Caterham history is closely linked with the Lotus history, since the first is derived from the latter. In 1957, Colin Chapman, the founder of the British sportscar manufacturer Lotus cars, Lotus introduced the 7 model in a showroom in London.
It was the design of lightweight sports car with an open top, which was a great success in the UK because of its affordable price and easy operation. The machine was a hit, and Colin Chapman continued to work on the project of a sports car Lotus 7. In 1959, Graham Nearn's Caterham Car Services was appointed dealer Lotus 7, and in 1960 was released Lotus 7 Series 2.
The car has retained its original design, as well as the Caterham and all subsequent, and was featured in 1967 in the television series "The Prisoner". This attracted everyone's attention to the Lotus 7, and shortly thereafter the various car manufacturers began to use its platform to other options of sports cars.
In 1968 he was released 3 Series, as well as in 1970 and Series 4. In 1973, when Lotus announced that they will stop the production of the seventh model, Graham Nearn acquired the rights to the car and continued production of Series 4. In spite of its less popular , a new company called Caterham switched to the production of Series 3.
In 1984 the company released its first Starter Kit, «ground" for people who wanted to build the car yourself and save money. The idea was successful, at least in the UK, where cars Caterham 7 can be bought as a CKD, a full set of equipment for the construction of its own.
In 1987, the company's production and administration moved from Caterham (Surrey), opening a new factory in Dartford, Kent, UK. In 1989, the company released a special edition Caterham, and in 1992, the car set a new record for production cars with 250 hp The 2.0-liter engine of the Vauxhall.
In 1994 Caterham returned from a closed model, which became the roadster-21. Although in the mid '90s the car and received favorable reviews from auto magazines and the British had the best interior finishing and build quality than the Lotus, and even than the TVR, Caterham abandoned the project and returned to the Series 3. Only 48 Caterham car models were made 21, making them in the future exclusive collectibles.
six-speed manual gearbox with the model grille "7" was introduced in 1993, which has since become present on every car. In 2005, Graham Nearn family sold the company, which is currently headed by a new management team led by Ansar Ali.