The Nemesis line consists of two cars- the original single-seater Nemesis, and the Nemesis Tandem (a two-seater, inline car like the famous Mario Andretti CART car).
They both share one thing in common, which is that they are designed to be track cars, first and foremost. But it turns out that a lot of people want to run them on the street.
So how hard is that? It turns out that the answer depends a lot on where you register them, as states vary tremendously in their requirements. The best place to get started in the process of understanding what your state needs is to check the SEMA SAN site for a detailed understanding of what every US state needs.
Generally, you will need to add tail and brake lights, headlights, turn signals, a license plate bracket and light at a minimum. And that may be all you need, if your state makes it easy.
Getting a title
The first hurdle to overcome is that the Nemesis cars don’t come with an MSO, or Manufacturers Statement of Origin (and don’t ask, we won’t sell a Nemesis with one). This is normally the document that your states licensing authority needs to issue a title. That means that you will have to go through your states process for obtaining a title for a car without a prior title or MSO.
In some states like Virginia, you can simply apply for an “Assigned Vehicle Identification Number”. Let's use this state as an example.
You’ll typically need to provide proof that you have a legitimate ownership interest for every major part, which shouldn’t be a problem if you got a receipt for everything you have on the car. In Virginia, you’ll needs receipts for the chassis, body engine, transmission and “front end assembly”. You’ll also need to provide a detailed notarized statement stating how the vehicle was constructed, along with multiple pictures of the completed car.
All that and a $10 title fee, a $125 inspection fee, 3% motor vehicle sales and use tax, and a $5 plate fee, and you have all you need to apply for a title for the Nemesis.
Following in the Virginia example, your car will be titled as the year the title request was submitted. So you’ll have a 2014 “SPCN” (or "specially constructed" vehicle), with a state-assigned VIN.
Getting the car inspected
Once you have a VIN, you need to get the car inspected. In Virginia, that means complying with the state’s laws and administrative codes that define what equipment is permitted and required on a vehicle. In this state a State Police officer actually visits your house, and inspects the car. If it passes, he affixes the state-supplied VIN plate.
Again, in our Virginia example, you’ll need regular tail and stop lamps that are DOT-marked (look for the DOT” mark on the lens or body of the light), as well as a high-mounted third brake light. Amusingly, you don’t need turn signals if the car is constructed to allow the car to use hand and arm signals (which of course the Nemesis cars are, since they are open cars). You’ll need to wire in a brake light switch so the brake lights you installed will operate when the pedal is pressed.
Apparently windshield wipers are only required if you have a windshield, but any modern vehicle in Virginia is required to have one. (and your car will be registered as the current year, so you need one). You’ll have to come up with a windshield, and it has to be safety glass. This is probably the only real problem to be solved. To do that, you’d need to make up a frame, probably from aluminum channel, and find a piece of safety glass to cut down to size. Note that the rules don’t require it to be any height or width, so you have a lot of flexibility here. One source of possible solutions might be to check out other kit car forums to see what they are doing about the issue.
Virginia requires side mirrors, and require that you can see at least 200’ behind the car on both sides, but there are no minimum size or type requirements. You’ll also need seat belts, and the regs are vague here as to whether the normal racing belts are legal or not.
Once your car passes inspection, you can apply for plates just like a "regular" car.
You’ll also need to keep the emissions control equipment that came on the engine. In this example state, those counties that require emissions testing (generally, the rural counties don’t) check for clean cars by hooking a sensor to the cars OBD2 port (you kept that, right?). If your car’s computer says you are clean, you are good to go.
That’s all you need to register the Nemesis in our Virginia example. Your state may be harder, or easier, but the process is similar in every state- apply for VIN, maybe get an inspection, get plates, and drive!
Remember, Superlite Cars makes no warranty about your ability to register the Nemesis in your state- you have to take the responsibility and initiative to figure that out on your own.
But once you’ve built the car, and gotten it registered, you will have not only an incredible track car, but also one that will be an incredible street car!