Seven. It’s a truly iconic number in the world of sports cars. Ever since Colin Chapman launched the lightweight two-seater concept in 1957, there has never really been a shortage of people clamouring to get behind the wheel of one.
It’s a number that’s made heroes of Average Joes, made roundabouts more than just a convenient way of joining up perpendicular roads, and turned a prominent sports car dealer called Caterham in the 1960s into one of the UK’s most celebrated small volume manufacturers.
Over the decades since its inception, well over 100 companies have offered their own spin on the Seven. Whether a direct replica or simply an “inspired by” model, companies like DAX, Donkervoort and Westfield all owe a debt of gratitude to Chapman’s 1950s vision.
As a tribute to the famous name in my little corner of the internet, here are – in order – my seven favourite Seven videos of all time. Enjoy.
7) Dario Margutti takes an R500 for a spin around the ‘Ring
Margutti is no stranger to the Nordschleife, and it shows. Watch him eat a 996 GT2 for breakfast as he gives the Caterham the beans through the Green Hell.
6) Four guys lift a Caterham 7 Fireblade
A group of friends enjoing themselves at Legoland Windsor’s ‘Amazing Machines’ event decide to see how easy it is to get a 400kg car off the ground.
5) James Batchelor’s face meets an R400
No list of Seven videos would be complete without this clip. Car Dealer magazine’s staff writer gets introduced to the Caterham R400. At pace.
4) How to put on your racing gloves at 100mph
This guy realises his helmet isn’t fastened just 15 seconds before the race. What’s more, to get the helmet fastened, he has to take off his gloves. Amusing “will he / won’t he” and “should he / shouldn’t he” moments ensue…
3) Peter Schindler takes his Super Seven onto the G318 in China
Thanks to sponsorship from Nokia, Schindler got to take his Seven all over China. This particular clip shows him on the notorious G318 ‘highway’. As Peter himself pointed out, “It was a question of either me becoming road kill or my choking to death”.
2) Vincent Beltoise rallycrosses his R300
Beltoise is rather handy behind the wheel. Watch as he pilots his R300 on a course that’s a cross between a rally stage and a smooth alpine section. The speed he carries through the whole course is insane.
1) Piloting a Locost Seven – incredible car control
A chap called Christopher Evans taking part in the Hagley and District Light Car Club’s annual international autotest. His car control is unbelievable.
What have I missed?
Have you seen an awesome Seven video that I haven’t? Post with a link in the comments if you’ve found one that deserves to be on this list.