Lotus Elise vs Ariel Atom 3S :) - Page 2 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #21 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-06-2017, 05:54 PM
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I have little use for cars without windows/side curtains or heat.

At least they got a windscreen on that thing.

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post #22 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 07:32 AM
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I have little use for cars without windows/side curtains or heat.

At least they got a windscreen on that thing.
I like it best without the windshield. Here I am in my Atom3 on Palomar Mtn.

It is more like a motorcycle as a result of missing windshield/side curtains/etc. Once you experience this, it is hard not fall in love. Much like a motorcycle, it lacks day to day practicality for people who live where there is real weather - CA excluded!
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post #23 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 07:35 AM
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Nah. If I get another motorcycle to keep my R1M and S1000RR company, it will be the Panigale S V4.

San
Cool, I hope to see you at Palomar or the track one day. Those are proper sportbikes.

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post #24 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 07:39 AM
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False. The Ariel Atom does not meet federal requirements to be operated on a public road. Some people have obtained state registration for Ariel Atoms in their state, but that does negate federal law. You also would be very unlikely to be able to obtain auto insurance as required by most states.
There's just so much misinformation and inaccuracy in this post, it's frankly kind of alarming.
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post #25 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 08:24 AM
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There's just so much misinformation and inaccuracy in this post, it's frankly kind of alarming.
Yea, from my understanding you just have to do it as a kit car and can register it as such.
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post #26 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 08:43 AM
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How about one of these, Palatov D2:
https://www.a-gc.com/2014-palatov-d2--c-416.htm

I can vouch for this car, owned by buddy of mine that always took great care of it, regular service. Scary fast car, 1900LB. with 450HP...he got tired of no roof, no HVAC. Has regular title and plates in Oregon, no issues with insurance.

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post #27 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 11:37 AM
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Also worth noting, there is talk that Ariels aren't as competitive on tracks that see over 100mph speeds, because the lack of downforce -- even with the Ariels with splitters and/or wings, compared to full-bodied cars.

If not looking for a strictly fast track car... why not consider a Lotus 7 replica? Most replicas can be had for mid-$20k, simple to work on, have a windscreen, and are an absolute blast to drive. It's been said that every true car enthusiast should own an Alfa and a Lotus 7 at some point in their life.

For reference on pricing for 7s:
http://www.usa7s.net/vb/showthread.p...evens-for-sale
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post #28 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 03:05 PM
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There's just so much misinformation and inaccuracy in this post, it's frankly kind of alarming.
Iím open to new information - I look forward to reading your corrections.

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post #29 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 04:40 PM
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Iím open to new information - I look forward to reading your corrections.

Glen
As a moderator I appreciate this kind of attitude. You didn't take offense and welcomed information. Nicely done.

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post #30 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 05:43 PM
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I thought they could be made road legal too. I have seen a few of them on streets/freeways here in the Seattle area, though a very rare sight.

The first one I ever saw was driving around downtown Seattle. I was freaking out thinking someone was driving an F-1 car down the street. At the time I had not heard of the vehicle or seen one before. You could imagine my surprise seeing one like that.

When I purchased my Elise 8 years ago, the original owner also had a street legal one.

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post #31 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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All this talk makes me want to get an atom I was gonna dump 30k on my elise but i think the atom is everything i want in a car. porsches and ferraris don't impress me anymore after driving the elise. the atom must be in a different league.
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post #32 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 08:22 AM
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...the atom must be in a different league.
You should get one. I do believe it is a bucket list sportscar for true drivers. Find a clean one with all the records. Get an Atom3 or later for the best reliability and parts availability. Feel free to call me to discuss (951)296-6762

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post #33 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 08:38 AM
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I’m open to new information - I look forward to reading your corrections.

Glen
As I mentioned above, if you build the car yourself as a kit car, or 'SPCNS' - meaning you purchase the car and motor separately and assemble it yourself - you can get it registered. I built a '31 Model A roadster from the ground up a few years back and registered it under the CA SB100 program as a '31 Model A Replica.' It's a time-consuming process, much more annoying than a regular vehicle registration, but it's manageable. For CA, the additional steps involved included getting a VIN assigned, going to the CHP to verify that VIN and to check for DOT required components like lights, etc. and then visiting the referee for a smog/emissions check. If it can be done in CA, it can be done anywhere.

As far as insurance, specialty insurers will absolutely insure vehicles like these - it may be expensive, high deductible and agreed value, but insurance nonetheless.
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post #34 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 10:20 AM
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FMVSS

My main contention in this thread is that the Ariel Atom is not legal to operate in public roads because it was not manufactured in accordance with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). I'll summarize the FMVSS as I understand it and provide references at the end of this text.

Title 49 of the U. S. Code, Chapter 301 requires the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The first standard was issued on March 1, 1967: Safety Standard 209, Seat Belt Assemblies. Beginning January 1, 1968, many new safety standards came into effect and they have been updated on a continuuing basis since. (1) The FMVSS are currently incorporated into Title 49, Section 571.7, Part B. (2)

The FMVSS applies to manufacturers of motor vehicles and motor vehicle components on the first introduction into interstate commerce. (3) The FMVSS also applies to a manufacturer, distributor, dealer, or motor vehicle repair business after the first sale: they are never allowed to disable anything that was certified under the FMVSS. (4) The FMVSS does not apply to sales subsequent to the first introduction into interstate commerce. For example, if a private party buys a vehicle from a dealer, removes the seat belts and then offers it for sale to someone else, that is not a violation of the FMVSS. (5)

TMI AutoTech Incorporated unequivocally states they manufacture the Ariel Atom:

Because the Atoms are being manufactured after March 1, 1967, and are being introduced into interstate commerce, many FMVSS apply if the vehicles are to be used on public roads. (2)

Title 49 is federal law. It cannot be modified by state or local law, except to be more restrictive. (6) The fact that a vehicle can be registered under state law does not lead to an inevitable conclusion that it complies with federal law - the two conditions are completely independent of each other.

More to come . . .

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(1) Quick Reference Guide to FMVSS and Regulations

(2) 49 USC 571.7 B

(3) 49 USC 30112(a)(1)

(4) 49 USC 30122

(5) 49 USC 30112(b)(1)

(6) 49 USC 30103(b)

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post #35 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 10:21 AM
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Kit Cars

So how does the FMVSS affect kit cars or cars that are sold without a drivetrain? If the kit car manufacturer also supplies the engine and drive train for completion, then NHTSA considers the kit car manufacturer to also be the vehicle manufacturer and subject to compliance with the FMVSS. If the buyer obtains the engine and drivetrain from another source and completes the vehicle, then NHTSA considers the buyer to be the manufacturer and also subject to compliance with the FMVSS. Here is a letter of interpretation from NHTSA to Shelby American describing just such a situation.

So if you buy a roller from TMI and add the engine and drivetrain you also purchased from them, TMI is considered to be the manufacturer and subject to the provisions of the FMVSS.

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Last edited by Glen; 11-08-2017 at 10:49 AM. Reason: sp, grammar
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post #36 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 10:25 AM
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Exemptions To The FMVSS

What about exemptions to the FMVSS?

The Lotus Elise was produced under an exemption to bumper and airbag standards. Such exemptions are granted on a temporary basis at the discretion of the Department of Transporation. (1)

Another type of exemption is available for manufacturers of replica vehicles, not to exceed 325 vehicles per year. (2) This is how Shelby American can sell Cobras that would not otherwise comply with the FMVSS.

There are no exemptions for Atom. Here's one place where that is explicitly stated:

What they didn't say is that many Ariel owners purchased a vehicle from a manufacturer that didn't follow the federal law that would allow their vehicle to be legally introduced into interstate commerce and be operated on public roads.

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(1) 49 USC 30113
(2) 49 USC 30114

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post #37 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 10:42 AM
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Summary

I'm an auto enthusiast and I support the efforts of anyone to make it easier to operate the widest possible variety of vehicles on public roads. But the current system in the U. S. is very restrictive - far more so than in other countries. Great Britain and their exemptions for low-volume producers are a great example of what I'd like to see in the U. S.

So @HondaCRX - or anyone else - if you have information that shows how Title 49 does not apply to the original sale of Ariel Atoms sold by the manufacturer or one of their dealers, I'd love to see it. Arguments that insurance is available or that a certain state (not Texas!) will allow you to register an Atom . . . these arguments do not negate the effect of Title 49. You'll need to argue something else to provide a valid rebuttal.

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Last edited by Glen; 11-09-2017 at 03:51 AM. Reason: grammar
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post #38 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 11:36 AM
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So how does the FMVSS affect kit cars or cars that are sold without a drivetrain? If the kit car manufacturer also supplies the engine and drive train for completion, then NHTSA considers the kit car manufacturer to also be the vehicle manufacturer and subject to compliance with the FMVSS. If the buyer obtains the engine and drivetrain from another source and completes the vehicle, then NHTSA considers the buyer to be the manufacturer and also subject to compliance with the FMVSS. Here is a letter of interpretation from NHTSA to Shelby American describing just such a situation.

So if you buy a roller from TMI and add the engine and drivetrain you also purchased from them, TMI is considered to be the manufacturer and subject to the provisions of the FMVSS.

Glen
Ok, and what about if you DON'T purchase the drivetrain from them? Does that make a difference?
One of the Ariel Atom NA distributors was Sector111: http://www.sector111.com/parts/track...m-3-roller.cfm

From that, they're saying buying it as a roller and putting in your own drivetrain makes it possible to register it legally.

I don't see why this would apply to the Ariel Atom but not to any other vehicles registered as "kit cars" e.g., FFR, etc. Doesn't FFR also sell pre-built cars? And have dealers? Or are they only selling kits?

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post #39 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 11:55 AM
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Ok, and what about if you DON'T purchase the drivetrain from them? Does that make a difference?
You must have missed the following statement from the letter of interpretation I provided and you quoted:

Quote:
We have comments as well on the Shelby Cobra CSX4000 Series Component Vehicles ("Component Vehicles"), and the Daytona Coupe and 289 Cobra, which you also inform us are component vehicles. The term "component vehicles" refers to vehicles that are sold without engine and transmission; these components will be installed by the owner or at his or her direction, "and privately register the resulting vehicle." Under our interpretations, the installer is regarded as the manufacturer of the motor vehicle and responsible for its compliance with all applicable Federal regulations.
NHTSA would consider you the manufacturer and still require you to comply with FMVSS. The maximum penalty for violation of the standard was raised to $105M in 2016.

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post #40 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 12:31 PM
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You must have missed the following statement from the letter of interpretation I provided and you quoted:



NHTSA would consider you the manufacturer and still require you to comply with FMVSS. The maximum penalty for violation of the standard was raised to $105M in 2016.

Glen
That letter is from 1998, a lot has changed since then. If the installer of the drivetrain is considered the manufacturer, then they would certainly be considered a "low volume" manufacturer and exempt from Federal safety standards, like crash tests.

Small-volume carmakers get a big break in Motor Vehicle Safety Act | Autoweek

This letter https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/documen...l_vehicles.pdf basically says although the cars may not be exempt from FMVSS states may allow their registration for intrastate use. However, penalties could apply if the vehicle were driven out of the state.

Honestly, I dunno man, the real problem is that this whole thing is so convoluted

Last edited by acslater; 11-08-2017 at 12:40 PM.
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