Wednesday, 16 November 2016

2017 Caterham Academy Kit - Collection Day

Somehow I found myself at the Caterham Factory today, collecting my 2017 Caterham Academy Car!

I'm not entirely sure how this 'situation' has unfolded, but around August this year I decided to take the plunge; get a second Caterham and go racing!  It'd been on the cards for a year or so, but what sealed the deal was talking to Eric Tiv (2016 Competitor) at Donington Park earlier this year.  The long and short of our 'lunch chat' was "the Academy is awesome", "best experience of my life", and "if you're thinking about it, you should just do it".  So I did!

Don't get me wrong, now the R500 is sorted, it is ace - my only 'issues' with it are, it's too fast realistically for the roads, and it's too fast for track days (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), which means there's no real 'battles / fun / challenge'...   I'm going to keep the R500 (for now) and will have some further geometry work done, as I still very much enjoy the track day meet ups, and beers that go along with the meets!  The further geometry work is to see how much the car weighs now, and to fine-tune the setup.

I've decided not to blog about the Academy Kit build in anywhere near as much detail as I did with the R500 - I want to enjoy the process, without pressurising myself to 'do another post' (well that's the plan!) I will just use the blog as a bit of a timeline of things happening...

Onto today's post - collection day:-
Thinking I was being 'smart' by not spending £200 on the delivery I went to the factory and loaded the trailer full (with Derek Howlett's help)... I forgot how many boxes were delivered with the R500, and considering I spent pretty much the entire day on the M25, I can confirm the delivery fee is WELL WORTH the money!  Don't waste your time picking your kit up if you're considering it, get it delivered; end of.
My unpainted Caterham Academy Kit waiting for me outside the Caterham Factory in Dartford
My unpainted Caterham Academy Kit waiting for me outside the Caterham Factory in Dartford
Believe it or not, it was a bit of a squeeze to fit the chassis, and all the boxes into the trailer....
Believe it or not, it was a bit of a squeeze to fit the chassis, and all the boxes into the trailer.
Believe it or not, it was a bit of a squeeze to fit the chassis, and all the boxes into the trailer.
Some bits even went in the Camper-Van!  Don't tell Charlotte!! 😱
Is this the first mid engine Volkswagen California?
Is this the first mid engine Volkswagen California?
About an hour and a half later, I got home with the kit, unloaded the bits that needed unloading and headed off to 'my mate Dave' at Daytona Coachworx....
Unloading (most) of my 2017 Academy kit
Unloading (most) of my 2017 Academy kit
Well, there is a bit of method to my 'collection madness' - I needed to take the chassis to Dave anyway!  I've decided to organise the painting of the car directly with Dave rather than having Caterham do it, as he's local, has access to nearly all colour options, and I'm confident he'll do superb job too.  I'm going for something that I hope will look special, it's not too lairy, but I hope the colour combination works as it should look good from the visuals I've done (yes, I've done visuals!)...  I've deliberated (literally) for months over the paint job, stripes, wheels and everything else... Luckily I've already commissioned a fair few 'cosmetic upgrades' on the R500, so will be doing a few things that I've already done on the R500, so I know where to go, what to do etc etc.

The chassis and body panels have been dropped off at Dave's this afternoon and should be finished in around a week.  In the meantime, I'll do whatever I can (off the car) headlights, wheels, tidying the garage 😀 and anything else I can think of prior to getting the painted chassis back from Dave.
My 2017 Academy Chassis waiting for painting at the Daytona Coachworx Bodyshop
My 2017 Academy Chassis waiting for painting at the Daytona Coachworx Bodyshop

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