The Caterham Seven 480 Is the Ultimate Kit Car

You can enjoy a DIY roadster two different ways.

Sometimes, a DIY impulse leads to a four-figure Home Depot bill and an emergency call to the plumber. We suggest you start on something smaller than a house—say, the Caterham Seven 480. Like IKEA’s famous flat-pack furniture, the Caterham Seven arrives in many boxes of pre-assembled parts: seats, roll-bars, lights, etc. (Engine and transmission procurement from Ford are the owner’s responsibility, though Caterham provides support.) Caterham claims that any boob with some simple tools and seventy hours of free time can safely assemble the car. 

If all goes well, owners will emerge with a 1,200 pound open-top speedster with frog-eye headlamps and the ability to hit sixty in 3.4 seconds (just like the $150-thousand Porsche 911 Turbo) plus a timeless shape designed by Lotus founder Colin Chapman himself. If you’re going to scrape knuckles wrenching something, spill blood over a sports car, not a toilet. [$52,900;

Photos by Caterham Cars