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Thread: Bentley Special

  1. #1
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    Bentley Special

    In Aug 2012, I bought the mortal remains of a 1954 Bentley R Type chassis with view to building a Bentley special. There are about a thousand home-rebodied 1950's Bentley in existence so I'm going down a well trodden path.

    I was born in '57 so was exposed to the likes of Hot Car and CCC at an impressionable age, hence the car now has a Daimler V8 manual overdrive engine/box.

    I will attempt to add some photographs but the forum doesn't like my ancient Windows Vista computer so I am unable to put them in the body of the post due to my version of Flashplayer, or something?

    I have found it extremely difficult to find intelligible information about registration. I had hoped that this could be an 8 point build (albeit with a Bentley engine & box, which I have got although the engine's in a bad way). One of the few sources of information I have found is the R's 'n S's forum which has got me a little further on.

    When I got it, the chassis had been shortened by 8" then chopped in half and left in someone's garden for ten years. There's a before picture in which you can make out the gap between the two halves. Much of the cruciform was either missing or hacked.

    I bought an Edwards sheet metal folder and made up some new channel sections. A kind friend helped with the welding and we got it back into good shape. It's now a rolling chassis however there's an awfully long way still to go. I'm in the process of moving house and there's a picture of it arriving at the new house; the second thing I moved in.

    From other threads here, it looks like I'm firmly in Q plate territory, which is a bit of a shock but not necessarily the end of the world. I'm on here looking for moral support and some answers if anyone can help me please.

    One option is to try and put the chassis back to original. This would be a lot of work. At the moment the fish plates give the game away, as of course does the reduced wheelbase. It is common practice for these chassis to get blathered with filler and shiny paint so it may be possible to lose any welds. Actually having written that down I reckon it would be be easier just to sell it and start again with another chassis.

    The bodywork was to be very much in the vintage tradition with a vintage Bentley outside handbrake, which I have bought. I'm guessing something designed in 1919 is probably not going to pass IVA?

    I can't find anywhere the cost of road tax for a Q plate car. It seems unlikely this car is going to have a terribly large annual mileage and I'm a little wary of returning to the £1 a mile tax and insurance we suffered before historic tax exemption arrived (a mixed blessing). Can someone let me know how much Q plate tax costs please?

    I've seem many references to the ACE website but that seems to have disappeared.

    Finally, If I do go the Q plate route, how much information is recorded about the build? Is it possible to change it later? I was given a Q plate on a kit car in the eighties and I don't think the DVLA has any idea what's in that, but I expect it's all changed now.

    P1000021.JPG1954 R Type Bentley Reduced.jpgP1000032.JPGP1000025.JPGWP_20191121_12_11_39_Pro.jpg

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  3. #2
    Official RnS Addict heavychevy's Avatar
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    Do you have the original V5 registration document?

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    is the original front crossmember still in place with the original chassis number stamped in it?
    at least dick turpin had the decency to wear a mask!

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    Yes to both those.

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    Official RnS Addict heavychevy's Avatar
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    My advice would be to continue the build to a Biva specification with any new work but to try your luck with a simple rebody with the DVLA. If that fails you won't have to redo the new stuff. Credit to Kapri for the new work being to Biva spec part of this.

  8. #6
    Rods 'n' Sods Junkie Paul L's Avatar
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    Zoot – Sorry, I can’t answer all of your questions, but I can cover a few things…

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    ”The bodywork was to be very much in the vintage tradition with a vintage Bentley outside handbrake, which I have bought. I'm guessing something designed in 1919 is probably not going to pass IVA?”

    It might be possible to get something like this through BIVA.



    But read this thread for a better idea of what the BIVA test involves first.

    https://www.rodsnsods.co.uk/forum/to...gh-biva-405393

    As it is certainly worth noting that this car passed BIVA.





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    However, I think it would be much easier to go down the DVLA rebody / 8 point rule route.

    This Bugatti tribute has an outside handbrake and is a rebody on a Triumph Herald chassis.



    Rods ‘n’ Sods very own Medusa is a rebody (and re-engine) on a London Taxi chassis.



    My own rebody is based on a Triumph Spitfire rolling chassis.



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    All the above builds are legal because they were very careful in their use of an original chassis.

    "I've seen many references to the ACE website but that seems to have disappeared."

    To help myself (and others), I took a copy of the following chassis clarification from their website before it closed.

    ACE (Association of Car Enthusiasts)

    VOSA have provided the following response to your questions;

    Chassis.

    Q) What is classed as chassis? Is it purely the outer longitudinal rails or are the crossmembers between these also a part of the chassis?

    A) Chassis should be taken to include crossmembers.

    Q) We know that cutting or shortening a chassis is classed as modification but is this relative to the vehicle wheelbase i.e. the chassis must remain uncut between the 2 axles but anything forward of front or aft of rear suspension mounts can be removed?

    A) Chassis includes the full original length of the longitudinal members including to the front of the front axle and to the rear of the rear axle.

    Q) Is it acceptable to remove bodymounts, which contribute no strength to the chassis when changing a body to a different style /make?

    A) Yes, providing they are additional to and are not an integral part of the chassis structure.

    Q) Is it acceptable to strengthen a chassis by the addition of boxing plates a process that involves turning a 3-sided open chassis rail into a fully enclosed 'box' chassis?

    A) Yes, providing the original structure remains unchanged.

    Kev/Kapri on here was part of ACE and I’m sure he would confirm your V5C is now only valid for the engine (that you are not using) as, unfortunately, you no longer have the chassis that the V5C refers to.

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    Just to be aware that the DVLA are likely to look a bit closer to something with Bugatti, or possibly Bentley, on the V5C due to some widespread historical abuse of the rules.

    https://www.rodsnsods.co.uk/forum/li...-us-all-360250

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    "Actually having written that down I reckon it would be easier just to sell it and start again with another chassis."

    In the nicest possible way, this would be my suggestion too.

    Good luck, Paul.

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    Official RnS Addict ivanhoew's Avatar
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    if the chassis was returned to stock wheelbase , with all cross members as per original , could it be argued it's now a restored historically correct bentley chassis ,so garner 5 points ?
    Medusa + injection = too much torque for the dyno ..https://youtu.be/qg5o0_tJxYM

  11. #8
    Off the Xmas card list kapri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivanhoew View Post
    if the chassis was returned to stock wheelbase , with all cross members as per original , could it be argued it's now a restored historically correct bentley chassis ,so garner 5 points ?
    Quite possibly . I haven';t had the opportunity to see if they will allow a non 8 pointer to be modified back to being compliant.

    On a personal level I see no difference to patching achassis with new panels as patching a monococque with new panels. However it's not me you have to convince.

    The biggest question is that your v5C needs to be the correct one to be able to carry on with arebody. It needs to be in Historic and needs to be a Red V5C not an old blue v5.

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    Official RnS Addict thisYup's Avatar
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    if you have the correct wheelbase, you can feasibly argue its a restored chassis (as metal is always stronger than rust... and there's nothing to say it had been shortened and returned to stock as the dvla haven't been informed any different...) but if there's x inches missing, that would be a far harder argument....

    is it shorter just because the bits you had available made it shorter, or for the final aesthetic?

  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapri View Post
    Quite possibly . I haven';t had the opportunity to see if they will allow a non 8 pointer to be modified back to being compliant.

    On a personal level I see no difference to patching achassis with new panels as patching a monococque with new panels. However it's not me you have to convince.

    The biggest question is that your v5C needs to be the correct one to be able to carry on with arebody. It needs to be in Historic and needs to be a Red V5C not an old blue v5.
    It is on a red V5C. It says Historic Vehicle and the Body type is stated as Saloon. It's on an age related plate, GSL ***, as the previous owner sold the original number. I wouldn't have been able to afford it if he hadn't. I've got copies of the original build sheets somewhere so will have a record of the original number, but that's academic now.

    Thank you so much to everyone for the many detailed replies. We're out this afternoon. I'll respond this evening when I can give them the time they deserve.

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