Lotus Elan

Chassis number

PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:52 pm

Happy new year (belatedly)

This is an extract from a Car&Classic article which explains the MOT exemption quite well, note that it’s second part allows for the use of a Spyder Chassis as the use of these was a common practice within 10 years of the end of Elan production.
The article is here https://www.classicandsportscar.com/new ... -classics# but there are other posts from the Federation of British Historic Vehicles Clubs elsewhere on the net that reflect and reinforce this.
I would advise you to have your car MOT’D each year for safety’s sake no matter how good a mechanic and engineer I know you to be, but using Chapmanesque and Adrian Newey type interpretation you could argue at your own risk that you comply with exemption, I frankly don’t think it would be worth it.

Earlier this year the Government revealed plans to exempt vehicles 40 years and older from the annual roadworthiness test from May 2018, with the exception of those that had been ‘substantially changed’ within the past 30 years.

Following consultation with the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs, new guidance has been released offering a degree of clarification – and it’s good news.

The Government’s definition of ‘substantial change’ has been laid out in detail below.

Vehicles of Historical Interest (VHI): Substantial Change Guidance

Most vehicles manufactured or first registered over 40 years ago will, as of 20 May 2018, be exempt from periodic testing unless they have been substantially changed.

A vehicle that has been substantially changed within the previous 30 years will have to be submitted for annual MoT testing. Whether a substantially changed vehicle requires re-registration is a separate process.

Keepers of VHIs exempt from periodic testing continue to be responsible for their vehicle’s roadworthiness. Keepers of vehicles over 40 years old can voluntarily submit vehicles for testing.

Keepers of VHIs claiming an exemption from the MoT test should make a declaration when renewing their vehicle tax. The responsibility to ensure the declared vehicle is a VHI and meets the criteria, rests with the vehicle keeper as part of their due diligence. If a vehicle keeper is not sure of the status of a vehicle, they can consult a marque or historic vehicles expert, a list of whom will be available on the website of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs.

If a vehicle keeper cannot determine that the vehicle has not been substantially changed, they should not claim an exemption from the MoT test.

The criteria for substantial change

A vehicle will be considered substantially changed if the technical characteristics of the main components have changed in the previous 30 years, unless the changes fall into specific categories. These main components for vehicles, other than motorcycles are:

Chassis (replacements of the same pattern as the original are not considered a substantial change) or Monocoque bodyshell including any sub-frames (replacements of the same pattern as the original are not considered a substantial change);

Axles and running gear – alteration of the type and or method of suspension or steering constitutes a substantial change;

Engine – alternative cubic capacities of the same basic engine and alternative original equipment engines are not considered a substantial change. If the number of cylinders in an engine is different from the original, it is likely to be, but not necessarily, the case that the current engine is not alternative equipment.

The following are considered acceptable (not substantial) changes if they fall into these specific categories:

• changes that are made to preserve a vehicle, which in all cases must be when original type parts are no longer reasonably available;

• changes of a type, that can be demonstrated to have been made when vehicles of the type were in production or in general use (within ten years of the end of production);

• in respect of axles and running gear changes made to improve efficiency, safety or environmental performance;

• in respect of vehicles that have been commercial vehicles, changes which can be demonstrated were being made when they were used commercially.

In addition if a vehicle (including a motorcycle):

• has been issued with a registration number with a ‘Q’ prefix; or

• is a kit car assembled from components from different makes and model of vehicle; or

• is a reconstructed classic vehicle as defined by DVLA guidance; or

• is a kit conversion, where a kit of new parts is added to an existing vehicle, or old parts are added to a kit of a manufactured body, chassis or monocoque bodyshell changing the general appearance of the vehicle;

it will be considered to have been substantially changed and will not be exempt from MOT testing.

However if any of the four above types of vehicle is taxed as an “historic vehicle” and has not been modified during the previous 30 years, it can be considered as a VHI.

This guidance is only intended to determine the testing position of a substantially changed vehicle, not its registration.

Kindest regards

Alan Thomas
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