I bought it because it is literally the perfect Caterham for me and if you go back and read that story from a year back and see that I don’t even mention it, that’s simply because if I ever knew a car in that spec existed, I had long since forgotten.
Because what I needed was a Caterham with a modern chassis, in no great way any different to that used today. It advances the art of the original 1970s and 1980s Caterhams in three crucial ways: it has a longer cockpit so tall people like me actually fit, it has double wishbone suspension at the front which brings proper wheel control, and a De Dion tube at the back in place of the old live axle, which means it also has some ride quality.
But what I also wanted was a car with an old Kent crossflow motor, just like that in my first Caterham, the one I crashed at Goodwood over 35 years ago. There have been plenty of more powerful engines fitted to Caterhams since but none more characterful. But I knew that by the 1990s Caterhams now came with either lightweight, free-spinning Rover K-series power, or heavyweight, torque monsters from Vauxhall. What I failed to appreciate, probably because I guess very few were still sold, was that the good old crossflow remained in the catalogue until 1998.
And at least one must have been built, because I now own it: a Caterham with the modern bits I need to make it comfortable and usable, with the engine I really, really wanted.