THE Swinging Sixties are being brought back to life by Caterham in the shape of a new throw-back variant of its iconic Seven which was originally on the drawing board in the mid-60's but never launched.
This time-capsule car has been brought to life as the Caterham Seven Sprint and is designed to delight Seven purists with retro detailing and a host of nostalgia-soaked features, including a choice of six paint colours that were original British manufacturer colours available in 1966/67.
Many of the new model's features hark back to the legendary Colin Chapman's original Lotus 7 - the fore-runner of today's Caterham Seven - including a powder-coated grey, chassis which is period-accurate for a Series 2 Lotus 7.
The suspension and rollover bar are also reminiscent of Colin Chapman's original while the flared front wings, polished exhaust silencer and uniquely retro-styled, individual rear lights all hark back to the early days of the Seven.
The retro feel continues in the cockpit with a wooden-rimmed sports steering wheel and dashboard in wood effect plus interior panels and upholstery hand-stitched and finished in striking scarlet red.
Priced at £27,995, however, the Sprint has a very 21 century price tag even though there are very few concessions to modern life, the main one being the three-pot 80hp Suzuki engine which was originally installed in Caterham's entry-level Seven 160 model.
The launch of the Sprint heralds the start of Caterham's ‘60 years of the Seven' celebrations, which will culminate with a spectacular festival next summer. To reflect the anniversary further, only 60 of the factory-built Sprints will be destined for the UK and European markets.
Says Caterham Cars CEO, Graham Macdonald: "We have always prided ourselves on continually developing the Seven during the 44 years we have been custodian of the model."
"But we never wished to dismiss our heritage either and I know there are plenty of Seven purists and aficionados out there who will really appreciate the level of detail we've gone to with the Sprint to resurrect the spirit of those early cars."
"It's a car that has been built today, with all the benefits that modern engineering brings with it, but the essence of the swinging ‘60s and is the perfect precursor to our 60-anniversary celebration in 2017."