While deeply rooted in English car culture, these little sports cars have not had the presence that I think it should have in Southern California. Socal has a tremendous motorcycle culture, there are hundreds of miles of curvy canyon roads, and the weather is nearly always mild with little rain and no snow.
Miatas, S2000s, Cobra replicas, and MGs are all over canyon roads in LA and Santa Clarita on weekend afternoons, sharing the sharp turns and elevation changes with bicyclists and weekend warriors on their motorcycles, but it is a rare site to see a Caterham. The fact that roads like the infamous Mulholland Snake are not riddled with Caterhams on Sunday afternoon is beyond me.
A rare Caterham on “The Snake”
Playtime in a Caterham:
At about 1,000lbs, you can mesh the chassis with nearly any engine and get one hell of a fun car. The most typical powerplant is the 180hp DOHC Ford Ztec motor used in cars like the Focus. This amount of power in a half-ton car would be the equivalent power to weight ratio as a Corvette C6 with 540hp- 35hp more than the Z06!
Here is a quick video of a Caterham drag racing an M3:
These little buggies aren’t just wild sports cars though. Taking a cruise down the Pacific Coast Highway with the top down in a bare-bones manual shift car is a tremendous experience. Feeling the warm sun on your face as you take in the amazing scenery of Malibu and Ventura on the way to a bed & breakfast in Santa Barbara would be wonderful in a fun Caterham.
Los Angeles and Southern California have curvy canyon roads, coastal stretches of highway, and an awesome road-course (Willow Springs) only a short distance away. California Car Adventures is going to lead the way in promoting the Caterham to have a strong presence in Southern California.