Lotus Elan

Chassis number

PostPost by: 512BB » Wed Jan 12, 2022 6:51 am

Well, I shall attempt to keep the off topic part of this thread going :D hurrah, my imogies are back, mind of its own this puter. I have no interest in adding to the Q plate chat as it does not interest me, as I just have a couple of old scaffold poles underneath my body that all the running gear is bolted to. Shh, don't tell the DVLA.

My only thought on Regiman's comment about Miles Wilkin's banana chassis' is that I seem to remember a picture somewhere, of a pile of galvanised chassis that were scrap, because they were all bent. That is why they do not galvanise chassis any longer. Do I win the prize Regi?

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

You have not offended me either Chris, but if you put up a post that I disagree with, I will challenge it, and that is what I did. No trolling or offence involved on anyones part.

Lastly, Regiman44 wrote 'I have never commented on this forum before and probably won’t again'

Why is that Regi? You seem knowlegeable and have been round the block a few times. Why don't you introduce yourself , in the correct section, and share some of that knowledge? We can always use some fresh contributors. Welcome to the board by the way.

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PostPost by: miked » Wed Jan 12, 2022 7:29 am

I have posted this before. I rejected two galvanised Lotus chassiss 20 years ago due to being not only twisted but also longer between left turrets than the right ones. This was visible from the rear part of the frame when stood on it. Not sat at 90 degrees. So whilst the galv' process may have caused other issues, it did not cause this. The shape was due to lack of accuracy of the jig.
I waited over a year for these and eventually accepted a Spyder unit for the car i was restoring. The manufacturing source laughed at me saying other Lotus ones he made were worse.
So this is perhaps were the banana comes from. I dearly wanted to stay standard at that time. :roll:
So, for a period they were not good. Tape measure all over other ones I have fitted for friends.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:08 am

Regiman44 wrote: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.

Evidence?? or some sort of official precedent that can be referred to?? Chairman in 2004 must-have got something that important in writing?? but still 18 years ago...... I keep hearing rumors and third part speculation, when i personally approached the DVLA they knew nothing about such a deal and there was nothing in the database. I was referred to the DVLA website as i referred you....... even when asked about the subframe argument i was told 'Monocoque' includes subframes!! so you would still have a problem with a modified a Monocoque, even if you could successfully argue an Elan had a one-piece Subframe (even though the DVLA's definition of two subframes permanently fixed together is a Backbone chassis).

So please give me something that the Government representatives will accept as a valid argument. And yes if you present a Spyder frame to the DVLA inspector they WILL issue you with a different reg as you don't meet the minimum requirements of keeping your original one. Seen that first hand....... a guy fell foul of it on here too.

From what i understand the Note in the newsletter was just an opinion on the design of the Elan and i believe the author isn't here to back it up, the fact is everyone including Spyder them self calls it a Chassis!! and if there was a deal it's disappeared when the DVLA updated to an electronic database in the 80's.

I'm not just picking on Spyder chassis, it's the same across the whole car industry in the uk, and being in the trade myself it serves me well to know what i can and can't get away with on customer's cars.
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PostPost by: Regiman44 » Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:30 pm

Mr Grizzly, I am not here to try and convince you, and my posts were not intended to. I simply felt that your repeated and aggressive posts on this subject were causing unnecessary alarm and distress and I only posted so that others may not be overly perturbed by your scaremongering screeds. Let readers content themselves that the presence of a Spyder chassis will not result in a dreaded Q plate. I have said all that can be reasonably said on the topic at this point, and I am quite happy to let readers decide for themselves who to believe. To continue back and forth with quarrelsome polemics would serve no sensible purpose. Feel free to have your last word, I can see it means a lot to you.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Thu Jan 13, 2022 2:09 pm

There is absolutely no need for a Q plate when using a Spyder chassis.

The totally correct and definitive situation regarding replacement chassis/frame is detailed in the following two items. I am posting these for information as they are helpful and totally refute any misconceptions regarding the matter.

Firstly an extract from Club Lotus News that has been published on more than one occasion as indicated by the editorial note. (Click on the image to expand and read)

Not a chassis.jpg and


And secondly a post that was made on these forums by Alan Morgan of Club Lotus who is approved by the DVLA to authenticate registration matters regarding Lotus Elans.

"The clubs are now nearly always bypassed Alan in the new regime to tidy
up the historic vs modified,...Rather than check with Club Lotus, who now
have very little say in what goes with the DVLA...".

Quite, quite wrong. Where does this kind of bizarre and unhelpful misinformation come from?
Let me try to clarify some important points.
Club Lotus is the only club approved by the DVLA to handle all
authentication and registration matters concerning the Elan.
We regularly
inspect and produce reports on cars that have - for example - fallen off
the DVLA register but have now been restored and need re-registering,
either with their original or an age-related number. If we recommend a
course of action DVLA invariably accepts our recommendations.
It's true that Graham Arnold originally gained full acceptance from DVLA
that the Elan structure was a subframe and not a chassis and 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 members
will know I often remind members in CLN. There is therefore no need
whatsoever to notify DVLA if you replace it.
To answer the original question, in my opinion there is zero chance of the
DVLA suddenly deciding - out of the blue - to retrospectively allocate a
car with a Spyder spaceframe with a Q plate. Why would they?

The Q plate scheme was introduced in 1983 to cope primarily with the
increasing number of kit and special builds whose age or identity didn't fit
in with the existing rules. It’s since been amended and expanded to meet
changing demands. It was never designed to catch properly restored
classic cars and if one of these falls foul of the rules it's invariably because
of the owner saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. I'll say no more.

When considering the provenance of a particular car, Andy Graham and I
always take the position of trying to keep it legally on the road (with an
appropriate registration if necessary) if we possibly can. That's not to say
we don't inspect and consider individual cases very carefully and if there's
any doubts these are investigated and pursued in detail and are never
ignored.

For many years the Spyder spaceframe was the only option for an Elan
owner with a rusty, unsafe subframe.
Without it there would be fewer
Elans still on the road which nobody wants. My view is that it would be
grossly unfair to retrospectively penalise a Spyder Elan because of
legislation which has been introduced relatively recently. Consequently we
take a sympathetic view when assessing such cars.
I am always very happy to offer advice on a 1-2-1 basis to Club Lotus members on any aspects of dealing with the DVLA. You all know where to find me.


I have confirmed the above recently with Alan Morgan, nothing has changed, there is no need for a Q plate, there never was a need. If in doubt about any registration issue contact Club Lotus.
Kindest regards

Alan Thomas
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PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Thu Jan 13, 2022 2:57 pm

Regiman44 wrote:Mr Grizzly…I simply felt that your repeated and aggressive posts on this subject were causing unnecessary alarm and distress and I only posted so that others may not be overly perturbed by your scaremongering screeds…To continue back and forth with quarrelsome polemics would serve no sensible purpose. Feel free to have your last word, I can see it means a lot to you.


I think some of that is a bit of an exaggeration to say the least! “Repeated and aggressive posts”, “alarm and distress”, “perturbed by your scaremongering screeds” and “quarrelsome polemics” Really??
Come on, this has been pretty straightforward discussion, if somewhat polarised, plus I think we are all over the age of consent :lol:
Your last sentence, though, is a bit unnecessary.

All IMHO of course.

BTW What is your connection to Spyder?
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:51 pm

englishmaninwales wrote:
Regiman44 wrote:Mr Grizzly…I simply felt that your repeated and aggressive posts on this subject were causing unnecessary alarm and distress and I only posted so that others may not be overly perturbed by your scaremongering screeds…To continue back and forth with quarrelsome polemics would serve no sensible purpose. Feel free to have your last word, I can see it means a lot to you.


I think some of that is a bit of an exaggeration to say the least! “Repeated and aggressive posts”, “alarm and distress”, “perturbed by your scaremongering screeds” and “quarrelsome polemics” Really??
Come on, this has been pretty straightforward discussion, if somewhat polarised, plus I think we are all over the age of consent :lol:
Your last sentence, though, is a bit unnecessary.

All IMHO of course.

BTW What is your connection to Spyder?
Malcolm


Agreed!
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Thu Jan 13, 2022 4:31 pm

Spyder fan wrote:There is absolutely no need for a Q plate when using a Spyder chassis.

The totally correct and definitive situation regarding replacement chassis/frame is detailed in the following two items. I am posting these for information as they are helpful and totally refute any misconceptions regarding the matter.

Firstly an extract from Club Lotus News that has been published on more than one occasion as indicated by the editorial note. (Click on the image to expand and read)

Not a chassis.jpg


And secondly a post that was made on these forums by Alan Morgan of Club Lotus who is approved by the DVLA to authenticate registration matters regarding Lotus Elans.

"The clubs are now nearly always bypassed Alan in the new regime to tidy
up the historic vs modified,...Rather than check with Club Lotus, who now
have very little say in what goes with the DVLA...".

Quite, quite wrong. Where does this kind of bizarre and unhelpful misinformation come from?
Let me try to clarify some important points.
Club Lotus is the only club approved by the DVLA to handle all
authentication and registration matters concerning the Elan.
We regularly
inspect and produce reports on cars that have - for example - fallen off
the DVLA register but have now been restored and need re-registering,
either with their original or an age-related number. If we recommend a
course of action DVLA invariably accepts our recommendations.
It's true that Graham Arnold originally gained full acceptance from DVLA
that the Elan structure was a subframe and not a chassis and 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 members
will know I often remind members in CLN. There is therefore no need
whatsoever to notify DVLA if you replace it.
To answer the original question, in my opinion there is zero chance of the
DVLA suddenly deciding - out of the blue - to retrospectively allocate a
car with a Spyder spaceframe with a Q plate. Why would they?

The Q plate scheme was introduced in 1983 to cope primarily with the
increasing number of kit and special builds whose age or identity didn't fit
in with the existing rules. It’s since been amended and expanded to meet
changing demands. It was never designed to catch properly restored
classic cars and if one of these falls foul of the rules it's invariably because
of the owner saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. I'll say no more.

When considering the provenance of a particular car, Andy Graham and I
always take the position of trying to keep it legally on the road (with an
appropriate registration if necessary) if we possibly can. That's not to say
we don't inspect and consider individual cases very carefully and if there's
any doubts these are investigated and pursued in detail and are never
ignored.

For many years the Spyder spaceframe was the only option for an Elan
owner with a rusty, unsafe subframe.
Without it there would be fewer
Elans still on the road which nobody wants. My view is that it would be
grossly unfair to retrospectively penalise a Spyder Elan because of
legislation which has been introduced relatively recently. Consequently we
take a sympathetic view when assessing such cars.
I am always very happy to offer advice on a 1-2-1 basis to Club Lotus members on any aspects of dealing with the DVLA. You all know where to find me.


I have confirmed the above recently with Alan Morgan, nothing has changed, there is no need for a Q plate, there never was a need. If in doubt about any registration issue contact Club Lotus.

Wow that sounds like Club Lotus makes the legislation?? sounds like a good amount of rule-bending there but still doesn't get around what happens now the Subframe is considered part of the Monocoque and thus Modified Subframe = Modified Monocoque..... It sounds like Club Lotus just ignores the Chassis/Subframe is that right??

It even says on the Club Lotus page you posted that the DVLA will slap you with a Q plate if you declare the change......... which is confusing as the DVLA says in big bold letters you are obliged to declare any change to the Chassis or Monocoque. Isn't that my argument??

And yes i have just used a very similar argument myself regarding the availability of an original chassis, if the OEM Chassis/Subframe is not available at the time you fit it (and can prove it) then your golden!! it opens so many doors......
Last edited by Grizzly on Thu Jan 13, 2022 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Thu Jan 13, 2022 4:34 pm

Regiman44 wrote:Mr Grizzly, I am not here to try and convince you, and my posts were not intended to. I simply felt that your repeated and aggressive posts on this subject were causing unnecessary alarm and distress and I only posted so that others may not be overly perturbed by your scaremongering screeds. Let readers content themselves that the presence of a Spyder chassis will not result in a dreaded Q plate. I have said all that can be reasonably said on the topic at this point, and I am quite happy to let readers decide for themselves who to believe. To continue back and forth with quarrelsome polemics would serve no sensible purpose. Feel free to have your last word, I can see it means a lot to you.

I have recently been faced with a very similar situation and wondered what you had that meant the rules are different for you?? I guess the answer is nothing........

Out of interest, do you get an annual MOT with your Spyder Chassis?
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Thu Jan 13, 2022 4:46 pm

Wow that sounds like Club Lotus makes the legislation?? sounds like a good amount of rule-bending there but still doesn't get around what happens now the Subframe is considered part of the Monocoque and thus Modified Subframe = Modified Monocoque..... It sounds like Club Lotus just ignores the Chassis/Subframe is that right??


Chris,
Why are you so obsessed with this?

I don't make the rules and I don't pretend to understand the ins and outs and all the various nuances of how to approach the DVLA to ensure a favourable outcome.

What I do understand is that Club Lotus headed by Alan Morgan and Lotus Cars represented by Andy Graham have been extremely helpful to me and many other Elan owners when dealing with the DVLA. If anyone who owns an Elan in the UK wishes to replace a worn out chassis with a Spyder chassis instead of an original pattern chassis they are free to do so and will be backed up by Lotus Cars and Club Lotus.
Kindest regards

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PostPost by: Grizzly » Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:09 pm

Spyder fan wrote:Chris,
Why are you so obsessed with this?

As i said above, i wanted to know why I struggled like hell with a different manufacture's car fitted with a very similar setup and it's not a huge problem in the Lotus world...... was hoping it might have been something that could be carried over for future use but i guess not.

Sounds like ignoring and pretending it's not a thing with someone in the right place as an adviser to turn a blind eye at the appropriate time....... i can't really use that.

But well played for that.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:19 pm

I've been watching this train wreck with mild amusement & horror. No need for name calling....

Alan (Thomas) Thanks for posting the Club Lotus Article, but what a load of Bo**ocks!

"That big lump of galvanised metal is not a chassis, it is technically a sub-frame"

Let's look at the definition of a chassis:

From Wiki - A chassis (US: /ˈtʃæsi/,[1] UK: /ˈʃæsi/;[2] plural chassis /-iz/ from French châssis [ʃɑsi]) is the load-bearing framework of an artificial object, which structurally supports the object in its construction and function. An example of a chassis is a vehicle frame, the underpart of a motor vehicle, on which the body is mounted

All the suspension loads are carried by the chassis in an Elan, the engine, transmission, differential are all mounted to it therefore it's a Chassis!

A sub-frame is a sub element that has some of the components bolted to it, like a mini where there are seperate front & rear subframes.

Let's see what Gartrac (manufacturers of Lotus Replacement chassis) call it - "Since the mid 1980s, Gartrac has been producing Lotus chassis for Miles Wilkins at LOTPART (formerly Fibreglass Services). " (Source: https://www.gartrac.com/pages/lotus-chassis-fabrication) & Spyder? "SPYDER SPACEFRAME REPLACEMENT CHASSIS" (Source: http://www.spydercars.co.uk/lotus-elan-2-chassis-rollover-bars/

There's the C word again. If the frame in an Elan functions as a Chassis, Lotus refer to it themselves (in the workshop manual) as a Chassis & the vendors that manufacture them call it a chassis, it think it's safe to call it a Chassis!

The Q plate debacle started because of kit cars in the 80's being made from existing vehicles, DVLA had to decide if the vehicle should retain the donor vehicle's ID, or be classed as a new vehicle. Somehow the Elan got ensnared in the mess, possible because at least in the early 80's the only chassis you could obtain were from Spyder. Thankfully Club Lotus stepped in & "advised" the DVLA that Elan's should keep their existing identities with a Chassis (sorry Subframe) change...

Summary: It's a chassis, but the car's identity is determined by the Vin plate in the engine compartment.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Thu Jan 13, 2022 6:21 pm

Grizzly wrote:
Spyder fan wrote:Chris,
Why are you so obsessed with this?

As i said above, i wanted to know why I struggled like hell with a different manufacture's car fitted with a very similar setup and it's not a huge problem in the Lotus world...... was hoping it might have been something that could be carried over for future use but i guess not.

Sounds like ignoring and pretending it's not a thing with someone in the right place as an adviser to turn a blind eye at the appropriate time....... i can't really use that.

But well played for that.


Chris,

I’m only interested in Elans as far as this discussion goes and there is a clear path as described in my post that allows the use of a Spyder chassis that will not result in a Q plate. Your difficulty with a different marque could no doubt have been addressed by seeking the assistance of the relevant owners club who could have steered you in the right direction.

Alan Morgan at Club Lotus and Andy Graham at Lotus continue to ensure that Elan identities are protected and the cars are preserved wherever possible.

No need for Q plates as far as Elans are concerned :D
Kindest regards

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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Thu Jan 13, 2022 6:26 pm

pharriso wrote:I've been watching this train wreck with mild amusement & horror. No need for name calling....

Alan (Thomas) Thanks for posting the Club Lotus Article, but what a load of Bo**ocks!

"That big lump of galvanised metal is not a chassis, it is technically a sub-frame"

Let's look at the definition of a chassis:

SNIP

All the suspension loads are carried by the chassis in an Elan, the engine, transmission, differential are all mounted to it therefore it's a Chassis!

A sub-frame is a sub element that has some of the components bolted to it, like a mini where there are seperate front & rear subframes.



Summary: It's a chassis, but the car's identity is determined by the Vin plate in the engine compartment.


Phil,
I would argue that a Mini has 2 chassis using your reasoning. The engine, gearbox, suspension are all supported on the 2 frames.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Thu Jan 13, 2022 6:52 pm

Spyder fan wrote:
Grizzly wrote:
Spyder fan wrote:Chris,
Why are you so obsessed with this?

As i said above, i wanted to know why I struggled like hell with a different manufacture's car fitted with a very similar setup and it's not a huge problem in the Lotus world...... was hoping it might have been something that could be carried over for future use but i guess not.

Sounds like ignoring and pretending it's not a thing with someone in the right place as an adviser to turn a blind eye at the appropriate time....... i can't really use that.

But well played for that.


Chris,

I’m only interested in Elans as far as this discussion goes and there is a clear path as described in my post that allows the use of a Spyder chassis that will not result in a Q plate. Your difficulty with a different marque could no doubt have been addressed by seeking the assistance of the relevant owners club who could have steered you in the right direction.

Alan Morgan at Club Lotus and Andy Graham at Lotus continue to ensure that Elan identities are protected and the cars are preserved wherever possible.

No need for Q plates as far as Elans are concerned :D

There is no Clear path...... someone is bending the rules to cover a huge hole that's been dug over years. You have to spin up some BS story about Subframes to make this work!! and now it doesn't matter if it's a Subframe or Chassis by the letter of the law you have to declare a radical change of an original car...... The fact is if a PROPPER!! Engineer ever looked at a Spaceframed car there would be an issue as he would use the DVLA rules not the ones dreamed up by Club Lotus. It's not even that hard to see.... someone with a Spaceframe has to MOT their car as normal because the DVLA makes no bones that there should be no Modifications to Subframes specifically!! and they highlight it..... so if you do go Historic with no MOT it's a huge risk. Will Club Lotus pull you out of driving with no MOT ticket?? or worse....... But if you feel the subframe so no need to declare a radical change argument is something you could take to court and win then more power to you.... If not just keep MOTing your car.

Someone missed their opportunity to stop digging, they should have type-approved the Spyder chassis when the OEM design was not available if you want to be above board about all this.
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