I’m Julie (webmaster and passenger) and my hubby is Jeff (everything else and driver.) We’re retired and live in the Sierra Foothills of California, southeast of Sacramento. We moved here in 2010 to be closer to the wineries of the Shenandoah Valley and Fairplay where we volunteer, play and play at working. No grapes. Never will be. Wine, yes. Most kids and grandkids are still close by in Sacramento. Corky, our cherished Havanese rules the roost. Countless other critters, some welcome and some not, share out 23 acres. We are also in close proximity to some of the most enjoyable and challenging driving roads a Seven could ask for. Had we known we would be owning a Seven, this alone would have been reason enough to move here.
Jeff had dreamed of owning a Lotus Seven since he was a teenager, when his dad showed him an ad for a Lotus Seven kit. They both drooled over that sweet little car that cost a whopping $2,000 just for the kit. I think it’s safe to say that pretty much every day of his life since then, thoughts of a Seven crossed his mind. I knew from the start of our relationship there would be a Caterham in our lives one of these days, and hopefully while we were still young enough to enjoy it. Yes, you can read that as me still able to get in and out. Used Seven’s had come up for sale now and again, and he passed them by. You know, the “Goldilocks Syndrome.” Too old, too expensive, not quite right.”
We were planning a trip to England in 2010, and our host, Colin, graciously took us to Caterham, England so we could see them up close and sit in one. Jeff is 6’ 3” and I’m 5’ 9” and we quickly found out that it had to be an SV – that’s roughly 4 inches longer and 4 inches wider than the standard Caterham. That narrowed the field of cars to choose from.
In February of 2012 we became aware of a new Caterham dealer in California – The Adrenaline Gallery. They had just finished their first build – a blue and yellow Roadsport 170 SV and had it for sale. When Jeff couldn’t point out anything wrong with this one except the price, I went into “bully mode” as he called it. We flew to San Diego on March 13, 2012 and drove Lucy Cate home. He got to drive her – I got to name her. For reasons beyond our control, we weren’t able to register this Caterham, and returned her to the Adrenaline Gallery. They eventually found us a replacement Caterham – the burgundy and black beauty pictured here. She became the new Lucy Cate and her predecessor is now fondly referred to as Blu Lu.
Over the years, we’ve both enjoyed reading about other people’s adventures with Caterhams and sister Seven cars. Those stories and posts brought the experience of owning and driving one to life for us – so much so that we purchased ours without ever having driven one, and only sitting in an SV once. Perhaps this journal of our experiences will keep the dream of one day owning one alive for others. At the very least, it will be something for us to enjoy when we hang up her keys for good.