Steward of the Seven passes away at 76

CaterhamPassesBritain has lost a hero of its specialist sports car industry, Graham Nearn. The founder of Caterham Cars and owner of one of the original Lotus dealerships, Graham Nearn passed away on October 24th at age 76. His death was confirmed on Caterham’s Twitter page.

Early on, Nearn’s focus was captivated by the Lotus Seven.

Said Graham Nearn,

I fell in love with the car then. 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. You could maintain it very easily. I ended up buying the rights to manufacture it in 1973.

When introduced in 1957, the Lotus Seven perfectly embodied the minimalist design philosophy of Lotus founder Colin Chapman. The car was highly successful with more than 2,500 sold through 1972, and popularity soared when the car appeared in The Prisoner.

Nearn later bought the rights to the Lotus Seven in 1973 and founded Caterham Cars to continue production of the sports car. Over the years, Caterham has been a successful custodian of the Seven, incorporating new engines and variants to steadily improve the car. There are even plans to modernise the car with electric and hybrid drivetrains.

Current Caterham boss Ansar Ali said:

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. I know that, despite our involvement today, Graham will always be considered the heart and soul of Caterham Cars.

On behalf of myself, my co-directors and fellow shareholders, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to Graham’s family at this difficult time.

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