The Caterham Seven (Caterham 7) is a small sportscar produced by Caterham Cars, which is the successor to the Lotus Seven. After Lotus ended production of the Lotus Seven in 1972, Caterham bought the rights to it, and today make both kits and fully assembled cars. 2007 marks the 50th year of production of the Lotus/Caterham 7.
After the war Chapman became a highly successful race driver and then founded Lotus Engineering Ltd. in 1952. Chapmans vision of light, powerful cars and performance suspensions guided much of his development work with the basic design philosophy of 'adding lightness'.
The Lotus 7, which is almost identical to today's cars debuted at the 1957 Earls Court Motor Show in London. The first Lotus 7s were priced at £1,036 including purchase tax but it cost only £536 in kit form as no purchase tax was required. It weighed only 725 lb. Fast and responsive, the Lotus 7 was one of Chapmans masterworks, an advanced machine that surpassed the earlier Lotus 6 as a vehicle that could perform beautifully on the track and be driven legally on the road.
The 7s basic (and much copied) design was to stand the test of time, continuing in its popularity for the ensuing 50 years. The 7s evolution continued when, in 1973, Caterham Cars obtained manufacturing rights from Lotus to enable Lotus to move away from 'kit cars' and produce more up-market sports cars. Caterham renamed the car the "Super 7" an apt name, as it was becoming clear that the cars fundamental design was nearly impossible to improve having the right balance of strength and handling with a very light weight. Caterham's original offering was the series 4, since that was the current production car at the time of the handover from Lotus. Unfortunately Caterham suffered numerous supply problems with the Series 4 and by the middle of 1974 they had reverted to the Series 3, which was perceived to have better sales potential anyway.
The modern day Roadsports and Superlights (in "narrow-bodied chassis" form) are the direct descendants of this car and therefore of the original Lotus 7.
Source: Wikipedia Caterham Article