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Re: Re-shell and DVLA

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:30 pm
by Richard A
Hello again Pete,

Herewith the answers:

1. We don't know if the donor car was a write-off, but the V5 that came with it makes no mention of it.
2. Answered as above
3. Yes
4. No
5. No
6. No. We had the registration number of the donor.

More detail to the last answer: John Piper and I assumed that it would be a simple matter, as expressed in most of the comments in this topic. So much so that John had stamped the number onto a new plate, and riveted it onto the car. As the DVLA pointed out the original body was made in Abingdon, and the new one was made down the road in Witney. Unarguably a different body.

Then we were off.... the paperwork is not too daunting. I think that Kits & Rebuilds take a rather more relaxed attitude to these rebuilds than they do to kits etc. the difficulty was finding someone qualified to do the "stamping". Found in the end, obviously....

I joined this "thread" because Richard King asked exactly the question, "has anybody had recent experience?" I had, and my experience is there for all to read. All the other responses refer to "several years ago..." sort of thing. That was then, and this is now. It seems to me that all the previous experiences are now invalid and irrelevant.

If anyone wants to take their chances by avoiding contact with the DVLA, then that is up to them!

Good luck all and keep well.

Re: Re-shell and DVLA

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:16 pm
by Peter Cresswell
Hi Richard
Did the DVLA request the car be inspected? If so it could have been on the Insurers Register as a severely damaged car and this triggered all the problems you have incurred. The DVLA have access to this register and use it prevent 'ringers' coming to market. I assume Piper Specialist Vehicles wanted to sell the car once rebuilt so needed a new V5C as the details on the V5 didn't match with the current owner, and together the DVLA needed the confirmation that the car had been correctly rebuilt and was the car that you were trying to get a V5C for.

Abingdon didn't make any bodyshells, and for the MGB they were produced at Swindon, Coventry and Cowley depending on the year of the car. The body for a 1973 car would have been produced at Cowley. Abingdon was just an assembly plant but as the finished car came from there it was Abingdon that attached the plate showing the Car No. Interestingly, the plate that carries the Car No. for a Healey 3000 doesn't say where they were built. They were assembled at Abingdon and the bodies were made by Jensen in West Bromwich, but the plate just states 'Austin'!

It appears that both instances given in this thread where there was problem with the DVLA involved accident damaged cars, but the Mini had been rebuilt using another second hand shell, which has been a problem for many years.

Re: Re-shell and DVLA

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:19 pm
by George Wilder
Absolutely correct about MGB bodyshell manufacture locations in fact they arrived at Abingdon painted and partially trimmed.

I wonder where the DVLA got their incorrect story from?

The MIni I referred to earlier in this thread was initally rebuilt using a Heritage Shell (in fact we were the first private oners to do this the shell manufactured then at Longbridge for BMH). After it was hit and brought back from the insurance company another Heritage Shell was obtained for the second rebuild. The only need to get in touch with DVLA was because the second rebuild was of an insurance buy back marked on the log book as written off as uneconomical to repair - is that the old Cat C.


Re: Re-shell and DVLA

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:56 pm
by Richard A
Hello yet again Pete,

I should have stated that the bodies were actually made at other places; I only said Abingdon for brevity rather than expand on the conversation that I had with DVLA. I have read most of the history of MG, having owned two previously. Yet again, the point is that if a new body has been obtained, it cannot have the same numbers as an old one; no ifs or buts.

No, it did not need to be inspected as it seemed obvious that it had not been recorded as a write-off. I have the previous V5 in my file; it has no unusual comments. The V5 history was complete and continuous, even to Piper S V having notified DVLA that they had bought the damaged car.

Once I had sent the required proof that the new/correct VIN had been applied, the new V5C arrived in a matter of days.

No again. John built the car for me, and we decided on specification together. Obviously I was the one who needed the new V5C, so I instigated the procedure.

The situation/procedure will be exactly the same even if the new shell is just to replace a rusted-out one.

Once more, I repeat all the comments that have been produced on this subject refer to times past. Times have changed......

I wait to see the next attempt at justification for ignoring the current rules.


Re: Re-shell and DVLA

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:57 pm
by Peter Cresswell
Hi Richard,
I am happy for us to agree to disagree as after further investigation, I still don't believe your experience is what happens in the vast majority of cases - even recent ones - with any of the bodyshells that Heritage supplies, for Minis, AH Sprite, MG Midget as well as the MGBs. Even the early Mini shells are ok as far as the DVLA is concerned and they had many detail differences over the 7 years of production.
The best comment I have is that 'Heritage have been very careful to agree with the DVLA that a re-shell using a Heritage shell is allowed and does not affect the integrity for the car or it’s provenance.' This all assumes that the new shell was a direct replacement (not GT to Roadster or even perhaps Rubber Bumper to Chrome Bumper), and the other parts of the car were transferred into the new shell even though they will have been reconditioned.
It is really up you if you wish to pursue the issue further to get the provenance of your car reinstated, and if you are an MG Car Club Member there is help to be had there. I mentioned the RS2000 that had the same note on the V5C as you do, and I certainly wouldn't rush to buy another car with that on the V5C.

Re: Re-shell and DVLA

Posted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:58 pm
by Richard A
Looking back over earlier posts, I note that there is one that is surely libellous or slanderous, namely the comment:

I think I would transfer the original chassis number plate otherwise the MOT tester will pick up that the car doesn't match the DVLA record on his computer. But George is quite right, it is allowable to use a bodyshell of the same type as the original. That's how Frontline get away with their "Abingdon" rocket ship.

I have just read the legal definition of libel/slander and it seems that this comment fits the bill perfectly, and this includes what the plaintiff needs to prove, especially as it is obviously based on hearsay and erroneous assumption.

I doubt that Frontline will bother, but one must be sure of the facts before going into print.

Now, why in earth would a company with such high standards and great reputation want to risk all by “fiddling the books”? I contacted Frontline, and surprise, surprise, their cars have DVLA VIN numbers. V5C’s are annotated: 1. REBUILT – ASSEMBLED FROM PARTS SOME OR ALL OF WHICH WERE NOT NEW. This is exactly the same as mine. It is not as though they have some sort of mass-production going, each car is made to individual order. I would add that Frontline do not wish to be involved further in this discussion.

I rest my case.

I have two questions for anyone who has been following this discussion, especially Pete and George:

Let us assume that you are in the process of rebuilding your car into a Heritage shell, what would you be planning to do about registering the car when completed?

Bearing in mind this all started when Tribonnie asked for advice on the matter. Now, what advice will you give him?

It would be good to hear from others out there following this saga. Let’s have your opinions.

You may wonder why I have bothered with all this. I think it worthwhile, for the benefit of anyone going along the re-body route, that they should know the real situation before they let themselves be persuaded to follow the, how should we say it?, the wishful thinking and “this is how it was years ago” way. It would be a great shame if, after so much work, someone should be left with an illegal car, which might be “discovered” sometime later, with all the potential, possibly disastrous, consequences.