Just a quick trip to Le Mans, South of France and then Home?
Forget all those mega-buck exotic and look instead at the original pocket rocket. Extol the benefits of low weight combined with modest power outputs and discover the entertainment a Caterham Seven offers as the epitome of this reasoning.
I have been driving my Seven for the past fifteen plus years, in fine weather and foul (hence 'Foul Weather Shaw' nickname I picked up along the way). Originally a 1600 live axle short cockpit car built in 1984 by the factory, it had passed through three hands prior to mine and has now covered over 100,000 miles in total.
For the initial three-to-five years of my ownership (old age prevents an accurate figure) the Seven was my only car, being used for travel to and from work, as well as jaunts designed around the delights of driving the Seven. For the past few years I had the use of a company car so the yearly mileage has dropped and I insured the car for a 5,000 limited mileage. Helped with the costs. Tyre wear has not been excessive, if the wheels are kept turning a the same rate as the distance travelled. It has all added up to low running costs. Or put another way high smiles per pound! So much so that as I write this I am back to using Eugene as my everyday car, complete with Aeroscreens!
After the initial excitement of buying the car had worn off it was time to test the idea of the Seven as a touring car (?) It just happened to be time for the 1988 Le Mans race and Jaguar were in with a chance of winning. But then Le Mans is part way to Pyrenees mountains and then its a short hop to those bigger ones over to the right a bit. The idea was set. Five days to watch the racing and nine to nip over the hilly bits.
So myself and co pilot Steve Porter set off to Le Mans to watch the race, starting with practice on Wednesday. Crossing the channel was via Hovercraft, quick but soul less, followed by a quick blast diagonally from Calais to Le Mans, stopping only at Sees for a coffee, one we now use as a watering hole most years.
It goes without saying the race was superb, Jag first and foremost. It was also great fun sneaking onto the circuit on the Friday to get a few laps in. Not the same speeds as the big boys but it seemed to upset the circuit Renault 5 patrol car, much to the amusement of the flag waving Brits around the circuit.