Lotus Elan

Number Plates

PostPost by: jono » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:12 am

I need a number plate for the rear of my 1970 +2S. I have a number of queries.

The front has the raised plastic letters fixed to the grille. I have repainted these in white and painted the grille black - it all looks good. Now for the queries:

1 Is the front grille with letters arrangement legal?
2 Would it be legal to have a rear number plate in black with similar white raised letters?
3 If I wanted the rear plate to be black with silver raised letters is this legal (with white letters on the front)?
4 As a subject view, any preferences on silver or white raised letters on the rear (assuming legal). What was usual for the period?
5 If I decided on a pressed ali rear plate in black with silver letters is this legal with the front numbers as described?
6 Assuming all of the above are legal, where would be a good supplier (ie sensible price and reasonable product)?

I have looked at Tippers and the other 'premium' suppliers and spoken to then at shows. They all seem arrogant adn overpriced :shock:

I know there have been a few discussions on these issues before but I must confess there seems to be no settled view. Would anyone dare to provide me with the gospel?

Cheers, Jon
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PostPost by: alaric » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:45 am

Hi Jono.

I just googled this and found my way to http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2001/561/made

It appears that it depends on when your car was registered. Here's what I think are the relevant sections:

PART 2VEHICLES REGISTERED ON OR AFTER 1ST JANUARY 1973 AND BEFORE 1ST SEPTEMBER 2001 (OPTIONAL SPECIFICATION)

1. The plate must be made of reflex-reflecting material which, as regards its construction, colour and other qualities, complies with the requirements of?

(a)the British Standard Specification for reflex-reflecting number plates, published on 11 September 1972 under the number BS AU 145a(14), or .

(b)any other relevant standard or specification recognised for use in an EEA State and which, when in use, offers a performance equivalent to that offered by a plate complying with the British Standard specification, .

and which, in either case, is marked with the number (or such other information as is necessary to permit identification) of that standard or specification.

2. Where the registration mark is displayed on the front of the vehicle, it must have black characters on a white background.

3. Where the registration mark is displayed on the back of the vehicle, it must have black characters on a yellow background.


PART 3VEHICLES REGISTERED BEFORE 1ST JANUARY 1973 (OPTIONAL SPECIFICATIONS)

ARequirements where the vehicle carries a registration plate which is constructed so that the mark may be illuminated from behind by virtue of the translucency of its characters.

1. The registration mark must be formed of white translucent characters on a black background on the surface of that plate.

2. When the registration mark is illuminated during the hours of darkness, the characters on that plate must appear white against a black background.


BRequirements where the vehicle carries a registration plate which is not so constructed.

Either of the following is permitted?

1. A plate made of reflex-reflecting material complying with the requirements of the British Standard Specification for reflex-reflecting number plates published on 31 October 1967 under the number BS AU 145(15) and which displays black characters on a white background where it is fixed on the front of the vehicle and black characters on a yellow background where it is fixed on the rear of the vehicle.

2. A plate displaying white, silver or light grey letters and numbers on a black surface having every character indelibly inscribed on the surface or so attached to the surface that it cannot readily be detached from it, which may either?

(a)be made of cast or pressed metal with raised characters, or .

(b)consist of a plate to which separate characters are attached, or .

(c)consist of a plastic plate having either reverse engraved characters or characters of a foil type, or .

(d)consist of an unbroken rectangular area on the surface of the vehicle which is either flat or, if there is no flat area where the mark is required to be displayed, an area which is almost flat.




For my car which was registered in '73 it's clear that I need black on white at front and black on yellow at back. It appears that before that date you have options and can have the same design on front and back. There's a wikipedia page on it too.

Re the grill with letters on I don't think it is legal from the above, but would be interested to hear what others think.

Sean.
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:02 am

jono wrote:I need a number plate for the rear of my 1970 +2S. I have a number of queries.

The front has the raised plastic letters fixed to the grille. I have repainted these in white and painted the grille black - it all looks good. Now for the queries:

1 Is the front grille with letters arrangement legal?
2 Would it be legal to have a rear number plate in black with similar white raised letters?
3 If I wanted the rear plate to be black with silver raised letters is this legal (with white letters on the front)?
4 As a subject view, any preferences on silver or white raised letters on the rear (assuming legal). What was usual for the period?
5 If I decided on a pressed ali rear plate in black with silver letters is this legal with the front numbers as described?
6 Assuming all of the above are legal, where would be a good supplier (ie sensible price and reasonable product)?

I have looked at Tippers and the other 'premium' suppliers and spoken to then at shows. They all seem arrogant adn overpriced :shock:

I know there have been a few discussions on these issues before but I must confess there seems to be no settled view. Would anyone dare to provide me with the gospel?

Cheers, Jon


Hi Jon,

As I see it all the options you have listed are legal. Basically, if the car (any car) was fitted with them as new, and they were, then they are legal. Standard at the time was raised plastic digits on a plate which had replaced the pressed aluminium type previously used. The crux of the matter is not the type of plate but the colour - Black and white/silver up until 1973, yellow and black rear/white with black letters front after 1973. The yellow plates were optional for a few years prior to 1973.

As far as the white or silver letters are concerned, it depended on what the dealer fitted prior to delivery. I have seen period photo's with either.

My car had a flat reflective plate on the rear which was black with a sort of dotted silver effect for the digits which I replaced with a traditional black with raised white digits last year - white letters on the front grill. Neither has attracted unwelcome attentions of the Police or the MOT man incidentally.

I bought my plate from Framptons, cost about 30 quid. The letters I bought loose from Paul Matty as they were a lot cheaper than from Framptons.

Hope this helps

Robbie
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