Graham Nearn, the man responsible for setting up Caterham Cars and the survival and evolution of the iconic Seven, has died.
Nearn was instrumental in the sale and development of Colin Chapman’s celebrated Seven from 1959, launching Caterham Cars that year as a Lotus 7 dealership, and in 1973 he took over its manufacturing rights when Lotus looked to axe the car.
Nearn remained involved with Caterham in his later years as chairman of the company, although it was his son, Simon, who ran the firm on a daily basis until the Nearn family sold out to a new management team headed by Ansar Ali in 2005.
Confirming Nearn's death on Saturday, Ali said: “I have the greatest respect for what Graham achieved with Caterham Cars and fully accept that it was his personal touch that made the brand what it is today. I know that, despite our involvement today, Graham will always be considered the heart and soul of Caterham Cars.
“On behalf of myself, my co-directors and fellow shareholders, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to Graham’s family at this difficult time.”