DIY Electric Car Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Dear EVers,
I have a bit of a tricky bit of manoeuvring to do to get my EV project registered in the UK. The project donor car is a 1973 car (Lotus Elan +2). I picked up the original car as a barn-find with no engine/transmission and a rusty fuel tank. All of this, coupled with its low weight (fibreglass) made it an ideal starting point for a conversion. Unfortunately, as it had been so long in a barn, hosting generations of ducks and snails, it had fallen off DVLA’s records and I had no idea what the reg. plate was. I have the VIN plate and provenance certification from Lotus but no V5. Lotus have no record of the original registration either.
So... I spoke to a few people at DVLA and they informed me that the best I could probably hope for is an age-related plate. Not too bad, I thought. If Lotus themselves don’t know its not the original plate then no one will.
However, in order to get an age-related plate I need to run through the points system to prove that it actually is an Elan. The Lotus car club have offered to help me through this process but it is not going to be straight-forward at all. Although I could theoretically get an age related plate through the points system without the original engine and box (relying on the original chassis, steering, axles etc.) this would only be possible if the car is fitted with replacement engine/box of original spec. (Not possible with a motor and inverter).
Registration will only be possible on a car that is pretty much complete. I was hoping that I could start from the ground up (the car is completely in bits) but I will need to complete it as an ICE just to get it registered before dismantling and converting. Gah!
What’s more, the twin cam engines and original transmissions are not common or cheap and even if I could sell it after it is a big outlay and a huge b***ache. I wouldn’t even be able to use a Zetec and Ford MT75, which are much more common.
Does anyone have any useful tips or trick to help me navigate this quandary?
Is a Q-plate that bad?
Thanks for your thoughts.
Alec
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
6,115 Posts
Hi Alec
If it was me I would go for the Q plate - a 1973 plate would not be any any better that I can see
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Duncan. I am beginning to agree. I just want to be sure first - apparently once a car is Q-plated it can be in-Q-plated. Not even with a personalised plate as far as I understand (please someone correct me if I am wrong).

Alec
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
6,115 Posts
Hi Alec
I think you are right about the Q plate - I'm saying it would not bother me but I did do a fair amount of jiggery pokery to get a nice plate for my mini back in the 80's

If you do get a 73 plate you may not be able to change that anyway - worth checking
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Wow even with the missing drive train, surely an Elan would be worth a reasonable amount to on sell and get something more suitable for conversion?
Not wanting to be a downer but you know sometimes there are more straightforward ways (that said, I'm kind of guilty of wanting to do my own stuff myself... we all do I guess)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
6,115 Posts
What would be "more suitable"??

Converting a normal car is a bad idea - it's cheaper to buy a Leaf and you get a better car

The only thing that is worth converting is if you end up with something that is unique and YOURS

So an Elan is not a bad idea
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,364 Posts
So an Elan is not a bad idea
Agreed, but undertaking a conversion *and* registering the vehicle is a lot of work. IMO it would make a lot of sense to sell the current Elan and buy another that is either already registered or can be put through an MOT and registered easily. The goal is to produce a conversion not spend a lifetime fighting bureaucracy ;)

My van spent many years in Thailand and was never registered in the UK. With the help of the Split Screen Van Club and an MOT it was easy to get it registered as an ICE and it's turned out all the parts I'm removing are valuable (which reduces the cost of my conversion) :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
What would be "more suitable"??

Converting a normal car is a bad idea - it's cheaper to buy a Leaf and you get a better car

The only thing that is worth converting is if you end up with something that is unique and YOURS

So an Elan is not a bad idea
Well, never said it is a bad idea and I wouldn't go as far as converting a normal car is a bad idea (or at least it wasn't by old standard when no factory EVs were around)
That said, just because you have a car lying around, doesn't necessarily make it the most sensible choice, especially when we have something like Elan, that isn't dime a dozen.
Being unique has a lot to do with EV conversion by nature, for sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Hi everyone and thanks for all of your thoughts.

The reason for choosing the Elan (apart from the starting kerb weight of 898kg) is, as you have mentioned, the novelty. I love classics, especially Lotus and I like the idea that Mr Chapman would have liked the idea too. So if I wasn't rebuilding an Elan it would be something of equal novelty value, brought up to date. I also feel I can justify this particular project to any Lotus purists that might be horrified, in that, it was rotting in a barn and might still be if it wasn't in my care.

I have thought about buying another (registered) Elan and doing the swap (in fact I have been having recurring dreams about it!) but this option is not in itself completely straightforward. It obviously involves some considerable initial cost (I was lucky with my price) and investment in time. I even thought I could harvest the necessary innards out of another registered project to sell with my current car (which could then be registered) but this is all a bit circuitous too and I don't really have the space to do that. It's a good idea in theory but will still involve jumping through hoops.

To be honest, I don't have a sparkling history (as I suspect many others here do either) of making things easy for myself - evidenced by the fact that we roll-our-own cars. I can be a bit bloody minded at times but I do nearly always finish my projects, eventually.

So, I am still in two minds about exactly how to proceed. Either way will be a journey.

What I think I will do in the meantime is concentrate on tasks that can still give me options (rebuild running gear onto new subframe, reinforce the fibreglass shell with carbon/kevlar and repaint etc.) Truth be told, it is all going to take a long time and the eventual solution will present itself to me at some point along the way. Maybe in a recurring anxiety dream...

Thanks again for the thoughts people.

Alec
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
...To be honest, I don't have a sparkling history (as I suspect many others here do either) of making things easy for myself - evidenced by the fact that we roll-our-own cars. I can be a bit bloody minded at times but I do nearly always finish my projects, eventually...
It wasn't my intention to put anyone and their ideas down, just trying to voice an opinion, which may seem a tad more objective when standing a few steps back.
I know, I do have a terrible habit of getting carried away myself.
Good luck all the same - it'll turn out to be a great EV once you get there, I'm sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Agreed - it is a good idea to step back sometimes and examine honestly what you are trying to achieve and that is much easier with someone else's perspective.

With that in mind, I am beginning to wonder whether an age-related plate is REALLY all that necessary. What I REALLY want is a nice electric car.

Man who chase two rabbits go hungry
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top