the car that weekend (all 60 examples were sold within seven days of its appearance), and being built as we speak), despite it costing almost £30,000 – about £10k more than you’d expect to pay for the base Seven, with the 80bhp three-pot engine, which is essentially what the Sprint is.
But, if you take the time to look at this car in the flesh, I challenge you not to fall in love with it.
We’ve had one this weekend, and I miss it terribly already. The most obvious design difference is the flared wings over the 14in cream wheels, which means that the driver no longer has that distinctive open-wheeled view of the road ahead. What you do get, however, is voluptuous, curved bodywork shining in the sun, and the classic chromed headlamps, alert like dog’s ears, pricking the horizon.
At the rear, the space wheel sits in a silver frame, and the tail-lights are retro twin bulbs.
Our car was painted Camberwick Green, a lovely period grey/green hue, with contrasting bright red leather seats, red metal dash, wooden steering wheel, and cream piping on the removable hood, doors and along the wings. It’s simply gorgeous, and the perfect development of the Caterham brand. One simply has to hope the company will follow up the Sprint with another limited edition, once they’ve finished building the current 60 are (my friend ordered one at the Revival and has been told to expect July/August delivery – he’s positively salivating.
On the move, covered wheels aside, this is your classic Caterham Seven experience. The tiny interior will not suit to large adults – while there’s plenty of leg space down the tunnel, the pedals sit so closely together that even I had to put on racing boots to stop tramping on two pedals simultaneously, and I’ve got pretty ladylike size six feet. Room is tight across the shoulders too, and as for hips… you get my drift.