By law, a Caterham Seven cannot be sold as a complete car in the US as they are in the UK. So when you see a price and specification on the Caterham UK website, or use Caterham UK’s configurator to build your dream car, you will need to adjust your thinking to what is allowed under US law. This doesn’t mean you won’t end up in the same place, only that the path is different. Let’s walk it together.
US EPA and DOT rules only allow the importation of a CKD (Completely Knocked Down) chassis in a crate that is essentially a box of parts from which to make a car. Simultaneously, one can import a drivetrain that will fit the chassis through another importation process, and then build the disparate parts into a finished car that can be inspected titled and licensed for the road.
There are two basic chassis in two different configurations to start with then there are literally thousands of option combinations to personalize your car and virtually make it unique. The two chassis are the SIGMA and the DURATEC and each is available in a Classic or SV size. The Classic is suitable for someone under approximately six feet and 180 pounds while the SV will accommodate much larger people.
Both the Classic and SV are available with a lowered floor which is very useful for tall or tall waisted drivers, allowing an additional three inches in headroom. Once you have selected your chassis, you can select your power, style and convenience options.
There are two primary engine/drivetrain combinations that fit the above chassis choices. Within the SIGMA chassis you may have the base engine with 135 BHP, called the 270, or an upgraded engine with 152 BHP called the 310. Or you may choose a DURATEC chassis with a 180 BHP engine called the 360 or an upgraded engine with 210 BHP called the 420. Whatever engine you select will come from another vendor in England and be processed through another vendor in the US, who can either deliver it to you to marry with the chassis or to Rocky Mountain Caterham who can join the two and build your car. Said another way, you may enjoy building your own car or you can have it built for you so all you need to do is enjoy the driving. We’re happy to help either way.
To order a chassis, Rocky Mountain Caterham requires a deposit to secure a spot in the build queue from the factory in England. The Chassis decisions must be made at this time then the power, style and convenience options can be selected prior to the build start. At that time the car is locked in and will be built as specified and a delivery date given. Because of variables in shipping from the factory and within the US after crossing the ocean, the actual arrival will be a window of time rather than a specific date.