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Last Updated: Friday, 1 June 2007, 10:31 GMT 11:31 UK
In pictures: The Caterham at 50

Caterham 7

Iconic British sports car the Caterham 7 celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, more than 300 racing Caterhams will converge on Donnington Park on 2 June.

1958 Series 1, Lotus 7

The car began production in 1957 as the Lotus 7. Designer Colin Chapman said: "It was simple... the sort of thing you could dash off in a weekend. Well, maybe a week."

Early advertisement for the Lotus 7

Predominantly sold in kit form to avoid purchase tax, the original design evolved through the 60s enjoying some success as part of a growing kit-car industry.

The Prisoner

The car also gained notoriety in 60s cult TV series, The Prisoner, where it was driven through London at the start of each episode by the show's star, Patrick McGoohan.

Lotus 7, series 3

By the early 70s, Colin Chapman took the view that the kit car did not fit in with his plans for the Lotus brand.

Colin Chapman hands over rights to the Lotus 7 to Graham Nearn

This coincided with the forthcoming introduction of VAT, which would mean a hefty price increase, so he took the decision to hand over manufacturing rights to Caterham Cars.

Graham Nearn at Caterham Cars

Since 1973 Caterham Cars have developed the design and now offer a range of models, but all retain a link to the design and concept of the original Lotus 7.

Caterham motorsport

Motorsport remains a crucial lynchpin in its success, with Caterham championships taking place in nine countries.

Caterham factory

More than half of the Caterham's annual production of around 500 cars are exported, with France, Germany and Japan the biggest markets.

Lotus 7 series 1 and a Caterham at Brands Hatch

If you own or race a Caterham 7 then we would love to see your pictures. Send them to yourpics@bbc.co.uk with the subject line "Caterham 7"

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