Lotus Elan

Q plates

PostPost by: daverubberduck » Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:56 pm

I have just read this shocking sentence in the latest UK club magazine:
"There is at least one Elan, an S4 FHC out there, an original car, which has now been given a Q plate simply because they (the DVLA) were notified that a Spyder chassis had been put under the car, nor will they reverse the decision."

I know this all blew up 3 years ago and there was a discussion about it then on this forum. Since then nothing has been written on here about it (that I can find). What is the state of play now? Has it all blown over? Or are all the Spyder modified cars in danger of being forced onto a Q plate at some time in the future?

I ask because it may affect decisions I make on a future project.
daverubberduck
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 165
Joined: 03 Aug 2009
Location: Essex, UK

PostPost by: tedtaylor » Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:46 pm

what is a "Q" plate? for us foreigners... :)
TED
"Driving a Lotus is a triumph of bravery over intelligence." Stirling Moss
"TaylorMadeClassicCars" on WWW and Facebook
tedtaylor
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 644
Joined: 09 Dec 2012
Location: South Jersey, USA

PostPost by: daverubberduck » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:13 pm

this explains it better than I could
https://www.unicominsurance.com/insuran ... -q-plates/
daverubberduck
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 165
Joined: 03 Aug 2009
Location: Essex, UK

PostPost by: Spyder fan » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:16 pm

tedtaylor wrote:what is a "Q" plate? for us foreigners... :)


A “Q Registration plate” is generally given to a UK vehicle of “indeterminate age or origin”. A uk vehicle is appointed a registration number when first built, this number normally stays with car throughout its lifespan irrespective of whether it has changed ownership. Prior to 1964 UK cars would have a registration plate that would read something like RML118 the first 3 letters were apportioned to an area of the country, later cars would read something like RML118A the “A” would denote the year (1964) “B” 1965 etc the first 3 letters would still be apportioned to an area of the country, the suffix letter Q was never used as it was deemed to be too close to the letter O or numeral 0. I think that the “Q” registration plates first appeared in the 1980’s and have been the subject of controversy and fear amongst owners ever since.

There are quite a few topics and discussions on here regarding how to avoid falling foul of the rules and regulations with regards to a chassis/frame change. In short the chassis/frame of a Lotus Elan is a consumable/replaceable item and that the identity of the vehicle is apportioned to the body/monocoque, therefore no need to inform the vehicle licensing authorities when the chassis/frame is changed.

The above is all from memory, hope it’s all clear as mud :mrgreen:
Kindest regards

Alan Thomas
User avatar
Spyder fan
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2448
Joined: 11 Jun 2009
Location: Kent country & Sussex seaside UK

PostPost by: Grizzly » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:39 pm

Spyder fan wrote:
tedtaylor wrote:There are quite a few topics and discussions on here regarding how to avoid falling foul of the rules and regulations with regards to a chassis/frame change. In short the chassis/frame of a Lotus Elan is a consumable/replaceable item and that the identity of the vehicle is apportioned to the body/monocoque, therefore no need to inform the vehicle licensing authorities when the chassis/frame is changed.

This is the problem, it is wrong..... No chassis is ever disposable (in the eyes of the DVLA) it has a number stamped on it from the factory and the Lotus replacement has LR stamped into it so in their eyes a Spyder chassis is a major structural modification, they have always looked at you a bit funny with any car you swap 1/3rd of the numbered major components (Engine/Body/Chassis) so it's not really a shock some thing like this has happened.

I know of two cars from another manufacture that were built from numbers matching Engine,Trans, Front and rear axles that the DVLA had no problem reissued original registration documents for..... Those cars had four of the five original numbers so was quite easy to do, if you only have three numbered components to start with it makes it very difficult to argue your position for changing one for anything but period parts.

In my opinion not knowing the details of whats gone on i suspect who ever dealt with the DVLA have not played the game and probably given them too much information about whats been done.
Last edited by Grizzly on Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Chris
User avatar
Grizzly
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1909
Joined: 13 Jun 2010
Location: Cheshire/UK

PostPost by: Spyder fan » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:47 pm

Grizzly wrote:
Spyder fan wrote:
tedtaylor wrote:There are quite a few topics and discussions on here regarding how to avoid falling foul of the rules and regulations with regards to a chassis/frame change. In short the chassis/frame of a Lotus Elan is a consumable/replaceable item and that the identity of the vehicle is apportioned to the body/monocoque, therefore no need to inform the vehicle licensing authorities when the chassis/frame is changed.

This is the problem, it is wrong..... No chassis is ever disposable (in the eyes of the DVLA) it has a number stamped on it from the factory and the Lotus replacement has LR stamped into it so in their eyes a Spyder chassis is a modification, they have always looked at you a bit funny with any car you swap 1/3rd of the numbered major components (Engine/Body/Chassis) so it's not really a shock some thing like this has happened.

I know of two cars from another manufacture that were built from numbers matching Engine,Trans, Front and rear axles that the DVLA had no problem reissued original registration documents for.

In my opinion not knowing the details of whats gone on i suspect who ever dealt with the DVLA have not played the game and probably gave them too much information about whats been done.


Totally incorrect..... the Lotus Elan “chassis” is a replaceable “subframe”... absolutely no need to notify if it is replaced. Each car was given a “unit number” by Lotus, it is this number that appears on the V5 registration and not the number stamped on the chassis/frame for instance 50/1703 is the unit number for my Elan +2, this number didn’t appear on the frame
Last edited by Spyder fan on Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Kindest regards

Alan Thomas
User avatar
Spyder fan
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2448
Joined: 11 Jun 2009
Location: Kent country & Sussex seaside UK

PostPost by: Grizzly » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:52 pm

Says who? Lotus? sorry but from my many years of experience dealing with Insurance company's and now working in the Classics restoration field none of the Engine-Body-Chassis that importantly have numbers are disposable..... If they were the DVLA wouldn't have a problem with it being changed leading to all this debate.


FYI Sub-frames rarely numbered which is the issue here. Some one wanted to change the chassis/subframe Number with the DVLA, Body numbers and chassis numbers can be the same right until you fit a different chassis with a different number and all Lotus Chassis and replacements have numbers.

Don't take my word for it talk to the DVLA..... If it's numbered it's an issue.
Last edited by Grizzly on Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Chris
User avatar
Grizzly
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1909
Joined: 13 Jun 2010
Location: Cheshire/UK

PostPost by: Spyder fan » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:08 pm

Chris,
I disagree, you are mistaken. I’m sure that others will back me up and yes that includes Lotus.
Kindest regards

Alan Thomas
User avatar
Spyder fan
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2448
Joined: 11 Jun 2009
Location: Kent country & Sussex seaside UK

PostPost by: Grizzly » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:14 pm

Are you arguing the Q plate incident hasn't happened then? i don't have to argue the position the chassis/subframe has a number stamped on it from the factory, when you replace the chassis for a Lotus replacement the new number has LR at the beginning and you SHOULD declare it to the DVLA..... Now you can fit a new chassis or engine or body and not tell them thats some thing totally different. Look at your Registration documents and it says Chassis/Frame number and not Body or unit number, from my experience with other marques the Body, Unit, trans, axle numbers etc aren't usually on the Reg Doc which is why it's a huge risk and takes allot of research/digging.

The problem here is you think all the numbers have to be different, they dont!! Lotus have screwed you over by stamping the unit number into the chassis then telling you it's disposable to cover the fact it has design flaws.

If you don't believe me declare to the DVLA you have replaced your Chassis/Frame for an after market item and see what happens, you have obviously not told them or you wouldn't be arguing.
Chris
User avatar
Grizzly
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1909
Joined: 13 Jun 2010
Location: Cheshire/UK

PostPost by: elanfan1 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:44 pm

My understanding was that Club Lotus we’re appointed by the DVLA as their experts on such matters years ago. Probably back in the days of Graham Arnold it was agreed that the elan chassis was infact a subframe (because it was a replaceable element). How has this policy changed, indeed has this policy changed?
Steve

Silence is Guildern; Duct Tape is Silver
User avatar
elanfan1
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1812
Joined: 13 Jan 2004
Location: Cardiff in Welsh Wales

PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:58 pm

My understanding is that AlanThomas of Club Lotus maintains the same understanding as Graham Arnold and has successfully argued with DVLA it is a subframe.

I’ve dug out my V5 - it has a field ‘E’ for “Vin/Chassis/Frame No.”. That is populated with the unit number which is also on the build plate in the car.

I still have the original V5 when the car was first registered. Back then, the field was called “Chassis/Frame No.”, and was still populated with the Unit Number, so must have been original practice back in 1972.

There is no need to drill down to any lower detail.

Once the Vin number is populated with the unit number, that’s it, it’s not changing......
Richard
'72 Sprint
richardcox_lotus
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1065
Joined: 11 Jul 2004
Location: Kent

PostPost by: Spyder fan » Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:22 pm

This topic is worth a read lotus-elan-f19/dvla-outcome-t26403.html#p174580

Dear all,
Just contact Andy Graham if you have any issues with the DVLA regarding chassis numbers if you have inadvertently reported a change without needing to.
Kindest regards

Alan Thomas
User avatar
Spyder fan
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2448
Joined: 11 Jun 2009
Location: Kent country & Sussex seaside UK

PostPost by: Grizzly » Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:24 pm

The DVLA are a law unto them self, the fact is some one tried to change his Chassis number from the factory unit number stamped into the chassis to either a Lotus replacement or Spyder chassis number and the DVLA have followed their standard protocol for any car that has this done.

I don't doubt club lotus etc had a major problem back in the day, if every car out there with a new chassis gets put on a Q imagine what that does to the value (let alone Lotus would probably get sued)...... but the fact remains if you contact the dvla to request the chassis number to be changed thats what they will do. Form past experience they only usually put the Frame number on the Reg Docs but the body number will be on file, why do you think changing the body also runs a huge risk of getting q'd if you declare it.

Fact is it's not a problem because people don't declare it, i'm sure that was what the DVLA told who ever discussed it with them. Declare it and thats a different story. I'd be interested to see what happens when this Q plate incident gets to court (assuming he doesn't take the hit on every ones behalf)
Chris
User avatar
Grizzly
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1909
Joined: 13 Jun 2010
Location: Cheshire/UK

PostPost by: billwill » Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:30 pm

elanfan1 wrote:My understanding was that Club Lotus we’re appointed by the DVLA as their experts on such matters years ago. Probably back in the days of Graham Arnold it was agreed that the elan chassis was in fact a subframe (because it was a replaceable element). How has this policy changed, indeed has this policy changed?



This is my understanding too and I went through the whole rigmarole back in 1978. i,e. I told the DVLA/C that the chassis number was now LR xxxxx and they wanted to issue a Q plate, but I eventually got them to agree to it being inspected by one of their high MOT inspectors (or something like that) unfortunately the one for my district was on holiday and in the end I transported my S3 coupe on a trailer to Greenwich High Street for its inspection at their office. The inspectors hummed an ahhhed and loved it and declared that it did not need a Q plate and so I was able to get a full tax disc later that day with the original registration number.
Bill Williams

36/6725 S3 Coupe OGU108E Yellow over Black.
billwill
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 4468
Joined: 19 Apr 2008
Location: London UK

PostPost by: Grizzly » Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:34 pm

It's the if in doubt just don't tell them loophole ;).......... i will be following the Q plate incident closely....... the 'nor will they reverse the decision' doesn't sound good, is that before or after Andy Graham has intervened? i bet he will have to be very careful.

Just remember major structure thats 'Replaceable' don't have numbers as a rule which is why it's impossible for the DVLA to enforce, Lotus Chassis on the other hand i guess is a bit of a tight rope, run the risk of getting stung with the penalty for non disclosure or go on a Q Plate. That said if the documents between Lotus and the DVLA are available you might win if it goes to court or shaft it for everyone if it becomes a precedent.
Chris
User avatar
Grizzly
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1909
Joined: 13 Jun 2010
Location: Cheshire/UK
Next

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests