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Coming to Cali!

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  • Coming to Cali!

    Hi there - I'm a Caterham owner from the UK and decided earlier this year to make the move to California after 27 years in Blighty. I have sorted out a job in SoCal (La Jolla), which I should be starting in Summer 2007, and am very excited about the move! I have had several exchanges with Brad, and others I know who have lived in the area, and that cemented it for me.

    The only issue is that I would desperately like to bring my Caterham with me - it has been an all-consuming 2-year rebuild/conversion project which has been on the road for a couple of months now and which I could not bear to part with (selling it and buying one in the US is just not an option, as it's too unique). So I am now starting to research the process/costs/problems involved with shipping it over and how long I could keep it there for - I will probably start a fresh thread on this topic!

    My 7 was built in 1989 with a 1600cc 16v twincam Toyota 4A-GE engine and I converted it to Yamaha R1 998cc 20v bike-engine power, along with a complete chassis blast/recoat/reskin at the excellent Arch Motors and loads of other upgrades & mods to keep the weight down, improve reliability of the live axle, and make it more fun to drive (eg. electronic paddle-shift, flatshift). Weighs in at 385kg with no fuel and the engine makes around 155 BHP - for me, it is just intoxicating to drive, as I found out on my very first trackday (see piccie below). Some piccies HERE.

    So I hope to meet up with you guys next year :)


  • #2
    Originally posted by Ferrino
    My 7 was built in 1989 with a 1600cc 16v twincam Toyota 4A-GE engine and I converted it to Yamaha R1 998cc 20v bike-engine power, along with a complete chassis blast/recoat/reskin at the excellent Arch Motors and loads of other upgrades & mods to keep the weight down, improve reliability of the live axle, and make it more fun to drive (eg. electronic paddle-shift, flatshift). Weighs in at 385kg with no fuel and the engine makes around 155 BHP - for me, it is just intoxicating to drive, as I found out on my very first trackday (see piccie below).
    Unusual a Toyota engine in a Seven!
    How did you get to 385kg ? A Superlight is 500kg (mine was 515kg), and the Rover K engine is very light (I'm not doubting, just curious ;) ).

    Comment


    • #3
      Ferrino, getting this car registered here may be very tough. But maybe you can do some import tricks to get it into the SB100 program....Just search for "SB100" on this site and you will find more than you ever wanted to know.

      If you just want to use it on the track, no problem anyway.

      Comment


      • #4
        importing a seven

        Hi Ferrino,

        Welcome! I agree with Gert, it could be tough to get it registered here in the USA. Are you moving here for good or for a short term assignment? It should be relativly easy to get a short term ok to drive it here (similar to what the USA2005 tour folks had to do last year). I would think that a full on import would be much more tricky.

        The SB100 rules might work for you, especially if you can get to the California Department of Motor Vehicles on January 2nd!
        Tom "ELV15" Jones
        http://PIErats.com

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        • #5
          There was a bloke in AZ a couple years ago that brought his 7 in with a one year exemption from the feds. After the year was up he had to export it or have it crushed. If you attempt to register the car under SB100 it may be possible to slide it thru in CA, BUT, the feds may still want proof that the car was exported or crushed. Be very careful on this point because the feds are not tolerant of those who get over on them.

          A key question is, "How long do you expect to be in the USA"? If the answer is one year, the exemption should not be difficult to get. After that, perhaps the car can become a trailer queen for the duration of your stay. You will find plenty of chances to trailer the 7 to events.

          Looks like cool 7 and is remarkably light!!!! Can't wait to see it around La Jolla and the local mountains!!

          When shall we expect the 7 (and you & your Bride)?

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi, thanks for the replies guys!

            How did you get to 385kg ?
            My engine & gearbox weighs around 65 kg, so that's always a good start (the chap I bought it from just walked it into the garage)! Plus the live axle rear suspension is significantly lighter than the De Dion. No weather gear, no reverse mech, alloy dampers, hubs, brakes, GRP seats etc.

            A key question is, "How long do you expect to be in the USA"?
            To be honest, I'm really not sure! I am currently thinking of staying for 2 years. So let's say that I could get a 1-year exemption - are you saying that after that year was up, if I then wanted to try to SB100 it in CA, then I would first have to export it and then re-import it?

            Even if I could only keep it road-legal for a year, I would be happy just doing this and then deciding what to do - either export back to UK, or keep it for track-only use (which would be cool, although I doubt I would have the funds to buy trailer and tow-car!).

            Will do some reading up on the SB100.....

            Comment


            • #7
              :confused: probably easiest to dissable and ship it as a kit. reassembe and get the sb100 certification rather than going for an assembled car.
              2002 SV zetec/sierra; yellow over green

              Comment


              • #8
                That is likely the best route for you. A local 7 owner journeyed to the UK, bought an RHD car, knocked it down, shipped it, and assembled it here. I think that you could do that and legitimately claim it as a kit car assmbled here. You will need receipts for the kit and the drivetrain. You will also need a Certificate of Origin, which Caterham can provide. Try to buy a similar bike drivetrain from a wrecked cycle over here. The USA receipt may add credibility to the build process. No SB100 number will be available until the first business day of january; when you will need to be in line @ DMV about 7 AM to be more certain to get a #. This year the first 420 of the allotted 500 went on the first day. The next morning all of the remaining numbers were taken. If you don't get one of the 500 you will have the opportunity to wait another year to register your car. All #s would have gine on the first day, but the sheer volume of requests overwhelmed the DMVs systems. It is worth dragging yourself out of bed early for the sequence #. It is essential that you have ALL of the right peices of paper to get the #. You will also need blinkers and headlights for an inspection.

                Prior to getting it registered we can help you trailer the car to events.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you go for SB100 registration you will need a bill of sale for the engine and transmissing from someone other than the car itself. So, sell your engine/tranny to a friend who will sell it back to you or ship it to you here in Calif with a bill of sale. Might work if you do it discretely.

                  What wheels do you have on the car? Like them!

                  Steve

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi guys - been a while! I vaguely remember typing a pretty long reply to this and losing it, forgetting about it, blah blah blah.... Basically, it is looking like I am going to be coming to SoCal without my bike-engined Caterham unfortunately. The cost of shipping and the problems of registration are just too great, so I think it will be hibernating in the UK for the time being. I will then learn a bit more when I am in SoCal and perhaps bring it over at a later date.....

                    Still hope to meet some of you guys (hoping to arrive in September), especially at some our your track/race events! Thanks for all your help :)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Please let me know when you are coming to La Jolla and I will help get you set up. You will have plenty of chances to do 7 related stuff with us.

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                      • #12
                        Ferrino: After looking over your piccies (again) I think you should ship the car as a roller and build it here under SB100. It looks too nice to park for a couple of years. And it was made for CA!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Brad, thanks for your comments & kind offer of help with moving to LJ :)

                          I think I tried to send you a PM a few months back, but perhaps it didn't get through as I've had issues with the messaging system before. Could you please drop me a line at my e-mail address? I have started to consider where I'd like to live in/near LJ so it would great to get some feedback on areas, even at this early stage!

                          E-mail address: aivetac (at) gmail.com

                          Thankyou!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi all - quick update! After a bit of a delay, I am finally moving to San Diego at the end of the month. Once I have settled in, I will think about shipping the 7 over from the UK again. It would really pain me to leave it laid up here for 2-3 years after investing so much time and $$$ to build the thing! I think i would try to go down the SB100 route if I did manage to bring it over though... Hope to meet some of you guys real soon! Tony.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Welcome to CA.

                              Your newly acquired house should have burned down by now....

                              Tell us when you get here and we can get together for a local BBQ and Caterham gazing.

                              /Magnus F.

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