About Team Ivans

Team Ivans Рtwo middle aged men spending their leisure hours tinkering with and building cars.

John, (me) aka Vesmeister is the James May of the partnership. Everything needs to be planned to the last detail, but there is a danger that nothing ever gets done.

Carl, aka Tudorev is definitely the Jeremy Clarkson. From the word go he was more concerned with the size of hammer he needed.

Why building cars? For me it started early. When I was a teenager I had a burning desire to build a kit car.

The only problem with this story is the car I really fancied building…

A Dutton Sierra.


Nowadays it might be called a “soft-roader.” Based on the running gear of a Mark 2 Escort it was a poor man’s Talbot Rancho, which itself was a poor man’s Jeep or Land Rover.

What appealed to me more was the physical aspect of building it. The means as opposed to the ends. I guess that constructive streak stayed with me. I always got more of a kick from the doing rather than the results.

For fifteen years I distracted myself with a TVR. I loved the noise, British heritage and quirky unreliability of it. However the longer I owned it, the less I used it. It became more of a millstone that a milestone. Finally the head overruled the heart and I sold it.

Then my thoughts turned to building a Caterham. I had driven one a few times and loved the direct, kart-like handling. The double garage at our house would provide the perfect build facility. The fact that this was a proper car, as opposed to a kit-car also appealed.

In early 2014 I decided I was going to go for it. A casual conversation with Carl prompted a serious interest from him as a “business partner.” We took the plunge and built the car over the winter of 2014-15. Full details of the build are on the Team Ivans Caterham Build website; see the link above.

Once the car was completed our thoughts turned to what next. We toyed with the idea of building another Seven, but felt that the second time, although quicker, would probably not be as fulfilling. The other car that came to mind was a Cobra replica. Another iconic vehicle and having scoured a few blogs and forums building them seemed to involve fabrication, personalisation and problem solving as much as assembly.

Project Cobra was born, and this website will track our progress….