Lotus Elan


PostPost by: ttaunton » Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:07 pm

First MOT after 5 year rebuild. All OK, but he put the Spyder chassis number on the MOT, rather than the car number (45/XXXX) on the plate that Lotus put on the passenger footwell and in the original V5 document. I didn't think it would be a problem, but when I sent off to DVLA to get the old V5 re-issued as a V5C, they have come back querying the different numbers. I have read all the old posts on this topic, there's lots of advice, but seldom is the final outcome mentioned. I know I need to tread carefully, what's my best course of action?

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PostPost by: LotusArchives » Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:42 pm

Technically the Spyder chassis number is simply the supplier serial number, and when the chassis was replaced I believe the correct Lotus VIN should have been re-stamped into the chassis to avoid this situation. I think it is changes in MoT has meant that checking the chassis number is flushing out these cars as I am coming across it more often now.

Send me a e-mail at work [email protected] with proof of ownership/vehicle ID and I have a letter I drafted for the last customer with this situation that I can send.

As I believe (may be wrong) the chassis should 'technically' have the VIN number on the chassis and so you may need to get this done (the authourities will be in a better position to clarify this for you).
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PostPost by: Jason1 » Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:55 pm

I still have mine Andy. Thanks

I plan to get my MOT with the Spyder number which is on the V5 and then if the car needs to be inspected by the DVLA at least I will be able to drive it there rather than have to trailer it.

I will be very interested how easy (or not) you find it Tony. If its an easy paper exercise (my fingers are crossed for you) then I will get my paperwork in quick.

Stamping the old number on the front cross-member should not be too difficult.

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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:46 pm

It was Club Lotus (in the Graham Arnold era I believe) that came to an understanding with the DVLA that a chassis on an Elan was in fact a sub frame. So they should be taking the number from the usual chassis plate and not off the chassis itself.

Should be relatively simple to sort out with a telephone call to DVLA surely?

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PostPost by: billwill » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:02 am

Discrepancies in the DVLA records can come back and bite you many years afterwards.

When the DVLA inaugurated their feature about checking chassis numbers, my MOT garage filled in the number from the plate not the V5 or vice versa & DVLA queried it. Eventually I had to send the following letter to sort it out.

15 January 2006

Vehicle Customer Services
SA99 1ZZ

Dear Ms XXXXX,

Re: OGU108E

I understand how this discrepancy occurred and can explain for the benefit of DVLA records.

I have owned this vehicle, Lotus Elan Coupe reg OGU108E unit number 6725 since 3rd March 1969, now 36 years.

In 1979 the subframe broke during the severe winter and I fitted a new subframe number LR1123. I notified this to DVLA as a change of chassis number. This unleashed a whole raft of bureaucracy, as apparently a chassis number change then required fresh registration with a Q-reg number. Well to cut a very long story short, this situation culminated in me taking the vehicle on a trailer to the main MOT inspectors office in the high street in Greenwich. There the inspector examined the vehicle and decreed that the newly fitted metalwork was legally a subframe, not a chassis, (presumably because the fibre-glass body unit is much stronger than the thin metal subframe). Consequently a new registration was not required and the vehicle retains its original registration number.

As I wished to go on tour in Ireland within days, after much effort I persuaded the inspector to give me a copy of the report that was to be sent away, presumably to DVLA. I took the copy to County Hall and renewed the tax; they kept the second copy of the report, so I do not have a copy to show you. Apparently on these reports reaching DVLA the records for this vehicle were not reset to show the chassis number as the original unit number 36/6725 as on the plate under the bonnet. The subframe number LR1123 has been on the records ever since and were transcribed to your computer system when the paper records were converted to computer records. This came to the fore in the recent MOT test.

To recap: the VIN/Chassis/Frame-number for this vehicle should be reset in your computer records to the original 36/6725 as shown on the ID plate.

Yours sincerely

William H.L.Williams, B.Sc(Engineering).
Bill Williams

36/6725 S3 Coupe OGU108E Yellow over Black.
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PostPost by: 661 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:21 pm

I remember when I sent my V5 back 20y ago with the new Sypder number on the form , the DVLA wanted to 'Q' plate it.
I merely sent back a second without the change and they forgot the first one.
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:37 pm

At my recent +2 rebuild, I sorted out the chassis plate/metal sub-assembly issue with the DVLA without any traumas. I got the document mentioned previously from Lotus and sent a letter to the DVLA with a request to re-instate the correct plate/build number. A PO had informed the DVLA of a spider frame change, with the Spyder number. All has now been returned to normal. Not sure if it made any difference, but the engine number matched the factory records. Try and be reasonable, even if it seems like they are being picky - there are people trying to re-register all sorts of stuff as something it isn't - witness the sale of Locort chassis plates on ebay as the basis of a rebuild!

The timescale was around 6 months and I got a name and direct dial telephone number of the case officer so discuss things.

Hope this helps.

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PostPost by: AHM » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:44 pm

Wait!!! Don't dig yourself a hole!

What have the DVLA asked for? What is wrong? What do you need to clarify for them?

So the MOT man has made a mistake and you need to correct it.

I suspect that the DVLA have "identified a discrepancy..." and are asking you to check and confirm what is on the MOT, What is on the V5, and what is on the car.

So check and confirm + send a picture of the VIN plate with the detail highlighted, and the DVLA will send you a new MOT with the correct details.

That is what I did.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:52 am

There's some sound advice above, but I would take up Andy Graham's kind offer so that the number stamped on the chassis is fully explained and furnish the DVLA with his letter and a photo of your VIN plate to back it up.

I had all sorts of issues re-registering my S4, but one letter from Andy and a few photo's solved everything.
Kindest regards

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