Lotus Elan

Q plates

PostPost by: 69S4 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:59 pm

Having now been thoroughly spooked at the prospect of the man from the ministry deciding that my 'subframe' change back in the mid 80's now warrants a numberplate change (I always seem to get the ultra orthodox one whenever I contact them) I had a look in the V5 to see what it said. Maybe I had told them back then and forgot - although opinion in the land of yesteryear was that it wasn't necessary.

The V5 records the engine number and the 'Vin/Chassis/Frame No'. In that section it gives the body number - specifically 369563. Even if I told them there was another number stamped on the 'subframe' there's nowhere to put it on the V5. I suppose you could add it on the end of the unit number but the DVLA seem quite happy with what's there at the moment. Can I sleep easy?

If anyone needs to avail themselves of the totting up system what exactly constitutes axles for the Elan? It's an obvious component when I look under my Land Rover but the Elan ones seem to be only vestigial stubs by comparison. Are they really identity critical components along with a few pressed steel wishbones and a shock absorber for the suspension system?
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PostPost by: Lotus14S2 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:41 pm

Boy, I’m sure glad I live in the USA, at least in California. When I got my Elan registered here, all they cared about was the chassis plate If you have a car with a replacement engine and chassis, they pretty much shrug it off; as long as it is not an attempt for defeat the emissions rules.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:29 am

If i read it correctly those with Lotus factory unmodified replacements need not worry, you can inform the DVLA of the change and they will be fine about it..... I guess you could replace both the Chassis/Subframe/Frame and Body if they were Lotus replacement items in theory.





My question would be, if you fit a space frame chassis and you sell your car on the original documents (without it being declared to the DVLA) where do you stand legally? are you leaving your self open for future come back?



It's an eye opener for sure.
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:30 pm

Chris,
Chill. You are swimming against the tide. Plus you are wrong. :twisted:
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PostPost by: pcarew » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:43 pm

Did people see this post regarding Spyder chassis:

lotus-elan-f19/dvla-outcome-t26403.html

Apparently, Andy Graham at Lotus helped get a spyder chassis accepted by DVLA!
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:33 am

pcarew wrote:Did people see this post regarding Spyder chassis:

lotus-elan-f19/dvla-outcome-t26403.html

Apparently, Andy Graham at Lotus helped get a spyder chassis accepted by DVLA!


That isn't quite so surprising when you realise that the Lotus Historian is interested in preserving what the company would call "the heritage cars" and their identities. Although a Spyder chassis was used and not a Lotus chassis it should be remembered that Lotus did not make the chassis and that a company called Gartrac made them and still continues to do so for Miles Wilkins who distributes them to the known suspects, so no Lotus involvement or interest other than Andy Graham taking the long view that a car kept on the road is one car that hasn't been unnecessarily stripped for parts, also that the Spyder chassis is recognised as a suitable replacement with the same dimensions, bolt pattern and suspension pick up points. Common sense reigns here.

To answer an earlier question on this topic.
My S4 was driven/pushed into a garage in the early 1980's awaiting it's owner having the time to restore it, as with so many cars, that never happened and I purchased the car as a project in 2010, you can read all about it at length including the hate mail on here just search for Supersprint. Totally in the clear and in full view of the world that car was modified and rebuilt including a 2:0 duratec, Spyder chassis, conversion to DHC, colour change, you name I had it. All documented and presented to DVLA with receipts for engine, chassis and all items that require reporting along with an engineers report, photographs, a letter from Club Lotus and a very helpful letter from Andy Graham to explain the vin number which had been incorrectly entered missing a few numbers from the green log book onto the early Swansea system when the log books were superseded by the V5 registration document. I retained the registration mark as it had not been reallocated and the car is correctly insured.

I believe that official clarification is required and that we should ask Club Lotus (The DVLA recognise them) to issue a clear statement so that we can clear up this nonsense.
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:10 am

The clubs are now nearly always bypassed Alan in the new regime to tidy up the historic vs modified, the genuine cars that have been restored vs the cars created from an identity and the valid imports vs the stolen / cloned cars. Virtually every car requiring registration is now inspected by a DVLA inspector, and the process to get a car registered is anything around 6 months. Whilst your logic is perfectly sound, it wouldn't pass the current check list mentality with DVLA.

Rather than check with Club Lotus,who now have very little say in what goes with the DVLA, why not write up the story and ask the DVLA their thoughts? That would clear it up for sure. But I wouldn't do it if I was you!
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:23 am

Mark,
In that case my request for information should go to Spyder to gain their current understanding and experience. Not all cars that they convert are supplied by a customer, they have a number of cars / Bodyshells on SORN or pre-sorn and it is their responsibility to re-register or update the details before handing over to a customer. They continue to convert cars and are extremely busy.

I am not aware of vehicle licensing, registration or MOT rules being applied retrospectively, my vehicles were registered and correctly recorded under the rules current when they were converted.

The current rules for registering a modified car do not appear to have changed significantly since and I'm certain if doing the same again I would be successful in registering either of my cars.

People swapping a dangerous rusted chassis for a new item of the same type have nothing to fear.
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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:01 am

Spyder fan wrote:I am not aware of vehicle licensing, registration or MOT rules being applied retrospectively

There are cases of vehicles that had been issued age related registrations but have subsequently had them rescinded & been re-issued with a Q plate, but it doesn't happen often & only under extreme circumstances, for instance a blatant attempt to fake a vehicle to gain historic registration status.

Spyder fan wrote:The current rules for registering a modified car do not appear to have changed significantly since and I'm certain if doing the same again I would be successful in registering either of my cars.

I'm afraid the rules have very much changed. I am involved with machine inspections for the Norton owners club on behalf of the DVLA & see it first hand. As little as 5 years ago, you could take a Norton featherbed frame, stick a Triumph or some other manufacture of your choices engine in it, bolt on a whole load of after market bits & pieces like ally tanks, clip ons, rear sets etc & still quite happily register it as a Norton with either it's original registration or an age related if you didn't have paperwork for the frame. Despite our best efforts, that is very much not the case any more. It now has to qualify on the points system, & only having the original frame does not score anywhere near enough points to keep a registration, or even qualify for an age related. It would be given a Q plate without any argument even if all the parts used were period correct for the age of the frame. Of course, if you already have a V5c, you can do whatever you want & if you don't tell em, ............ :)

Spyder fan wrote:People swapping a dangerous rusted chassis for a new item of the same type have nothing to fear.

Quite true, as long as the replacement bears a striking resemblance to the original. I believe A Syder stressed skin replacement chassis would present no problems, as itis a virtual copy of the original Lotus item. However, a Spyder space frame, especially one with modified rear suspension &/or modified to take a Zetec would not qualify as it is not to original spec. If you tried to register your car now, & the whole truth was told, you would without doubt get a Q plate.

Regards, Tim
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:28 am

Thanks Tim & Mark & Chris and everyone else interested in this topic.

I will go away now and seek clarification for our cars from those who are in a position to give clear and concise guidance that we can all trust and rely upon. As with all things of this type it may take some time to get anything useful or indeed authoritative.

If I hit a brick wall then no doubt my non standard roll cage and footwell intrusion safety bars will give me some protection :D
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:34 am

The Federation of Historic Vehicle Clubs offers guidance on this issue. Since they are a lobbying group acting on behalf of classic car owners, they are obliged to keep bang up to date with legislation.

See in particular Q10 on their page here: http://www.fbhvc.co.uk/legislation-and- ... -and-dvsa/

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PostPost by: jimj » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:24 pm

"I will go away now and seek clarification for our cars". I wouldn`t advise you take the lid off that can of worms. Think of other Zetec owners. It`s not just your fingers that will get burnt.......maybe, I`d say probably.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:00 pm

jimj wrote:"I will go away now and seek clarification for our cars". I wouldn`t advise you take the lid off that can of worms. Think of other Zetec owners. It`s not just your fingers that will get burnt.......maybe, I`d say probably.
Jim

But what about otherwise unmodified Elans with a Spyder chassis? Do we all just stick our heads in the sand or our fingers in our ears and say la la la?

Frontline Developments with their LE50 MGB Gt complete with 200bhp + mazda +6 speed + seam welded modified body shell and heavily uprated suspension

Eagle cars with their ever so bonkers re-engineered E types

Jaguar modernising E types and making them run on elec trickery

All the above and many others will have to stop?
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:02 pm

elansprint71 wrote:Chris,
Chill. You are swimming against the tide. Plus you are wrong. :twisted:

Swimming against the tide i'll give you but the more i look into it more i'm happy i have Lotus chassis's under both cars.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:10 pm

Spyder fan wrote:
jimj wrote:"I will go away now and seek clarification for our cars". I wouldn`t advise you take the lid off that can of worms. Think of other Zetec owners. It`s not just your fingers that will get burnt.......maybe, I`d say probably.
Jim

But what about otherwise unmodified Elans with a Spyder chassis? Do we all just stick our heads in the sand or our fingers in our ears and say la la la?

Frontline Developments with their LE50 MGB Gt complete with 200bhp + mazda +6 speed + seam welded modified body shell and heavily uprated suspension

Eagle cars with their ever so bonkers re-engineered E types

Jaguar modernising E types and making them run on elec trickery

All the above and many others will have to stop?

I wouldn't like to get into all that tbh, i know Eagle for example put their fresh built Speedster, low drag etc on 18 plates (they then put private plates on to make them look period), they are new cars built from new parts (Note there is no Jaguar badges anywhere on them and the registration documents say Eagle speedster instead of Jaguar E-Type). It's very much like the Chris Neil Sprint back in the day not being called a Lotus.

I also know the Electric E-type is a restored s1, the whole idea was to fit an Electric kit to an otherwise stock car, they may well have lost some browny points for the engine but the key Body and sub-frames are stock. As far as i'm aware fitting a Zetec is a dam sight easier to make legit with the dvla than radically different body or Subframe/Chassis if you read how they explain the process.

Thing is i can't think of many cars that have an aftermarket Space frame chassis fitted and allowed to stay on it's original reg (If declared) i have seen a few land rovers have this issue and a customers TVR is currently having this problem. It would be good if there was a legal solution for this....... Be very careful how you tread though.
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