Lotus Elan

Elan chassis 36/6810

PostPost by: tvacc » Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:22 am

Rob, Peter and others,
I have been out to the car and the chassis ID plate does say 36/6810. It does not however match the number on the frame. And, Rob, you do have the deceased initials right. I would prefer that document and his name be kept private as I don't see any reason to divulge it. I will also ask the original poster to delete the email I sent him and do not send the pictures or documents to anyone else. I just don't see the upside of divulging a deceased persons name.

So we know that someone, I don't know who, changed the plate on this car to 6810. I don't know why someone did it. My problem is that the car is no longer really able to be sold to the original poster as it is now. I don't have a correct registration that matches the correct chassis number. I doubt he would be able to get it into the UK the way it is.
The difficulty today to get this changed is just crazy with the all that is going on. It takes over a month to get an appointment with the NYS DMV.

So I will just take the car off the market and live with it the way it is. I will contact Andy Graham with the correct chassis number and see what comes up. I wish I had never bought the car. To get a VIN changed on a car is just crazy hard here in NYS. I will never sell the car without telling this story. Since I am not trying to trick anyone, nor trying to pass this car off as anything other than a Elan Coupe with nothing special I don't see a problem with it. If someone does have a problem with it, let me know.

Once this is all settled, I will pass the warranty document on to Rob as that is where it belongs.

Thank you to everyone for all the help in getting this sorted. Does not end up very well for me but that is the way it is.
Tony Vaccaro
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99 Elise190, 91 M100 Elan, 74 Europa, 72 Europa JPS #15, 68 Elan Coupe RHD
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PostPost by: mark030358 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:42 am

To quote.... "Thank you to everyone for all the help in getting this sorted. Does not end up very well for me but that is the way it is"

I have been reading this thread with interest, mainly down to the history on the car. But all I can say is Tony, what an absolutely top man you are, totally honest and above board, all credit to you.

cheers
Mark
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:46 am

Tony, that is an admirable way to proceed and I feel for you.

I was going to suggest that maybe the car was reshelled at some point (After all it happened with Jim Clark’s NUR997 which when discovered was an S1 with an S4 shell ), but there is evidence of the previous S3 shell in articles, so that’s obviously still around. I hope you uncover some more evidence as to your cars’ body ID, etc so an identity for it can be properly established.

Regards
Richard
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PostPost by: cadwell » Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:56 am

Tony
Thank you for this. I am replying to you privately on email.
Peter
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PostPost by: cadwell » Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:12 am

Rob
Congratulations on an amazing piece of detective work, I think your scenario is just about right.
However, Tony has now said the car has the chassis plate number 36/6810 so it would be interesting to know how that came about. Tony has not given us the number from the chassis, but as you say Rob, I am sure that will be for a normal S4.
I am emailing you with copies of the Warranty and reg, so that you have the info to look at before Tony sends you the originals.
Peter
Last edited by cadwell on Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:48 am

Thank you Tony and well done.

Of course, it is not unknown for VIN plates to get ‘re-positioned’, shall we say, during the course of a restoration.

I do not feel all is lost for the S4 however. Leaving aside the difficulties outlined above with regard to re-registering a car in the US, about which I know nothing, it appears likely that we shall be able to correctly identify the S4 and thus give it the correct Unit No. If it’s still got the original engine fitted that will confirm the identity. And clearly we know a good deal about 6810 such that we can recognise what has happened here.

In saying that my intention is not to cast aspersions about whoever fitted the plate to the S4, it’s likely to have been a genuine mistake, I’m sure.

Tony, once Andy has confirmed the S4 identity it would have more value here in the U.K., as I’m sure you are aware. So if you are able to re-register over time then all will turn out well in the end.

Tim
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PostPost by: Craven » Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:27 am

How many cars have matching chassis stamped number the same as the Unit Number/ Chassis number on the VIN plate?
Misleading information here, Numbers found under door cards etc are Body Numbers not Unit number.
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PostPost by: Thornts » Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:19 am

Hi one and all.
That has been an interesting 48 hours! I've gone from interest to suspicion to mild panic to joy. 1st thing to do is reiterate what so many have said; Tony has proven once again to be an upstanding and outstanding gentleman of the highest calibre. We could have got into a 'Chassis Plate shootout' but he did his checking and took the results with better than good grace. It's an unbelievable tale but I will dine out for many a year (you have been warned, don't invite me to dinner) on how the original sales paperwork found its way back to my car. I can't thank Tony enough and indeed Peter for realising there was a potential anomaly and putting it out there. I feel confident that Tony will be able to establish the correct identity for his car and it will again be perfectly saleable.
Taking stock and thinking things through, the chances of the paperwork ever surfacing must have been infinitesimally small and for it to land with someone who is not only a key part of the Lotus and Elan community but is prepared to 'do the right thing' make it even more remarkable.
Tony and I will tie up the details between us when the time is right but in the meantime again I tip my hat to Tony and the whole lotuselan.net community.
Though I never felt the need to state this earlier as I was confident things would clarify themselves without my forcing the issue, if anyone has any lingering doubts I can confirm that my Elan has a 100% genuine chassis plate that looks as though it has never been off the car and the chassis itself is also correctly stamped as per the earlier posts.
Now I just need to get Lotus to honour the warranty...
Best wishes
Rob
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:08 pm

Thornts wrote: I can confirm that my Elan has a 100% genuine chassis plate that looks as though it has never been off the car and the chassis itself is also correctly stamped as per the earlier posts.

on that specific topic a photo would promptly clear up the issue: to this day I have not seen a single repro plate that would pass a few seconds of scrutiny...
S4SE 36/8198
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PostPost by: tvacc » Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:18 pm

nmauduit wrote:
Thornts wrote: I can confirm that my Elan has a 100% genuine chassis plate that looks as though it has never been off the car and the chassis itself is also correctly stamped as per the earlier posts.

on that specific topic a photo would promptly clear up the issue: to this day I have not seen a single repro plate that would pass a few seconds of scrutiny...

As one of the prime people in this little saga, I have to say there is no "issue" at all. All has been settled as far as I am concerned. Case closed.
Tony Vaccaro
http://www.lotusowners.com
LOONY (Lotus Owners of New York)
Drive Fast Take Chances
71 Spyder Elan, ElanGTS, 93 Caterham, 05 Elise,
99 Elise190, 91 M100 Elan, 74 Europa, 72 Europa JPS #15, 68 Elan Coupe RHD
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PostPost by: Thornts » Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:01 pm

Hi nmauduit
Yes, it would though I'm a little reluctant to make it widely available on the web where it could be accessed by anyone who might want to clone a car. How many times have we seen cars for sale with photos hijacked from other listings or just innocent 'pride of ownership' postings. If people tell me I'm being overly cautious I'll give it some serious consideration. Could be if I don't I'm inviting doubt anyway so that's my mistake.
Cheers
Rob
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PostPost by: trw99 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:18 pm

[quote="Craven"]How many cars have matching chassis stamped number the same as the Unit Number/ Chassis number on the VIN plate?
Misleading information here, Numbers found under door cards etc are Body Numbers not Unit number.[/quote]

In fact, Body Nos generally ceased being used on body parts around 1969/70, thereafter Unit Nos were used.

Unit Nos and Chassis Nos were synchronised early on in production making Chassis Nos redundant, Unit Nos always being the key identifier throughout production. When they left the factory Elan VIN plates were stamped with the Unit No, reflecting that stamped on the chassis rail. What happened thereafter was out of Lotus’ hands!

Tim
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PostPost by: Craven » Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:37 pm

My remarks are relevant to a 1967 S3.
Although reproduction VIN plates have been around for years a genuine 50 year old plate with all the ‘patina’ correct service details for year and the very characteristic hand engraved details almost to the extent for handwriting identification would take a very determined fraudster to recreate.
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:16 pm

Thornts wrote:Hi nmauduit
Yes, it would though I'm a little reluctant to make it widely available on the web where it could be accessed by anyone who might want to clone a car. How many times have we seen cars for sale with photos hijacked from other listings or just innocent 'pride of ownership' postings. If people tell me I'm being overly cautious I'll give it some serious consideration. Could be if I don't I'm inviting doubt anyway so that's my mistake.
Cheers
Rob


in this case maybe you should get all references to the VIN in question removed from this thread... though in this specific case I doubt that an ownership dispute would be hard to settle at traceability has been well documented.

ps: I was more thinking of an S4 that would be somehow bearing an earlier plate of a VIN already in use - no need to scrutinize the whole plate to spot repros, usually the font can be wrong, the alignments, or even the text (on the best ones a clue can be the punctuation signs)...
S4SE 36/8198
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:17 pm

Craven wrote:My remarks are relevant to a 1967 S3.
Although reproduction VIN plates have been around for years a genuine 50 year old plate with all the ‘patina’ correct service details for year and the very characteristic hand engraved details almost to the extent for handwriting identification would take a very determined fraudster to recreate.


The original plates were acid etched, the replicas that I have seen have all been silk screen printed.
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