Graham Nearn, the founder of Caterham Cars, passed away on 24 Oct 2009. He helped develop and sell the original Lotus 7, creating Caterham Cars in 1959 as a Lotus dealership. When Lotus decided to end production in 1972 , Nearn bought the rights to the design and continued building the 7 under the Caterham brand. Today, the company is owned by a management team that bought out the Nearn family in 2005. The company builds 600 cars a year and has expanded the lineup to several models.