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MG Magnette V8

Well, 2014 dawned - now into year 10! After the seat belt mounts were upgraded early January, it was then a case of waiting to see if LVVTA would be happy and could issue the modifications plate that would allow the car to be complianced and finally on the road.  But definitely not finished and did it all go smoothly?   What do you think?


Not much progress over what is our summer break other than even more hours spent on trying to get the front right bonnet panel to sit well.  This proved to be surprisingly difficult and time consuming.

Fraser cars were one of the first back after the break and the car was trailered down for the seat belt mounts to be brought up to scratch. A days work (and another hit to the wallet of course) but seat belts up to the current rules.

The certifier had to make yet another visit to photograph them and once again, paperwork sent off for the all important modifications plate.

Woohoo! The plate finally issued January 28th 2014 and was on the car a couple of days later.  Phew.  What a huge relief that was.

The next stage - compliancing.  Any second-hand car brought into NZ or any car where the registration has lapsed and is going back on the road, has to be taken to a Compliance Centre for a full safety check combined with the usual Warrant of Fitness checks that apply to all cars (MoT in the UK).

I checked with the centre before booking in the car and they also required a declaration as to ownership, signed by JP (Justice of the Peace)!

Fortunately, I knew a JP who just happens to be a member of the MG Car Club (he owns an MGB GT and an MGF) who lives next door to some very good friends, so armed with an email from the previous owner, that was one painless procedure that took a matter of minutes and didn't cost anything.


Armed with the requisite paperwork, I just had to get the car sorted.  The dash was loosely popped back in, though not without having to redo the  wiring to the oil pressure warning light first. 

The electronic speedo was calibrated by feeding in a number equating to the number of pulses past the sensor per kilometre. At this point, I realised that the wiring terminal block for the speedo and other items, was run off the live wire instead of the ignition switched wire.  An easy fix. Somehow or other, I also managed  to get the ignition switch wiring wrong.  Once fixed, the rear number plate light seemed erratic, so that needed the socket in the boot squeezing a wee bit to make a better contact.

So February 13th dawned, the car was trailered to the compliance centre.  A nerve wracking experience as I had no idea what they might find. My fears were justified...

To recap, this is the revised procedure I was following - taken from part 26.

Print out the LVVTA paperwork (this can be done before you even begin) A big mistake that I wasn't aware of, nor were the various workshops used.
Consult the "Hobby Car Manual" as this is their "bible". Ditto
Discuss the proposals with a certifier, but make sure the above are referenced Although this project was discussed, it was so long ago that the rules had changed since.
Lodge the LVVTA paperwork and await the response to your design plans As above
Modify your designs/drawings as requested and then proceed As above
Resubmit until such times as you get approval (and consult with the certifier) As above

Apply for a Motorsport NZ logbook

This is only relevant on several counts - a cage is fitted and/or the car is to be used for competition.
Get the cage homologated by MSNZ Again, the cage must be built to current regulations.  The rules changed on this car between construction and seeking final approval. x
Apply for an Authority Card (from MSNZ) - that allows the use of full harness seat belts on the road Again,. only relevant if an approved cage has been fitted and full harness belts are to be used on the road. x
If required, get a Vin Number If the car is currently on the local system, this is not required

Get the car certified

In this instance, it caused the certifier problems as the sequence above wasn't followed!
Take the car for compliancing    
Get a Warrant of Fitness (MoT in the UK)    
Pay for the road registration    

Once again, it appears that a stage had been missed out as the compliance centre failed the car on two or three easily rectified items (left headlamp adjustment, brake lights not working, dashboard loose) plus a major.  The major being that as there had been rust repairs, then the car had to have a repair certificate.  They also queried the modifications to the rear parcel shelf for the fuel filler.

Ho hum. Trailer back home again and contacted a repair certifier.  Once again, yet another issue raised before he even inspected the car.  The repaired sills needed cavity wax spraying.  Bays Painters were too busy, so I Googled and found a local workshop who could do the car, before the inspector could fix a time to visit. The revised procedure now read:    

Get a JP signed declaration of ownership Easily done
Obtain a repair certificate for rust repairs Even before that could be issued, the sills needed cavity wax spraying  
Take the car for compliancing    
Get a Warrant of Fitness (MoT in the UK)    
Pay for the road registration    

The good news was that I was able to get the Personalised number plates manufactured and they arrived within a week.  Local rules are that personalised plates must be affixed to a car currently registered or about to be registered.

Then it all went to custard - again...

The repair certifier came over whilst the car was on the hoist and effectively ripped it to shreds .  He wasn't at all happy with the quality of the welded repairs and had an attitude I can only describe as not at all sympathetic to methods of construction of 60 years ago.  This extended to requiring the wax cavity injection in all areas of the car, and as most of you will know, this is not possible without drilling access holes.

He made the statement that he should be been consulted much earlier in the process - which is fine, if you knew that he needed consulting at all! 

Some of the areas he wasn't happy with I didn't consider structural at all but without a LOT of extra remedial work, he wasn't going to pass the car.  His demands would possibly also need extensive respraying and having already paid out $10,000 for the respraying so far, I was appalled at the prospect of little bits of welding on items such as the rear wheel arches, which would burn through the paint. 

All this highlighted once again that the procedures are not clearly laid down and widely understood, not just by amateurs, but also by all the workshops involved.  Asking around, I heard more horror stories about failed certification on several cars.  Ironically, had the car's registration simply been placed on hold, none of this would be required so we have the ludicrous situation once again (just like the roll cage) that two 100% identical cars side by side, one can be legal and the other not.  Crazy.  

I trailered the car home, with head hung low and just parked it in the garage. Having fought so many battles over so long and thinking we were at the finishing post, I was just too deflated to carry on, trying to get the car on the road.

So everything came to a standstill. 

As I write this, February 21st 2014, I may use the car for a bit of low key track work, but it doesn't look as though it will be on the road in the foreseeable future.

This isn't the end of the saga, but for the time being at least, the focus shifts and there may not be any further instalments for a while.

To be continued...   one day