Caterham Cars Leaves Spiritual Home | Edmunds

Caterham Cars Leaves Spiritual Home

Just the Facts:
  • Caterham Cars has moved out of its spiritual home in the United Kingdom as its iconic showroom site has been sold to property developers.
  • A new permanent home is set to open this summer.
  • An emotional "Caterham Farewell" was held on February 17, with many enthusiasts gathering to say goodbye to the famous showroom in Caterham.

CATERHAM, England — An era came to an end this month when Caterham Cars left the small Surrey town that gave the specialty automaker its name.

Caterham Cars, manufacturer of the fabled Caterham Seven sports car, has been forced to relocate because its landlords (the former owners of the business) sold the land on which the Caterham showroom sat to property developers.

The wonderful time-warp Caterham showroom on Station Avenue will thus be demolished and a new group of retirement apartments will go up instead.

The company is moving its new/used car showroom to a new temporary base in Crawley, West Sussex, ahead of a new permanent sales base being set up this summer.

Caterham Cars has been present in the genteel town of Caterham since 1959. The company bought the rights to manufacture the Seven from Colin Chapman of Lotus in 1973.

From there, Caterham moved into its iconic Station Avenue showroom (a former Vauxhall/GM dealership) in 1996. Yes, the buildings are old, but they reek of history and the showrooms are adorned with many evocative posters and photos. The sight of so many pristine Sevens lined up never failed to stir the soul.

Caterham went out with a bang, however, arranging an emotional "farewell" event on February 17 that drew a big crowd of fans.

Caterham's new temporary showroom was up and running as of Monday. The company will move to a new and much spacious permanent facility not far away, with further details to follow.

Edmunds says: Purists say it's such a shame that Caterham has had to move out of the town that gave it its name.

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