Caterham K or Sigma

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rawsco
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Caterham K or Sigma

Post by rawsco » Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:05 pm

As I’m sure you all know I’ve been looking at Caterhams and humming and hawing, seen a couple that I was interested in but they sold. I Seem to be right on the budget line between a slightly fruitier, K series or a Sigma 1600. The K series cars do seem to generally have a better spec are lighter and are often well prepped for track. So.... talk me into or out of a K series, I had ruled them out on the basis of reliability and parts supply but the Caterham groups seem to think the added niggles are worth it for the character of the engine.

I don’t mind the odd chunky (500-1000) repair bill now and then I always looked after the Exige with fluids after 3 or 4 hours on track so that’s not a problem. Car would be a keeper if the Caterham experience lives up to the hype!

So, talk me into or out of a K. Is it a stupid move?
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fd
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Re: Caterham K or Sigma

Post by fd » Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:37 pm

Nothing wrong with a K series, I ran a 1.6 Roadsport A with about 145bhp as a track/competition car for a good few years, the engine was brilliant (better than the 1.8 I think).

I used to take that car to KH and drive it for a solid 4 hours at a time changing gear on the limiter every gear change, the only thing it needed was brake pads and fuel. I did this for years . . .

I'd get one with 6 speed box, a dry sump and larger front brakes (the small brakes struggle at KH if you can drive), get rid of the windscreen too.

Wish I'd never sold it really . . . far better track car than an Elise type car . . .

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rossybee
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Re: Caterham K or Sigma

Post by rossybee » Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:48 pm

fd wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:37 pm
Nothing wrong with a K series, I ran a 1.6 Roadsport A with about 145bhp as a track/competition car for a good few years, the engine was brilliant (better than the 1.8 I think).

I used to take that car to KH and drive it for a solid 4 hours at a time changing gear on the limiter every gear change, the only thing it needed was brake pads and fuel. I did this for years . . .

I'd get one with 6 speed box, a dry sump and larger front brakes (the small brakes struggle at KH if you can drive), get rid of the windscreen too.

Wish I'd never sold it really . . . far better track car than an Elise type car . . .
Spot on there. Take care of a K and you'll be fine - get oil temp up before thrashing.

Both my caterhams were Ks and the supposed HGF was non-existent.

Would have another aeroed K in a heartbeat 8)
Ross
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rawsco
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Re: Caterham K or Sigma

Post by rawsco » Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:48 pm

I thought HGF was a lotus /MG thing due to the mid mounting, hot engine bay and extra stress on the water pump at low revs with the resistance of the long hoses to the front. Reading through the Caterham groups there doesn’t seem to be many HGF complaints. I do like a revvy lump.
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ryallm
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Re: Caterham K or Sigma

Post by ryallm » Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:35 pm

What you want is a Duratec. Miles more torque than the Sigma and much tougher than the K, and readily tuneable up to 220bhp if you want even more grunt.

By happy coincidence I happen to have a tiny mileage 2013 SV Roadsport Duratec 175 I am thinking of selling :D There could be a very good pre-Spring deal to be done for an SE member. PM me if you would like more details :thumbsup

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rawsco
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Re: Caterham K or Sigma

Post by rawsco » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:37 pm

I’d also ruled out a Westfield then came across this 🙈

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds ... w/10255215
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Re: Caterham K or Sigma

Post by rossybee » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:53 pm

rawsco wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:37 pm
I’d also ruled out a Westfield then came across this 🙈

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds ... w/10255215
Smells like a canoe :damnfunny
Ross
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ryallm
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Re: Caterham K or Sigma

Post by ryallm » Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:03 am

I've owned both a Caterham and a Westfield. Probably shouldn't say this since I will be selling mine soon, but I don't think Caterhams justify the huge price premium over a Westfield. Westfields also have the distinct advantage of double wishbone IRS rather than the crude de-dion set up of a Cat (CSR excepted of course). The de-dion works well on track, much less so on your typical bumpy UK B road.

Having said that Caterhams inhabit a little bubble apparently immune to the normal laws of used car depreciation, so you can be pretty sure of getting back the extra outlay when you sell.

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rawsco
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Re: Caterham K or Sigma

Post by rawsco » Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:31 am

You certainly seem to get more performance per pound out a Westfield for sure, the double wishbone suspension is interesting. My fear was/is that the horror stories of build quality issues given they are kit cars was a real concern and that I should try and aim for a factory built Cat. But given It’ll be a track day car the Mazda running gear in that one I linked to is interesting as that seems to be pretty bomb proof for track work.
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Sanjøy
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Re: Caterham K or Sigma

Post by Sanjøy » Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:58 pm

What did you end up getting?
GTS
330d
W212 wagon
Madone

fd
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Re: Caterham K or Sigma

Post by fd » Sun Apr 05, 2020 12:27 am

rawsco wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:31 am
You certainly seem to get more performance per pound out a Westfield for sure, the double wishbone suspension is interesting. My fear was/is that the horror stories of build quality issues given they are kit cars was a real concern and that I should try and aim for a factory built Cat. But given It’ll be a track day car the Mazda running gear in that one I linked to is interesting as that seems to be pretty bomb proof for track work.
A westfield is pretty much a kit car, a Caterham is, if factory built, not really a kit car. The amount of 'kit car' determines the amount of unreliability, difficult to solve problems and time not driving the car . . .

If you're really into endless f*cking about then a westy is fine, but if you want to thrash it on track, then . . . thrash it on track, a Caterham is the thing. Buy an ex racer . . . that's all it knows . . .

Don't be swayed by all the double wishbone bollocks, it may be great on a Lotus (who DO suspension) but the Caterham De-Dion is perfect on track when combined with a plate LSD.

I've driven lots of these things over the years, the Caterham is the hands down best track car . . . you will learn a lot driving one . . . you will probably realise how compromised an Elise or Elise variant really is as a track car . . .

Now must be a good time to buy, assuming anybody is selling . . .

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Re: Caterham K or Sigma

Post by douglasgdmw » Tue May 12, 2020 8:21 am

Noticed this on collectingcars.com in case you did not manage to get anything yet:

https://collectingcars.com/for-sale/199 ... r-7-sprint

Remember that on collecting cars the buyer pays the commission and not the seller ( 6% premium including VAT, minimum of £600, with a cap at £6,000)

George

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