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Caterham celebrates with a big 7

2010-09-23 07:13

Think you could get all those Caterham 7s perfectly arranged? Just remember, they don’t come with power steering...

It has been nearly a year since the founder of Caterham, Graham Nearn, passed on.

Fittingly, 236 Caterham owners arranged their cars to form a giant pattern of the fabled British niche manufacturer’s ‘7’ moniker this past weekend.

At an event called the Graham Nearn Memorial Blat (organised by the Lotus club of Great Britain), Caterham 7 owners gathered to discuss possible methods of making their cars even lighter - all while manoeuvring the gathered 7s into formation.

Why the hassle?

Well, Nearn was one of the British motor industry’s true originals. A hugely sucessfull Lotus dealer at first, it was Nearn who saved Colin Chapman’s 7 from termination in the early 1970's.

Outstanding dealer

Nearn approached (some say pleaded with) Colin Chapman to allow him to keep assembling the car under Caterham's branding, even at a time when the prospects for old-school, minimalist sports car such as the 7 appeared rather thin.

As Nearn was one of the most outstanding Lotus dealers of the time, Chapman agreed and gave his full blessing to the venture.

In the fullness of time Caterham’s products (which always revolved around the antiquated 7 design) developed a cult following, providing more performance per price than any other car.

Graham Nearn died in October 2009. He was 76.

The giant 7 is quite a fitting tribute to Nearn - especially when you consider the effort of wheeling 236 cars without power-steering into the perfect position...
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