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Thread: Bentley Special

  1. #11
    Official RnS Addict 296moon's Avatar
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    you have the correct paper work, carry on................

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    if the front crossmember is present and correct bentley/rolls royce will back you up
    at least dick turpin had the decency to wear a mask!

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  5. #13
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    I'd be very interested to see the outcome of all this. Putting aside hot rods for the mo, the traditional British special was to take a saloon car, remove the body and put a lightweight body on instead eg Austin 7 and Ford 10. These kept the original chassis dimensions. Then there were the type as proposed by Zoot where you got a sporty saloon, such as a Bentley, Alvis or Riley and shorten the chassis to sports car like wheelbase (often 96 inch). There's a long history of this that pre-dates the 8 point rule. If you Google 'Riley Special' you'll find a whole bunch of these on their original number plates (and worth a small fortune!). With my glass half full, I wonder if they'd do a chassis check on an original vintage looking car that's still a Bentley and looks like what the bloke in the street would see as a vintage Bentley.

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  7. #14
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    Thanks again for the help and support.

    It is customary to shorten these chassis when building a special. The standard wheelbase is ten feet. They are usually shortened to around 9’4”, which works well for a two seater. The shortest you can go is about 9 feet. The Racing Green specials are lengthened and are very large cars. 3L Bentleys were originally 9’9 ½” with a less sporting option of 10’10” introduced later (many of which have been shortened over the last 90+ years). 10 feet would seem fine for the vintage look.

    Thanks, Paul for posting the notes from the ACE website. The bit about the chassis overhangs is a bit of a blow. The rear overhang on the R Type is very long and plain ugly. The rear crossmember is a flimsy channel section that has always been mangled by trolley jacks. On mine we replaced that with a tubular cross member level with the rear shackle. On the photo with the frame on its side, at the top of this thread, you can see old and new in situ. I’ll post a picture on the end of this showing just the new with the old cut off. I’m quite proud of that bit!

    I will make time to read the very long thread on the Pop which looks like a great resource. I can see I may well end up adept at 3D printing plastic covers with the necessary radius on. I was suspicious when my home made steering wheel came out alright at the first attempt. Most things I make seem to come good at the third iteration. I can see that one getting relegated to a wall ornament. The screen frame might be problematic. I don't much care for the radiused jobby on the current Morgan but it might be a case of needs must.

    More questions, some of which may seem dumb;

    Re the simple rebody route; I have read other threads on this and it seems to involve photos of the donor car, the rolling chassis and the finished car. Is there a form to fill in and will the change of body style make life harder?

    When people mention building to the BIVA manual or spec, is that the 312 page (pdf) Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) Manual? I’ve had a speed read of that and will clearly need to keep returning to it. It took some finding. As is often the case with such things, I expect it makes sense if you already know it.

    As far as I can tell, BIVA requires the use of a steering column with a degree of collapsibility. This rules out the original Bentley column. Hence any simultaneous attempt at the 8 point route might be tricky as the steering system would be modified? Having said all that, I am pretty frightened of the rigid column and there has been at least one fatality in the club caused by a driver getting rammed in the chest.

    Would it be better to put the original engine and gearbox back in temporarily?
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  8. #15
    Off the Xmas card list kapri's Avatar
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    Is it absolutely a requirement to keep the Bentley chassis and for what purpose ?

    Theer are other more modern chassis available to start from to build a period Special whilst remaining within 8 points system.

  9. #16
    Off the Xmas card list kapri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4potHemi View Post
    I'd be very interested to see the outcome of all this. Putting aside hot rods for the mo, the traditional British special was to take a saloon car, remove the body and put a lightweight body on instead eg Austin 7 and Ford 10. These kept the original chassis dimensions. Then there were the type as proposed by Zoot where you got a sporty saloon, such as a Bentley, Alvis or Riley and shorten the chassis to sports car like wheelbase (often 96 inch). There's a long history of this that pre-dates the 8 point rule. If you Google 'Riley Special' you'll find a whole bunch of these on their original number plates (and worth a small fortune!). With my glass half full, I wonder if they'd do a chassis check on an original vintage looking car that's still a Bentley and looks like what the bloke in the street would see as a vintage Bentley.
    I'd have thought, based on previous abuse of the system, that old valuable cars are far MORE likley to get an inspection than a rebodies Sherpa . It wasn't that long ago that EVERY registered old Bugatti had it's identity checked with many losing long established identities.

  10. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapri View Post
    Is it absolutely a requirement to keep the Bentley chassis and for what purpose ?

    There are other more modern chassis available to start from to build a period Special whilst remaining within 8 points system.
    Good question. I've given that some thought and come to the conclusion that it needs to be a Bentley chassis though not necessarily this one. I've been in the BDC since the nineties and would happily turn up at club gatherings with the current spec. With a rather tragic irony, I sold a sound original chassis cheaply to a pal in 2017 as it was made homeless by my divorce, and he wanted one to build a racing special. It now has a Jag rear end and most of the original metal has gone. Hindsight is 20/20 isn't it? I now think I sold him the wrong one.
    I've got a fortnight off soon so will have a read of the BIVA manual and a long think. I'm missing being able to meet up with pals to bounce ideas around, as I'm sure we all are.
    Thanks, again, for your help.

  11. #18
    Official RnS Addict mygasser's Avatar
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    kev (kapri, above replies) does an idiots guide to biva that condenses the manual into what you need to know and in plain english. all he asks for a copy is a donation to his local hospice. definately worth getting a copy.
    neil.
    need a job done on your project? i may be able to help.

  12. #19
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    You have a V5, chassis with correct # on it, correct engine and trans?

  13. #20
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    I have personal experience of doing this myself quite recently.
    The DVLA are there to help you, and you can best enable this by providing them with EXACTLY the information they need to give you the correct answer.
    Step 1 is to send off your V5C with the new engine number and capacity. As far as I recall, this is a simple change. You should do this straight away.
    Step 2 (some time later) is to contact DVLA to request a form V627/1, which is not available for download. This is a “built up vehicle report”. They will also send you a V894 vehicle details slip on which you need to enter the chassis number and engine number. You need to answer the questions “correctly”, so that it is a simple change of body style. As your chassis was shortened a very long time ago, then it predates the current rules and is exempt. So clearly, it was shortened a very long time ago, and certainly before it came into your ownership and you have not modified it. The engine, gearbox, axles, etc. will all be "Bentley", because they are exactly what is in the car and you won't have changed them during the rebody. In my case, I sent pictures of the old body with the registration plates affixed, then pictures of the car near to completion with the old registration plates affixed and my V5C came back a few weeks later. No inspection.

    I'm sure other correspondents on here will tell me how I have broken the law, insurance not valid, etc., but the bottom line is that my car is correctly registered and insured as a vintage special. It is indistinguishable from one which was done in period and uses all original parts. No-one can ever know whether it was converted in the 1950s or last week, and it really doesn't make any difference.

    Another piece of advice. Keep your mouth firmly shut about the details of your car and don't post any pictures divulging the identity, chassis number, pictures of the body, etc., which could link it to a recent modification. The DVLA and police aren't interested, but there are people out there who get sadistic pleasure from causing trouble, which is how the whole problem kicked off in the first place with Bugattis.

    Good luck and happy building!

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