View Full Version : IVA for a NOVA?

Big Birds Car
11-01-2020, 07:44 PM
In a previous post I referred to the fact that there has been some dodgy information about NOVA's and IVA. The following is from experience with BIVA as well as known issues from other people who have passed BIVA with a variety of oddball cars, for example, Roof Chopped Ford Pop running dragster style rear wing, bonnet scoop and SBC engine and a split-screen Moggy Minor as well as a model T.

The following is not an exhaustive list (it is long) and there will be bits that will need further reading by whoever, this is merely a guide and to put some myths to bed once and for all.

Firstly and most importantly the easiest way of getting a "new" NOVA on the road is to go down the re-body route, have a completely standard VW Beetle, remove the body, plonk on the NOVA body, tell DVLA what you have done and all legal.

If you fit lowered floor pans to your otherwise standard Beetle....off to BIVA
If you move the Gearlever on your otherwise standard Beetle......off to BIVA
You can argue as much as you want about the chassis etc. but DVLA have ruled that cutting any part of the Beetle floor pans or tunnel is a modification of the chassis and therefore you lose the rights to re-body under the 8 points ruling, no if's or but's.

So now to IVA

On the outside the NOVA should be fairly easy to get through, minimum radius for edges etc. is 2.5mm so even the front where the undertray meets can easily be sanded to get that radius. The procedure for checking is the use of 100mm diameter sphere, whatever it can touch in the way of a projection has to have the minimum radius or if less than 5mm protrusion then it must be blunted.
Internally, the sphere of doom is two-fold 165mm and 100mm diameter, anything they can touch needs the 2.5mm radius. There are zones that you need to look in to, hence the two different sizes of sphere, but anything behind the steering wheel is exempt and low down the radius does increase. If anything protrudes from a panel 3.2mm then they must be blunted.
Switches, if they project out, need to either retract or breakaway cleanly leaving no sharp bits, the test is a 40kg blow!!! anyway to give you an idea as to how petty this can get......the old smiths gauges with the chrome bezel, fails the radii test as they are only 2mm radius, the way around this is easy, fit correct radius bezels (you can buy them now) and stick them over the old ones, or recess the gauges until they are flush with the panel or put a clear perspex panel over the whole lot, mjobs a good un!!

Lights and lighting:
The only light that needs an E mark is the rear fog warning light, you can make your own lights if you wish, all they have to do is replicate the viewing angles of a standard unit and be as bright as a standard unit. They do have to comply with the distances from edge of body and height from the ground but you do not have to have them E marked. Obviously the NOVA is a little on the low side for the front lights but fit some pop-ups (making sure that they are properly mounted and not obviously there just for the test) and once passed you just revert back to what you want. Look at it this way, you can buy a new car and change the lights and no-one can argue against it unless it contravenes construction and use. Having said that it would be down to the owner if they wanted to go that route, just saying.

This is the sticking point for most, the front screen has to be marked with E43R, this must be imprinted at time of manufacture and not etched in/on afterward. Side and rear screens can be made from glass or plastic BUT must have the E markings relevant to that product, same goes for the sunroof if it is glass.

These have to be mounted securely and in a position that they can view certain areas to the rear and side. You have to have two as a minimum, one on the drivers side and an interior one, however, if the interior one is not effective enough due to whatever, you can supplement them with a passenger side mirror, or you can just have two outside mirrors and no interior one.
It has been argued that they have to be able to be adjusted from the drivers seat with the door shut but you can have the window open, the test is carried out whilst sitting in the drivers seat but the seat belt is not necessary, to this end electric mirrors should be deemed good enough as they can be operated from the drivers seat with the door closed. The mirrors need to "fold back" if hit from outside to prevent injury and this is where some argue that you need to be able to reset the mirrors whilst inside the car, others have argued this is not the case, the mirror adjustment is for when in use. Anyway, if you don't want to put your case for the above then one alternative would be to fit sliding windows as the original mini's used to have. This mod needs to look genuine and not just a lash-up, no glass at all and the tester can claim it has been left out purely for the test and therefore fail it.

This will be judged and tested on the proven age of the engine in the car. Pre August 1975 no emissions test required, after this date it depends on the year to what it will be tested at.

Radius'd tailpipes and no more than 99 dBA for noise. meter is placed level with or 200mm above the ground at 45 degrees from the exhaust and 500mm away.

I thought this might be a hard one but I believe that the following would be acceptable, this is taken word for word from the manual, also note that the TESLA SUV has electrically operated rear gullwing doors so why should this not apply to the NOVA. (the bit in red).

"All driver and passenger doors fitted to the sides of the vehicle must
have a latch mechanism with both intermediate and fully latched
positions. Alternatively, doors must be fitted with a safety bolt and an
audible warning device, which activates when the vehicle is being
driven if the bolt is not in the “secured” position"

Fuel tank:
Needs to be separate from the passenger compartment and the engine compartment. Caps need to be tethered or have a key operation that makes it impossible to remove the key unless the cap is fitted. There are other bits and pieces but not deal-breakers.

There is a height above the seat base that the shoulder connection needs to be and the anchorage needs to be to the frame and solid. If the tester thinks it is just bolted to a bit of thin glass fibre he can ask you to make access so he can see what it is attached to. Often a set of photo's taken during the build will be ok but not always.

Have to have a warning light inside the car for low fluid. The brakes need to work and will be judged on what mass of the vehicle you declare.

Need to be speed and load rated to what you declare the car weighs and how fast it can go.

There are loads of bits I have left out such as warning light and switch identifications, speedometers, steering wheels (no holes allowed in the steering wheel spokes in case the idiot driving puts their finger in said holes and causes a crash or breaks their fingers, go figure), washers, horns, wiring etc. but this is general stuff and good build practice so is no different for any car not just the NOVA.

You can download the manual directly from the DVLA website. It is over 300 pages long but is not 300 pages long as a lot is not pertinent and can be ignored, just look at what is required for your vehicle.
The manual states what is required and how they go about testing for each section, take it one item at a time and do not overthink stuff, only do what they say needs doing and you should be fine, fingers crossed.

11-01-2020, 08:57 PM
Thanks BBC, that is a really useful summary. I was particularly interested in the lighting requirements, it seems odd that headlights don't have to be "E" marked but I guess if the beam pattern is acceptable it doesn't matter. The unlatched audible warning requirement is also very interesting, I have often wondered about a using claw latches or more sophisticated aircraft canopy latches to secure the Nova canopy when closed, the use of such latches would allow a warning device to be wired in.

I know that there are a lot of custom cars that have been through BIVA successfully so it is good to know that with a bit of effort the Nova could also get through.


12-01-2020, 01:53 AM
Wow, thats a lot of useful information, thank you BBC and welcome back to the forum! :thumbup: