Westfield/Caterham 7 - Dave
I reckon we could all do with something lighter to think about.

Anyone got any generic advice on buying a two seater sports car as cheaply as possible.

I have a friend who thinks £2500 should get me a Westfield 7. I certainly haven't found this.

I looked into building/buying a Lo-cost. For some reason it doesn't appeal.

Any adivce.
Re: Westfield/Caterham 7 - Piers
Buy a Caterham 7 for around £8000. A very cheap car will be cheap for a good reason - mismatched parts from a scrapyard etc. I looked into building a Locost but although the concept is good thought it wasn't worth it - total costs of about £3000 for a rebodied Escort.

If you want quality and reliability go for the Caterham, there are good Westfields around but are more likely to have scrapyard engines, axles and brakes than Caterhams.

Other kit cars like the GTMs look like good buys - mini or metro mechanicals so get one with a good body and decent panel fit as mechanicals are cheap (complete Metro GTi for £500..). Seen these on Findit.co.uk for £2000 ish.

Piers
Re: Westfield/Caterham 7 - Tony
I watched a Caterham being sva tested in Southampton.The person that had built it was there and was telling me how he had spent in excess of £15,000 pounds on new parts,and had built it exactly to the book,with help and input from the factory.The sva testers were working on it from 8am to 4.30pm and failed the car on just about everything,their words were 'well its obviously failed sir,it will take me a couple of hours to type up all the reasons why' Exit one very underwhelmed Caterham owner. The car looked fine and very well built but to make it comply would take alot of work/thought.It made getting a Honda Beat thru seem easy by comparison.I guess that to make cars like the Caterham modern day safe is not easy.
Re: Westfield/Caterham 7 - Piers
8.5 hours to do an SVA test? Did they strip and rebuild the engine and gearbox for him?

Mine took less than an hour and passed without any problems. You are supplied with a kit of SVA bits - to cover bolts and increase radius of edges. Forgetting to fit these will result in a fail. I don't see that they could justify spending an entire working day testing a car that takes seven days to build. What tests were they doing all day? It only took one chap to do mine. Sounds like Southampton isn't a very competant place for SVA on self built cars.

Are you sure it was a Caterham? When I had my test done the tester said had failed quite a few Westfields and other copies in the previous weeks - sometimes for very major problems which would require a lot of expense to sort, not just covering bolts etc. He was relieved to see it really was a Caterham as he hated breaking the hearts of people who had spent months or years building their cars. Only thing mine would fail for is exposed bolt heads, lack of padding on steering wheel and the radius of the front cycle wings.

Any ideas what it failed on? Everything is pretty broad. Strange to spend in excess of £15000 on 'new parts' - why not just buy a kit like everyone else? Of course there are always some people who should opt for the factory built option - sound like this chap is one of them.

Piers
Re: Westfield/Caterham 7 - Tony
it may well have been a Westfield, it was yellow,and yes they did spend all day on it. Southampton does have a rep for being very hard.
Re: Westfield/Caterham 7 - JohnK
I know of several Westfields that have passed the SVA with no, or few problems. The factory also puts many pre-built cars through the SVA every month. If you are building your own Westfield or Caterham you must get, read and understand the regulations, pay attention to what the factory tells you and the car will pass it's SVA test without problems.

Contrary to some comments in this thread the majority of self-built Westfields and Caterhams are built to a high standard, some with new components and/or fully reconditioned parts - the days of dropping scrap-yard parts into these particular cars is long past (if that ever did happen). If you are thinking about a used, SVA'ed, well put together Westfield start thinking in terms of £6-7000, a Caterham - £8000+. These are starting points, I've seem some used Westfields and Caterhams change hands at over £20,000.

-JohnK
 

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