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Articles Index > A Spartan Triumph...or is that a Triumph Spartan?
A Spartan Triumph...or is that a Triumph Spartan?
By Andrew Laws
12th March 2004
Links: SVA testing stations

When buying a part built kit check the log book first if you don't you could end up in the situation I found myself in earlier in 2003 having recently acquired a part built Spartan. This car was built on the original Triumph Herald Chassis and the V5 still said Herald. Therefore I set about finding out how to change it to say Spartan. As is the case with the modern society my first port of call was the Internet.
Having read an SVA guide I contacted people in the know to confirm my suspicions i.e. that SVA wasnít required. This should be the case but caution was advised as if the chassis had been modified it would need SVA.
So I sought the advice of the 'professionals' i.e. the people at what I thought was my local LVLO office. The chap I spoke to said no it would not need SVA as it was a 'Body off conversion' to use his words that is to say the car was essentially the same mechanically it was just the body panels that were being changed. Encouraged by this information I set about working on the car but also sent my documents to Swansea DVLA to get the car registered correctly, as a Spartan.
Imagine my horror when I received a letter from my 'local' LVLO office, Peterborough, saying the car would need an inspection. Fearing the worst i.e. SVA I rang Peterborough office and enquired, with some trepidation, what the inspection was and was informed that after the car had gone through SVA it would need inspection by a registration officer to verify the details of the car and I would need to take it to Peterborough for this inspection.
Down hearted and dejected I posted on the Spartan owners club forum, a part built Spartan for sale. The responses were interesting however most people said donít give up get the car on the road. Some of the responses on the forum suggested I didnít need SVA however these also said I would probably need old MOT certificates with the car as a Spartan. Unfortunately the state in which I obtained the car suggested it had never been out of the garage let alone driven and MOTíd but there was hope.
That hope came in the form of Den Tanner. When I was informed that I would need SVA I decided I needed to know what was involved. Reading through Kit Car Magazine they advertised an SVA guide. Oh Happy day I thought Iíll get one of those so duly ordered one. Some problems ensued which I wonít go into here but I found myself in more Email correspondence this time with Den. He suggested that I talk to the LVLO man at Peterborough and tell him in words of one syllable how the car was built and 'suggest' that it didnít need SVA. The man at Peterborough went off read his book and came back a little sheepish and apologetic. Yes this was the case I didnít need SVA but I would need an MOT and an inspection to verify the details.


I also asked him when I could drive the car before it being registered as it would be a little awkward to trailer in to Peterborough. He said I could drive it to the MOT providing it was pre booked and I could drive it to Peterborough for itís inspection, what a shakedown drive itís about 45 miles with approx 20 on dual carriageway.
Nottingham office is about 25 miles from my house but Peterborough is classed as my local office, bizzare.

Locations and contact numbers for the SVA testing stations around the country can be found here.

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