It’s possible to buy a full-size Caterham and attempt to put it together yourself, but can we suggest the LEGO version instead?
At $130 it’s a lot cheaper, there are far fewer pieces and unlike the real thing you can build it on the kitchen table. Of course, the downside is you can’t drive it once you’re done but hey, you can’t have everything.
The LEGO Caterham 620R is part of its Ideas range, which takes popular ideas developed by LEGO fans around the world and finesses them into publically-available kits if the idea earns enough votes.
Measuring around 280mm long, 100mm high and 140mm wide, the 773-piece 620R is similar in size to other LEGO kits such as the Ferrari F40, Mini Cooper and Volkswagen Kombi.
Build time will depend on your familiarity with LEGO, how closely you concentrate on the task at hand and, crucially, how many mistakes are made, but somewhere between six and eight hours should cover most ages and abilities.
Unusually for a LEGO kit, there were a couple of mistakes. Instruction 37 shows the wrong piece and two of the final pieces of the build – a pair of plates needed to complete the rear end – are the wrong size. Still, it wouldn’t be a Caterham if all the bits fit together perfectly.
All in all, it’s an enjoyably cathartic way to spend a couple of rainy afternoons and these LEGO vehicles are very clever pieces of engineering.
One of the most impressive aspects of the kits is the way existing pieces are adapted to perform a completely different function. To give just two examples, the exhaust manifold is made up of pirates’ revolvers while the exhaust itself is held together by what looks like lipstick from Barbie’s dream house.
The Caterham 620R isn’t as complex or probably as rewarding as the F40 but it’s a cool, quirky addition to the LEGO garage. Our only real gripe with the kit is that the wide tyres look more suitable for a Landcruiser than a lightweight British sports car. Other than that, it’s well worth checking out.