And so, the end is near, and now we face the final curtain. Our time with our long-term Caterham 310 S is coming to an end, and the keys are about to be handed over to a man in a Caterham jacket.
It’s time to reflect on a quite extraordinary six months of adventures in the most brilliantly basic of cars. A period of time that has seen us fall pretty quickly in love with a vehicle originally designed in the 1950s and still built today.
It’s not an easy job to live with a Caterham day to day, but three of the team have managed at various points to do just that. Commuting to and from Goodwood in one of the most exciting ways possible while attempting to arrive at important meetings as unruffled as possible.
Nothing could be described as calm with a Seven. Every single journey is dramatic and each mile of our near 10,000 has been an absolute joy. The ultra-communicative non-power-assisted steering, the brilliant brakes, the incredible nimble chassis and a humble 1.6-litre Ford engine all combining to create an addictive cocktail of excitement each and every day.
We’ve been up the country for hundreds of miles, lugged all our camera kit and clothing to the rally in Wales, nipped about Goodwood Estate and just down to the shops – and everywhere we’ve gone people have smiled and stared. A Caterham Seven is not the rarest car on the streets of the UK, but it is not a common sight, and it looks so different from your average runabout that no one can help but take a second glance.
Possibly the best demonstration of the world’s love for a Caterham Seven is the reaction of children who, almost all of them, stop, stare and pull on their parent’s hand as they point at the incredible orange machine going past.
But never mind all of them. Most importantly it put a smile on our faces, making us feel like teenagers who had just learned to drive, discovering that thrill for driving, undimished by time spent behind the wheel in the real world. The Caterham Seven helps everyone who steps into it rediscover their love for driving.
We will miss it.
MPG this week: a lowly 28.6 after having some final fun.