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Thread: Becoming discouraged, help?

  1. #21
    Neutron
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    I tried to contact the SEMA Action Network about our issues a few times and never got a response. They seem to just be focused on old fashion hot rods.

    The big issue of course is every state sets its own laws at the DMV level and at the federal level the national highway traffic safety administration is a massive conservative bureaucratic mess. I imagine trying to get rules changed at the NHTSA would be the equivalent of making everyone in Texas convert to Islam.
    the high profile toy thrower

  2. #22
    Lepton AtomJohnny's Avatar
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    Yes bolus. I think I got a similar response last time. My point is SEMA might have been more helpful if you were an organisation representing a membership rather than one random bloke with a car somewhere they might not even care about.

    Sure you won't have any effect in massive conservative bureaucratic mess overnight. But right now if you could make tiny in roads anywhere what representation do you have as a collective of owners? None!

    Also at the coalface consider the two scenarios.
    DVM: Sorry not allowed.
    Owner: But I'm Joe Blogg, a decent citizen. I know of another car that is registered.
    DVM: Whoopy shit. That's a mistake we can fix.

    Or

    DMV: Not Allowed.
    Owner: Sorry I will go back to our national organisation that represents the other 50 registered owners in other states. Perhaps their lawyer can tell us what the problem is. What was your name again?
    DMV: <write your own response but remember even the worst twats normally have some form of self preservation>
    01100001 01110100 01101111 01101101 00110001

  3. #23
    Proton Terry Kennedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtomJohnny View Post
    The more you keep tackling this problem by all differing methods without making your successes an official blue print, the more chance you have of coming unstuck. I think in lawyer circles they'd say "you need to set a few similar legal precedences."
    IMO being able to say you belong to a +50 strong organisation of national owners, all with legally registered cars, is perhaps going to make the the over officious DMV worker think twice about upsetting all of you.
    It is best to think of the situation as 51 different countries (50 states + DC), all of whom are doing roughly the same thing, but all using independent rule books. This isn't limited to cars - we have the same issues with building codes, etc.

    What happens in one state is not binding on any other state, unless it gets to a court having jurisdiction over multiple states, and even then it would be unlikely.

    Some states will register anything, even a bathtub on roller skates. Others are sticklers for complete compliance with Federal (FMVSS) regulations. It is important to note that the Federal regulations, particularly regarding vehicle importation, were bought by car dealers who were tired of consumers purchasing cars in Canada, switching the instrument cluster to miles/MPH, and registering them in the US at prices far lower than US dealers were willing to go.

    The Federal govenment sticks its nose in via other methods as well, mostly for air quality / pollution reasons. Some states have areas with very strict inspection requirements, while elsewhere in the state you simply mail in a check and get your renewal sticker in the mail - no inspection needed.

    As one of the people who threw a large pile of money at the problem (legal fees, mostly, but also having my car trucked all over the state for various special inspections), I never got anywhere that would be useful for another Atom owner - the end result was a "stipluation", meaning they would not contest the registration of my Atom, but would still give the same grief to any other Atom owner who tried to register a car. And after all that, the director of the DMV gave the clerk a verbal order to register my car (I was at the counter, the director was on speakerphone) and the clerk refused.

    This sort of idiocy is by no means limited to low-volume cars, or to the United States. Just look at the ongoing Daimler-vs-France regarding air conditioning refrigerant.

  4. #24
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    I think AtomJohnny makes a very good point here. Though it may not be sufficient to form up a more integrated and homogeneous owners association in the U.S., surely it is necessary. I was startled when I try to 'join' a U.S. Ariel site and had to pay to join - or so it seemed. Didn't seem like the most friendly and inclusive way of building mass and visibility.
    I should say that I am not an Ariel owner, though I have huge interest in the car. But I am an Ultima owner in CA (a far smaller group of owners) and, though it was a complicated experience to register the car (as an SB100 car), the DMV officials that I ultimately found were actually great to work with. I should add that their flexibility and support varied based on the DMV I visited but I ultimately found one near by who made it all come together. I'll also add that the car was originally built and registered in Florida so there is a process there that works.
    B

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomJohnny View Post
    I'll add my two cents after that rant with some advice I've given before.

    It seems to me that everyone state-side is, somewhat selfishly, doing their own thing. IMO there is as they say power in numbers. At the DMV you are an individual that the nastier natured official can afford to dick around. I wonder if, regardless of which state, they would be as keen to do so if the threat of a national recognised body existed that might even come after their arse.

    I amazes me, when you know cars like bolus' is 7 years old and there are much larger numbers of owners in the US than anywhere else other than the UK, that you don't even have an official owners organisation. Without one you have no collective body to align with the manufacturer or deal with other organisations, including legislators. Seems some of you, as a group, should do it for the betterment of all current and future owners. A small annual subscription from a number of you along with the gift of donated time WILL bear fruits in the longer term.

    I don't know if they are the correct organisation to help your cause but SEMA says on their site:
    "SEMA keeps close tabs on legislators in Washington, D.C., and also in each state within the United States, so SEMA members and anyone who loves cars and trucks can protest pending legislation that might harm our hobby, as well as endorse legislation that’s good for car lovers."
    Maybe having an American owners organisation that could be affiliated to such a group would help your cause over time.

    In NZ I'm lucky that this work has been already done due to the previous efforts of a number of clubs (including hot rodders, off-roaders and kit car builders) who formed a joint organisation to tackle the government legislators. Our LVVTA (Low Volume Vehicle Transport Association) now helps write the specifications and set the certification process that allows cars like the Atom on the road here.

    The more you keep tackling this problem by all differing methods without making your successes an official blue print, the more chance you have of coming unstuck. I think in lawyer circles they'd say "you need to set a few similar legal precedences."
    IMO being able to say you belong to a +50 strong organisation of national owners, all with legally registered cars, is perhaps going to make the the over officious DMV worker think twice about upsetting all of you.

  5. #25
    Down Quark
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    What if the car already has a title/VIN from a different state, would it make it easier to register in another state or will I have the same issue?

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowtush View Post
    What if the car already has a title/VIN from a different state, would it make it easier to register in another state or will I have the same issue?
    each state is different, so some states it may make it much easier, other states it won't make any difference

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by BingoFuel View Post
    I think AtomJohnny makes a very good point here. Though it may not be sufficient to form up a more integrated and homogeneous owners association in the U.S., surely it is necessary. I was startled when I try to 'join' a U.S. Ariel site and had to pay to join - or so it seemed. Didn't seem like the most friendly and inclusive way of building mass and visibility.
    I should say that I am not an Ariel owner, though I have huge interest in the car. But I am an Ultima owner in CA (a far smaller group of owners) and, though it was a complicated experience to register the car (as an SB100 car), the DMV officials that I ultimately found were actually great to work with. I should add that their flexibility and support varied based on the DMV I visited but I ultimately found one near by who made it all come together. I'll also add that the car was originally built and registered in Florida so there is a process there that works.
    B
    being a part of the SB100 group regardless of vehicle is a massively large group compared to just ariel owners or ultima owners....

    what's interesting is all the california people state that it's 100% impossible to sb100 an out of state atom once it's been titled, which is why sb100'd atoms go for a higher price point. I'm curious if you know of a way to register any car as sb100 regardless of previous registration or if that's something you were able to do on the ultima that is for some reason prohibited on the atom

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowtush View Post
    What if the car already has a title/VIN from a different state, would it make it easier to register in another state or will I have the same issue?
    What state are you in?
    the high profile toy thrower

  9. #29
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    I live in Hawaii, any one know how hard it would be to get a road legal atom here?

  10. #30
    Down Quark
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverfd View Post
    I live in Hawaii, any one know how hard it would be to get a road legal atom here?
    As I understand and remember it, its impossible to register an Atom in Hawaii. A gentleman bought the car for track use, track closed, and now he's trying to sell the car because he can't find a way to register it there. FWIW, I might be working off old information because I can't find the thread here where I read all of that.

    Call the DMV and ask how they deal with specialty constructed vehicles. Also go to the SEMA site and do some research. They are trying to lobby in most states for legislation that helps.

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