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Spacenut
05-03-2010, 07:52 PM
Guys, I have been in touch with an outfit called ACE (Association of Car Enthusiasts), who are working tirelessly fighting for our rights as owners and builders of kit/custom/modified cars. They have an excellent website http://www.the-ace.org.uk/ and have been cataloguing all cars that have been recalled by DVLA for inspection. So far around 20 cars (Dubs, customs and classics) that have been recalled following the discovery by DVLA of "discrepancies" in their vehicle database.

This is part of a larger clampdown on modified vehicles of any description. The most high profile pull so far has been car customiser Andy Saunders (who did the Stratos Zero replica that went to the US last year). He created a chopped Bentley called "Mentley Insanne", and while trying to get private plates for it, the DVLA called it for inspection and found that it had had a roof chop. In spite of the fact that the work was professionally done, and Mr Saunders gave himself a full MoT :whistling: the DVLA pronounced the work a "modification to the existing monocoque" and demanded that the car be submitted for a full SVA test (as was).

Based on the ACE case histories, if the DVLA finds a discrepancy (I'm thinking a VW Beetle log book where the vehicle description has been changed to "Sports" and the seating plan changed to 2 seats etc., but there are many other examples - Cobras registered as old Jags, that sort of thing) they invite you to an inspection centre to look the car over. If they confirm there are modifications to the chassis, suspension, steering etc. that do not comply with their current rules the V5 is withdrawn and the vehicle is effectively unregistered. You then have to submit your car for a Basic IVA (Individual Vehicle Approval) or BIVA test, in which every aspect of the design and construction is tested, not just the bit that failed inspection.

This is a tad unfair, but those are the rules. If you look through the ACE website there is clarification of the status of the VW floorpan - DVLA are saying that if any changes to the VW pan outside of normal repair work are undertaken (such as dropping the pans perhaps), then the chassis is classed as "modified" and could be subject to BIVA.

I used to think that older vehicles would be exempt from this type of retrospective legislation but it is not so.

I have been contacted by Steve Wallace from the ACE admin team who writes web articles and does the ACE newsletter, which keeps the kit/custom/classic car fraternity up to date on the latest legislation, both in the UK and Europe, who would like all modifying to be outlawed. He is interested to hear from any Nova owners who might have been tugged by DVLA.

Both Ben and Mike & Elaine's experiences so far suggest that this process is now being applied to our Novas. ACE have been acting as legal advisors to many of the owners who have been caught out to date - some of the team have been doing this sort of thing since the mid-70s, when modifying was originally going to be banned in the UK.

They may be able to help. Let me know if you are happy to talk to Steve and I can pass you his email address.

Obviously you can see why I am worried :ermm:

The options are a Q plate if you pass BIVA, or if you use two major components from a donor car, an age related plate comensurate with the age of the donor...

Its very depressing, but we can't afford to ignore the threat to our cars any longer :sorry:

Lauren

Alzax3
05-03-2010, 08:37 PM
On a similar vein last week, we had a guy on the Minor forum selling a tax exempt car with VTech engine, space frame chassis, All ford drivetrain and steering..... the only Morris bits were cab section and doors. (it was on ebay too http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/hotrod-custom-mor ... 2a04f96286 (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/hotrod-custom-morris-minor-pro-street-zetec-powered_W0QQitemZ180472078982QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK _CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM?hash=item2a04f9628 6))
I posted a polite question asking how he thought that it would still count as tax exempt, his answer shows how stuffed you're likely to be if you listen to people like him:
" HI IN ANSWER TO HOW IT KEEPS ITS HISTORIC TAX,ITS SIMPLE REALLY ,IF IT DROVE PAST YOU IN THE STREET WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IT WAS , A 1968 MORRIS MINOR, YOU WOULDENT SAY OH THERE GOES A KIT CAR, SO FOR ALL THE MOGGYS IVE BUILT AS STREET RODS THE SAME HAS ALWAYS APPLIED,APPLY TO DVLA FOR CHANGE OF ENGINE SIZE,COLOUR CHANGE ETC,THEY JUST RESEND ME THE V5 AND IT GOES FOR THE NORMAL MOT,OBVOUSLY YOU CAN GET MORE TECHNICAL ABOUT IT BUT WHY WOULD WE,OVER COMPLICATING THINGS IS WHATS GOT THE MESS THINGS ARE COMING TO,TOO MANY DO GOODERS,AND FOLK MAKING LAWS AND RULES THAT THEY HAVE NO CONNECTION WITH AND PROBABLY RIDE A PUSH BIKE ALL DAY. ITS THE INSURANCE THAT ARE MORE INTERESTED IN MODS,ANY HOW I KNOW WHICH CHASSIS I FEEL SAFER IN,CHEERS ROB. :D "

Spacenut
05-03-2010, 08:55 PM
Says it all really, although I'm hardly in a position of moral superiority myself :zipped:

It does beg the question, why is he selling now??? Perhaps he has seen the writing on the wall and is getting out while he can. I suppose secretly I knew this day would come. But the good news is that old cars that were never designed to pass BIVA are getting through - one of the ACE members has built one of those mid-engine BL Mini conversions from Z-Cars. You cut out the back seats and rear suspension of an existing car and drop in a Honda VTEC. He managed to get through all the projecting bodywork, lights, mirrors, glass, seatbelts etc. Minimum radius on bodywork is 3.5mm, should be achievable on a Nova with a bit of sanding... and obviously a great deal of expense!

It won't be much fun, but I can't think of any car I would rather own than Green Machine right now. There are so many places I still want to go, so many things I want to do with that car, I can't just throw it away and start again (although I will have to go back to nearly the beginning for the BIVA build :wink: ).

Of course, being able to do anything (as long as it stays within the BIVA rules) does mean I could push the boat out and make my Alison 250 gas turbine powered sports truck a practical reality :D

...And I must apologise to Benherron for posting the linky to the VZI forum, which has been actively debating this whole issue for some time now, with the help of an ACE member. I'm only half-way through this thread at present... it runs to 67 pages!!!

Lauren

Ben
05-03-2010, 09:20 PM
Hi all

Rules placed last year don't aply if they do Jack Straw MP is in deep shit his office helpted and asisted the robing and exploitation of a vunrable person because of a unregisterd EPA he is the top the tree in 2005.

Ben

Vasco Da Gamer
05-03-2010, 09:32 PM
Hmmnn, quite worrying. The DVLA is after me for a full specification on the new engine in my car (I perhaps stupidly updated all relevant bits when I notified transfer of ownership).

With no proper engine documentation, well, no documentation at all in fact, I got a local Air Cooled expert to give me something on paper identifying the engine as best they could. This they very kindly did, but the letter provided (it had to be on official headed paper with the original going to the DVLA) describes the car as a "Beetle Based Nova". Think I will ask them to modify the description - no sense in calling undue attention - although I am sure mine will qualify for the five point thingy I would rather not have the hassle of testing it right now.

Thanks for the information.

Steve

benherron
05-03-2010, 10:29 PM
Lauren you got through more pages than me!
I'm very interested in all of this as my eagle ss has been asked to go for inspection. I only have dropped floorpans to worry about but as you say, if that's enough, my rebuild plans go seriously south. I was going to get it roadworthy and mot'd before inspection.
Not jut financially South (500 just for the biva test! Let alone all the iva approved stuff, which obviously sellers ask a premium price for) but also timewise (which considering mine is in the old mans garage he won't be happy with).
I'll be happy to input where I can and I'll be reading this, ace and vzi with a lot of worry!

CyCo
06-03-2010, 07:58 AM
This is worrying, and I'm in the Colonies! Oz is heading down this road too, but it's still a way's off. There's an organized movement here too. And from memory, it's not only the 'rebodied' kit cars (ala the Nova family), but also those that come from the factory with full custom chassis and body (like the numerous AC Cobra clones, GT40, etc), that may get squeezed off the road by petty bureaucrats.

Spacenut
06-03-2010, 05:57 PM
Hmmnn, quite worrying. The DVLA is after me for a full specification on the new engine in my car (I perhaps stupidly updated all relevant bits when I notified transfer of ownership).

Hi Steve - one of the ways that DVLA can claw back points is to claim the engine is not original. You should be able to establish the date of manufacture from the block castings on a VW engine. If you get hit for a BIVA and can't prove the engine is a rebuilt old one, they will claim it is new and will have to be fitted with a cat and pass modern emissions.

Apparently there is a 350 Chevy crate engine with backdated block castings on the market, and DVLA are wise to it and any rodder turning up with one is being told to come back with a catalyst fitted :cry:

As ACE point out, the 8 points system has been around for 27 years, but has been viewed as a grey area for a long time. DVLA appear to be pulling out all the stops now. I wonder if there will be any Novas left at the end of it...?

What's more annoying is that the kit car mags will be all smug about it, offering the cold comfort consolation of a brand new Caterham or Atom clone for a mere 27k... sound like a bargain, sign me up now - I don't think :puking:

Lauren