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I am interested information, about my BDR. Had a very interesting chat with Guy Munday (thank you Guy) and then wrote this, I now think probably better asked in here.

I also want to nail down this HPC BDR business . I have never even thought to claim mine is an HPC and when asked have always simply said "no, it is a BDR". Which is how it was sold to me and I have always been and remain happy with that. Bruce explained the other day that all cars of that era had the same chassis which simply evolved as time went by. My current view is that there are HPC cars and BDR cars which are not HPC. The HPC moniker having been derived from the High Performance Club of which I was a member back then, trained by John Lyon. Indeed I later look the course again in my BDR. My current interest is to identify whether there any differences between my car and the HPC do that I can answer that question both for anyone who asks and for me. Also to rebut anyone who claims my car is not a BDR, as has occasionally happened. If they mean "not an HPC" that is fine; but to avoid pissing me off , that distinction is important 

Bruce rightly guessed my chassis is KLDxxxx

​It was bought as a CKD (Completely Knocked Down) and thus not "ready for final assembly of the last 20 parts" . The engine was bought direct from Cosworth, though Guy says they did not supply direct so someone must have built it. It had (stll has) enhancements such as i i r c steel pistons.  Regret I was not really listening and this was around 13 years ago. 

I have briefly looked over factory HPC cars and can see no difference. Again Guy mentioned that they did not have cycle wings.

So, hoping we might talk about it. Links welcome.

edit  Seems tme an S3 of any given era, is an S3. Then we define it by the typ of engine we put in it. The HPC was an exception because it was named after the ultimate driver training course of the time, which was bundled in the price. The standar course of that ere was three or two days including track time at Cadwell Park and Miras. The 1977 retail price of the course was around £300 iirc so adjus for ten years for the HPC cars


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 Somewhere I have a photo of a BDR, which was red/alli, at a Goodwood meeting in 1984. I was there to chose a colour, as I had A Super Sprint on order, which was eventually delivered after, I think a 16/18 month wait. Those were the days.

This BDR was very new and could have only just been delivered and it had cycle wings. i remember it well as I had never seen them before on  a new Caterham. I will try and find the photos later today. I don't recall if Guy was at that meeting and it may have been just before he started at Caterham.



Was C225 RPM - Midnight Blue Super Sprint - now in Belgium

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Just found the photos and the car is registration number B444JTF.

The engine has a light blue cam cover. Either that or may be just alloy, as difficult to tell.

It looks like it is on it's first outing.

It also has Revolution alloy wheels.







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My current view is that there are HPC cars and BDR cars which are not HPC.

Have you got access to a copy of Chris Rees' "Caterham Sevens"? The introduction dates and production numbers are on page 196 and 197. That supports what you say.

My current interest is to identify whether there any differences between my car and the HPC do that I can answer that question both for anyone who asks and for me.

The best description of each model that I have is in his 'the Magnificent 7". Separate sections and identifying features for the "1600 BDR", the "1700 BDR" and the "HPC 1700".

If you haven't got access to those send me a Private Mail.




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The BDA/R engine was pretty much the 'ultimate' before the Vauxhall came along and an alternative to the simpler, less powerful and less expensive Ford Crossflow (Kent) on which it was based anyway.

The HPC designation recognised that many owners would be new to 'hyper' cars and so offering the John Lyon course would help them, enable them to get the best out of their car and (perhaps) lower their insurance costs too. It was also a good marketing wheeze. ISTR that some owners didn't fancy being told what to do and were the world's best drivers anyway (ahem) or else lived too far away so wouldn't do the course (not sure if they got a discount for that). To confuse matters, anyone could buy a kit car and add their own engine so making it identical to HPC spec. I know too that James Whiting built some incredibly fast BDR(?) engined cars - once had the pleasure of a short drive in one (Andy Rowland's car) and it was quick!

Confused yet? I'll go on...The head on my own crossflow engine is from a Caterham built car where the owner converted their Kent engine to BDA/R (I'm never sure of the right BD suffix to apply!) by using the head and other bits to convert it. So I got an almost new Kent head at a good price back in the 90s.

A few cars were also built with Hart engines, which were even more powerful but a similar design.

I suspect, but don't know, that 'true' HPC cars might have their own chassis number series and certainly any new documentation would have mentioned they were HPCs and the car would have had HPC badges from new (although other cars could have the badges added later). Ideally, if your car's owner kept the original paperwork that would tell you but of course such things were of no matter at the time and so rarely kept or passed on. I wonder if John Lyon kept records too?

Good luck with the detective work Anthony and I look forward to reading the Lowflying article in due course!


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Genuine HPC cars are rare. Anthony, you have a Caterham that someone put a BDA/R engine in at a later date. It isn't an HPC, if I remember correctly, it isn't a BDR either.

HPC cars are 1700 cc, have LSD, de Dion, 5 speed, rear anti roll bar and oil cooler. They have an "H" in the chassis number and the engines have a gold cam cover with Ford stamped on it. 

BDR engines were only made for Caterham and assembled by Langford and Peck. 

There hasn't been a genuine HPC car for sale for many yeArs.............apart from mine.

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  • 7 months later...

Hi Anthony,

I hope your quest for information has given you what you need but I must point out that Guy is not right in his assertion that the HPC BDR models didn't have cycle wings. I have one of the last ones made, it's verified authentic by its chassis number, and it still has the cycle wings that Caterham Cars fitted at the request of the original owner.

I've looked at a couple of genuine models that have come back from Japan, so the number in the UK is increasing ever so slightly.


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