Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: June 18, 2009, 8:21 pm 

Joined: March 9, 2009, 7:24 pm
Posts: 17
Registering a locost in Vermont is quite easy. I had been in touch with the DMV in Montpelier (you have to go there to register the car) by email and they told me what forms to bring. This information turned out to be only partially correct. I told them I had a completely home built, frame and all 1964 Lotus 7 replica with a Mustang engine and trans. They told me that you needed:

1) Registration Tax and Title Application,
2) Homemade MCO,
3) the title from the donor car in my case a 87 LX Mustang,
4) Vermont VIN Assignment Application,
5) bills of sale etc, i.e. all the receipts for the things needed for the build
6) Section 6 of the registration application the value of the vehicle, i.e. the cost of the build.

It turned out that there was some debate about what the Locost should be registered as. At one point I had three state employees debating as to what it was. We established that it was not a Street Rod, which was an early leader, quite early on in the process. Eventually my photo clinched it (even though I was told I did not need one, this was the part which was incorrect). I took along a photo of a S2 Lotus 7 from 1964, with my car staged to look like the car in the photo. This convinced the DMV team to call it a:
Make : Lotus, Model:Replica, Year:1964.
This is good as all the engine controls/emissions can be per 1964 not 2009! The other clincher was that part of the car (nose and fenders) were bought from Kinetic/Coveland and I made the case that those were part of a kit built to mimic a 1964 S2. ‘Why sure, they are parts from a kit, of course they are, cough, cough, mumble, mumble’. At that point I think I had won them over and the deal was done!

-Smile a lot.
-Say Yes Sir and no Ma’am when talking with ‘your’ DMV person.
-Take a staged photo of your pride and joy to match an actual Lotus photo, and bring both with you. Color, glossy..
- Make a spread sheet of all your receipts, (and print it out to take with you), and take the originals in a big, oily stack which looks unappealing to the state employee, and hope they wont want to photo copy them all. Break out the tax paid, even tax paid in other states counts.
-Indicate that part of the car was from a kit, even a small part like the nose, the DMV procedure seems to be better defined if the build were from a kit (Coveland type), totally homebuilts dont seem to fit the standard template for the DMV system, hence the early confusion.

All in all, it cost me $60 for the registration. No title fee as it is too old, 1964 :), no additional tax :) and about 2 hours, plus the drive time to the Golden Dome.

Way to go Vermont DMV!

Seriously though, the people were great. Helpful, professional and very willing to work with the customer. I wish all customer service was this smooth.

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PostPosted: June 18, 2009, 9:18 pm 
The voice of reason
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Joined: January 10, 2008, 4:47 pm
Posts: 7623
Location: Massachusetts
That's great news. Vermont is a great place, if your state gives you too much trouble, get a head start on global warming and move to Vermont!

-Say Yes Sir and no Ma’am when talking with ‘your’ DMV person.

Working for the DMV is probably less fun then it looks like. Really. :) You may have provided the only entertainment in weeks. I remember going once years ago and dreading it because computers were really catching up on things like parking tickets. Waited in line for a long time and when I was on deck the women in the adjacent line came up something like 50 cents short on her bill - no fun for anyone. So I said hey! and reached into my pocket and gave her the money. When I got to the window we started the process and the lady brought up her screen and said Oh-Oh. Then she paused, I could see the gears turning, and then a few keystrokes and she said - OK your all set. I'm pretty sure she "fixed" my tickets because she saw me be nice to the other women...

Sorry so long a story...

What's the downside of being a "Street Rod", does that make you need current pollution regs?

I have heard before the distinction between "make" and "model" or similar can be important and get you what you want on these forms...

Marcus Barrow - Car9 an open design community supported sports car for home builders!
SketchUp collection for LocostUSA: "Dream it, Build it, Drive it!"
Car9 Roadster information - models, drawings, resources etc.

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PostPosted: June 19, 2009, 9:20 pm 

Joined: March 9, 2009, 7:24 pm
Posts: 17
I should qualify my statement about emmission controls, before too many people get the idea that I am attempting a single handed assaut on the ozone layer!
If I had been forced to register the car as a 2009 homebuilt, I would have been forced to build in 0BDII controls, as that is mandatory on all new cars after 1996 (all states I think). So given the '87 LX heritage, 'you aint gona get there from here!'. It would be cheaper to go and get a new motor and start over. Given the limited number of miles I will get out of the car in our summer, which is usually on a Wednesday, I cant see my making much of a difference to global warming next to my neighbors Hummer, Tahoe, boat, RV and snowmobile.

The street rod thing came up one one form regarding if the vehicle was a replica of a pre-49 street rod, so a RSR clasification ( I think, you could look up the form, they are all on line) or a rebuild actual pre-49 vintage vehicle SR classification (again not sure). Not sure of the reason 1949 was key, but it was.

But as answer to your question about emission controls, I think that registrations prior to 1974 dont need a cat converter. My buddy has a '74 911 in NJ and he has no cat (s) on that and its legal (well he says it is). I am sure someone will correct me on the date for the catalyst, but it is back there some where. So my guess, with the 1949 thing again, is you would be exempt from those regs if you has a street rod or a replica street rod. As green as Vermont is I dont think their regs are as tough as CA or some of the metro areas, hey we dont even have smog tests!
Probably the best bet, start with a Zetec/Duratec powered car, take the OBDII with into the new build, that way you can call it a replica 1964 lotus 7 like I did or a home built 2009. Plus the planet will love you for it, or at least love you more than they guy with the Hummer.

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PostPosted: December 5, 2010, 9:47 pm 

Joined: December 1, 2010, 12:56 am
Posts: 5
nice to see a fellow Vermonter that has competed the process. :cheers:

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