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MG MGA - EC Proposals To Limit Car Modifications

A colleague on Linkedin has unearthed more EC proposals that could have major implications on classic cars. Fortunately they would appear to be aimed at cars less than 30 years old, so we should be ok with our MGAs. The MGB fraternity, though, could be affected with the later cars.

The headline statement states: "The Commission proposes to introduce a definition for a roadworthiness test that components of the vehicle must comply with characteristics at the time of first registration. This may prevent most modifications to vehicles without further approval of the vehicle. (this will apply to many components and to all types of vehicle)

The Commission proposes to change the definition of an Historic Vehicle that may be exempt from periodic testing. This may allow vehicles older than 30 years to be exempt from testing providing the vehicle has been maintained in its original condition, including its appearance."

I am surmising that one area that could affect many cars (possibly including our older than 30 year old cars) is the gearbox 5-speed modification.

This is the website that discusses the issues:

Steve Gyles

What five speed conversion? Gearknob only says 4 speeds.
R Mcknight

See discussion Spridget General "End of our hobby?"

FR Millmore

Here in the State of South Australia we have had, for many years, what is called a concessional registration system for older cars (it used to be cars over 30 years old but has now been "pegged" at 1978 I think). Elected "experts" from approved Clubs inspect the car and must certify as to its originality. No alteration to major components is allowed, owners who wish to modify their cars can do so and register them normally (safety inspection is normally required). We are allowed to use the car for 90 days per year (recorded in a log book-few owners even approach this) and the cost is about one quarter of the normal registration fee. Other States are interested and are slowly following suit. It means that we can drive and own old cars without "going broke" and I understand that there are about 10,000 cars on the system. Owners enthusiastically follow the rules and I am unaware (apart from "teething troubles") of any irregularities. It is a win/win situation as it means that we can drive our old cars and the government is getting something for almost nothing!
Barry Bahnisch

Here in the US, states which require emissions testing also require that cars are unmodified, so long as those cars are less than 25 years old (also the limit for exporting cars from other countries). But there are always agitators who want to push the 25-year cutoff back, as if there was more than a miniscule number of cars on the road older than that. Part of the problem is that enviro-wackos in California have the ear of the legislatures in several self-styled "progressive" states, including my home state of Washington, which several years ago passed legislation that said that we will rubber-stamp any automotive regulations passed in California. And California is in the process of following Greece off the cliff. Be vigilant!
David Breneman

The exact rules vary from state to state, and here in Alaska it varies by city. Anchorage recently dumped its emission testing entirely, but the cut-off was pegged at '68 when it was still in place. As far as I know, Fairbanks is the only city that still does testing, and IIRC their cut off is '74.
Del Rawlins

brakesead the discussion on the Sprite board (thanks FRM), definitely worth reading.

Over here in Germany, these type of measures have already been in place for many years, and it isn't Armageddon, plenty of folks enjoying their classics over here.

I'm not a native so if there are any errors will a native who knows better please correct me...

Here, the subject of "originality" is regulated like this... put into overly simplistic language the best of my knowledge:

Modifications to the vehicle must be generally of a type which existed within the first 10 years of it's "First Registration"... in other words that particular vehicle's first appearance on public roads.

Exceptions are only made to this rule if the modifications are declared and have been "catalogued" with the authorities (in the case of Germany, Dekra and T
Sylvester Harvin

I can't resist adding another point to an already long post.

As an ex-Californian "enviro-whacko" who drives MGs (I know, it's confusing to me too) I have to take exception to the comment that there is a "miniscule number of cars" on the road older than 25 years.

Consider not just "interesting classics" but also all of the clapped out Ford and Chevy pickup trucks, Japanese hatchbacks and sedans, and rusted out Monte Carlos and El Caminos in California older than 1988.

That's no small amount.

As much as I hate "nanny state" mentality, surely if these cars were made to maintain an environmental and safety standard, that would only reflect better on us "enthusiasts" in the eyes of "non-enthusiasts" who lump our cars into the same category and be helpful in the long-run, IMO.

No offense intended to Chevy El Camino enthusiasts... I had one that fit that description in my student days!
Sylvester Harvin

This thread was discussed between 24/08/2012 and 26/08/2012

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