Lotus Elan

Chassis number

PostPost by: street » Fri Dec 31, 2021 7:10 am

Happy new year, I’m in the process of Authenticate check in NZ, apparently the chassis number is stamped on chassis near engine mount, passenger side. Can anyone verify this or otherwise. Many thanks
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PostPost by: bitsobrits » Fri Dec 31, 2021 1:52 pm

Look on the flat upper surface of the chassis, just in front on the engine mount, both sides (I've seen it on either side, depending on the car). It's usually not stamped very deeply, so can be hard to see. A bit of light abrasion can help.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Fri Dec 31, 2021 1:52 pm

street wrote:Happy new year, I’m in the process of Authenticate check in NZ, apparently the chassis number is stamped on chassis near engine mount, passenger side. Can anyone verify this or otherwise. Many thanks


It's on the intake side near the engine mount. like:
IMG_5295.JPG and


That's the Oil pump in the picture for reference...

Happy New Year!
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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Dec 31, 2021 2:09 pm

Just remember that as far as the UK DVLA are concerned this is a sub-frame number, not a chassis-number. I don't know what rules apply in NZ.


The vehicle identification is the number stamped or scribed onto the ID plate in the Engine compartment, not the 'chassis-number'.

For further details search this site for DVLA topics
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Fri Dec 31, 2021 11:37 pm

billwill wrote:Just remember that as far as the UK DVLA are concerned this is a sub-frame number, not a chassis-number. I don't know what rules apply in NZ.


The vehicle identification is the number stamped or scribed onto the ID plate in the Engine compartment, not the 'chassis-number'.

For further details search this site for DVLA topics

Which is a myth....... It doesn't matter if it's called a Subframe or a Chassis as long as you change for a 'as per Lotus designed part', like for like!! unless the Lotus-designed part if not available and you can prove it...... if you swap a stock 'subframe' for a space frame that's where the problems arise and that's why people will have you believe swapping to genuine LR chassis will get you a Q plate if declared in the UK (it won't, in fact I know two Elans with LR numbers on the registration documents..... just don't try that with a Spyder tube chassis though).

But this has all been done to death...... Your Engine Number should be either on the back of the head or by the Inlet engine mount on the block, Chassis number as above should be near the Inlet engine mount and the Body number should be embossed into the grp by the start solenoid (usually written in black marker on all the panels too, under trim) they should all match the reference plate and registration document. Numbers matching Lotus's are starting to get recognized now and some have seen quite surprising values.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Dec 31, 2021 11:55 pm

As with all things Lotus you cannot be to definitive. :D

i.e.

you will probably find a unit number stamped on the top of the chassis / sub frame rail that matches the number scratched into the body plate ..... but you may not, even on an original chassis

After around 1967 or 68 Lotus stopped putting engine numbers on the back of the cylinder head and replaced it with with a cylinder head code number ... usually but not always, There is no record of how these codes matched engine numbers that we stamped into the block ... usually

Body numbers which differ from the unit number usually appear as a moulded in dymo tape near the solenoid and may be repeated in marker on the inside of matching panels such as door ... sometimes. There is no record of body numbers versus unit numbers

Working with registration authorities who are not familiar with the variations possible in a 1960's Lotus can sometimes be challenging and requires persistence and maybe innovation.

A "matching numbers" Elan is a myth IMHO as the records don't exist to match up all these numbers in any definitive way and its all to easy to fake any of the numbers if you wanted to. Its just hype from people trying to flog a car at an inflated price for no good reason. In the end if you can market and sell a car for the best price based on this concept then more power to you I guess :lol:

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PostPost by: billwill » Sat Jan 01, 2022 2:29 pm

Grizzly wrote:
billwill wrote:Just remember that as far as the UK DVLA are concerned this is a sub-frame number, not a chassis-number. I don't know what rules apply in NZ.


The vehicle identification is the number stamped or scribed onto the ID plate in the Engine compartment, not the 'chassis-number'.

For further details search this site for DVLA topics

Which is a myth....... It doesn't matter if it's called a Subframe or a Chassis as long as you change for a 'as per Lotus designed part', like for like!! unless the Lotus-designed part if not available and you can prove it...... if you swap a stock 'subframe' for a space frame that's where the problems arise and that's why people will have you believe swapping to genuine LR chassis will get you a Q plate if declared in the UK (it won't, in fact I know two Elans with LR numbers on the registration documents..... just don't try that with a Spyder tube chassis though).

But this has all been done to death...... Your Engine Number should be either on the back of the head or by the Inlet engine mount on the block, Chassis number as above should be near the Inlet engine mount and the Body number should be embossed into the grp by the start solenoid (usually written in black marker on all the panels too, under trim) they should all match the reference plate and registration document. Numbers matching Lotus's are starting to get recognized now and some have seen quite surprising values.


Ah, Griizzly is off on his favourite spiel again, it's not a Myth. What he describes might well be the current situation, but I personally experienced nearly having my Elan registration changed to a Q number when I declared a new chassis number to the DVLA (Or DVLC as it might have been then) back in 1978. I had fitted a new bog-standard Lotus replacement chassis/subframe. Yes my DVLA record shows an LR number NOW, but I had to fight to preserve my Elan being assigned a Q number. This involved renting a Land-Rover+trailer+driver and putting the (fully functional) Elan on the trailer and taking it to a street office in Greenwich for inspection to decide whether it was genuine or if it was a bitsa or a kit-car. More details of the frustrating event on topic: viewtopic.php?f=36&t=20719

Graham Arnold formerly of Lotus Cars company and latterly chairman of Club Lotus was the person who back then got the DVLA (or DVLC) to accept that the 'chassis' of a Lotus Elan is a sub-frame and should be treated as such for registration purposes. Without his past intervention the current DVLA- acceptance of an Elan sub-frame change might never have happened.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sat Jan 01, 2022 3:43 pm

In 1978!! Times have moved on...... you think i'm talking rubbish but i'm only repeating what i was told by a DVLA rep in 2019, the guy in question said there was no deal in place between Graham Arnold and the DVLA and upto now no one at the club has provided any sort of proof...... So believe what you will.

Have you personally seen anything official in writing about the Dvla - Arnold deal?? everyone i asked in the club gave me a different version of events....... then get very defensive over it, the DVLA openly say a direct replacement part wouldn't be a problem (might need an engineer to report to confirm though) he said there might have been something in place while LR chassis were out of production to alow space frames but that would have been void as soon as the oe manufacturer started selling them again.

And with that i'm done....... if you want to bicker about it feel free but i would suggest actually looking into it and not taking some rumor as fact.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sat Jan 01, 2022 4:45 pm

rgh0 wrote:A "matching numbers" Elan is a myth IMHO as the records don't exist to match up all these numbers in any definitive way and its all to easy to fake any of the numbers if you wanted to. Its just hype from people trying to flog a car at an inflated price for no good reason. In the end if you can market and sell a car for the best price based on this concept then more power to you I guess :lol:

cheers
Rohan

I know it's crazy....... i've always found the matching numbers thing a bit mad but the fact is people love it and especially collectors will pay a premium for it.... it's been growing for a number of years now in the more expensive Classics and now Elans are hitting £40k+ we are seeing it more and more. In the Uk we have seen a few Elans sold as 'numbers matching' through auctions for a surprising amount of money recently. It's the same reason people love writing to Mr Arnold for a certificate of authenticity.

What can i tell you, if someone is daft enough to want a 'numbers matching' classic and pay whatever it takes for it then dealers will push the prices up.
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PostPost by: friedy » Sat Jan 01, 2022 5:44 pm

Back in those days, (1979 or so) DVLA must have varied the rules depending which office you went to. I registered a kit car in 1983, it was made of parts from lots of different vehicles, and I had it registered as a new A reg and not a Q plate. They knew where all the parts came from and I had to pay new car tax, although I had a lot of receipts as free of charge which kept the charge down.
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sat Jan 01, 2022 5:53 pm

" I personally experienced nearly having my Elan registration changed to a Q number when I declared a new chassis number to the DVLA (Or DVLC as it might have been then) back in 1978. I had fitted a new bog-standard Lotus replacement chassis/subframe. Yes my DVLA record shows an LR number NOW, but I had to fight to preserve my Elan being assigned a Q number. This involved renting a Land-Rover+trailer+driver and putting the (fully functional) Elan on the trailer and taking it to a street office in Greenwich for inspection to decide whether it was genuine or if it was a bitsa or a kit-car. More details of the frustrating event on topic: viewtopic.php?f=36&t=20719"

I don't doubt you for a minute, but i am surprised to hear that the DVLC were handing out Q plates in the 70's. I know that Q plates have been around prior, but they weren't used more often on military or specialist vehicles? I thought that they became commonly used after 1983 when the registration system was revamped. Prior to that vehicles imported into the UK or cars rebuilt from write offs were registered with the current years age related letter. So a 1965 S2 written off in 1971 and rebuilt that year would get a 1971 registration.

I imagine in that pre-computer era no single unified databases existed for insurance write offs.
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PostPost by: billwill » Sun Jan 02, 2022 4:41 pm

So as far as Grizzly is concerned it never happened to him, therefore it never happened! Pah.

Of course it wasn't a formal 'deal' no civil servant would be so daft.

As far as I recall the classification of the Lotus metalwork as a sub-frame not a chassis with mention of the DVLA/C was published as a note by Graham Arnold in the Club Lotus newsletter a long time ago, same as the agreement that the black appearance of the engine compartment behind the Number-Plate letters on the front grill were equivalent to the legal requirement for a black background behind the silver letters & digits of a 'normal' registration number-plate.
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PostPost by: alanr » Sun Jan 02, 2022 5:07 pm

billwill wrote:
As far as I recall the classification of the Lotus metalwork as a sub-frame not a chassis with mention of the DVLA/C was published as a note by Graham Arnold in the Club Lotus newsletter a long time ago


It would be really useful if a copy of that note in the Club Lotus newsletter could be tracked down wouldn't it. I am sure they must have archives of back copies?...All we really need to to know is around what year it was that it appeared?

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PostPost by: EPC 394J » Mon Jan 03, 2022 1:18 am

I would have thought a hypothetical note in some old magazine, even by Graham Arnold, would be utterly meaningless? If anyone wants clarification it’s the DVLA who should be approached? Nobody else’s opinion matters as nobody else issues/confirms registrations?

Though how what is below a Lotus Elan could be described as a ‘subframe’ probably requires a new definition of the word. Even the manufacturer calls it the chassis.

Has anyone clarified this issue with the authorities recently?
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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Jan 03, 2022 1:14 pm

EPC 394J wrote:
Has anyone clarified this issue with the authorities recently?



It isn't necessary Grizzly has described the current situation quite well.
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