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The first time I saw a Caterham

When you talk to a guy he can always tell you the first time he saw the love of his life. He may deny it, but there’s an indelible visual memory etched somewhere in his brain he’ll never let go of. Usually they look back on that image with a sense of fondness when they think about her.

The first time I saw a Caterham was in May 2008 at a 350Z-centric track day. This low slung, flat grey pencil was bumping its way down the hot pits after coming in from the parade lap. It pains me to admit it, but at the time my first thought was one of disinterest. Here I was surrounded by all kinds of mod’d 350’s and this flat grey albatross was just one of the miscellaneous cars in the ‘other’ run group. It wasn’t sleek or sexy or turbo charged. It was just this striped down metal Twinkie one of the instructors rode on the weekends. It’s not like you’d actually commute or take a road trip in it; it had no heater, no air conditioning, no radio, no spare tire.

Holy shit was I naive.