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Interesting. I always liked the S1 Elise, intially I liked the styling better than the S2.

But the seller claims 1350 lb. weight. Is that right? I thought the S1 Elises were much heavier than that. The S2 has put on weight, but not 600 lbs. worth, especially since the Honda motor is supposed to be significantly heavier.


If its selling price was the current $33.5K bid, it would be tempting. It would be hard to justify much more for me, since it would be getting close to US Elise prices.




DLY
 

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That motorsports Elise has been tempting me and I've been watching the auction since it was originally posted here... and now this too.

I need some sort of device that shocks me every time I consider purchasing another vehicle that I don't need :no:
 

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Didn't think there was such a thing as a street legal S1, they were all brough in as track use only, those who did try to convert them to street legal (Sun International) were confiscated by the feds?
 

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smura said:
Didn't think there was such a thing as a street legal S1, they were all brough in as track use only, those who did try to convert them to street legal (Sun International) were confiscated by the feds?
I'm not sure if they were confiscated, but I think they were at risk of being confiscated at one point or another.

I had heard a while back about a guy with a Sun International car who still had to drive around on dealer plates because he couldn't register it.

These ads pop up on ebay once in a while though... usually Rover engined cars that the owners claim are street legal. This is one of the first vtec cars I've seen on there.
 

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I'm sure that this is a sun international car. I'd be very sceptical of the "fully registered" status. Also the 230bhp seem high, and somehow they are claiming 1350 lbs, which makes it lighter than the original S1. Hard to believe.
 

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The cars that were at risk of confiscation were original, non-conforming Elise S1's. The owners had a period of time to export the cars out of the country before the Feds took the cars. They had the original Rover engine, so they were not legal by any stretch. They couldn't be just track cars because they were not equipped for track use (roll bars, external electrical kill switch, fuel cell, extinguisher, etc.). I actually looked into buying one of these a few years back, but the total lack of documentation and information from the seller was enough to make me run, not walk from the deal.

The Sun International cars can be legally registered as long as the new engine installed in the is already compliant. The car has to be registered as a kit however, as no manufacturer builds that particular combination. I know of at least one conversion done by Birkin in South Africa (the same people who do a very good Lotus 7 clone) that has been successfully and legally registered as a kit car.

The weight on the eBay car is about 400 pounds light...
 

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I'm pretty sure that Sun International cars are not only not legal in this country, but may get confiscated if used on the street.

I believe the guy behind the comany is being investigated for the cars he has been selling.

take a look at this press release and read between the lines:

http://www.suninternational-usa.com/pr_april_6.htm

Prototype racing now does the same conversion, but is very clear that the car is only for the track.
 

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I always get into this argument, but here it goes again. There are street legal S1's out there (untouched of course). Only 12 to my knowledge, but there are some.
 

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There are some S1 Elises in this country legally. They just can't be used on the street. I know of at least one person that has an S1 and uses it on the track for track days and is allowed to drive to and from the track using a temporary registration from his state - a very big hassle, but he is completely legal. Note however, that his S1 is not registered for street use - it has no license plates and is not street legal. There are no S1 Lotus Elises in the US that are both legally imported and legally registered.

There was, however, a "gentleman" in Florida that was importing Elises from Europe by questionable means, then sold to people as a "legally registered" Lotus Elise. Which was technically correct - the cars were legally registered in at least one state. That does not, however, make them "legal" to be in the US. They were specifically illegal under the federal DOT and EPA regulations. Some (most?) states don't care and don't necessarily check when registering the cars (these are also some of the states that you use to "clean" a title of a car that has been wrecked and salvaged) to see if the car was legally imported into the US. Once a car is registered in one state, you can usually register it in most others by transferring the title to the new state (like when you move). The guy in Florida got away with this "activity" for several years, until one of the cars was involved in a street racing incident. That's when the Feds started investigating and found out what had been happening. The guy ended up in Federal prison for "smuggling", and the cars were hunted down and confiscated. The cars, although "legal registered" were illegally imported.

These cars were not the Sun International Elises (note Sun's Elises are not technically "Lotus Elises"). Sun's cars were essentially imported as "parts" and then assembled and registered as "kit" cars. Rumors were that Sun International was being investigated after the guy in Florida was busted, but I never heard of the outcome of that investigation (or if Sun's activities were declared legal or illegal).

I just waited until I got my Federal Lotus Elise...:clap:
 

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Elise S1

I am VERY familar with that car!!! I know it well. It is a 1500 lb car and has about 200HP..........The seats are out of an Exige. It is legal. It is NOT a Lotus any longer but a kit car and done the right way. The same way Noble's are being imported and sold!!!..............I have a Motorsport Elise that is available as well as an S1 190 Sport. Both were imported by Lotus and are race cars only!!! Any questions about importation of cars, race cars or the legality of it, I'd be glad to answer. I have been doing it since 1980........By the way, it would cost you at least $5,000 to set your car up that way. The wheels, tires and suspension have all been uprated on that car as well.....
 

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Motorsport Elise

Hey MikeAR303,
You don't need an electric shock. You need a drive in it. It is without a doubt the best Elise EVER made. If you had a chance to drive it on track, you'd never want to get into your S2 again!!! The single most exciting car I have EVER driven!!! I have driven a bunch.................
 

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Again, the car on eBay may be "1 LOTUS ELISE FULLY REGISTERED", but that still does not mean that it is legal to drive on the road in the US under the federal laws. It looks like the car is probably a Sun International. It is definitely legal to use as a race car or a track car.

But it may, or may not be legal to drive it on the street, even if it is registered in the state of New York (or any other state). I'd take a guaranteed to be legal Federal Lotus Elise and not have to worry about it in the future.

By the way, the eBay car is definitely not a Lotus Elise, as the VIN number does not start with "SCC" (or is it "SSC"?) which is Lotus' manufacturer code...
 

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Chotto is right. There are a very small number of legally street registered S1's out there. Just a handful, and NO these aren't the Sun conversions. Where there is a will, there is a way (to steet register). Is all the paperwork 100% legit? I don't know, but laws do vary significantly from state to state
 

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Do you know why it starts with CT-------?????? Because it's a KIT CAR that has been reVINed by CT...........It is no longer a Lotus...... So what???? There are buyers for exciting hard to find race ready S1's and buyers for street legal S2's.........Let's celebrate that we have a choice!!!
 

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Hey Grudkin,
The Federal laws will superceed all local state laws when it comes to this subject. If it was imported illegally, I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole. The reason they called it the Grey market when I started to import cars back in 1980 is that there was a lot of Grey !!! Having an illegal one is BLACK AND WHITE!!! No Grey.......Stay away..........Sun International cars, which this was one of, was a Grey Market car that meet all the rules required by the laws at the time. Not sure if they have been changed since but judging by the display of the Noble at the Historic races at Lime Rock this week end, I'd guess not...........
 

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TimMullen said:
Again, the car on eBay may be "1 LOTUS ELISE FULLY REGISTERED", but that still does not mean that it is legal to drive on the road in the US under the federal laws.
Federal laws (EPA, DOT, etc.) apply to imported "cars". Cars disassembled and imported as "parts" are not subject to those regulations. If they are then re-assembled from parts from other cars (i.e. Honda engine/trans), they are classed as kit cars. The exact state of disassembly required and the amount of difference the resulting car must have are fine points that need to be well understood before attempting this.

Being "street legal" then is a state by state determination. Up to 500 of these types of cars can be registered in California per year. If you then move to some other state, though, you may, or may not be able to register it there.
 

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A couple of years ago I was in communication with Sun regarding conversion of an S1. This followed an article in Car & Driver that stated Sun's conversion would make the S1 street legal, even in CA.

I had a brand new S1 lined up ready to ship from the UK, ready for Sun to carry out the necessary mods (Honda V-TEC engine, airbags, front & rear light mods etc). The whole package was going to cost me approx $60K.

My contacts with Sun were limited to e-mail only, and then only after pestering them. They would never disclose their address or phone No. to me, and the only listed business address I could obtain (through various means) was a private street address in Manhattan Beach.

I felt something was wrong with the claims made in C&D as Sun would never answer my questions directly, they just seemed to go off on a tangent complaining about the US Fed regulations. In the end I finally asked them to come clean with me because I was about to lose the S1 I had lined up, and they admitted that they were not interested in doing the Elise conversion for me , but were focussing their efforts on increasing the cars performance for other markets around the world. I was pretty pissed at them for not being upfront with me especially as I had put alot of time and effort into getting the S1 lined up as well as researching shipping and import brokers.

I didn't get the feeling that they were a shady outfit, more that they were looking for loopholes in the ever tightening DOT regulations, in order to tap into an unfulfilled market. I just wish they had been upfront with me and C&D
 
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