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Thread: New member looking to help some friends

  1. #1
    n00b
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    New member looking to help some friends

    Hello everybody,

    I am looking to help out some friends and maybe some of you here can help. I Have just recently exited the US Navy. As any veteran can attest to, the only thing that matters most is the men you worked with. The bonds you create in that environment, no matter what branch of service, are deeper than most you'll ever create in your life. Also I was a submariner, so being on deployment and away from your family is very difficult due to having very minimal contact with your family, we mostly just watch a lot of personal movies and talk of the adventures we hope to have.

    One of those adventures was to imagine what it would be like to drive an Ariel Atom. Let me tell you just watching that original Top Gear video would get our hearts pumping and excited. But sadly none of us would ever imagine having enough money to ever purchase one.

    That's where some of you here might be able to help. I would like to see if I could find friendly and big hearted Ariel Atom Owners that would be willing to create some affectionate Navy friends by putting together an event where a few of these really interested Sailors would be able to come and test drive an Atom on a track. I haven't told any of my still active duty friends about what I'm doing because they will still be on deployment for another couple of months. And if I could do anything to express what this would mean to them I would. This would make a few men that normally don't have much to look forward to be able to be little boys again. Obviously I cant say when their deployment is over because that is confidential information but this event would hopefully have a date in December. So that would leave plenty of time to put plans together. I live in the Seattle area so hopefully the owners would be in the northern California or Oregon area. I would make arrangements to put together a road trip. But everything as far as location and date are hugely flexible. I would wait till next summer if some of you would be even willing to help make this event possible.

    So thanks for listening and if you are interested feel free to post here and send me a message. And then from there we can work out more details and exchange more contact information. Thank you everybody!

    P-ville

  2. #2
    Neutrino Norm's Avatar
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    I can't speak for the rest, but, no one drives my car but me. I think a ride through the twisty's or a passenger track day would be cool though. December, ... Seattle? That is where I am and I only get out a couple days a month about then

  3. #3
    Electron Lane's Avatar
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    The VIR Driving Experience offered by TMI (current maker of the Atom in the U.S.) is probably your best option to get non-owners behind the wheel on the track.

    I agree with Norm. There is a serious amount of risk involved when putting the average driver behind the wheel of an Atom, especially on the track. I'd done more than ten years of HPDE track events in various cars before I took my Atom on the track the first time. And even then, what I thought was a safe and conservative drive resulted in a bad off-track excursion and serious damage. The car is A) different, and B) ten pounds of sh*t in a 5 pound bag.

    After reading the forums over the years, I've read about no less than half a dozen wrecks including a death or two from someone behind the wheel of one of these cars who didn't own it. Mechanic taking a "test drive" after repair work, an owner's brother in the driver's seat for the first time, someone else rolls one over in a ditch, another runs one into a curb/brick wall, someone takes out a barbed wire fence, ... Do a google search on 'ariel atom accident'. There's a few too many to read about considering how few of these cars have been made compared to any other mass-production car.

    I don't mean to paint such a gloomy picture, but you should have an awareness of the risk and know why it may be extremely difficult to get an owner to loan a car.
    Ariel Atom 2, Ecotec 300, owner since 2007. Drive, Detail, Improve, Repeat. Visit my website.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by pomajm View Post
    I would like to see if I could find friendly and big hearted Ariel Atom Owners that would be willing to create some affectionate Navy friends by putting together an event where a few of these really interested Sailors would be able to come and test drive an Atom on a track.
    I'm in... as long as I can test drive an F14 off a carrier.

    Seriously, tho - first let me thank you for your service. I appreciate it, and I also appreciate that you are trying to think of ways to do nice things for your fellow servicemen.

    That said, I agree with the previous sentiments that handing the keys of an Atom over to someone who's never driven it, and then setting them loose on a track where there is no speed limit and the curves and twists are designed to challenge a drive is a recipe for disaster. Just like letting me sit in the cockpit of a Navy jet and letting me have a go. Sitting in the RIO seat on an F14 is probably the best I'll ever get, and I think the co-pilot position is probably the most prudent spot for a vet to sit and enjoy the spirit of the Atom. It's getting pretty late in the year to plan something like that, however (track event for what's left of summer is already booked everywhere), but perhaps we could look forward into next summer and plan properly.

  5. #5
    n00b
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    To everyone who has responded so far, thank you! I can't say how much this would mean to them, and also for letting me know of the dangers involved.

    I would agree just like riding a motor cycle, I would be extremely leery of just letting someone jump on my liter bike and take it for a spin, especially on a race track. And I think I should give you a better idea of how I imagined it in my head. I definitely did not picture anybody cruising around and I can see how I made it sound that was the way I wanted it haha so I apologize. More specifically if any one was to drive it I imagine almost a crazy long straight away and being able to see how it felt to hit the gas and feel the acceleration, with the owner in the car, just like a student driver, no way could I even trust myself to run it on a track, as well as the rest of my ship-mates. If there is one thing that surprises most people is the fact that we are extremely leery with most machinery we come across, none of us will operate any machinery "all willy nilly" as we like to say. There is always a very large margin of caution that should be taken with any piece of equipment, hell, when we have had people cut in half, while cleaning, by the hydraulics that turn the rutter we are even leery cleaning haha.

    That said, I'm sure any amount of riding in an atom would be a huge hit to the guys. Simply seeing one in person would make most excited. And thank you Steve for your compliment and for the info, the co-pilot option sounds like a perfect fit. So please feel free to email me at my email address to further connect and share more information. My email is jmichaelpoma@gmail.com.

    Thank you again guys.

  6. #6
    n00b
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    ps. send me an email norm.

  7. #7
    Neutrino Norm's Avatar
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    I met with Joe yesterday and we are going to plan a shipman (shipperson?) Atom ride for mid May of 2014. It all depends upon when the sub is in Bremerton and that is a secret, so, we might have to be a little flexible. I will send out a local email in January or so, but, feel free to add your comments to Joe's thread. Turns out he is on the same sub as my nephew, small world. You Portland guys are certainly welcome too. I think life and the economy has kept us from an Atom ride for a few years now, this should kick off 2014. Route suggestions? Do we want to add some track time? My fear with that is the shipmen will just be watchers as there are not too many track events that allow passengers. I am told most of these guys are motorcycle guys and have helmets and favorite routes around Bremerton

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