Lotus Elan

VIN/Number Plate Replacement for Elan S1

PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:32 am

I know this is a delicate subject but wanted to hear what others have to say on the matter of replacing the original VIN/Number Plate.

My original VIN plate was so worn off the New Jersey Department of Auto Registration wouldn't accept the tracing I made for the Elan's serial number. Luckily I had the original registration of the car when it was owned by a previous owner when he lived in NJ and they had to accept that as identification of the cars VIN.

I have sourced a replica VIN plate and was going to inscribe the serial number with a metal scribing tool. The question is, the engine that came with the car was not the original engine and the engine currently in the car is not original. DO I change the engine serial number to what is now in the car or leave the number as original ?

DSC06596.jpg and
VIN Plate Original and Replica

Your comments would be appreciated.
05 Elise - Back where I started
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
07 Exige S - Wicked Road/Track Car
07 Exige S - Fast Road/Track Car
06 Elise - Track pack
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PostPost by: trw99 » Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:36 am

If I were you I'd leave the engine no blank. Many cars left the factory without the engine no on the VIN so it's absence should not be a big deal.

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PostPost by: Mazzini » Thu Jul 30, 2015 12:29 pm

I agree with Tim.

If you're working on the chassis (new or refurbished) why not stamp or scribe the old chassis number somewhere visible - next to the dynamo for example.
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PostPost by: Fred Talmadge » Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:55 pm

My first Elan was registered as U5 instead of US because the hand scribed S looked like a 5 Just thought I'd mention it to confuse the matter of replacement ID plates a bit more.
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:59 pm

I think you ought to do it in the way you feel comfortable explaining it to others. If you don't really ever intend to show the car in anyway then it really doesn't matter, you're the only one looking at it all the time. What certainly is "correct" is to accurately duplicate the original plate. If you do make the plate unoriginal but to your liking, when it comes to selling the car you'll have the old Vin plate that somebody else could use if they wanted to try to ever track down the old engine. If you leave the engine number blank then they would get to decide later. You might also get to Andy Graham at the Lotus archives and see what records they have because that will be available in the future to anybody and they would know what the correct engine is for the car(if that's in the archives). The other thing contacting Andy might do is tell you if the engine that is in the car is correct for that time period. So you might at least feel better if you do scribe in the current engine # that that would've been at least a reasonably available engine at the time and make it at least closer to "correct".Gordon Sauer
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