Caterham Super 7 - Construction Story

The Caterham arrives in two very large crates plus a few boxes. I picked mine up from customs in Cleveland using a U-Haul. My first adventure was unloading it from the truck - accomplished with a few neighbors, ropes, and jacks.

The principals of Madness Motorsports look on while Alex unpacks

The kit comes with a pretty complete manual, and even a video. To keep things exciting, a few of the parts had been updated after the manual was printed. Not having ever built a kit before, I was very pleasantly surprised at how everything was packaged, and how things fit together.


The same team of unloaders picked the body up and moved it to the jack stands where it lived for the next few months.

The dash as it arrived

The car comes with the wiring harness and the dash preinstalled. Also, the snaps on the canvas top and the matching snaps on the car were installed. I didn't mind.

The first milestone - the front suspension is done

Assembly is pretty much a bolt together affair. I found that I usually assembled a chunk, took it apart, then did it right. I did most of the work at night after the kids were in bed, on weekends, and a few afternoons that I took off.

Dropping in the engine

The engine mounts were a bit perplexing, but I managed to get it in without help (as I remember, I finished about 3:30 in the morning).

Alex helps to fill the radiator just before we fire it up

Once I got the wires connected to the right places, and applied a few squirts of starting fluid, the engine fired right up. Unfortunately, as soon as it warmed up, the garage filled with smoke, which created a bit of excitement. Turns out the headers had some sort of coating which didn't like the heat. Within the hour, I had my first trip around the block.

At the Ohio Highway Patrol Inspection Station

In Ohio, to get a title and license, you need to have the car inspected at a Highway Patrol Inspection Station. It is mostly a check for basic safety functions and to verify that you actually own the parts. They didn't even mind the noise when I pulled into the garage.

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Copyright 1996 Madness Motorsports
Most recent revision Tuesday, August 20, 1996