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Thread: My experience in purchasing my first Ariel Atom (AA30168)

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    My experience in purchasing my first Ariel Atom (AA30168)

    I'm sure many have noticed my name around the forum here lately, been excitedly waiting for my Atom3 since placing the order 08/10/12, I had just received my new 991 carrera when I realized it would never replace the love I had for my recently sold Lotus Exige, needed something more extreme and the Atom had always been on my short list ( actually had first noticed it on a forum post on lotus talk, a member there and here aaron elsner gave me the contact info for mark swain and we had touched base a few times but I had the lotus still and was unsure about buying)

    buying the Ariel Atom is a big jump, it takes a lot of time to research your local laws and even more time to source proper insurance for the vehicle, luckily with the forum i got those knocked out and every week or two an update from mark Swain @T.M.I. auto tech assured me my car was coming along well.

    It's good to know that us auto enthusiasts here stateside have a good company to go to for the Atom, given they are the ONLY seller for the atom, we would be stuck dealing with them regardless of their customer service.. but it's good to know they believe in their product and stand behind it and are equally as enthused about it.

    that being said, this past week, 11/21/12 i received my AA3, (only had to wait about 3 months start to finish because of the options i chose to alleviate wait time (frame color to match their outgoing batch, no supercharger since not tuned/setup yet, etc)

    flew into RDU and a short 50 minute drive later i found myself at TMI @ VIR, very easy to find, maybe 75 ft across the VA/NC border... a great a modern facility where everything is made start to finish.....the VP mark swain greeted and showed myself and a friend around the shop and each part of the building process, it's truly amazing to see the tools and equipment used to create these cars and the faces behind it as well.

    After a quick walk around, we stayed nearby and the next morning arrived bright and early to get an additional rundown... mark swain and his employee's entertained and answered all of my questions, helped me out with several small questions/qualms i had with the car and entertained my suggestion for all the employees to sign the underside of the bonnet so i would always have a record of the car purchase.

    320 miles later, the car is great... just a few small questions/etc on the vehicle but it drives great, performs too well (non supercharged 2.4L has massive amounts of torque and accelerates in any gear)... turning is insane and really makes you need to look down while driving because a "25mph" turn is easily taken at 50 without even thinking... so one must keep an eye on speed to not break took many laws.

    if anyone has any questions regarding purchasing an Ariel Atom, please feel free to email me rijowysock@gmail.com i would love to help others in their decision in buying an atom and can offer my personal suggestions/advice in ordering.. Ariel Atom


    thanks!





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    once home in FL i will followup regarding small modifications i have made to make the car more enjoyable/drivable..


    i have a "kryptonite" modulus setup coming to lock helmet and accessories up with ease, (currently have another kryptonite lock but has proved difficult to get everything locked up with ease w/ it..

    i plan on possibly modifying the seat to have less flex on accel so the 2->3 shift becomes more manageable (hard to regulate throttle input now with seat movement)

    also plan on adjusting the e-brake when i remove the seat to make it a little easier to get that first click and the car in "park" as right now the tension is very tight and somewhat difficult to pull unless out of the vehicle.... (actually find it easier to start the car from outside as you really don't even need to be inside, thankfully no clutch switch on the car....)

    also i plan on adding a dead pedal, have been talking w/ TMI regarding a design that would work great, otherwise will purchase the Sector111 pedal (would prefer a pedal that bolts onto the tub bolts versus the sector111 that has to be drilled/riveted onto the chassis)



    all in all a great car, very much like the lotus in how it's "finicky" but that makes it fun and a very personable experience for owner/driver...

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    So the car was fully assembled by TMI? Who did the Smog/break/light/VIN inspections or are those not required in Florida?
    Last edited by Like It's Stolen; November 26, 2012 at 12:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Like It's Stolen View Post
    So the car was fully assembled by TMI? Who did the Smog/break/light/VIN inspections or are those not required in Florida?
    Every state is different. Where are you located? The car can be ordered as a kit without engine for the states were they have more pain in the ass registrations
    the high profile toy thrower

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    Quote Originally Posted by rijowysock View Post
    once home in FL i will followup regarding small modifications i have made to make the car more enjoyable/drivable..

    Looking through motorcycle stores is also a great way to look for accessories. Like this lockable helmet bag
    Pacsafe Slash-Proof Helmet Bag :: Aerostich/RiderWearHouse Motorcycle Jackets, Suits, Clothing, & Gear
    the high profile toy thrower

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    Quote Originally Posted by Like It's Stolen View Post
    So the car was fully assembled by TMI? Who did the Smog/break/light/VIN inspections or are those not required in Florida?

    this is part of the process (figuring out local requirements)

    in florida we do not have inspection, smog, emissions... i have to go to the DOT when back in florida and have the car inspected for the primary necessities:

    -Headlights.
    -Taillights.
    -Permanently fixed brackets for license plates both front and rear.
    -Permanent illumination for rear license plate.
    -Side mirrors or a rearview mirror, or all three.
    -Seatbelts.
    -Windshield glass if applicable, or if no windshield, a helmet must be worn.
    -Permanently fixed fuel tank that is not fully exposed.
    -Tires that are approved by the DOT to be used on public roads (no racing slicks).
    -Must be in good working order.



    once they inspect and say it's "good for the street" will be registered as a kit car with the state (FL will assign a vin) and i will have a proper registration (DOT classifies as kit and inspects, i bring said inspection paper, MCO, proof of insurance and various other papers with me to DMV and register. florida does not have inspection/emissions.. which makes it MUCH easier than other states... fellow member in PA has to go thru hell to register because of windshield/mirror/etc requirements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bolus View Post
    Looking through motorcycle stores is also a great way to look for accessories. Like this lockable helmet bag
    Pacsafe Slash-Proof Helmet Bag :: Aerostich/RiderWearHouse Motorcycle Jackets, Suits, Clothing, & Gear

    i ordered this today: going to mount it under the front tea tray hidden away from sight... with the key hole facing down... obviously would need to loop around part of the chassis to secure but shoukdnt be difficult.




    currenΩtly i have this:


    problem being the cable won't fit thru the extinguisher mount on the center console (tighter than i thought)... i can run thru other areas but not as easy as a mounted position /etc.

    it's fun finding stuff, i love my bicycle frame bag i mounted on the passenger side under the front tea tray... perfect for paperwork and small tools..
    Last edited by rijowysock; November 26, 2012 at 01:05 PM.

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    Great writeup dude! Too bad you had to copy my white panels and Stig helmet though! haha i kid i kid. Congrats!

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    Quote Originally Posted by shooterblaze View Post
    Great writeup dude! Too bad you had to copy my white panels and Stig helmet though! haha i kid i kid. Congrats!

    you had the helmet first (AND SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME ABOUT THE POOR DOWNWARD VIEW!!!) i have to look down to view the gauges, cannot see stomach/pant pockets/harness'... versus Shoei moto helmet that can see everything!!

    as far as white panels, i'm first!... the only other one like mine is the "wrapped AA2" which was originally red i believe.. and still is under the matte wrap... my tub looks amazing painted... i was never a fan of the poor edges on the tub wrap job.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rijowysock View Post
    you had the helmet first (AND SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME ABOUT THE POOR DOWNWARD VIEW!!!) i have to look down to view the gauges, cannot see stomach/pant pockets/harness'... versus Shoei moto helmet that can see everything!!

    as far as white panels, i'm first!... the only other one like mine is the "wrapped AA2" which was originally red i believe.. and still is under the matte wrap... my tub looks amazing painted... i was never a fan of the poor edges on the tub wrap job.
    You get used to it. Fashion > Function.

    Just busting your balls. I might paint my fenders as well (if I don't end up taking them off completely). +1 on the PAINTED white tub

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