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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: September 30, 2013, 7:15 pm 
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That's great to hear. From the letter, the interpretation is pretty much what I was hoping for. They are clearing trying to prevent the titling of a homemade "design" of a vehicle, not home built vehicle. So if you built something that represents something that has been proven on the road, then they will allow you to get a title. The key is how you approach DMV with your build so they don't misunderstand what you are building. Yes, there are gonna be folks working there that will misinterpret the guidelines. Just make sure you follow the guidelines closely and build accordingly so that they believe they are within the guidelines when they approve the application. From their perspective, they are only trying to make sure they don't lose their jobs.

No problem on late reply .. as a matter of fact . .I've been swamped also. Reason I was trying to get some local folks together is if there is a local group here in Sugarland, we can help each other out. I am a computer engineer so can contribute to the electronics and wiring to help others. My garage is also fully equipped so I can help loan any tools anyone locally here needs. I have mig welder, tig welder, CNC plasma cutter, lathe, mill , bandsaw , hydraulic pipe bender , etc .. I can probably build one of these chassis in about 2 days. The only part that will slow me down is the suspension .. hehe.. still new at that.


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PostPosted: September 30, 2013, 9:14 pm 
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Location: College Station, TX
I own a locost, which I built and titled in Nebraska. I moved to Texas in January 2013. I am planning on bringing my car down here next weekend. I really hope I am able to get it titled here. If not, I guess it may have to be a full time track car. I am only 7 miles from Texas World Speedway. But I will sure miss driving on the streets.

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PostPosted: September 30, 2013, 9:39 pm 
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I just received a call this afternoon from an aide in Representative Matt Krause's office. Our conversation was rather productive, and confirms what the letter from Representative Miller's office states. Fundamentally the only hangup with registering these cars as Replicas is the existence of a "manufactured prefabricated" body. There is no definition for this term in the title manual. The aide suggested that we come up with a definition for this term, as he sees the lack of definition as an oversight, and would like something to present to the DMV when he speaks with them about this. I propose the following:
A "manufactured prefabricated" body is one which is obtained by the assembler of the vehicle in question from an outside source.
This would seem to be the implied definition included in the manual from the last statement on page 25-15 (of the July '13 version), but it would be nice to codify this.

The larger problem I see is statement #6 on page 25-16, requiring you to present "A copy of the registration receipt showing that the vehicle was registered at the time the application for title was filed". Considering that this wouldn't be possible on any vehicle which wasn't built from an existing registered car (for instance, an FFR roadster), this seems like an oversight by the DMV, and their intent must have been something different than what they actually wrote in the manual. I will attempt to get further clarification on this.

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PostPosted: October 1, 2013, 11:59 am 
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Location: Sugar Land, TX
Quote:
Tsuppa

I own a locost, which I built and titled in Nebraska. I moved to Texas in January 2013. I am planning on bringing my car down here next weekend. I really hope I am able to get it titled here. If not, I guess it may have to be a full time track car. I am only 7 miles from Texas World Speedway. But I will sure miss driving on the streets.




I don't think you will have a problem getting it titled. The Nebraska title might allow you to go through the "normal" channel of transferring vehicle titles state to state - "full faith and credit" and all that - but if not, certainly through the Street Rod or Custom vehicle titling process. I believe Van, 357, and I are struggling with how we get that first original document regarding the frame - you have solved that by getting the state of Nebraska to validate your build. You already have the golden Wonka ticket, so to speak. My two cents, anyway. . .

Quote:
Van

I don't think the problem is our legislators. It looks more like the way TX DMV is interpreting the law. I don't plan to take more than 6 months to build mine and in that short amount of time, I don't think we can change how the DMV looks at things. From my past experience, it's easier to just to make your paper work fit what they think is "safe" and "legal". Sometimes what they think doesn't make sense but most of the employees there really don't want to think. They just want to follow guidelines blindly. They say they don't allow "homemade" vehicles. Just say it was built in a shop. I consider my garage a shop ... lol.



If your time horizon is six months then you will definitely be the vanguard on this issue. It seems that a lot of the titling issues can be solved by luck - getting the right county clerk / DMV bureacrat. It really would be nice if they would codify this thing properly so that we can get repeatable results. Please keep us posted on the build!


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PostPosted: October 3, 2013, 4:23 pm 
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My plan to speed up my build is to build something similar to the Exocet since I already have the Miata as a donor. I want to keep it simple and use all existing drivetrain and suspensions parts. Trying to see maybe if I can convince them it falls in the "custom" category. It will also look like a Lotus 7 so I can always fall back on the "replica" definition. By keeping most of the main parts from a Miata , maybe they will be more willing to accept that is is not "homebuilt". Worse case, it will be a track car. My only problem right now is taking the 442E chassis plan and make it a drop in chassis for all the Miata parts. I will start a build log as soon as I get my garage clean up and start the Miata destruction.


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PostPosted: January 15, 2014, 3:49 pm 
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Joined: August 7, 2013, 11:30 pm
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Location: Sugar Land, TX
The joys of the winter break - free time to mess around on Speedway's website! Anyway, this is kind of spit balling here, but according to Speedway's technical rep the following frame comes with a Manufacturer's Statement of Origin;

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Nostalgia-Deluxe-Bare-Model-T-Frame,37113.html

If I salvaged the straight portions of the frame rail (especially the member that has the serial number), wouldn't that qualify me as per the Texas rules for a street rod/custom? I would have receipts, form VTR-something something that shows a modified frame and body, and an MSO. Granted, ~$350 is steep price for a couple of pieces of steel and this is a totally bass ackwards way to approach the problem. It would seem, though, that in this scenario I would be legally following the guidelines as they are written. Maybe a dumb idea, but I haven't had much luck through other avenues. Thoughts?

Hope everyone had a good Christmas break!


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PostPosted: January 15, 2014, 10:32 pm 
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Certainly seems like that would be one way to do it, although my big worry with that would be if the MSO stated that it's a "T Bucket" or "Model T replica" or something along those lines. Might make for some interesting explaining at the inspection station (although I have no idea how closely they require it to resemble what's stated on the title/MSO/documentation).

wigwambam wrote:
If I salvaged the straight portions of the frame rail (especially the member that has the serial number), wouldn't that qualify me as per the Texas rules for a street rod/custom? I would have receipts, form VTR-something something that shows a modified frame and body, and an MSO.

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PostPosted: January 15, 2014, 11:09 pm 
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can you modify the chassis and by how much given that its a custom,

like bob the rear chassis horns and fit a new front clip, all the way forward in the rear till you get to the number and all the way back in the front untill you get to the number, see where i'm going here, if you own the chassis and can proove it with an MCO, then that is your chassis if it has that number on it, buy the chassis, get the number put the number on your chassis, remove the number from the purchased chassis and sell it, you are only selling steel arranged into what looks like a chassis.

there can be only one with that number on it and the DMV weren't there looking at the person stamping the number on the chassis and filling out the MCO, look blank and say i ordered a chassis from Speedway and this is what i got, then say "strangely, i had to seriously modify the body to make it fit, doesn't look anything like the picture in their book, still the paperwork is all in order so that's all right then, where do i pay?"

alternatively, bring it here, i'll take it to Jim and get it inspected and issued with a valid Arizona VIN then you can get a title on that.

he told me that you can pick a year as well, and Shellby do it all the time

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PostPosted: January 16, 2014, 9:02 pm 
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Location: Houston, TX
Is anyone subscribed to the SEMA Action Network newsletters? I got an email from them on Jan 2, I attached a screenshot of the email.

Take it with a grain of salt, but it looks like at least someone is aware of it. I don't know what effect this has on cars that aren't "replicas" and are totally unique and homebuilt. Just thought I would throw it out there since it hasn't been mentioned in this thread.

edit: here's a link to the same information to prove that I didn't just make the screenshot up. http://www.semasan.com/page.asp?content ... 1&g=SEMAGA


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PostPosted: January 16, 2014, 9:21 pm 
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Location: Sugar Land, TX
To quote our vice president "This is a big effin' deal!"

Thank you for the update - we'll see how it pans out.


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PostPosted: January 16, 2014, 10:57 pm 
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Sorry to go off topic, but what is the bike in your avatar? It looks like an RD350b, but no front disk brake, is it an "a" model? Those must have been rare. I have a few RD350b in my basement...

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PostPosted: January 16, 2014, 11:38 pm 
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It is a 1972 Yamaha R5. Some previous owner had swapped in a RD350 engine into which I didn't realize until about halfway through the restoration (couldn't figure out why a bunch of parts didn't fit!) It was a great bike, very light weight and with the two stroke engine it felt screamingly fast. I am hoping that the lessons I learned building that bike will translate to a Locost build, which if SEMA alert pans out, is now looking like a real possibility!


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PostPosted: March 26, 2014, 3:23 pm 
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I downloaded the 2014 Motor vehicle title manual and the phrase "Homemade vehicles are not eligible for title or registration" has been removed. They now allow "assembled vehicle" to be titled.

An assembled vehicle is one that is assembled from the three basic component parts
(motor, frame, and body); and the body installed as one of the three component parts does
not resemble or represent an established “make” of vehicle.

If its a "replica" of something that already exist, it just needed to be labeled as a replica which is also allowed.

A replica is an assembled vehicle using a manufactured prefabricated body representing
an established make of a previous year model vehicle.

Looks like we should not have any trouble with getting a title.


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PostPosted: March 26, 2014, 8:30 pm 
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Joined: July 4, 2006, 5:40 pm
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Location: Novato, CA
You may find you have to do something about the frame. Most of the people who inspected my car (in California) were shocked that I didn't buy the frame. Texas may feel the same, that the frame is a "component" that you buy, not something you make at home.

In CA, everyone wanted to see a receipt for the frame. All I had were a bunch of receipts for steel tubes. The Highway Patrol, DMV, and Bureau of Automotive Repair accepted those receipts, but they all acted as if they'd never seen or heard of a frame built from scratch before.

The body you could argue was purchased in component pieces, like the nose, fenders, hood, and scuttle. I think the more you can claim the body, frame, and engine were "components" and not necessarily something you cobbled together, the better. Maybe you could build the frame, "sell" it to someone, and have them sell it back to you with a full bill of sale. In any case, good luck.


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PostPosted: March 31, 2014, 11:09 pm 
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I was wondering about that also .. I was gonna try to call the local DMV to see what they say about a homebuilt frame. I like your idea of selling to someone and buying it back...lol. That might work.


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