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Long cockpit or short cockpit

Peter Lydford

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Can anyone tell me the differance between a standard/short

cockpit car and a long cockpit car ?

I'm after a Seven to sit along side my 73' Elan+2S/130

I've found a 1986 car which is 1600 x/flow, twin 40's

leather seats blah blah blah, but is standard cockpit,

seeing as I'm 6'2" will I be able to fit ?

If not, does anyone know of a car for sale under £7k,

I know this may sound cheap but the car in question in

within this price range and I'm a tight git with no cash :)




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The short/long cockpit refers to the length of the passenger footwell, not the driver's. Before the long cockpit option was introduced the passenger footwell did not extend into the engine bay as far as the drivers. As such it shouldn't matter which you get as long as you're not planning to spend too much time in the passenger seat.
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Hi Peter,


My brother and I had separate cars a while ago (late 80's); mine was a long cockpit and his a short cockpit and both with bench seats. I am around 6'1"/6'2" mark and I could hardly get my legs in to drive his car - at least not safely or comfortably! Whereas the LC was no problem at all....


Things have advanced a bit (like my weight sad.gif) and I have a LC car with adjustable seats and this is a better fit as well.


Can't help you on the sub £7k car but my Classic (here) is for sale if you revise your budget...






PS Just had a sit in an SV car and its the first time I have ever had to move the seat FORWARD in a seven!! tongue.gif


Edited by - Nick Chan on 8 Jun 2002 09:08:12

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I'm not sure what Sam has said is correct. In 1981 Clive Roberts(then Caterham Development Engineer) lengthened the cockpit by 2.5 inches. This was done upon use of the Ital diff which was physically smaller than the previous RS2000 unit and enabled Caterham to narrow the tunnel around the diff and create more passenger width. This was the start of the 'long cockpit chassis' option - which eventually (not sure when) became the standard chassis.


Given your height I suggest you forget the short cockpit cars - you probably won't fit comfortably.


Even with long cockpit cars there are at least two variations on passenger footwell length - as Sam has stated. These mainly derive from the type of chassis (live axle or dedion) and whether the car is essentially a race car or not. Race cars always have the short passenger footwell option to allow the battery to be mounted low down in that space.


Given your budget I suggest you look for an ex scholarship/Academy car which has been well treated. These will all have been produced since 1995, will be live axle classic based (long cockpit), 5 speed either 1600 Xflow (95-97)/vx1600 (98-2000) and will probably have a reasonably low mileage due to the time spent on a trailer. Contact Caterham Midlands for more info/availability.



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thanks for your info, as far as I know/knew the differance

was basically that the seats were moved back, how it was done

I have no idea, so I can only assume that converting a short

car to a long car is a non-starter, I could always just buy

the car and remove the seats, that ought to do it !




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From what I understand a long cockpit has the cross section bars on the outside of the cockpit i.e. behind the aluminium. The short cockpit has them inside the cockpit. I would suggest sitting in both and seeing how you feel, the main factor may be the seats and not the car. If you don't mind bench seats you should be ok.


There are lots of cars out there so wait for the right one to come along. Then you can get on with changing the engines bit on that.



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