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Registration of 'reconstructed' cars


JohnD
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Furore rages elsewhere in the Classic Car world about recent developments in the way that the DVLA will deal with cars that have been rebuilt.  But not here, and the Club should be aware, as it could affect Triumphs if it goes much further.

 

It apparently comes from the appearance in Europe of Bugattis, built in Agentina, that have claimed to be original cars on the basis of a few original parts, while the majority of the cars  components are are new.   There is an long thread on the Austin Seven Friends site , involving several people who know a great deal about classics.  See: http://pub25.bravenet.com/forum/static/show.php?usernum=2099944454&frmid=5&msgid=994876&cmd=show.

 

My interpretation of the discussion is that the DVLA will become much more stringent about age-related registrations, and will not award one unless the car is mosty made uop of original, major components.    Cars that already have a "Historic" registration will not be re-inspected (although that is rumoured).     But it might be problem if anyone comes up with a car like ADU 1B, say, a replica of a well known car, that no longer exists.

 

But this could also be straws in the wind.    Will engine transplants, Alfa Twin Cams for instance, with bodies of hand rolled alloy (John Bonnet's) or with the bonnet, roof, doors and bootlid made of GP (Silverback) be excluded in the future?    Is the TSCC, as  a major Club for Triumphs, discussing this with the FBHVC, that is the official conduit with Government on these matters?

 

JOhn

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Is a roughly Triumph-shaped car, with nothing mechanically Triumph about it, still a Triumph? I’ve debated it for years and been shouted down many times by the vociferous mod-brigade - it has to be faster / better / safer / stronger than the original, so lets use Subaru diffs and rear axles, space frame chassis, Mazda engines, Ford gearboxes, all sorts of weird and wonderful wheels and interiors and by the way it’s still a 1973 Triumph for free tax purposes. And why oh why won’t the DVLA believe it’s only slightly altered from factory spec? 

It won’t affect Triumphs that have been rebuilt to original spec, or restorations that use like-for-like components i.e. a donor engine. It will affect major alterations until this minority of cars can prove they’re properly made and no danger to the drivers or other road users.

It’s the usual story of a few ruining things for everyone else by bending the rules further and further. 

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Please, it does all refer to "reconstructed" vehicles. So the obvious example for us is Jigsaws replica ADU, built out of a few bits or original competition cars and lots (I suspect) from other sources. And I believe DVLA let them use the ADU number on that reconstructed (I do hope I am using that term correctly) spitfire.

 

This seems to have nothing to do with modified vehicles, which still use the points rule. 

Colin, worth noting that all our cars have to go through the MoT, which is a basic safety test to prove the car is essentially safe. However, I would love to see the rules on tyre age updated, the number of old cars that run around on ancient rubber is scary (I got all anal walking around the waiting area at Spa prior to the track laps, some cars I would not want to be a passenger in going down the local shops!)

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Agree about the tyres! I read another thread somewhere that Michelin recommended to change tyres once they were 7 years old, no matter how little worn they were. But, I suppose they would say that wouldn't they! :lol: Apparently there is a date marking on tyres, my brother stopped a "tyres are us" guy putting 3 year old "new" tyres on his modern. 

 

As to original spec, In the production run of the GT6 the rear suspension was upgraded twice and servo from option to standard. My windscreen split from top to bottom and I was very pleased to replace it with modern glass. Everything moves on, what would Triumph be doing now if they were still around? Not vertical links and trunions I suspect!

 

I keep thinking about fitting overdrive to my car but one look at a diagram shows me there are as many bits in the OD as the rest of the car put together! It's hardly surprising there are numerous "my ODs not working" threads on the internet. Also the GT6 gearbox isn't that good, I'm on my third, so If it goes again I'll be looking at 5 speed box.

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Much of this could be avoided if the law required that unless the owner could prove the provenance of a vehicle, it would be registered as a "recreation" and the chassis number stamped as such, before gaining an age-related plate. Everyone would then be clear that they were dealing with a recreated vehicle, and it could not be sold on as anything else. No true enthusiast would object to this, if their first love is the car and enjoying it, not what it is potentially worth?

 

As John's post indicates, most of the problems in this area are around high-value historic cars, where someone has recreated a car around a few remaining parts and an original logbook, and then given it the identity of a significant vehicle. Fine in so far as it goes, because it allows people to see great cars which have long-since vanished, but it becomes problematic if that car is then sold on as the real thing, when it plainly is not.

 

The waters get even muddier when you consider things like racing cars, which are routinely crashed, rebuilt and continuously modified, and some vintage cars like Bentleys, where people have been creating 3/4.5 litre specials and short chassis 8 litre racers for decades, and just about all of them now sport a Le Mans style open tourer body in BR. This was illustrated recently in the case of a Speed 6 that went all the way to the Appeal Court:

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/classiccars/9131682/Appeal-upheld-over-rare-vintage-Bentley.html

 

I find it difficult to agree with their Lordships' logic, which seems to suggest that even if one bolt was all that was left of the original car, it is still the original. What if you end up with two recreations, both containing a few bits of some long-dead vehicle, each claiming title to it?

 

On the matter of modifying cars, to each his own, and as the owner of a modified 1500 Herald with Mazda seats and a Spit 1500 drive train, which includes a 1200 saloon in its DNA, I am in no position to be too critical! My personal view is that if it is all from the Triumph parts bin, or easily reversible bolt-in stuff like seats or wheels, fine, but I draw the line at alien engines and gearboxes, and wonder at what point does a Triumph stop being a Triumph and cross the line into being a special? There is a danger of modifying what made it "classic" in the first place out of it, but I don't doubt there will be a lot of divergent opinions on this one.

 

Regards

 

Steve C

 

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Agree about the tyres! I read another thread somewhere that Michelin recommended to change tyres once they were 7 years old, no matter how little worn they were. But, I suppose they would say that wouldn't they! :lol: Apparently there is a date marking on tyres, my brother stopped a "tyres are us" guy putting 3 year old "new" tyres on his modern. 

 

As to original spec, In the production run of the GT6 the rear suspension was upgraded twice and servo from option to standard. My windscreen split from top to bottom and I was very pleased to replace it with modern glass. Everything moves on, what would Triumph be doing now if they were still around? Not vertical links and trunions I suspect!

 

I keep thinking about fitting overdrive to my car but one look at a diagram shows me there are as many bits in the OD as the rest of the car put together! It's hardly surprising there are numerous "my ODs not working" threads on the internet. Also the GT6 gearbox isn't that good, I'm on my third, so If it goes again I'll be looking at 5 speed box.

Doug, do not be afraid of the overdrive. I have only had one need any proper attention in 25 years, and that was on a 120,000 mile gearbox and od (saloon box in my vitesse) that had never been shown a moment of mercy (by me at least) 95% or overdrive problems are simple electrical faults. And 5 speed Type 9 boxes are getting hard to find. Therefore expensive....

 

As to tyres, 7 years is a decent rule of thumb. Bin them after that. Just replaced 9 year old (pirelli) tyres on the MX5 for a set of Goodyear Efficientgrips (£140 delivered, bargain) Car is now almost silent on the move, and more importantly I cant spin the wheels in second on a damp day. In fact it is hard to do it in first now, the grip is amazing! Chalk and cheese, both similar end of the market tyres, and the pirellis were only down to 3-4mm

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