Lotus Elan

Chassis number

PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:00 pm

rgh0 wrote:
englishmaninwales wrote:If it looks like a chassis, barks like a chassis, then it probably is a chassis. In my view the Lotus Elan chassis is just that and not a subframe (regardless of any club articles/DVLA discussions half a century ago). Also the body certainly isn’t a monocoque.


Malcolm



Arnold clearly and successfully at the time time argued otherwise. Any other opinion now is not relevant. Its only the opinion of the DVLA currently that matters. Has anyone tested it recently ? Otherwise all this is just idle internet speculation :) of which there is not shortage :lol:

cheers
Rohan


Indeed, Rohan, I’m saying it is the current DVLA opinion and rules that matters, not my or Chris’s opinion or any historical agreement.
Tested? WelI, maybe it’s all just idle internet chatter. But the linked MOT rules are clear about changes to specification and Insurance companies can refuse to payout if the can see a gap. I just don’t want to be the tester.
Malcolm
Last edited by englishmaninwales on Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:02 pm

No speculation, the DVLA is fine with direct OE replacement chassis (personally know of two that's had the numbers put on the registration document), the only case i know of that someone has tried to change a chassis that was not OE was a customer's TVR, it took TVR going bankrupt for the DVLA to accept the OE Chassis was no longer available.

There was a guy on here a while ago that tried to put a Spyder chassis on the registration documents and his car went on a q..... i remember him planning to break it.
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PostPost by: SimonH » Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:03 pm

As far as I’m aware lotus don’t manufacture replacement frames anymore anyway? Therefore everything is a pattern part really. Some are closer to original than others but as the hard mounting points are in the same place then I would suggest the rest is just a way to join those points together? My car has a perfectly good spyder frame that replaced the rotten original many years ago so it probably would have been all that was available at the time. It’s not really modified in my view, just repaired
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:06 pm

SimonH wrote:As far as I’m aware lotus don’t manufacture replacement frames anymore anyway? Therefore everything is a pattern part really. Some are closer to original than others but as the hard mounting points are in the same place then I would suggest the rest is just a way to join those points together? My car has a perfectly good spyder frame that replaced the rotten original many years ago so it probably would have been all that was available at the time. It’s not really modified in my view, just repaired

Mr Wilkins screwed up that argument..... https://www.gartrac.com/pages/lotus-chassis-fabrication

The only way around it is if you can prove a Lotus designed chassis was not available when you bought the Spaceframe, as i said above we did it with a TVR but it's not easy.
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PostPost by: SimonH » Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:08 pm

So you can get a pattern part by the look of that? It’s not made by lotus at the Vulcan road factory.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:13 pm

SimonH wrote:So you can get a pattern part by the look of that? It’s not made by lotus at the Vulcan road factory.

It's an LR chassis (original lotus design chassis are available and have been since the 80's).
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PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:15 pm

Has Miles Wilkins got the sole rights to manufacture the Lotus Elan chassis (contracted out to Gartrac)?
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PostPost by: SimonH » Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:19 pm

I didn’t say other replica frames aren’t available. I just don’t consider them original replacements made by some fabrication firm somewhere else. The argument always goes that a spyder frame is a modification. Unless those are absolutely perfect copies then they aren’t original either really. Tbh I’m not that fussed.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:23 pm

englishmaninwales wrote:Has Miles Wilkins got the sole rights to manufacture the Lotus Elan chassis (contracted out to Gartrac)?

I don't know if he has the sole rights but i know they made to the original lotus plans and are sold by Lotus Dealers (have been called LR chassis since the mid 80's).

The key here is the word 'Modified' in the DVLA description........
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PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:25 pm

SimonH wrote:…..Tbh I’m not that fussed.


Indeed. As I said above, it just depends on how much of a risk one is comfortable with (not with a Q plate, but the post crash, high cervical spine injury insurance claim against me and an undisclosed modification to the car).
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PostPost by: SimonH » Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:47 pm

Not that it matters anyway but the points scoring scheme is for radically altered vehicles not a rebuilt vehicle.
If you just rebuild a vehicle you need to keep the original body shell or chassis. Along with several of the original parts from a selection. I.e engine, transmission, suspension etc. I think most people are pretty safe going by that one unless you have radically altered the car.
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PostPost by: 512BB » Thu Jan 06, 2022 9:10 am

Grizzly wrote, now deleted '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.

Grizzly wrote something about writing to Mr Arnold in the present tense, implying that he is still alive, but has since deleted it. I assumed he was writing about Graham Arnold of Club Lotus, who is obviously no longer with us, as I do not know of any other Arnolds, apart from my dear father, and I then wrote Is Mr Arnold writing from the other side now? I have never bothered with a C of A for any of my cars, as I have always regarded them as dressed up bullshit, but if that is the case, Im in. 'smiley' What are they printed on, parchment?

Grizzly wrote but has since deleted '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' He obviously meant to write 'What I can tell you'

I would never buy a classic Lotus, or any other classic for that matter, now, unless it was a numbers matching car. Why, I hear you all ask. Because that is what the market demands. Nothing to do with dealers asking prices.

Say, for example, you bought a Sprint for £40k, and the engine number did not match the paperwork for what ever reason, engine change earlier in its life etc. When you come to sell that car, no bugger wants it, because it is not 'matching numbers'. And for that reason alone, I would not touch it. It would be a bit different, if that same Sprint was for sale at £25k, as the price takes into account the fact that the engine is not original to the car. The same argument for cars that have had their roofs cut off, you cannot give them away. People want originality these days.

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Jan 06, 2022 9:52 am

That is perfect if the "non matching numbers cars" are cheap if like me you buy a Lotus for life, so resale value does not matter..... just driving satisfaction :) I hope all those non matching car prices get driven even lower in the future :lol:

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PostPost by: Craven » Thu Jan 06, 2022 12:48 pm

Cars supplied as Kit car never had the Engine No field on the chassis plate completed so no Lotus record exists.
A disaster of a car having been in multiple shunts with many panels replaced with pattern parts, for long period 1980’s many body parts were unavailable, example if you needed S3 wings buy S4 and modify the wheel arch, and still be a matching number car, if such cars ever existed.
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PostPost by: EPC 394J » Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:08 pm

In all these discussions, a thought has occurred to me. How do a certain ‘Lotus specialist’ turn out Plus 2 Zetecs on space frame chassis and keep an age related registration?

The chassis is neither original, nor to an original pattern. Much of the running gear is non- original. The engine is a modern engine, as is the gearbox. The handbrake is in the ‘wrong’ place. The fibreglass body could have come from anywhere. The interior/seats are new.

What is it that makes these cars 1960/70s Lotus Elans rather than just kit cars requiring a Q plate?
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

Plus 2S

BLL 315H in white.
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