Graham Nearn, Founder of Caterham Cars, Is Dead

Forum for general car talk, upcoming events, posting photos, etc.
Post Reply
User avatar
Steve Simmons
Site Admin
Posts: 4091
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:45 pm
Vehicles Owned: .
1946 John Deere AN
1948 MG TC
1949 MG TC
1949 MG TC EXU
1958 MGA Roadster
1959 Morris Minor 1000
1965 MGB
1967 MGB GT (UK-Spec)
1967 Austin Healey 3000 BJ8
1969 MGC GTS
Location: Co-Nay-Ho Valley

Graham Nearn, Founder of Caterham Cars, Is Dead

Post by Steve Simmons »

Looks like we lost another one. :(

(Found on another site. Original article here)
Graham Nearn, Founder of Caterham Cars, Is Dead
By Richard S. Chang

In the grand scope of automotive history, Graham Nearn’s accomplishment may seem very small. The focus of his ambitions was the Lotus Seven, a niche sports car that he first sold as a Lotus dealer in 1959. The dealership was based in Caterham, England, and called Caterham Cars.

“I fell in love with the car then,” Mr. Nearn said in 1993. “I was a young man then. It was a two-seater open car that would do anything you could want a two-seater open car to do. You could go away in it for the weekend or you could race it.”

Mr. Nearn later bought the rights to the car, and Caterham Cars continued building the car, which developed a cult following among sports car enthusiasts. Mr. Nearn, now known as the man who saved the Seven, passed away last Saturday at the age of 76. The death was confirmed on the Caterham Web site.

The Lotus Seven was introduced in the late 1950s. It was a bare bones car — small, compact and extremely lightweight — that completely embodied the design philosophy of its creator, Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus Cars. Its popularity soared when the British spy series “The Prisoner” cast the Seven as the lead car for the main character, known only as Number Six.

In 1972, Lotus ended production of the Seven as the company struggled to stay afloat. The following year, Mr. Nearn bought the rights to the car’s design, which has not changed much since. “Its basically 1950s aircraft technology,” Mr. Nearn recently told the Independent. “We’ll improve the suspension and put wider wheels on them but it’s essentially the same concept.”

Today, the company is owned by a management team that bought out the Nearn family in 2005. The company builds 600 cars a year and has expanded the lineup to several models. Though they all look roughly the same, the level of performance varies. The fastest is the Caterham Seven Superlight R500, which the company says can sprint from zero to 60 miles an hour in 2.88 seconds.

“I have the greatest respect for what Graham achieved with Caterham Cars and fully accept that it was his personal touch that made the brand what it is today,” said Ansar Ali, Caterham’s current managing director. “I know that, despite our involvement today, Graham will always be considered the heart and soul of Caterham Cars.”

At the Tokyo Motor Show last week, Caterham revealed plans to build a range of electric and hybrid cars. The models would be first tested on the racetrack before hitting production, predicted to be in 2012.
User avatar
Don't take him seriously!
Posts: 1434
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 7:25 pm
Vehicles Owned: '74-1/2 MGB
'76 MGB (parts car)
'52 TD
'71 MGB staqtion wagon
'69 MGB (parts car)
'60 Sprite
'79 MG Midget (parts car)
'63 LBC
Plus, a Turbo S (with a damn roof) in the household.
And three Mercedes on 20" wheels.
Location: NM

Re: Graham Nearn, Founder of Caterham Cars, Is Dead

Post by Jimmy »

Another bummer.
And what's with the "electric and hybrid" nonsense?
Should I cut the roof off a Prius and make it a "sportscar" now?
In baseball, running into someone is apparently a "collision".
But doing the same thing in a car somehow makes it an "accident".
User avatar
Core Member
Posts: 719
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:18 pm
Vehicles Owned: 1959 MGA 1600 Coupe
1949 MG TC
1965 Jaguar 3.8S
1966 MGB GT
1964 MG Midget
1985 BMW 528i
1990 Jaguar XJS V12 convertible
1995 Landrover Discovery
2003 BMW 325i wagon.(wife's car)
Location: Big Bear City, CA

Re: Graham Nearn, Founder of Caterham Cars, Is Dead

Post by malcolmr18zoy »

What are you talking about Jimmy? The only single thing a Prius has going for it is it's roof. Although, perhaps in an accident, no roof would allow the occupants to be thrown clear before being electrcuted by the 600 volt electrical system. Then I guess the Prius has absolutely nothing going for it.
User avatar
Veteran Member
Posts: 1394
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:41 am
Vehicles Owned: LBC's

Mercedes Diesels OM 616 & 617

1969 Chevrolet C/10 pickup shop truck
250 I-6 , TH350 slushbox

1959 Nash Metropolitan FH Sports Coupe

1961 Morris Minor W/ 1973 1275 CC engine & gearbox

Ural Solo Motos , old Honda 90 CC Tiddlers
Location: Sunny So. Cal. , land of fruits , nuts & flakes

Re: Sad News

Post by VWNate1 »

But ,

The Lotus 7 lives on thanx to his efforts .

It may have been ' 1950's airplane technology ' but a good design like say the MGB MKI will never go stale .

Screw hybrids & electric Foo-Foo cars ~ the giants can do that .
Post Reply