Lotus Elan

Roadworthiness testing for vehicles of historic interest

PostPost by: frogeyesimon » Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:03 am

For those in the UK, the following could (or perhaps should) be of interest:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultat ... c-interest

There has been a lot of discussion regarding these proposals on one of the sprite & midget fora that I frequent. There is a consultation, to which the public is invited to respond before early November, regarding roadworthiness testing, exemptions for vehicles of certain ages and even proposed milage restrictions on VHIs (Vehicles of Historic Interest) into which category our cars will fall.
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PostPost by: TroonSprint » Mon Oct 10, 2016 2:01 pm

I agree with Simon that this is a very important matter and all classic car owners should respond. The proposal is that 40+ year old cars should be exempt from the MOT test, BUT they must be to original specification, and will probably be limited to 1000 miles a year.

Is that what you want? My MGB will fail on the originality criteria handsomely, and so will some of your Lotus. I think ALL cars should be tested with no age exemptions, but that there could be a less stringent test for older cars, focussing on safety related items, but not being expected to come up to modern emission standards for example. That would be Option 2 in the document - the government favours Option 3.

They are hung up originality. If a car is "original" it must be safe because no manufacturer would have made an unsafe car. Rather than be fixated on "originality, they should look at safety. It doesn't matter how modified a car is as long as the modifications have been done properly without comprimising safety In my opinion the mods I have on my car have actually made it safer, but it's far from "original". I can see endless arguments between the DfT and car owners over whether a vehicle is "original", and it's so unnecessary.

You only have until 2nd November to respond. In their usual sneaky fashion the Government have not publicised this consultation widely, and when one of the MG folk contacted various classic car periodicals none of them knew of it.

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PostPost by: rcraven » Mon Oct 10, 2016 2:48 pm

I generally agree with Mike. I don't want my cars to be exempt from the safety aspects of the present MOT. I have an old car which is already exempt but I still take it for an MOT and expect it to pass. I don't think the Government's preferred option is a good idea for most of us or the public, but it may just make things easier for the authorities and allow them to boast about cutting red tape.
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PostPost by: jimj » Mon Oct 10, 2016 2:51 pm

"BUT they must be to original specification," Unless I`m misreading something, it doesn`t say that at all. It refers to cars that have significant change to their specification not gaining the exemption, which seems fair enough. They`re using the old definition; original spec. chassis, engine, suspension etc. as accumulating points to define the car`s age and gain the exemption. There`s no suggestion that, say, a Cobra replica with some new, some old, parts, perhaps none actually original, would be illegal. Only that it would continue to need an MOT.
I can`t see it affecting Lotus or MG classic cars, even if they`re slightly non-original, and even if you did still need an MOT, that`s no bad thing in my view.
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PostPost by: frogeyesimon » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:17 pm

I think that the significant thing for us, as Mike points out, is that if the preferred option (3) is implemented it could pave the way for the introduction of mileage restrictions being placed on all exempt vehicles. That definitely would affect us Lotus owners.

The consultation provides us (anyone) with the opportunity to express our views. One of the questions that the consultation asks pertains to whether or not you agree that a mileage limitation would be a good thing. In my response I have indicated that I don't !!!!
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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:23 pm

In my opinion the UK should be saying F-off to any new EU directives; we are leaving the EU in about 2.5 years so it is not worth implementing anything the EU asks for in that time span.

The proposals above rely heavily on the rate of MOT failures, versus age of vehicle, but the figures do not specify how many of those failures were trivial and fixed in time for a second MOT test. Only failures which put the vehicle permanently off road should be in those statistics and I bet they show a totally different picture. The whole basis for this proposed extension of exemption is wonky and not based on appropriate targets.

Only the really old classics with pathetic brakes and pathetic steering really need any excemption from MOT and it is not a mileage limit that they need but a speed limit and for some they might need to bring back the law that a man with a flag must walk in front of them.
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PostPost by: TroonSprint » Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:00 pm

JIm says that it shouldn't affect Lotus and MG cars. My MGB has the original body (5 points), Neither front or back suspension is original (0 points), the front "axle" is original, the rear isn't as it is independent (1 point), the transmission is not original as it has a Rover 5-speed 'box and a Ford diff (0 points), the steering is non-original in that it is power assisted (0 points), the engine is a Rover V8 (0 points). So I only make 6 points - not enough, and yet this is a car that has been through seven MOT's without any advisories and has provided enjoyable regular transport. Why should it suddenly be declared unfit?

As far as Elans go I would have thought that a Spyder chassis would chop of most if not all of the 5 points, then what if you have used modern narrower springs and adjustable dampers? How about a Zetec engine? Or a 5-speed gearbox? I think you could be struggling to make the necessary 8 points.

This is what Option 3 says. VHI is a Vehicle of Historic Interest. Classic car to you and me.

"Exempt 40 year old ?VHIs? from annual testing and introduce a ?VHI? certification process to ensure a vehicle has not been substantially changed (could be based on self-certification or independent inspection or a combination). This is the preferred option."

They anticipate using the DfT 8 point plan to check on "substantial changes". I think they have it all wrong and are following the European obsession with "originality" rather than focussing on what really matters - is the car roadworthy and safe to use.

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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:02 pm

Should I continue to build up my 1928 Bentley chassis with 27 litre Liberty engine? :twisted:
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PostPost by: SimonH » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:36 am

TroonSprint wrote:As far as Elans go I would have thought that a Spyder chassis would chop of most if not all of the 5 points, then what if you have used modern narrower springs and adjustable dampers? How about a Zetec engine? Or a 5-speed gearbox? I think you could be struggling to make the necessary 8 points.


The Spyder frame has already been accepted as a like for like, pattern part if you want, for a Lotus frame by dvla so they shouldn't take that into account.They accepted the vin is attached to the body not the frame so the 5 points should be an original body shell for a lotus.
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PostPost by: jimj » Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:37 am

Mike, the point I`m making is that, in your MG for example, you would still need to have an MOT. Why would that matter?
In the case of Spyder cars with virtually no original mechanical bits, just the Elan body, they wouldn`t be treated as "historic", which they aren`t, so that seems fair.
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PostPost by: AHM » Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:04 am

An example of silly perhaps even dangerous EU legislation.

The MOT test is a roadworthiness test ie safety. I would be interested to know how having original parts makes a vehicle so safe that it is exempt. Surely it is about condition rather than originality.

Just look at the failure rates in 1.5.
25% of the vehicles under consideration currently fail an MOT test. And it is only a basic test.

As the Minister says, "Britain's roads are amongst the safest" one of the first measurable improvements to safety was the introduction of the MOT test.

We have already adopted the lowest common denominator with the EU changes to the MOT. Now they want to fiddle some more.
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PostPost by: Elanconvert » Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:31 am

I am a bit concerned that some the statistics and assumptions are flawed.....e.g. more vehicles in the 1978 - 87 age group are involved in accidents than the 1960-78 group' .....isn't that just because there are a lot more of them being driven?.

also to illustrate the randomness of some figures.....there are a couple of MOT testers near me... one will not take pre-bookings, so if you take your car to him and the MOT cert. has expired you. are illegal.
he will also not do any repairs or replace any light bulbs etc. so his fail rate would probably be high.
HOWEVER when I took the elan to him he drooled over it saying he used to own one, ,gave it a perfunctory inspection [didn't even put it up on a ramp] and passed it.

another MOT guy near me is very different....will take pre-bookings and is quite thorough even with the elan..
BUT he will bend over backwards to pass a car at the first attempt.....i.e. repair/replace lights, tighten exhaust clamps, etc.. even on stuff which would only be an advisory [and doesn't usually charge].......so his failure rate will be very low....

I am leaning towards a basic safety test for classic vedhicles.....mainly because I don't have a ramp, pit or post lift to regularly inspect the underside.........and a second [unbiased] opinion is often beneficial.

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PostPost by: AHM » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:15 am

billwill wrote:In my opinion the UK should be saying F-off to any new EU directives

Yes, and the first one I would repeal would be the previous changes to the MOT and the second the requirement for Daylight Running lamps.

SimonH wrote:The Spyder frame has already been accepted as a like for like, pattern part if you want, for a Lotus frame by dvla
Rather Lotus successfully argued that it was a replaceable sub-frame so it is not part of the points equation.

jimj wrote:Mike, the point I`m making is that, in your MG for example, you would still need to have an MOT. Why would that matter?
In the case of Spyder cars with virtually no original mechanical bits, just the Elan body, they wouldn`t be treated as "historic", which they aren't, so that seems fair.
Jim

By logical extension then it should have a 'Q' Plate and be subject to road tax.

Fred,
The stats given are % MOT failures rather than accidents. By your assertion the stats. are underestimating the true failure rate.
Elanconvert wrote:I am leaning towards a basic safety test for classic vehicles.....mainly because I don't have a ramp, pit or post lift to regularly inspect the underside.........and a second [unbiased] opinion is often beneficial.
The MOT is a basic test, so perhaps we should stick with that for all vehicles as it was before the EU interfered.
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PostPost by: billwill » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:19 am

These proposals don't reduce red tape they increase it.

And how on earth, without an MOT to look at the odometer once a year, could they possibly impose a mileage limit.

If they want to reduce red tape one simple method would be to change all this exemption crap to: "If a vehicle is travelling at more than 25 mph on a public highway and was registered more than 3 years ago it must have a valid MOT certificate"
Last edited by billwill on Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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