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Vehicles of Historic Interest (VHI): Substantial Change Guidance.


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Hmm, I think I understand all that.

So as my spitfire has a wrong make of engine, it is no longer a VHI. Same seems to apply to gitfires unless somebody is prepared to argue that the six is the same basic engine as a 4 cylinder, which is indeed arguable. Or it seems if such changes were commonly done withing 10 years of the end of production. So maybe gitfires are OK? Over to the "experts" for that!

Seems the 15% proposal has evaporated, so our other spit that is making  50-60% more than when it emerged from the factory is still a VHI. 

No doubt there will be umpteen discussions on the matter all over the fori and facebook.....

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Quote, "If the number of cylinders in an engine is different from the original, it is likely to be, but not necessarily, the case that the current engine is not alternative original equipment."

As the GT6 was 'substantially' the same as a Spitfire, except for the engine, I think that there is a case that the engine was alternative equipment.    But I'd not ask, and just register is as a 6-cylindered Spitfire.

I think my Vitesse will be safe, even with CV/LoBRo joints, MGF hubs and Metro driveshafts.  Quote, "Axles and running gear – alteration of the type and or method of suspension or steering constitutes a substantial change" (My underline)   and as above for a 2.5l engine.

John

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Ok Devil's Advocate time.

If you have a car for which there is or was a different alternative ie BMW 4 /5 / 6 cylinder engine in roughly the same bodyshell; VW the same variations, or Jaguar or any of these type of thing. Putting a BMW 6 cylinder in place of a BMW 4 cylinder into a shell, where this was also available from the factory as a distinct version or model, is alternative original equipment. Putting a Mazda engine in a BMW, for example, isn't. Straightforward so far?

If however you take a car that was originally 4 cylinder, and NO OTHER VARIANT of engine from the factory, then a 6 cylinder engine is NOT an alternative original engine. A 13/60 engine will fit easily into a 1200 yes, a TR7 V8, although it may be Triumph, no. The Herald 1200 was a distinct car, as was the 13/60 - you bought a package with slight variations of carbs or cams but you couldn't buy a 1300 or 1500 1200 even on special order. 

SO if, as many do advocate on these forums, you add a 6 cylinder engine to a Spitfire then upgrade the brakes and suspension etc to suit the extra power and weight, then you can argue and probably get away with uprated springs and brakes - and claim factory options - but NOT an engine with two additional cylinders. It was never designed for the four cylinder cars. You may argue all day long that it would have been a logical path for Triumph to take - but they didn't, and that's a well established fact. 

Your Insurance Company will query alterations and will nullify any claim made once substantial alterations are found which have not been declared.

We constantly argue about young drivers who bought classics for the cheap Insurance and so ruined things for all of the young drivers who really wanted a classic as a first car. Are we going to end up with so many people claiming historic exemptions with all sorts of strange alterations and modifications that the powers-that-be will just say: "Forget it. It's too much hassle..."

 

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Colin, some good points raised and I agree with your interpretations.

The grey area is becoming even more grey and will certainly raise more question marks in time to come as a result of interpretation. 

It may well get to the stage that Draconian principles are empowered to iron out such grey areas. 

One simple action may be for the powers-to-be, to say is "if a vehicle has any alteration whatsoever outside the original manufacturers specification then it automatically looses its Historical status" - take it or leave it.

Totally and utterly draconian, but you can see that it could be a very effective way of getting rid of the headache that has been caused. Great news for the bureaucrats, unthinkable for classic vehicle owners.

Far from straight forward !!

Regards.

Richard.

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OK, here's one for you.

My old Silverback, 'Vitesse' Estate, was built from a 1300 Herald, with a GRP VItesse bonnet, GRP roof, doors and hatchback, all "replacements of the same pattern as the original - not considered a substantial change".  A 2.5L TR6 engine, that required no modifications to install, and "alternative cubic capacities of the same basic engine and alternative original equipment engines are not considered a substantial change".     The Guidelines also say that  "in respect of axles and running gear changes made to improve efficiency, safety or environmental performance" are " considered acceptable", so that covers axle changes to stop the wheels falling off and roll cages to stop the car killing you.   It's academic now, the car no longer exists, but where would that have been deemed no longer Historic?

Just to show that extreme examples may still be within the rules.  No need to panic.

JOhn

 

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2 hours ago, JohnD said:

 

Just to show that extreme examples may still be within the rules.  No need to panic.

JOhn

 

In THAT case, since it was originally 6-cylinder then an upgraded 2.5 6 cylinder would be deemed an option, but NOT a V-8; see where I'm coming from?

Re Steve's points: a four cylinder engine in a bigger size can be argued that it's a factory upgrade so you could say that a Dolomite 1300 could easily be upgraded to an 1850 - same engine type, and the variations are documented. If the engine is radically different ie two extra cylinders or even four, you'll have a job convincing the authorities that it's a factory option. 

Just me thinking out loud, but it helps sometimes!

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Maybe I'm having an attach of the dumb today but this confuses me:

"manufactured or first registered over 40 years ago"

"A vehicle that has been substantially changed within the previous 30 years"

So if I have go out to the garage and stick a '87 Rover v8 in my '73 Spitfire it's NOT MoT exempt - but if someone had gone out to their garage in 1987, fitted a '87 Rover v8 in their '73 Spitfire and I now own it unchanged it IS MoT exempt because it was done more than 30 years ago?

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Colin - The TR7 was designed to take the 3.5 litre V8 engine from the start. Two re-production prototypes were run in the early 1970's, one with the 2 litre 4 cylinder and other with the 3.5 litre V8. Due to the shortage of engines and 5 speed gearboxes production of the V8 car, TR8, did not start until 1980. The TR8 is basically faster version of the TR7. As is a 948 Herald to a 13/60 Herald. Though I am not to sure the DVLA would except a TR7 fitted with a V8 as not a major change.

The whole thing is a minefield of problems. 

Dave  

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Quote

* changes of a type, that can be demonstrated to have been made when
vehicles of the type were in production or in general use (within ten years of
the end of production)

I feel sure we can find evidence in the Courier that people were putting 6-cylinders in Spitfires before the end of the 80's.

But in any case, I'll be MOT'ing my Spit (and Atlas when it appears) each year without fail.

Cheers, Richard

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Richard, way ahead of me!    I just had that same thought, that the Club, as service to members, might start a search through the Courier or Turning Circle, for evedince of GiTfires and Spit6s from the day.     A 2-seat, open 2L was one that Triumph missed, but did Club members?

I applaud your intent to continue with an annual inspection, but fear that going outwith these new guidelines risks losing Historic status and having to pay Road Tax!

John

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For many years my wife had a Rotoflex GT6 chassis with a Spit Mk4 body on it , upgraded brakes, suspension and a 2.5 litre under the GT6 bonnet. Much of the work done before 1988, not the 2.5, but I still carried on modifying stuff to improve it. All the mods were period with the age of the car. It's still around. Could be a test case!

Dave  

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Dave,

Guidelines from the FBHVC say:

The following are considered acceptable (not substantial) changes if they fall into these specific categories:

  in respect of axles and running gear changes made to improve efficiency, safety or environmental performance;"

My underline.  Although with the exception of pass stormers and competitors, who may need to go vented to prevent fade, I think Triumph brakes are perfectly adequate, even for today's roads.

JOhn

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John I agree most Triumph brakes a OK for normal road use. However, there are exception - TR7 front brakes are roughly the same as an MG Midget. The Dolomite Sprint has the same size front brakes as the Toledo and 1300 Dolomite. Both can suffer from fade in normal road use. Hence the my concern. The TR7 brake problems were raised with Triumph when current.   

Dave

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I am sure many will take advantage of the V112 and good luck to them, but personally it is not for me.

£40 - £50 for a yearly third-party check over, I reckon I can stretch to a £1 a week to cover that.

On a slightly different tack, will future purchasers of classics be more hesitant about a vehicles roadworthiness and current keepers level of safety concern pertaining to the vehicle  if they do not see consecutive MOT's ??

It has always been a good selling / buying point for both sides and yes I accept it is technically only accurate at the time of the testing albeit then valid for 12mts.

Regards.

Richard.

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  • 2 weeks later...

That has always been the case. A used chassis, or with a monocoque car, shell, means a Q plate. In practice you are correct. At one point the main suppliers were selling re-con chassis for the cars, and that should have triggered a Q plate, but the reality is nobody is bothered. 

I had exactly that issue when I built a car. I had 2 chassis in my lockup from the 2 cars I dismantled (plus the rather bent one from a crashed car) Could I remember which chassis belonged to which registration after 3 years? Nope. Am I worried? Nope.

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