When the economy went bust a few years ago my realistic idea of owning a Super ‘Kit’ Car like the Ultima GTR or GTM from Factory Five or my latest favorite the Superlite Coupe from Race Car Replicas (RCR), died disappointedly :-( I decided to cut my car budget like most car guys to something under $25k. My choices for a kit car was somewhat twisted, having saved for the Super ‘Kit’ Car. I wanted the ‘new’ kit car to go fast —- 0-60 near 3.5 secs, have some side intrusion protection, roll bar / cage option, roof , rollup windows and be unique, all under $25k. Having seen the Lotus 7 clones, like the WorldClass Motorsports, I soon realized that the roof and rollup windows was not going to be realistic at under $25k. Soon I came across the Ariel Atom via Google or a car forum. It had most of the revised qualifications but it was over the $25k, and it was sold as a turnkey car and I wanted a Kit Car. Then the RCR came out with the Superlite Roadster. Call it a copy or clone, it has very similar character lines and premise. Fast, unique and finished under $25k was achievable with my math.
Well this story is not about me and my dreams, but about Jim. Jim owns the yellow pictured Superlite Roadster by RCR. It is the first running Superlite Roadster by a customer in the USA. Jim was also one the first to buy the Superlite Roadster at its introductory offer 2 years ago. What is amazing about Jims Superlite Roadster is that he built it under $20k. That means engine trans running down the road — legally WOW. Anyone with Jims resourcefulness and time can arrive at this accomplishment. I also need to add his level of build experience, it is off the chart having built a Long EZ plane (which is finished and waiting to be flown;-), drag racer, dune buggies and an assortment of other motor related projects. Jims primary use for his SuperLite Roadster is bug collector. Bug Collector?? Well, Jim lives in small town in Texas were there are bugs, lots of flying bugs and every time he takes the Superlite Roadster out, bugs tend to hitch a free ride on the front of his car (and helmet). I am sure most people can understand the extra work it creates removing the free riders.
Another little know fact is that Jim has spent some time behind the wheels of several Ariel Atoms. His conclusion “I think the two cars drive very much the same and for the difference in cost the SLR is much much more fun. I didn’t have to mortgage the house.” The Ariel Atom has its place in history and on roads it is a force that leads the Exo Cars line up. I am glad Ariel Atom made it to the USA and can wait to drive one.