MODELLO: Caterham Super Seven
COLORE: Yellow nose, green fenders and aluminum body, typical Lotus colors
“Since I was a child I have always been bewitched by British cars, and in particular by the Lotus, which later became Caterham, Super Seven. Probably the most fun car in the world to drive, for its essentiality certainly the closest to a racing car.
The week of my eighteenth birthday I had a small seven tattooed on my wrist (identical to the Seven’s logo), and shortly after I convinced my father that I would gladly do without the comfort of a “banal modern car” in favor of the direct and essential (not to say extreme) driving pleasure of the Seven.
Since then I’ve driven almost 40,000 km (practically a world tour) in this incredible sardine box, always having a great time.
The incipit of this Detailing Diary is by Filippo Bassoli, owner of the Lotus Seven Marketing Director of MV Agusta: in short, a real guru of 2 and 4 wheels.
Marcello will just tell you about the detailing of this very special car, peculiar also in its care.
The car is composed of a few disassemblable pieces, so the first thing to do is to remove the long aluminum hood and soft top, which goes immediately on a stand that follows the shape and is thoroughly cleaned with warm water, vinyl cleaner, soft brush and brushes of various sizes.
In the meantime, the disassembled hood rests on the technical table waiting to be polished.
I continue with the inspection of the painted surfaces, which are made of fiberglass, a light material, but one that, over time, causes some small cracks to appear in the paintwork, so I think about how I can make the English green and Yellow Lemon of this Lotus shine again… Eureka!
I use a small polishing machine to limit the weight on the fiberglass, and I limit myself to a long finishing job. The result is coming soon, but now I’m at the end of the day.
Cars like these are used mainly in leisure time, so they are real dust and gravel collectors, in fact the suction of the cockpit despite the size is long and careful. Once finished I am going to wash every internal detail with a colloidal solution first and then with coconut oil, which makes the surface perfectly decontaminated.
Some pieces such as levers and buttons are now faded by the sun, then I proceed to a real hot restoration.
Today is the turn of the engine and suspension. The engine is small and carefully maintained, so little oil around. This allows me to get a good result in a few hours with spatula and microfiber.
Same treatment for the suspension. Immediately after I clean and polish the small rims that suffer from a heavy contamination that takes away their shine.
Alluminium day. Apart from the hood, the other parts of the car are made of visible aluminium that must be polished by hand with small microfibers and pink paste. The work is long because the pressure must always be the same, otherwise the result will be uneven.
Last but not least, it’s the turn of the long hood, which mounted on the stand comes back like new. Because the slits in the air intakes have to be polished one by one!
The last day is dedicated to the reassembly of the parts and the super finish.
In order: seat washing, foam washing of the tires, polishing of the headlights with a mini polisher, restoration of external plastic parts and gaskets with a silicone-based solution, waxing of the entire body, and a myriad of other small gestures to bring this little “sardine can” back to its original splendor.