19th Jun, 2024 13:00

Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire

  Lot 12

1999 Caterham Seven Classic VX Supersprint
6,000 miles from new

Sold for £12,938

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: V445 DBC
Chassis No: SDKRLKRXCX0021566
MOT: June 2025

  • Factory built and re-painted to match the first owner's then Ferrari in Grigio Titanio
  • Reputedly 1 of just 9 VX Supersprints made and festooned with extras
  • Full rollcage, Bilstein adjustable suspension all round, plumbed-in fire extinguisher, high-backed bucket seats with harnesses, lightweight interior trim, carbon fibre wing guards etc
  • Characterful Vauxhall / Holden 8-valve four-cyliner engine (believed to displace 1.8 litres) fed by twin Weber carburettors and allied to five-speed manual transmission (with a long first gear).
  • Full weather equipment: doors, full length tonneau and hood (the latter fitting over the rollcage)
  • Super rare and super fun!

PLEASE NOTE: Since the catalogue went to press we have been told that ‘V445 DBC’ was professionally built by Caterham Midlands (then trading as the Classic Carriage Company of Mallory Park) as a Classic VX Supersprint model but with a 1.6 litre 8-valve engine (and not a 1.8 litre unit as previously thought). Therefore, it is not one of the nine 1.8 litre Supersprint models but remains an unusually well specified example. We are further informed that the powerplant has been fettled by Scholar Racing Engines in the past and the gearbox refurbished etc. The Caterham now possess a MOT Certificate valid until June 2025.

Launched in 1957, the Lotus 7 was essentially a racing car for the road. Available in both fully assembled and kit forms, the two-seater was a simple but very effective design. Its elegant spaceframe chassis instantly transformed the dynamics of the most humdrum saloon car mechanical components. A giant killer in competition, the Seven was evolved through four series but as Chapman's road car aspirations pushed upmarket so his enthusiasm for the low profit 'kit car' waned. However, by the time Lotus ceased production in 1971 a good number of its clients had become addicted to the little sports car. Among them was Lotus agent Caterham whose belief in the design saw them buy all the tooling, presses and dies for the Seven from Lotus in 1973. Settling upon the Series III as the best of the breed they restarted production that year and have yet to stop.

By the late 1990s, Ford’s 1700cc ‘X-flow’ engine was becoming harder to source. Casting around for a suitably characterful replacement, Caterham settled on a 1600cc OHC Vauxhall unit. Reworked to run on twin Weber carburettors, the new powerplant was fitted to the Classic Seven and Classic Seven Supersprint (albeit it was reportedly enlarged to 1800cc / 120bhp for the latter application). Losing out to its contemporary DOHC Rover K-Series powered siblings which were deemed to be more powerful and sophisticated, just nine Classic Seven Supersprint VX models are understood to have been sold.

Factory-built, chassis 0021566 was issued with an IVA / SVA certificate on 21st December 1999 before being road registered as ‘V445 DBC’ on January 1st 2000. Reputedly re-painted in Grigio Titanio to match its first owner’s then Ferrari, the Caterham boasted an enviable specification with a full rollcage, Momo steering wheel, plumbed-in fire extinguisher, Bilstein adjustable suspension all-round, high-backed bucket seats, carbonfibre rear wing guards and full weather equipment. An engineer by profession, the vendor is happy to warrant the 6,000 miles shown by the odometer as representing the total covered from new due to the lack of wear and tear shown by the Caterham. Super fun and super rare, ‘V445 DBC’ is offered for sale with V5C Registration Document and sundry paperwork.

For more information, please contact:
Damian Jones
07855 493737


Auction: Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 19th Jun, 2024

An auction of classic, collector and performance motorcars held at the iconic and visually stunning Imperial War Museum, Duxford. Venue Details 

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