Build Your Own Car – After the MOT

I felt elated. To build your own car is an achievement, but to have a professional mechanic give positive comments and to pass the MOT was the icing on the cake.

On the drive home from the garage, I noticed that the water temperature gauge was starting to rise at an alarming rate. I thought, only about four miles to go, so keep on and investigate when I got home. Wrong!! There was a loud hiss from under the bonnet and clouds of steam.

The overheated Gentry

One of the convoluted hoses had decided to burst. I let the engine cool down and wrapped a piece of rag around the offending hose. The water was topped up and I continued the drive back home with no further problems. My first job was to check all of the plumbing and I ended up replacing all of the the convoluted hose with proper reinforced radiator hose. It meant I had to fabricate more pieces of copper pipe to accommodate the hoses I had available. Before I did this, I went to the post office across the road to get my road tax. This was on a Saturday and the post office closed at 1pm. I arrived ten minutes before they closed, armed with my V5 registration document on which I had changed the body type from a four seater saloon to a two seater sports car and the name was changed to a Triumph Gentry. This would be forwarded to the DVLA by the post office after they had issued the tax disc. I also had the insurance certificate and the MOT certificate. I presented them to the post mistress along with the appropriate fee. She was what is known as a “Jobsworth”. “I can’t give you a tax disc. You will need to send the V5 back to the DVLA yourself as you have changed the body of the car”. After some persuasion, she reluctantly issued the disc and agreed that it wasn’t a problem and they would forward the V5 to the DVLA.

I now had a road legal car that I had built myself. The reflectors were found and fitted to the rear bumper as requested by the MOT mechanic. A few weeks later, I received a letter from the DVLA. I was expecting it to be my registration document updated with the changes I had made to the car. Instead it was a letter from the local office asking if they could inspect the vehicle. I telephoned the the office and arranged for the inspector to come and look at the car. I had no idea why they needed to do this, but he turned up at the appointed time (with his dog) and said that it was necessary to check the identity of the car. It was possible that if there were not enough parts used from the original donor vehicle it would need to be re-registered with a “Q” registration number. These are issued when the age of the vehicle cannot be accurately determined. As this was a TF replica, I didn’t like the idea of a “Q” plate as it detracted from the authenticity of the car. He also needed to see the receipts for the parts that had been bought and for the donor vehicle to make sure that it wasn’t built of stolen parts. He was a really nice guy and incredibly helpful. As far as he was concerned, there was no problem and he would arrange for the issue of the changed registration document. He also made some very nice comments about the car.

About a week later the registration document arrived, so the Gentry was finally completely legal. My next jobs on the car were to sort out the rear suspension and do the trimming.

Come back for the next installment
Til then, have a, or check out Ebay to see what kitcars, specials and replicas are available.

Are you looking for kit car or special insurance? These folks are specialists.

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