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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
This S1 weighs 1600. That is very close to my Sport 190 at 1440. since the work has already been done does that make it worth any more? It is very well done and cleen., is it worth $686,497.12 or perhaps 10% of that????
 

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My Sport 190 was brought in for "race use only" and is therefore legal to be driven anywhere in the US.:huh:
But in Ca. you could bring in a S1 for race use then do the engine swap yourself and register it "exempt" as a "kit" and it would in fact be legal. This is sometimes done for the Radicals also.
Registration and importation are entirely different things.

You might be able to import the vehicle assemblage but the NHTSA states that all parts not meeting FMVSS must be removed from the assemblage.

If your is one of the Lotus cars, you're understanding of what's legal with your car is vastly different from what Lotus will tell you. Feel free to call them to confirm. What's legal and what you can get away with are two completely different things though.
:D

The Radical is altogether different as it's built as a "racing vehicle" (NHTSA's legal term). Nobles and Caterhams are considered "kit cars" under importation by their respective US distributors.

So it is possible to legally import an S1, it's just a gigantic pain in the ass?
Legally? That's debatable. What you can get away with at one bonded facility is vastly different from what you can get away with at the next.
;)

Here's some of the documentation:
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import/

Once you're famliar with the rules, the better documentation is the newletter that the NHTSA puts out for RIs and ICIs - it gives an idea of how they rule on things and why.

Anything over 25 years old is fair game though!
 

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there is a guy on this list that has a honda 190. he jumped through a ton of hoops to get the project done. it is a cool car, but if you ask him, the s2 is just as fantastic.
 

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This S1 weighs 1600. That is very close to my Sport 190 at 1440. since the work has already been done does that make it worth any more? It is very well done and cleen., is it worth $686,497.12 or perhaps 10% of that????
It's worth nowhere near that - c'mon, it's not an Esprit after all!
rotfl
 

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This S1 weighs 1600. That is very close to my Sport 190 at 1440. since the work has already been done does that make it worth any more? It is very well done and cleen., is it worth $686,497.12 or perhaps 10% of that????

Have you put your car on a scale. Stock 190's were way closer to 1600 lbs. Unless you have some serious weight reduction, wheels, calipers, seats, heater, oil cooler etc.
 

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there is a guy on this list that has a honda 190. he jumped through a ton of hoops to get the project done. it is a cool car, but if you ask him, the s2 is just as fantastic.
If it's the one I'm thinking of, it's not a K20a. And at a track day where we all swapped cars, Honda. Yota, Rover, the lowley Rover was the car of choice by all.:p
 

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Anyone have a link of the incident that occurred in Florida back in '02? Thats when I first heard of the S1 confiscations.
No link, but as I remember it...

Some guy in Florida was importing Elises from Germany. He was able to register them for street use. One of them was used in a street race that resulted in a rather nasty wreck. During the investigation, it was discovered that the car was illegally imported (basically it was "smuggled" into the country against regulations). That started a probe of the rest of the cars that he had imported. The Feds tracked them down and confiscated them and/or made them be exported. The guy that had done the importing was sentenced to prison for doing the illegal importations, but I don't know if he actually did any time.

At the same time, the Feds started looking into Sun Internationals operations. As far as I know they didn't actually take any of Sun's cars, but Sun stopped their modifications and sales of their conversions. They didn't actually sell very many of the Sun conversions for street use in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Have you put your car on a scale. Stock 190's were way closer to 1600 lbs. Unless you have some serious weight reduction, wheels, calipers, seats, heater, oil cooler etc.
Not been on a scale yet... but I am so dissapointed to hear that. Maybe I will remove the sun visors :rolleyes:
 

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My Sport 190 was brought in for "race use only" and is therefore legal to be driven anywhere in the US.:huh:
My Sport 190 was brought in for "race use only" and is therefore legal to be driven anywhere in the US.[/quote]You missed two letters in your post. The correct version is:

My Sport 190 was brought in for "race use only" and is therefore illegal to be driven anywhere in the US.

You car was imported as a race car and that is completely legal as long as you do not attempt to register it for street use - I was going to say NEVER, but I believe there is a time limit where if the car is older than 25 years or something it doesn't matter any more.

But in Ca. you could bring in a S1 for race use then do the engine swap yourself and register it "exempt" as a "kit" and it would in fact be legal.
No, it would still be illegal. If the car was brought into the US under the clause that it was a race car, it cannot be converted to a street legal car if it was not legally allowed as a street car in the first place. Bottom line is no legally imported and registered for street use S1s in the US. There are four exemptions that allow you to have a "non-legal" imported car in the US:
  • It was brought here by a foreign national for a time period not to exceed 12 months - it must be removed from the US at the end of that time. It cannot be sold in the US.
  • It was brought into the US by a manufacturer and is owned and operated by that entity. Again, it cannot be sold and registered for normal street used.
  • It was brought into the US as a show car. It cannot be used on the street, and it cannot be registered for street usage. It cannot be sold to anyone else for street use.
  • It was brought into the US as a race car. It cannot be registered for street use.
Note that there are no exemptions for modifying a car with a different engine - that does not constitute a "kit car". Cars like the Nobel really are kit cars since there are no normally manufactured versions of the car.
 

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The Radical is altogether different as it's built as a "racing vehicle" (NHTSA's legal term). Nobles and Caterhams are considered "kit cars" under importation by their respective US distributors.

I know I'm showing my ignorance, but I thought a kit car was a car with the engine/transmission assembled separately from the rest of the car.
 

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I know I'm showing my ignorance, but I thought a kit car was a car with the engine/transmission assembled separately from the rest of the car.
I'm not very familiar with the kit car regulations at the federal level. Used to be, the rule of thumb was, "never sold as an assembled vehicle." Not sure how the imported kits skirt the FMVSS (safety) issues though.
:shrug:

Trouble is - you can loophole your way through one agency and then be stuck with two others, etc.
 

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I'm not very familiar with the kit car regulations at the federal level. Used to be, the rule of thumb was, "never sold as an assembled vehicle."
My understanding from when I looked into this is that the original manufacturer has to confirm to the feds that they are indeed selling a kit. Caterham and Noble will provide this paperwork, Lotus will not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
My Sport 190 was brought in for "race use only" and is therefore legal to be driven anywhere in the US.
You missed two letters in your post. The correct version is:

My Sport 190 was brought in for "race use only" and is therefore illegal to be driven anywhere in the US.

You car was imported as a race car and that is completely legal as long as you do not attempt to register it for street use - I was going to say NEVER, but I believe there is a time limit where if the car is older than 25 years or something it doesn't matter any more.

No, it would still be illegal. If the car was brought into the US under the clause that it was a race car, it cannot be converted to a street legal car if it was not legally allowed as a street car in the first place. Bottom line is no legally imported and registered for street use S1s in the US. There are four exemptions that allow you to have a "non-legal" imported car in the US:
  • It was brought here by a foreign national for a time period not to exceed 12 months - it must be removed from the US at the end of that time. It cannot be sold in the US.
  • It was brought into the US by a manufacturer and is owned and operated by that entity. Again, it cannot be sold and registered for normal street used.
  • It was brought into the US as a show car. It cannot be used on the street, and it cannot be registered for street usage. It cannot be sold to anyone else for street use.
  • It was brought into the US as a race car. It cannot be registered for street use.
Note that there are no exemptions for modifying a car with a different engine - that does not constitute a "kit car". Cars like the Nobel really are kit cars since there are no normally manufactured versions of the car.[/QUOTE]


The main point here is: I drive it anyway... catch me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
This is why government needs to go to helr (i mean seller)
 
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