Lotus Elan

Modifyed Cars and the Law

PostPost by: Craig Elliott » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:41 pm

Brian - but that is the whole point, it's not a chassis it's well recognised as being a subframe so it doesn't matter if it's Spider or lotus (or a replacement lotus). You're still using an original lotus elan body and I guess you probably would get away with a 5 speed lotus/maxi gearbox as it was an original fitting and I suspect you're probably still using a Lotus twink. So you'd probably be on a fairly safe 8 points... C :wink:
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PostPost by: adigra » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:03 pm

I agree with Craig on this as well. I think these rules are, in a bit of a blanket approach, trying to eliminate cars like 1990's Rover Minis assuming identities of scrapped pre-73 models, which is clearly abusing the rules. Now, I've always been very curious about the Spyder dilemma, not so much the chassis alone, but the fact that the full Zetec conversion with a large number of entirely modern components, would seem to be walking a line. And please don't take that as any criticism, just an observation/curiosity on my part.

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PostPost by: andyelan » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:47 pm

Hi Everyone

I forgot to mention at the start of this thread a reference to an article in the October '09 issue of Octane magazine. Anyone interested should try and read this as I think it explains things really well.

As I see it however, things are really quite simple and the crux is that:-

"it is the owners responsibility to inform the DVLA of any fundamental changes to the vehicle"

(this by the way includes everything, not just items like chassis no and engine no and colour which appear in the log book). So while replacing a bodyshell with a new one (because of accident damage for example) does not fundamentally change the car, chopping a roof off a Plus 2 to make a convertable does, so in that case the DVLA should be informed. Now as far as points go it's the man from the DVLA who makes that dicision, we can discuss all we like about what is and is not original but in the end that really dosn't matter because it's not our call. Now I'm sure that in most cases if a conversion has been carried out responsibilly the DVLA man will simply give it the nod and everyone will be happy, the problem might come if some pen-pusher arrives and he sees 2.5" rear spring and non-standard steering wheels as modifiaction, then you're in trouble, however, my guess is that this would be very unlikly.

At all costs, however, if you have a highly modified and haven't informed the DVLA, don't get caught. It's a bit like building an extension to your house without planning permission, chances are you might well get away with it, however, if you do get caught, then you're in for serious trouble and expense. There's really nothing worse than a Pi**ed off government bureaucrat.

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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:36 pm

I guess I can breath freely again. The DVLA registration document shows my car as a DHC (not the original FHC) with the colour red/white (not the original tawny/white) – so I guess I would get 5 points.

I could put the original crap steering wheel on just to get another 2 points.

The block and head are not the original fit but are earlier than 1972, so I should get another point.

Home and dry, as the saying goes - with 8 points.

However, the engine has fuel injection – so I won’t sell the Dellortos or the 4 speed box just in case FI and the 5 speed are not acceptable.

A question comes to mind – I know two people who have rebuilt an MGB with a new Heritage body. Although it may be claimed that the panels are made from the original tooling – does a new body made from this tooling qualify as a genuine period body when it was assembled recently?
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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:19 am

Morning All,

FWIW, I think a bigger issue with modified cars is ensuring that your insurer is made aware of every deviation from standard spec' (as Brian mentioned above)

They only need half an excuse to wriggle out of paying should the worst happen...... :roll:

I don't think that restoration using newly manufactured or old parts is a problem providing the car remains basically unchanged. What they are trying to avoid is bitsa's or Kit cars running around on period registrations and thus avoiding all the new regulations ... remember these have often formed the basis of business ventures in the UK.
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PostPost by: paddy » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:15 am

bcmc33 wrote:A question comes to mind – I know two people who have rebuilt an MGB with a new Heritage body. Although it may be claimed that the panels are made from the original tooling – does a new body made from this tooling qualify as a genuine period body when it was assembled recently?


So, the regs again:

In order to retain the original registration mark CARS AND CAR-DERIVED VANS MUST USE:

• The original unmodified chassis or unaltered bodyshell (i.e. body and chassis as one unit – monocoque); or
• a new chassis or monocoque bodyshell of the same specification as the original supported by evidence from the dealer/manufacturer (e.g. receipt)

AND

two other major components from the original vehicle – see list below
• Suspension (front & back)
• Axles (both)
• Transmission
• Steering assembly
• Engine

So it depends on whether or not the Heritage shell is to the original spec, and they have some evidence to this effect.

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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:37 am

If I may here's some personal experience:-
In the early 70's I wrecked the Race prep'd 1500 MGA engine in my Lotus 7
A replacement standard MGA engine was bought & fitted & the DVLA informed of the new Engine number.
Shortly afterward I was visited by the DVLA Rep' who checked that the Engine was installed in the Car & that all of the numbers tallied.
With that knowledge I withheld the Zetec transplant in my Elan from DVLA until the Car was in GB.
Please note that the car was "off the Road" for all of that period.
DVLA duly entered the new Engine Number / Capacity Change into the Registration Document.
Job done, no questions, no visit.
Regarding insurance; I wrote a full description of the changes made when applying for Insurance.
The Broker was unable to offer me "Historic" insurance due to the changes.
I have asked the question before to other Zetec Owners about insurance but replies were limited.
In my opinion it is vital that your Insurer is aware of any Performance enhancing changes that you may make.
It's their "get out of Jail Card" if you withhold that Information & the "dreaded day" does come.

Note: You have it easy in GB with modifying cars.
In Germany the rules are much tighter & the Registration Document contains much more information. e.g. Tyre/Wheel sizes; Engine Capacity, Power & Torque!

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PostPost by: paddy » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:22 am

paddy wrote:In order to retain the original registration mark CARS AND CAR-DERIVED VANS MUST USE:
...


So just to clarify (for reference the guidance is here: http://www.dft.gov.uk/dvla/forms/~/medi ... inf26.ashx)

The points system that is being discussed applies to "Radically Altered Vehicles". You fall into this category if you don't fall into one of the more mainstream categories, eg

- reconstructed classics;
- vehicles that have been rebuilt using a mix of new/used parts;
- kit-built vehicles;
- kit conversions.

The spyder case might also fall into the category of Kit conversions, for which the rules are similar to the rules above for cars rebuilt using a mix of new/used parts, ie:

A vehicle will retain its donor registration mark if

- either the original unmodified chassis; or
- unaltered monocoque bodyshell

and

- two other major components from the donor vehicle are used.


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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:35 am

Well my abandoned "Banks" Europa project would have failed on that basis
The only original bits were the Doors, Steering & Glass screens but also the VIN Plate :)
I guess we shouldn't be shouting out too loud on this.
This is after all an "open Forum" :roll: .
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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:42 pm

D.J.Pelly wrote:I guess we shouldn't be shouting out too loud on this.

That thought went through my mind halfway down page one.

However, well done Paddy, the information in the DVLA link puts my mind at rest.
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:20 pm

bcmc33 wrote:
D.J.Pelly wrote:I guess we shouldn't be shouting out too loud on this.

That thought went through my mind halfway down page one.

However, well done Paddy, the information in the DVLA link puts my mind at rest.


Some of us need a bit more time :lol: :lol: :lol:

Having said that I'm having 2nd thoughts.
I've found this thread very informative but maybe I'm being a bit over cautious in my thinking.
What do you Guys think; is there perhaps a bit too much information on here?
Should we perhaps for peace of mind Zap our posts?
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PostPost by: paddy » Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:57 pm

Everything I've read is talking about these rules being applied:

- when applying for a registration mark; or
- if a car fails a Vehicle Identity Check (VIC).

If you already have a registration, and there has been no substantial modification since that registration was made, I haven't seen anything that says these rules would be applied retrospectively. Perhaps someone else has more insights.

Anyway, I'm not sure there's any reason to panic.

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