Lotus Elan

If the chassis can be changed, what about the body?

PostPost by: dunclentdr » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:10 am

I have been reflecting on all of the previous posts about changing the chassis on the Elan, particularly that is is in effect a 'consumable item' and can be replaced without any need to notify the DVLA nor to amend the VIN.

The implication of this is that the vehicle ID is tied to the body rather than chassis.

Given that many Elans have now had body restorations which mean that the body ID number bonded into the engine bay is no longer visible, does this mean that, practically, there are few barriers to any owners changing a body too?

David
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:27 am

In practice the ID is tied to the unit number on the plate and what ever provenance that number has -- everything else is replaceable including the plate itself. The hardest thing to replace is the door window frames :lol:

The body dymo label molded numbers do not line up with the unit numbers in most cases and appear to have not been recorded anywhere in any case

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PostPost by: elj221c » Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:54 pm

dunclentdr wrote:I have been reflecting on all of the previous posts about changing the [ chassis ] subframe! on the Elan, particularly that is is in effect a 'consumable item' and can be replaced without any need to notify the DVLA nor to amend the VIN.

The implication of this is that the vehicle ID is tied to the body rather than chassis.[ Yep, but the 'vin' on the body plate not the unit number ]

Given that many Elans have now had body restorations which mean that the [ body ID number ] unit number bonded into the engine bay is no longer visible,( only applies to Bourne bodied cars? Later ones had the unit number written on by hand with a 'crayon') does this mean that, practically, there are few barriers to any owners changing a body too?

David


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PostPost by: AdrianSi » Sun Jan 10, 2016 1:12 pm

It's really just a quirk of the car being a Lotus. Being as the Body number is very often different to the VIN and chassis number, and in some cases not even Lotus themselves have a record of Body to VIN number allocations. Matching number cars were no more than a fluke of when the vehicle was being assembled vs number of bodyshells that had been produced at the given time. Lotus themselves told me that additional bodies were created as replacement parts at the same time as production bodyshells. Numbers can be out by a factor of 50 or so depending on production rate at the time.

There is no reason to really have an issue with the DVLA, especially now that the VIC test (Vehicle identity check) has been abolished. The MOT serves this purpose now.

Your best bet is to obtain a Certificate from Lotus Cars UK.
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PostPost by: dunclentdr » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:47 pm

...thanks for thoughts and contributions - I have seen a number of cars advertised for sale (and assume there are many more which are not!) which have had replacement bodies at some point and which display their original registration numbers - looks like custom and practice is that as long as it has the original VIN plate on board all is OK!!
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