Lotus Elan

Chassis number

PostPost by: 512BB » Sun Jan 09, 2022 8:52 am

To continue the off topic side of this thread, smiley

Grizzly wrote 'you tell people your experience of buying a car cheap and making a huge profit on it and then wonder why people do something similar as an investment'

Firstly, where did I say I made a huge profit on buying and selling? If you think buying something for £10k and then selling it for say £13k is a huge profit, we have a different interpretation of the word huge.

Secondly, to 'people who do similar as an investment', I say good luck to them. If their crystal balls tell them that certain Lotus or Ferrari cars, or whatever, are going to double in value over the next 10 years, where can I buy one. It may have pushed the price up of something that I would love to own, but cannot now justify spending the sort of money that that item may now command, tough titty, thats life.

Grizzly also wrote 'I know people that will buy anything they think they can make money on'

Well, what the hell is wrong with that. Its called earning a living. Whilst I sold my business years ago, I still love having a deal. It does not matter if that is selling something for 50 quid that cost me 20 or selling something for £10k that cost £8k, both deals would give me the same buzz, I just love doing business. I suspect we are cut from different rolls of cloth Chris, and nothing wrong with that. Just don't ask me to go into business with you.

Grizzly also wrote 'we still get collectors that would spend huge amounts of money to keep the appearance of originality'

Not sure what your point is here. Maybe that the collectors wanted their cars to look original. Well that is what the best restorer of Lotus cars EVER, Peter Day, tried and suceeded in achieving. Cars, that when restored, looked like they had just rolled out of the factory, only better, and that is why they command a high price when they come to market today.

And also wrote 'there are people i know that get more of a buzz from a profit made than driving a sports car down a country lane'

Well, I get a buzz from doing both actually, but maybe different buzzes.

Lastly, there is no doubt in my mind, that the bubble in certain share prices, house prices and classic car prices, has been driven by 14 years of ultra cheap money, but that is finally starting to come to an end. When we see interest rates normalise to somewhere near 3 -5%, which may still take years, then the crazy prices we see in certain sectors, may receed. Having said that, I do not believe that prices of Lotus cars from the era of the ones that we love, are in, or have ever been in a bubble.

Thank you and good night, I have been up a long time.

Leslie
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Tue Jan 11, 2022 9:53 am

Obviously, i've offended everyone again........Wow, i must be the worst at trying to get my point across in text.
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:07 am

Grizzly wrote:Obviously, i've offended everyone again........Wow, i must be the worst at trying to get my point across in text.


I'm not offended.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:28 am

dont worry offense is expected in the interweb
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:47 am

rgh0 wrote:I dont think my item 1 is a loophole or likely to be closed - i.e. as long as the chassis is original you can do what you like with the body. Many pre 1950 car had a chassis and you could buy them as a rolling chassis and have a "Coach Built" body made for it. I dont think you average Rolls Silver Ghost Owner who had a new replacement body in a different style made would want a Q plate

My item 2 is how most cars are made these days with a "monocoque" body but substantial front a rear subframes to carry the mechanical components my Touareg is an example of that . The key difference with the Elan is that the front and rear parts that carry the mechanicals are tied together by the back bone. The original MX5 had a beam along the tunnel that did something similar. its a pity that lotus did not make the "chassis" in 3 pieces that bolted the front and rear Y sections to the centre tunnel section so they could be removed individually. This would have made arguing that they are subframes much easier and been easier for maintenance and repairs also :)

The reality from an engineering sense is my item 3 that the Elan is a combination of a backbone chassis and monocoque fibre glass body and the UK rules dont really cover that rare combination in a meaningful way hence the never ending debate in the UK . Nothing stops you doing the modifications to either Body or Chassis its just whether you get that "dreaded" Q plate.

cheers
Rohan

I agree with all your statements, i don't agree with much of how the point system works. can't say i've had much experience with swapping bodies on cars, we built a 60's Beach Buggy for someone and that kept it's original number too.

Not trying to argue with you or correcting etc etc but I have an Rx7 and the torsion beam doesn't connect the two subframes, they bolt the Gearbox to the Diff with a box structure just like the MX5 (many performance cars have a similar torque tube set up but with the gearbox at the back)..... i'd agree that it would have saved a lot of headaches if Lotus had done something similar but i'm not sure if bolting the front subframe to the rear would help?? duno might do?? it's not me that you would have to convince.

As i have said before i have been in this situation with a customer's TVR space frame that's very similar in design to the Lotus Elan's backbone (the main difference is the chassis literally bonded to the body so you could argue it's more of a one-piece Monocoque). I came late to this party but from what i understand, as soon as the MOT tester entered the number from the Chassis and it didn't match the DVLA's records it opened a whole can of worms!! They even checked the number on the Chassis against the Reference plate screwed to the body and previous MOT's which was obviously different...... as already posted with an Elan it all comes down to how much you like living on the edge? technically an Elan is not requiring an MOT unless it has a Modified chassis under it then it does and the cycle goes round again.

I'm not trying to troll those with Spyder chassis, only sharing my first-hand experience and trying to explain why it's frowned upon. But as most people were advised to get a Spyder chassis as they are better in design by the Club and more or less every Elan Buyers guide ever wrote what was i expecting........
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PostPost by: Regiman44 » Tue Jan 11, 2022 1:15 pm

I have never commented on this forum before and probably won’t again but today I feel so moved. I see we have had a resurgence of the leitmotif “If you don’t fit a Miles Wilkins chassis you will get a Q plate”. I had thought this trope had been dealt with but apparently not. Despite it being manifestly and obviously untrue it remains a persistent fugue, I suspect put about by people talking their own book and unhappy about the success of certain competitors. Be that as it may, it can be said that whatever serial number may be etched, stamped or scratched onto the subframe/chassis this in no way represents a VIN, a chassis number or vehicle id of any kind for the purposes we are discussing here. Nor does the Dymo tape number on the body, which in most cases has long since disappeared anyhow. For the purposes of the DVLA identification, the only relevant intelligence is the vehicle identification number (VIN). That is carried on the body plate screwed to the inner wing or bulkhead. Any discussion with the DVLA about subframes/chassis is quite unnecessary, and you do not need to inform them that you have “changed your chassis”. Any MOT tester scratching about on the subframe/chassis needs to be put straight and pointed to the correct VIN. I have to say I have never seen an Elan or Europa on a Q plate. There are many Elans on Spyder, TTR frames and many Europas on Spyder or Banks frames and none are on Q plates. I hear apocryphal tales of this scenario and of phantom, saturnine DVLA men threatening thus but have yet to witness such a fate befall anyone. The DVLA person I spoke to a few years back was supremely disinterested. The Q plate was introduced for vehicles whose, in the DVLAs own words, age or identity is in doubt. It will be obvious, dear reader, that the fitting of a Spyder frame does not bring into doubt the cars age or identity any more than the fitting of a Miles Wilkins banana frame does. Indeed, one does not even have to broach the subject with the DVLA. The number that should be on the V5 is the VIN, no other. Nevertheless, I am sure some will continue to peddle this alleged extenuating feature of the “genuine chassis”. After all, they can hardly be sold on their quality or accuracy. Threatening people with a Q plate is an innovative dernier ressort.
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PostPost by: Craven » Tue Jan 11, 2022 4:50 pm

Not the Graham Arnold article spoken about, although I have seen that, but this extract seems to be from a legitimate source.

It is important to appreciate that all Lotus production cars from 1963 to date, including Elan (type 26), Elan Plus 2, Europa, Elite (type 75), Eclat, Excel, Esprit, Elan (type M100), Elise and Exige, are unlike the vast majority of mass produced passenger cars, inasmuch as they are not constructed as monocoques (integral body/chassis units). Instead, they use a separate composite body and a steel or alloy chassis unit joined together by threaded fasteners. Apart from savings in manufacturing costs due to reduced tooling investment, this technique allows economical repair or replacement of individual body and chassis units.

The original chassis is stamped or engraved with the V.I.N., which also appears on the V.I.N. label stuck to the body or chassis. If the chassis is renewed, the Lotus Replacement chassis will be stamped with LR......... , but the V.I.N. label will remain unchanged, as the vehicle continuity is maintained, with the vehicle retaining its original V.I.N. throughout its life, regardless of how many chassis, engines or bodies it may acquire. The disparity between the V.I.N. and the replacement chassis number is an indication that the chassis is not the same as that used on original build, which information should not be concealed.

Until very recently, Lotus was not able to record the VIN of the car for which a service replacement chassis was supplied, but introduced over the last few years is a revised Lotus policy of stamping replacement chassis with the original VIN and requiring a substantial part of the original chassis including the stamped VIN, to be returned to Lotus in order to prevent the possibility of registry duplication.

The 'classic' status of all Lotus models, and the economically repairable nature of their construction results in a near zero scrapping rate, and a large proportion of older vehicles fitted with replacement chassis. Any chassis supplied through Lotus dealers and stamped LR........ will have been manufactured to the original specification (notwithstanding the current galvanised coating) using factory jigs. In such an instance, if required by registration authorities, Lotus has no objection to an official Lotus dealer engraving such a chassis with the applicable V.I.N.

Within the classic car community, the continuation of the original registration mark is considered to be an important component of the vehicle provenance, and its loss can be emotionally distressing to many owners, notwithstanding any 'knock-on' effects on the valuation of the car. If there is any other clarification, advice or assistance required to avoid this occurence, please contact:
[email protected]
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:03 pm

Craven,

From my limited knowledge of the car ringing rules, i don't think you can legally stamp a duplicate number into a new or used Chassis (i mean you can if you don't get caught etc but Lotus wouldn't do it for example).

and again, if you buy a Lotus-designed part you meet the 5 point requirement of the DVLA, if it's considered a CHASSIS!! (the only debate is the Subframe/Monocoque argument) you are radically altering the original car so the DVLA scale below comes into play. Depending on your skills of negotiation you could be fine with a Spaceframe but it doesn't meet the rules.

Untitled.png and


I don't know how much clearer i can make that....... OEM design part GOOD....... Spaceframe chassis modified part BAD!! Today!! right now!! not 30 years ago........

Forget chassis numbers for a minute it's more fundamental than that, and that's before you get to historic status or no historic status?? (does it need an MOT) again based on what type of chassis you fit.

A vehicle alteration is a ‘substantial change’ if the technical characteristics of the main components have changed in the previous 30 years

Substantial change criteria
Main vehicle components (excluding motorcycles)
Chassis
Chassis replacements of the same pattern as the original are not considered to be a substantial change
or
Monocoque bodyshell
Replacements of the same pattern as the original are not considered to be a substantial change (including any sub-frames).

Keep your receipts?? is your Spaceframe over 30 years old??

I don't have a horse in this race, i have the original chassis fitted to my car and the car I've had aggravation with was a TVR.

Keep it to yourself or don't it's your car!! but don't start arguing if you haven't spoken to the powers that be to find out yourself!!. I'm not making this up...... i have experienced it first hand and know it's a minefield.

Anyway, this is madness trying to explain to you...... i'm obviously wrong and your right so can we leave this now and pretend it doesn't exist??
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PostPost by: snowyelan » Tue Jan 11, 2022 9:41 pm

What's a Miles Wilkins Banana frame?
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:33 pm

snowyelan wrote:What's a Miles Wilkins Banana frame?


Gartrac make the frames, Google them, they are spot on :D
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PostPost by: Elanman99 » Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:47 pm

Are they yellow?

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PostPost by: Craven » Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:19 pm

Grizzly.
“Not the Graham Arnold article spoken about, although I have seen that, but this extract seems to be from a legitimate source”
i.e. Lotus cars is the official Web site for Group Lotus Pic.
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PostPost by: snowyelan » Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:59 pm

I'm familiar with the Gartrac manufactured chassis, but why Banana? The post above by Regiman44 seems to knock the OEM style chassis severely in the last quarter of its single, incredibly long paragraph. I assume its an insult.
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PostPost by: Regiman44 » Wed Jan 12, 2022 12:03 am

Alan Morgan actually confirmed the situation in a previous post the last time this bogus subject was raised, the whole post is there on the thread "Q plate", but the salient quote is
"Ron Hickman always maintained that it was a subframe and it's true that Graham Arnold originally gained full acceptance from DVLA that the Elan structure was a subframe and not a chassis. I have updated this agreement and kept it current with DVLA since I became Chairman in 2004. I repeat, it is a subframe not a chassis and Club Lotus members will know I often remind them about this in Club Lotus News. There is therefore no need whatsoever to notify DVLA if you replace it." End of quote. I can also confirm that Graham Arnold told me himself this was the case one year at Donington.
Nevertheless, the whole "Spyder frames get a Q plate" tedium vitae still rumbles on. The DVLA are not handing out Q plates to cars with Spyder frames. A car fitted with a Spyder spaceframe in of itself is not in breach of any DVLA rules and the notion that they would retrospectively put a Q plate on a car so fitted is arrant nonsense. I can also confirm via my own experience and knowing people within the industry that insurance companies do not class a Spyder spaceframe as a significant modification. That is dependant upon what parts are bolted to said frame. If the car carries all standard drivetrain then it is standard so far as that goes. Kim Heaton also posted on the aforementioned thread, setting out the full situation. This matter should be closed, but like the moon landing hoax or the death of Paul McCartney, it just keeps coming back. I don't know why.
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PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Wed Jan 12, 2022 12:29 am

Deleted.
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