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I don't want to sound like a miserable sod but since when was it allowed to cobble together a selection of parts and register it as a car?
When I built my Ulster rep more than 25 years ago and applied for an age related plate I had a conversation with the DVLA inspector who came to visit. He made it crystal clear that it was against the rules even then. However back then a new body on an original rolling chassis was not a barrier to an age related number plate.
"I don't want to sound like a miserable sod but since when was it allowed to cobble together a selection of parts and register it as a car?
When I built my Ulster rep more than 25 years ago and applied for an age related plate I had a conversation with the DVLA inspector who came to visit. He made it crystal clear that it was against the rules even then. However back then a new body on an original rolling chassis was not a barrier to an age related number plate."
This was certainly not the case when I built my two cars, nor with the 300+ other Pembletons which have been given age-related numbers. The points system was applied to items such as suspension,steering, transmission, engine/gearbox which together with a photographic record of the dismantling of the donor vehicle and the original V5 would allow qualification for the plate.
An entire kit car industry was built around the concept of fitting GRP bodies onto the likes of Ford Pops and Austin 7 s in the post war decades.
I would hope it depends on the definition of a selection of parts. My special was bought from a scrap yard, there would have been no way to tell if it had its original engine/gearbox/axles for that chassis but they were still Austin of the right period.
Location: Eye on the Norfolk / Suffolk border
So were does a car fit in if over time the chassis, engine, gear box, body, suspension etc has been replaced or refurbished, all ok as the same car, bit like Trigger's broom.
I may havre expressed my view badly. The point I was trying to make was that with documentation there should be no problems retrieving an "original" date V5. However, a collection of parts with no documents at all will present a problem. Common sense says that the chassis and engine numbers will identify the year(s) of manufacture and that these should provide a fair starting point in dating a re-built vintage or pre-war car and this was the case until Pur Sang threw a spanner in the works.
An IVA certificate is given to what is thereafter classed as a new car which is MoT exempt for three years but then has to have its annual test. If dateable provenance is unavailable or not presented when the registration is applied for it will also get a Q plate.
The Pembleton does not retain the original chassis but uses a new space-frame and monocoque body, hence the need for re-registration.
As I said in a previous post the scarcity of common sense, particularly in bureaucracy, is tragic.
For as long as I can recall, the chassis has always been considered the basic identity of a car. There are a number of well known cars which have been 'revived' around the original chassis frame of an historic car, but which contain no more parts of that original car than that chassis. For example, at least three of the Roesch Talbot team cars, which in recent times have each sold for many hundreds of thousands of pounds, are complete 'bitsa's but have their identifiable original chassis frames; are these cars now going to lose their historic registration numbers and be required to go through the IVA proceedure? I doubt it! Will a thriving sub-culture of Edwardian aero-engined cars now be nothing more than worthless scrap? There's too much money invested for this to be taken lying down!
The real cause for concern to me is that this will sound the death knell for any number of restorable Sevens (and Rileys); if a derelict Ruby can be shown to be a complete entity, then it can be given an age-related plate, and then turned into a special, whilst a complete kit of parts, but collated from different sources, now becomes almost worthless! We've already seen the death of a restorable Mulliner saloon in recent times; what else are we going to lose?
I hope you are noting this discussion and they are used to put a very valid case to the DVLA. What would be so wrong in keeping the points system and just how relevant is a body,as long as it is made to a style and using the same construction method as an Austin Seven of that period and similar to commercial coachbuilders who fitted their wares on many an A7 in the 1920's and 1930's? Would this be an example of the DVLA's "True to the marque"? This would be in line with the DVLA's philosophy of "keeping cars on the road".
Location: Somewhere in the Northern Powerhouse
I may not have assimilated all the facts so perhaps someone can help me with a question. According to the current register of Austin Swallows, there are seven cars which have had a replacement chassis at some point in their past; only one of which has retained it's original engine. Are these cars possibly going to be affected?
In terms of relevant importance, the "Swallow" coachwork has usually taken priority over the Austin Seven mechanical parts.
Hello Ray, unless the DVLA receives a report that a particular car has questionable provenance, those cars that have had replacement chassis, as long as they have informed the DVLA in the past and the details are correct on the V5, should be fine, I imagine.
Location: Near Bicester.
Thank you for that Ivor. I have no idea whether or not the paperwork for these re chassied cars meets with DVLA approval. I do know that two of them have been re registered so I suppose they at least are in order?
I was personally interested in the VSCC report of the meeting stating that "there had appeared to be a revised interpretation of accepting new bodies on existing vehicles, either as like for like or bodies of an appropriate style, even if changing from a saloon to a tourer for example".
I expect to see this confirmed (or not) when the DVLA publish their report.
I remember that.
It was interesting, but I think the question for me was not so much "what?" as Why?
I think that, now the furore has blown itself a little, we should perhaps revert to the default "keep our heads down " position until there is a clear and unambiguous definition of the policy.
I won't be holding my breath!
Another letter to the MP might not go amiss..
As mentioned before the chassis is the car, like it or not, it is the part that is numbered and registered and is identifiable in most cases, the body like axles, wheels, suspension is only another variable component. Individuals, clubs and the DVLA need to accept this as fact for all our sakes. If the chassis has a number it's heritage is/should be traceable and it should be allowed to be registered as such once it providence is proven even if it is just a rolling chassis.
If a pile of OLD bits that can be identified and aged,without a chassis number it can be said that at some point they must have come from a once registered car and therefore should not be a problem in getting them re-registered as well, age related and made from parts would seem appropriate in this case.
Our current problems stem from new chassis being passed of as old and being accepted as old by people who should know better. There has to be a limit as to how many replacement new parts can be used when reconstructing an old car. In the case of a replacement chassis an identifiable large part of the old chassis should be available to the DVLA or reliant club as proof of existence of a vehicle in the first place and proof of scrap-page of said chassis needed after approval.
If we can all agree that the chassis is the car or in the case of cars without a chassis the body-shell, life would become a lot simpler for everyone.
Whilst I agree with you both Phil and John, there is the subject of those Swallows that were mentioned earlier.
For whatever reason (I can't imagine what, because if it was due to corrosion a Swallow body would have long disappeared into a pile of dust) their chassis have been replaced and the DVLA has accepted that I assume as the cars are running around at the moment...should they have their historic status removed?
Personally I don't think they should, if their provenance can be proved, but once again, the chassis is the key to a vehicle's identity, much as a bodyshell today has a number stamped into it and if a car is "shelled" it has to be re-stamped and a new log book issued by the DVLA before it can go back on the road.
Location: Near Bicester.
As it happens, all Swallow bodies were given a unique number. Some cars like mine still have this number - it can be found etched into the wooden floor and chalked onto the inside of a door skin - however, over the years, this evidence has been lost on probably half of the surviving cars.
I can imagine an irony where the Swallow body - especially a saloon - would have been removed from the chassis and replaced with a light weight sports type. If by some chance the saloon body survived it would eventually become worth restoring and another chassis would be needed.
Swings and roundabouts.
I may have missed it somewhere in the preceding 5 pages but has anyone worked out what the consequences/options are for a numbered chassis with a buff log book.
Re bodied with the origonal style but new build, refitted with an old body if available, local tip???
Confused of Cheshire
If the chassis number and buff log book match and the original body can be proved to be over 25 years old, there should be no problem!
Location: Near Bicester.
The problem is there is no body.
It was going to be (eventually) a special, albeit with the chassis very much as it left Longbridge.
As I see it my only 2 options now are to find a Ruby body to re-fit or to give up and find another hobby.
Rob. This seems so unfair. When you consider that specials have been built for so many years and the reason for the 750 club, for example, I can't imagine that this is the end of the matter.
Let's wait and see what the DVLA actually put into print first.
Ivor, the Swallows replacement chassis would I assume not have been with new chassis but with an older existing pre-registered chassis, technically that should not be a problem as they were all the same, no one cannot tell the difference apart from the replacement rivets on the chassis plate,and who is going to know in any case, plus it's a genuine replacement part, even the DVLA would and do allow this to be done if they are so informed. Though some early cars had chassis numbers stamped on the chassis itself I believe in which case the DVLA would have to be informed.
Now with the replacement chassis the Swallow or whatever is a rolling/driving chassis with the correct numbers for the original vehicle registration documents,and is how it was sold to Swallows in the first place, it is now by definition a motor vehicle, with an engine covering, mudguards and reflectors it could be driven legally on the road, fitting a body of any type only makes it more comfortable to drive. This point is so important to our case, the definition of a motor vehicle, a driving chassis, tractor, lawnmower even a pushbike with engine is a motor vehicle,all of which need to be registered and none of which have body's or even the many veteran cars are only a seat on a chassis.
Swallows, Gordan Englands or Ulsters and so on generally rarer than the Chummy so it makes sense to build a replica if you need a new body, this is OK as long as it is not passed of as the real thing no mater how accurate it may be, by putting replica or made from parts on the V5C would solve this problem for cars with no ID paperwork.
The DVLA seem to have got it into their heads that a vehicle with a separate chassis needs a body of a certain type and consider it to be a major component, this as we all know is not the case and we MUST get this point across to them.
There are probably dozens of people in the same situation. As you say, sit and wait.
Or build a Trials car instead?
I understand the point of the chassis giving a car its identity but my dad was given a car by a widow many years ago, her husband had saved the car from a field in Potters Bar. The cars chassis was completely rotten and it had none of its original bodywork, we think the car had been used as a farm hack. Dad went to night classes in Hackney to make a new chassis (an exact copy of the original) for it and a friend helped make the new body. The DVLA allowed the car to be registered but insisted that the chassis was stamped with a new 16 digit number. Without the DVLA allowing him to rebuild and register the car it would never have been done and the only surviving car of the marque would disappeared for good.
I think the DVLA are hunting the Bugattis, Alfas et al, that have made some people a huge amount of money at the cost of others by claiming originality when very little actually exists. Unfortunately everyone else who is rebuilding a car at far higher cost than the cars resale value are getting caught. The other thing is I guess the DVLA and the VSCC is trying to stop original cars getting cut up to make a specials. I know of one case where someone bought a complete and running Edwardian to chop up and make an aero engine special, the VSCC was fully aware (I think the owner actually asked before chopping whether he would get a buff form and was told categorically no and went ahead anyway) and the buff form was refused when it was applied for. However it does puts a shadow over people who find original parts from cars that have passed away but could be put back together to make a car, special or replica, so that they can turn a wheel again which to me is a huge loss. What happens in the case of an accident when rebuild is possible?
Sorry for the long rant, breathe
Location: Eye on the Norfolk / Suffolk border
Quite agree Tom, I see nothing wrong with a car assembled from original mechanical parts even if they came from a number of vehicles, they just need to be identifiable as such in order that deception can not take place. It is not uncommon in any field of historic interest for machines to be reconstructed or even recreated from scratch, look at steam engines for example.
Rant quite understandable, Tom. I also hate it when an otherwise restorable historic car gets sacrificed to make a special or hot rod. What I do admire are the guys who take a wreck or a car rusted beyond repair and make something of it. What your Dad did was admirable.
I do hope the DVLA will take on board all the consequences of their actions and come to a satisfactory solution.
I am watching with increasing wonder at the rather convoluted arrangements in UK.
That said I think that some are making it more confusing- here a car has a saloon body or a tourer body - a Swallow is either a saloon body or a tourer body - it doesn't matter who built it surely.
Location: Malvern, Melbourne, Australia.
I have understood form a number of sources that the DVLA identified their intent to give feedback after the meeting, based on the issues raised and what was discussed.
Seemingly the only sticking point is re-bodying of rolling chassis of pre war cars, which they were open about and were going to go away and re-evaluate their stance.
Presumably it is this matter which has delayed the 'feedback'.
That said I do not believe we will return to where we were, there is seemingly far more emphasis on the 'historic' from the DVLA.
Lets hope they can make a decision before people start going out of business!
Spoke to one well known builder of new bodies last night and he hasn't had a single order in the last four months.
Location: United Kingdom
Location: Malvern, Melbourne, Australia.
There is a massive amount still at stake here.
Its good that the meeting has happened and that the DVLA are mulling over the feedback.
As has been stated, Special building and new bodies are still areas for concern. The FBHVC, I believe (and hopefully I'm wrong!), only represent part of what we do with old cars in that their area of interest appears to be "historical accuracy" maybe it is this has driven the DVLA's thinking to date?
There has, and still is, been a special building culture in this and other countries; this is an area where the FBHVC don't appear to be involved, but the old car world would be poorer without some of the aero specials, and hybrids that are around (and that are being built)
Very valid points Mike.
Despite very youthful years I do clearly remember the strife caused when the DVLA started to computerise in the late 1970's - the phone (a shared "party line" with our elderly neighbour!!) did not stop ringing as my father and other Officers/affiliates of the Clubs' Association attempted to spread the word to "act now or lose out" - many did and just as many lost out, it would seem. Oh for the Internet when that exercise was undertaken.
Just because the DVLA are unable to identify the registration details of an original car (because they failed in their duty to transfer ALL the registration details at the time of computerisation, as was promised at the time) we are now to be penalised if we produce a vehicle with no paperwork...
This is a very valid point and I wonder if the relevant members of parliament are fully aware of this fact, if not they should be made so. The government and DVLA need to realize that they are public servants working on our behalf and that their incompetence is now risking peoples livelihoods.
On the other hand, we as the public must realise that we have been given many exemptions and priviliges simply because we run "historic" vehicles.
Personally I do not see a 'historic vehicle' when presented with a newly built Austin 7 special in many cases. In most cases it is no more than a toy.
We must be mindfull that using the exemptions designed for historic vehicles as a vehicle to create cars to the builders own specification may well not be in the spirit in which the priviliges were meant to be used.
Because as a hobby we have not been mindfull, is the reason we have got where we have.
Just because there is an industry building pretend historic vehicles is not a valid reason for the dvla to bend the rules to allow it to happen. In essence they will have been partly responsible for their own demise.
I have been wondering where I stand if I want an age related number for an imported car? I have been looking at a potential 'London to Brighton' project which would need to be imported from the USA . It would need a new body (mostly) but is otherwise complete. I am wondering if the DVLA would refuse a number because most of the body - apart from the wings and seat - would be new?
The VCC of GB have their own points system but whether this is the same as the DVLA I don't know. I will have to make a few enquiries before going any further.
I will have to re think this idea. The Veteran car is devoid of a body but reading between the lines I get your drift. Unfortunately, there is also no title; the car having been dragged out of a barn where it has lain for the past 80 years. I am also having trouble with my lead in the States - he can't be relied on - so I think it's a dead end.
Another Veteran restoration project that took my eye - a 1904 Brennan - is advertised as being here in the U.K. but the seller is not answering my emails. probably another waste of time.
Better stick with Austin Sevens!