NOT only are the legendary Caterham Cars beautiful to look out – they’re also magnificent to drive and enthusiasts in Cheshire are delighted with the news that Northwich-based Oakmere Motor Group is now an official dealer of iconic British sportscar maker.

The Manchester Road business is a family-owned firm which was, for several years, one of the largest TVR dealership in the UK and now runs Lotus, Morgan, Mazda and Toyota dealers.

Already well-versed in the selling, servicing and maintaining of second-hand Caterham Sevens, it now also sells the full range of Caterham’s famous, lightweight performance cars, which go from the Caterham Seven 160 to the powerful Caterham Seven 620R.

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I was lucky enough to enjoy an exhilarating 10-minute spin (as a somewhat nervous passenger) in a Caterham and once my head stopped spinning, I began to understand how enthusiasts become so passionate about these amazing cars.

“There really is nothing quite like them, they’re absolutely phenomenal,” said Jonathan Jarratt, managing director of Oakmere Motor Group.

“They are very responsive, which is what really appeals to people and not watered down at all.

"I am passionate about Caterham, having personally owned a number of them over the years and I know our staff share my passion. This is a really exciting time for us.”

He added: “The Caterham product is one that fits our dealership profile perfectly. We are hugely proud to be able to sell beautiful British sports cars and can now say we have all the best under one roof.

“We have sold and maintained many Caterhams over the years and are therefore no strangers to keeping them in tip top shape.

"We would love to see as many Caterham owners and enthusiasts at our dealership as possible and would be delighted to give them the guided tour; the kettle is always on.”

Following a launch day at the dealers on Thursday, the appeal of Caterham Cars appears to defy age.

“We get people in their eighties who are interested in a Caterham and they tell me ‘It’s an itch I’ve always wanted to scratch,’” said Jonathan. “At the same time, we’ll have people in their twenties who are already passionate about the cars and eager to drive one.”

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David Ridley, Caterham’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “While we are intent on growing our business globally, we have not forgotten our roots and the expansion of the UK network is a reflection of the importance we place on our customers here at home.”

Buying a Caterham isn’t as expensive as you might think.

“The top spec ones go up to around £55k,” said Jonathan. “However, you can buy it as a kit for just under £16k, which is delivered to your house.

“Apparently you can build one in around 100 hours.”

I’m not sure I could do it in a 100 hours, but I can fully understand how exciting the challenge would be to Caterham fans. In the meantime, I’d better get writing my Christmas list.