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Thread: California noob with some questions re: ordering new 7

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    13

    Default California noob with some questions re: ordering new 7

    Hello all. As the title says, I'm in CA and thinking about ordering a 420R to build myself. Right now I have an Exige S240 that I only use as a trackday, doing about 10 days a year. It's an amazing car, but I'm getting bored with chasing 10ths and fighting the urge to mod further to gain more speed. Looking for something more fun on the street and to do occasional trackdays with.

    My questions are regarding the ordering/purchase process in CA. I believe that Hillbank is the only dealer in CA, but there is a caterham shop of some kind up in Sonoma (I'm in the bay area). I have configured a car on the Caterham website and see a price in pounds (around 42k fwiw); how does that correlate with the price that I will actually pay? I see that the cars on Hillbank's site (they only have a few in inventory) are much more expensive. Is this just because they are turnkey cars, or is there really that much markup? And I assume you can't just order direct from Caterham?

    Thanks all

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    So UT and Big Island
    Posts
    17

    Default

    The dealer in Sonoma is owned by Rich Kamp, a long time Lotus and Caterham expert. Rich recently had a kit for sale on ebay. I have used him to sell two Caterhams on a consignment basis.

    Beachman Racing and Rocky Mountain Caterham are both well respected dealers and active on this site. I have interacted with both and have always been happy with their responses and professionalism. Josh at Rocky Mountain should receive my 420R kit in about a month. See post “Last Crate out of Dartford”.

    As you found, the Caterham Configurator is very useful in making budget vs performance choices, but does not produce a USA price. Any of the dealers should be able to take your configuration link and give you a quote for delivery to your location. I encourage you to talk to the dealers and discuss price and delivery. The USA price is always impacted by dollar to pound exchange rate.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Thank you. I see the options list on the US portion of the Caterham website is more limited than what is shown on the UK configurator. Is this because options are that limited on US-bound cars, or are pretty much all the options available?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    4,867

    Default

    The UK prices on the configurator are in pounds and represent a car sold by Caterham directly. You cannot buy directly from Caterham as there are dealer contracts. So the dealer has to price the contract in dollars and with some markup for having money invested in a pipeline of stock that takes time from order to delivery. They also have to price for assembly. The engine/drivetrain process is a little more complicated in the US since they have to navigate US import rules - some money is in that effort.

    I was once told the Hillbank cars were more expensive as they were old pre-GBP drop against the dollar so they had to recover more. That occurred some time ago so the reason makes less sense as time moves on. It could be thats their starting point for negotiations. It could also be their way of managing the FX volatility in their inventory costs. Best way to check that is give the other dealers a call like Jim suggests above and get some price guidance from separate sales sources.

    All the items on the configurator are available for order here. However, keep in mind that the order book is about 1-1.5 years from deposit to receiving your kit. Caterham do not ship immediately. The good news about that is that you can place an order without having final spec. Then as new options emerge then you can add them into the build up to a few months before they commence putting the kit together. If you want instant gratification, then you will want to find out what all US dealers have in their current stock and pipeline of orders - that means giving them all a call. Most seem to have a small quantity of spec orders not yet sold that they ordered in anticipation of a walk in buyer. Then maybe you add selected limited options separately onto that to customize as you want.

    Either way, your best next step is call around and see what is in a container heading here or here already with a dealer and find out some prices. That will at least tell you if you need to make a custom order to get what you want.
    Mike
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec
    2018 Caterham 420R with 2L Duratec 210hp at Donington UK
    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration - engine and dry sump install time)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore SS Group A
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A
    1982 Ferrari 400i
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth WRC (fettling after long period of storage)
    1990 Range Rover 2 door Classic
    and another project car coming....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    233

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    Croc posted a very accurate summary. As an addendum, US dealers have recently received ordering information for the new Super Seven 1600.

    Our inventory of in-stock and available kits/rollers on order can be found HERE.

    Cheers,
    -Bruce
    Beachman Racing
    Authorized Caterham Cars dealer

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    13

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    Being in CA, is there any necessity or advantage to buying from a CA dealer? Kampena is only an hr or so away from me, so if having a connection there is beneficial, that may be a good option I would assume. If there's no advantage to being local, then I would go for best service at a fair price that can get me a spot in the queue.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    4,867

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    I am in New Jersey so do not have that luxury - no dealer is in state or local to me. I survive quite happily without a local dealer. Most Caterham owners are similar to me.

    The real reason you may end up selecting a particular dealer is that they have the car you want. Caterham dealers are small volume. They do not keep a ton of kits on hand for customers. At the end of the day you will choose the dealer who has what you want available. Failing that then you are choosing the best dealer who will take you through the order process for a custom kit from start to finish - maybe 1-2 years - so will need to have a track record of being around for a while (especially in this business climate today).

    One thing that should be important to which dealer you select is how they manage foreign currency volatility on your order. They are all different. Ultimately you will pay for the FX volatility with all dealers but how you get there is very different depending on the individual dealer. This volatility can be a big cost or saving to your purchase price over the full lead time of an order process. You will not see it with other auto dealers as the Caterham lead process is so long and the GBP has been historically volatile against the USD.
    Mike
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec
    2018 Caterham 420R with 2L Duratec 210hp at Donington UK
    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration - engine and dry sump install time)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore SS Group A
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A
    1982 Ferrari 400i
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth WRC (fettling after long period of storage)
    1990 Range Rover 2 door Classic
    and another project car coming....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Anyone in CA registered a car with aeroscreen recently? I've read mixed things about if this will pass inspection or not. I think i read in an old thread here that there is a windshield exemption for vehicles under 1500lbs, but despite that some people have been met with resistance. Bruce from Beachman recommended getting the interchangeable windscreen on my order so I could register it with the full screen, then switch it out later.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Seattle area
    Posts
    453

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KnifeySpoony View Post
    Anyone in CA registered a car with aeroscreen recently? I've read mixed things about if this will pass inspection or not. I think i read in an old thread here that there is a windshield exemption for vehicles under 1500lbs, but despite that some people have been met with resistance. Bruce from Beachman recommended getting the interchangeable windscreen on my order so I could register it with the full screen, then switch it out later.
    That would be the best way to do it. There are times you will definitely want the windscreen on.
    2012 CSR 260, registered as a 1966 Super 7

    Still in the massive grin stage. Damn bugs!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    13

    Default

    I don't plan on ever using the windscreen myself, but perhaps my mind could change. I ride a motorcycle 99% of the time, so wearing a helmet and being in the elements is a normal part of my daily routine.

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