28 June 2011

Caterham Cars

Caterham Cars is a sports car manufacturer in the UK. The only road going model they currently manufacture is the Caterham 7 (pictured above), although they do now do a track car, the SP300R. It is much the same car as was released by Lotus Cars in 1957. That shows how good the original idea was, that it still has a popular following. In some countries, it does not qualify as a road car because of safety regulations. However, it is sold in over 20 countries, according to the website.

The car itself is sold with various specifications but all based on the classic original. Due to a high power-to-weight ratio and its exceptional handling, it has often been used in club racing. They were famously declared ‘too fast to race’ in any open series, therefore usually compete in their own one make series.

Production figures that I have go back to 1997 and are as follows:

94 - 519
95 - 504
96 - 553
97 - 638
98 - 552
99 - 490
00 - 468
01 - 444
02 - 442
03 - 435
04 - 432
05 - 423
06 - 338
07 - 436
08 - 437
09 - 348
10 - 487

Small numbers but surprisingly steady in a difficult segment to succeed in.

Caterham Cars were located in the town of Caterham, Surrey, UK up until 1987. In that year. it moved to a new factory in Dartford, Kent, UK. They have recently been bought by Team Lotus, a British based Malaysian Formula One team.

In summary: Aren't you glad that Caterham bought the rights for the car from Lotus in 1973, and kept this iconic vehicle in production?

17 June 2011

Cars I Would Buy

When it comes to cars, I have definite tastes. I like compact. Compact means efficient, economical, ecological, convenient and maneuverable. The modern small cars are quite roomy and they travel distances in reasonable comfort. I would never buy a two door car (unless it is a sports car) and hatchbacks I like. So what would I buy in New Zealand? GM Europe products for example are not sold in NZ but most of the world's cars do make it here. My list then:

Daihatsu Sirion (pic)
Ford Fiesta
Honda Jazz (Fit)
Toyota Yaris (Echo)
VW Polo.

Medium small:
Ford Focus
Hyundai i30
Nissan Qashqai (pic).


Range Rover Evoque
Land Rover Freelander
Skoda Yeti.

Lotus Elise
Mazda MX5.

In summary:
Small is good.

01 June 2011

Special BMW Car Polish

Someone once said that people will buy anything with a BMW badge on it. I suppose that provers that the company has managed its brand very well. That means they sell better than they should, even models not that well executed. The above 1-Series is a classic case of that. While a good drive, it was also impractical, as the rear seating and boot area were very cramped. While some may not worry on that score, many who bought it probably did need those features, but the badge mesmerised them. As for looks, I saw it as fairly ugly. I believe one motoring scribe likened it to looking like a van. Again, badgeophiles would not even notice (I just created a new word).

Some say that if you stuck a BMW badge on a turd, it would sell. A turd is a piece of dung, something unpleasant or contemptible. Now I'm not saying BMWs are bad, but below is pictured a new product for BMW owners. I'm sure it will sell well, even more so if sold at authorised dealer showrooms.

To sum up: A must have for all those enamoured by the blue and white logo, especially for 1 Series and X6 drivers. Of course, choose the matching colour polish.