This Caterham Seven is a unique lightweight sports car, which was the subject of a complete custom rebuild by Michael Quaife, and features a number of bespoke performance parts which set it apart from standard models.

Under the bonnet is a four-cylinder Cosworth ‘BDA’ engine, which has been enlarged to a 1.8-litre displacement and is fed by twin Weber carburettors. This drives the rear wheels via a Quaife six-speed sequential gearbox and a Quaife differential, for a truly thrilling drive. The odometer indicates 550 miles, which is the correct mileage on the later chassis.

While this car’s chassis number corresponds to a Caterham manufactured in 1996 and first registered in February 1997, this Seven was rebuilt by Michael Quaife in 2008 using a brand-new chassis that was supplied by Caterham. The engine was then replaced with the BDA motor, with the upgraded transmission.

Despite this Caterham’s motorsport-focused design and modifications, its diminutive body remains undamaged, and the resprayed white paintwork – changed from the original maroon - has a smooth and glossy appearance. It is described by the seller as being in excellent condition, with three small stone dents on the lower passenger-side panel, a few others around the exhaust, and some minor marks on the body panel where the driver enters and exits the car.

The car’s carbon-fibre wheel arches and nose cone are in great shape, and provide a smart contrast to the paintwork, while also helping to give this classic sports car design a more contemporary appearance. This Seven rides on a set of lightweight 15-inch ten-spoke alloy wheels, which are in great shape.

Inside, the functional and spartan interior is largely unmarked, and makes extensive use of lightweight materials. The seats are hewn from carbon Kevlar and feature Luke four-point harnesses, while the dashboard and Reverie quick-release steering wheel are full carbon-fibre items.

The leather-wrapped centre console gives the interior a dash of refinement, while the roll bar is finished in gloss black. All of the interior trim presents very well, and the car’s buttons and switches work without fault. There are no warning lights displayed on the dashboard.

Extensively modified, this former 1996 Caterham Seven now features a 2008 chassis, and as well as the 1800cc Ford BDA engine and Quaife sequential gearbox and differential as described above. It also has in-board suspension fitted with Nitron adjustable dampers, and four-piston front brake callipers from AP Racing.

Its most recent routine service was completed by H Engineering in August 2020 at an indicated 469 miles, when the engine oil, oil filter, fuel filter and spark plugs were changed, along with the car’s cam belt. Furthermore, a four-wheel alignment was also performed and the carburettors and fuel lines were cleaned.

This Caterham’s latest MOT test was conducted on 4 September 2020 at an indicated 541 miles, resulting in a first-time pass with no advisories. The vendor states that all four of the Avon CR500 tyres were fitted as part of the 2008 rebuild, so they have ample tread after covering only 550 miles.

The car will be accompanied by documentation of its service history, and paperwork from the DVLA acknowledging its original VIN number after the new chassis was replaced. There is also a vinyl wet weather hood that has never been used.

Famed for its engaging lightweight thrills, the Caterham Seven is one of the few cars that can boast a truly raw and unfiltered driving experience. This example is unquestionably even more exciting than most, having been extensively modified by the renowned Michael Quaife of Quaife Engineering.

With numerous sophisticated carbon-fibre components and a genuine sequential gearbox, this is a real motorsport-inspired build that packs an impressive punch, making it an outstanding road-legal track toy.

Very peculiar build.