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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: November 6, 2014, 9:58 pm 
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Joined: August 29, 2010, 11:43 pm
Posts: 223
Location: East st Paul, Mb
This was the procces I went through.
My experience was a good one. And in the end, not too difficult (easy to say now, eh) . Your result may vary.

The processes is not well (at all) documented with MPI (Manitoba public insurance, a crown corporation, and sole registrar and insurer). The challenge was being properly prepared and finding some one to do the safety. I believe being well prepared contributed to the 'good fortune I had.

I initially called MPI vehicle standards and inspection, and was directed to a Rosa Robert. I told her what I was building (a scratch built replica of a 1962 Lotus super 7). She told me to save all my receipts. Along with bill of sale and the TOD from the donor ( I used a single donor). When the car was finished, I was to have it inspected, fail for no VIN only (nothing else). Once this was done She faxed me a 'Procedure to apply for an assigned VIN' and an 'Application for Assigned VIN', that I had to fill out and send in along with my other documentation, to get an applied VIN (In the end she was satisfied with using the bill of sale and TOD from the donor, and only the invoice for the raw steel I had purchased for the frame and the safety inspection). If the application is approved it is sent to vehicle standards and inspection who can reinspect it . They then apply the ‘pigskin’ as they call it.

I build the car, from the outset, to satisfy MPI using the modified vehicle hand book and the inspections handbook and the highway traffic act. DOT this and SAE that. Lights, fenders, bumpers, wind shield, belts, etc where they need to be. I spent a lot of time researching this.

The most challenging thing then, was finding someone who would safety it. It was suggested by someone at MPI inspection and registration, to go to a fabricator such as ‘Bear’ (something or other), as they have a history with MPI, and are familiar with ‘built’ vehicles. Well tried that and all I got from Bear’s son who now owns the shop Is how he’s failed this vehicle and that vehicle . He knew it all, and was of no help , and needless to say I did not go back there. I also tried Sandale automotive, who had eventually safety'd the not so good experience I mentioned above. They were willing to do the safety inspection, though were not overly enthusiastic about the last one (Bobs car), and were only willing to offer me any advice, at their hourly shop rate. Really? These shops all seamed to have the If we didn't build it(make money on it), we don’t want t deal with it.

I continued to call around and got anything from ‘I wouldn't have a clue how to safety that’ (its the same as any other vehicle, eh) to ‘I WOULDN'T SAFETY A CAR WITH HEIM JOINTS’ (Red Bearing, a British car specialist, and also members of the, holier than though club).

Once the car was built, I ended up taking a chance and drove down the street to my local garage (with a pocket full of money, just in case), who, after a short discussion, agreed to inspect it right then and there. I confidently explained to him everything would pass, as it was essentially all new, and done properly (I had gone over the inspection check list on my own repeatedly before going down the so there would be no surprises). He focused on real safety items like brakes, suspension, and steering, which made sense. Did not bother with anything else in any detail (nothing found no reason to look further).

The one dark spot , was, when we were done, the mechanic called MPI as he was not sure how to process the inspection with the failed vin. Well, the guy that called back starts questioning the mechanic in a very hostile tone. After a few minutes of this, he hands me the phone. Well this guy (turns out to be the supervisor) goes off on me,
HIM- ‘where did you get the kit?’.
ME-‘ Not a kit, sir built it myself’.
HIM- ‘So you’re a certified welder then’.
ME- ‘No sir’.
Him- ‘How do I know the welds are sound then. ‘
ME- ‘I took a welding course, studied engineering, practice, practice, practice (did my due diligence).’
HIM- ‘Well your go have to bring it in, and we are going to go over the car top to bottom and if I find any bad welds…..’.
ME- ‘I fully expected that, sir’ (based on Bob’s experience, I did expect this).
Man, it took every thing I had to not tell this turkey where to go.
So I left the mechanic, elated that I’d passed the inspection, but deflated that I still had to deal this this A**hole.

The next day (Thursday) I faxed in My failed vin inspection, to Rosa ( I had already sent in the rest of my paper work as I was told it takes up to 6 weeks to process), and prepared to wait.

The following Monday morning, I get a call form a guy.
HIM—‘This is So and so form MPI, Your looking to have an applied VIN installed”.
ME- “Um yes” ( I says excitedly)!
HIM- ‘When would you like to do it?
ME- “ WHEN can you do it?”
HIM- ‘ I'm heading out to Selkirk to do a bike’
ME- ‘Like a house call?!’
HIM- ‘Yes, if your car is somewhere warm.’ (it was still early spring and quite cool outside)
ME- ‘Yes sir its 18’ in my garage , I work in Selkirk, and live in East st Paul. I can meet you there on your way to Selkirk in 20 Minutes.’
So I rush home (just vibrating), get my book of documents together, and mentality prepare myself for another inspection.
The guy walks into the garage, looks at the car and says ‘ nice car, where do you want this?’ (Holding the VIN). That was it! We talked while we finished off a couple of forms and applied the VINs, but he did not (obviously) look anything over. I think he could tell by my interest in showing him the work I’d done, and as he said ‘if I don’t see anything wrong I don’t keep looking’.

Insuring the car then was not a problem, as again MPI is the sole registrar AND insurer so once they registered it they are obligated to insure it (it did however take considerably more time at the insurance agent to figure out how to insure it that it did to get the VIN on the car).

If any one has any more specific questions or there are documents you'd like to see, feel free to ask.

_________________
Chris


Build log http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=12374
Completed build showcase http://locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=16865


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