Classic Van Auction Talk

Saturday 25 July 2015

1997 CATERHAM 21 VHPD 1 OF 48 Built


Silverstone Auctions Silverstone Classic Sale 


Registration: R355 BMV
Chassis Number: SDKRDCAR8V0040043
Engine Number: R8-40043
Number of cylinders: Four
CC: 1795cc
Year of Manufacture: 1997
Estimate (£): 16,000 - 20,000
Developed as a completely new model by Caterham Cars Ltd in the early 1990s to celebrate 21 years of the company, the Caterham 21 was mechanically similar to its predecessor, the Caterham 7, and incorporated a space-frame chassis with a newly designed GRP body, making it much more of a useable and comfortable roadster, whilst offering a 1.6 and a 1.8 litre engine, the latter producing 190bhp, and the superb Caterham designed, 6-speed gearbox.
Offered here is a 21 used by Caterham Cars Ltd. as their original brochure, press and road test car. When tested by renowned Autocar journalist, Steve Sutcliffe in October 1997 he managed 0-60 in 4.5 secs with the car running in its original 190 bhp form. Being the press car, this example had a superb specification and is believed to be the fastest 21 produced. Included in the history file are the brochures and a copy of the Autocar magazine featuring this car. Presented in Honda Passion Metallic Orange with Black Leather trim, this 21 rides on its original 16-inch Caterham HPC wheels, which have been recently refurbished in gunmetal grey. Fitted with a Mohair hood and cover, the cabin is completed by a Momo steering wheel, fire extinguisher, roll hoops and a driver's 4-point harness.
The car had an engine and gearbox rebuild at 30,000 miles, with engine upgrades increasing the power output to 204bhp. Work at this time included a gas flowed head, Jenvey throttle bodies, Vernier pulleys, Emerald ECU, Alloy Rad, Air/Oil separator and a bespoke twin stainless steel exhaust costing £1,000. The car was corner weighted at 691kg, equating to a power/weight figure of over 300bhp/per tonne! Thankfully, AP Racing 4-pot brake callipers ensure the car stops equally as well as it goes.
This car has been meticulously maintained and has a full service book stamped from new to 58,470 miles (Aug 2013) with two folders of receipts for all the work carried out.  Sutcliffe summarises by saying "blindingly quick and hyper responsive in a car which also has a full sized boot unlike the Elise and Renault Sport Spider of the time."
This Caterham 21 is a rapid and nimble little roadster and, with its distinctive looks and relative rarity, is sure to turn heads. 

Viewing and bidding

The Silverstone Classic is a closed event and an event ticket will be required along with an auction catalogue to enter the sale. Ticket information can be found here: Silverstone Classic ticket information
The Silverstone Classic Auction takes place from 11:00am on Saturday 24th & Sunday 26th July 2015 in The Wing building at Silverstone circuit, NN12 8TN.
Viewing of the lots will be available on Friday 24th July 2014 and on the morning of  Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th July 2015.
Please note as this is a two day sale the following lot numbers will be sold on the days indicated:
Automobilia Lots 301 - 370
Lifestyle Lots 401 - 447
Cars 501-551
Automobilia Lots 601 - 670
Lifestyle Lots 701 - 749
Cars 801 - 849
Bidding at the auction can be done either in person by attending the sale, by telephone, by leaving a commission bid or live, online viaProxibid. Full details of registration requirements and a buying guide can be found on the Silverstone Auctions website (

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