Men with petrol in their blood!…
no items for women!
By Ralph Kratzer
As I wrote in my post “Once a biker – always a biker” a few weeks ago, I had from a very early age a strong tendency to everything that can be moved on 2 or 3 wheels.
To remember the article – click here!
But parallel to this I had a soft spot for fast, fancy cars as well. As a Bavarian I of course drove a few BMWs in my life but my heart was always beating for Italian sports cars. All in all, one could say, a man with petrol in his blood…
Therefore, I pricked up my ears when I was sitting next to our TFR – members Doris and Malcolm 3 weeks ago at the weekly “Stammtisch” get-together and Malcolm told me he had imported a British sports car to Northern Cyprus. I asked him to send me pictures of the car, what he promptly did. From this moment I was hooked, I now wanted desperately to see this hot thing live.
When I saw the couple just by chance at the recent weekly Wednesday market in Kyrenia, a spontaneous invitation to their house in Esentepe was arranged for the following day.
So I made my way on Thursday and the day was destined to become even better for me. Driving my scooter “Lulu” in the direction of Kyrenia, I briefly visited my friend Naci, an enthusiastic Harley rider and imagine how I reacted when he asked me if I wanted to take his bike for the trip. Of course I wanted to! After 10 years of abstinence, again a heavy machine under my butt! What a feeling!
Now I continued my way with the Harley across the city of Kyrenia towards the Karpaz Peninsula.
I found the Villa of Malcolm and Doris easily, got coffee served, had a nice chat with them and most of all I saw the sports car, a Caterham 7, formerly known as Lotus 7. But if that was not enough, Malcolm started the engine and told me I should even take a little jaunt! Again I did not need to be asked twice. But before the drive I faced the problem of entering the car. This racer is clearly not designed for people of my size. With instructions from Doris I somehow folded myself into the cockpit and off I went!
Wow! The thing goes off like a rocket! Unfortunately, the streets of Northern Cyprus are not suitable for high speed plus all the speed cameras everywhere! But nonetheless it was enormous fun.
Safely back, I wanted to learn from Malcolm, where his penchant for sports cars comes from and how he came to the Caterham Seven.
So the former computer engineer from England told me, that he was a passionate rally driver in former times. He practised this sport for 14 years, most of the time driving for Subaru. A serious accident as a co-pilot, which earned him a six-month stay in hospital, forced him in the end to surrender. But his passion for fast cars remained, just a man with petrol in his blood as well!
The actual car he found on the website of Caterham, a fine sports car manufacturer in England, which is also running a Formula 1 team.
More information at http://uk.caterhamcars.com/
Malcolm’s speedster was originally built as a race car for sprint racing. After an engine blow out in a race, it was rebuilt for public roads. The “Seven” is now powered by a 1600cc Ford Fiesta (!) engine, various modifications brought it to 150 HP of engine power. That may not sound like much, but with a weight of only about ½ ton the car’s acceleration is downright stunning.
To Northern Cyprus the car came in a container by Dolphin Transport.
Difficulties with the importation were only because Caterham had seemingly forgotten to transfer the serial number of the new engine into the car´s documents. However, with the invaluable help of the couple´s friend Yilmaz, the problem was ultimately resolved and the sports car could get its North Cypriot number plates.
A small remark in the end: the tyres for the English Caterhams are handmade and not from the UK, not from Germany or Japan, no, they are made in Turkey!