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Thread: Possible to import Used UK-built Ariel Atom into USA for road use?

  1. #1
    Down Quark
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    9
    Country
    United States

    Possible to import Used UK-built Ariel Atom into USA for road use?

    I've been looking at the used vehicle price delta between UK-built Atoms and US-built Atoms (TMI) and have noticed quite a gap. For example, even after accounting for currency differences (USD is quite strong right now though), you can pick up a late model (2014) Atom 3.5 with supercharger in the UK for roughly $54k (USD). That's not a particularly good deal - there are many other Atom 3.5s to be had at that price and lower.

    So, my questions are:
    1) can a used UK-built Atom be imported into the US and certified for road use?
    2) what differences (other than right hand drive) are there for UK vs US built Atoms?
    3) is there a way to convert a RHD Atom to a LHD?
    4) has anyone tried this?

    Just curious. I work for a company that regularly schedules and books shipping containers around the world, so getting the Atom to the US via container will be a non-issue, and quite reasonable. Of course, the point is moot if I can't certify it for road use in the USA.

    Thoughts anyone?

  2. #2
    Electron
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    243
    Country
    United States

    Why?

    See my comments below

    Quote Originally Posted by dhodory View Post
    I've been looking at the used vehicle price delta between UK-built Atoms and US-built Atoms (TMI) and have noticed quite a gap. For example, even after accounting for currency differences (USD is quite strong right now though), you can pick up a late model (2014) Atom 3.5 with supercharger in the UK for roughly $54k (USD). That's not a particularly good deal - there are many other Atom 3.5s to be had at that price and lower.

    So, my questions are:
    1) can a used UK-built Atom be imported into the US and certified for road use?
    No, unless it is more than 20 years old or gone through NHST crash test mandate

    2) what differences (other than right hand drive) are there for UK vs US built Atoms?
    UK still use K20 on the 3.5s. The U.S. has gone to the K24 given the same year (newer uses turbo). The 3.5s from UK does have better suspension (Ohlens)

    3) is there a way to convert a RHD Atom to a LHD?
    There is always a way, welding is involved. But why? The cost of R/R and fabrication make this unpractical. (there are special chassis that is made for either right or left, not sure how many of those are out there)

    4) has anyone tried this?

    Just curious. I work for a company that regularly schedules and books shipping containers around the world, so getting the Atom to the US via container will be a non-issue, and quite reasonable. Of course, the point is moot if I can't certify it for road use in the USA.

    Thoughts anyone?

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