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    Andy drop me an email at and I can give you a copy of a letter from Dept of Transport re MOT's which might be useful if stopped and your current MOT has expired but car is still taxed and is exempt from MOT. I did cover this in an article in Round Up.
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    2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 6.4 Hemi Yellow Jacket
    2011 ROUSH Stage 2 Mustang
    1964.5 Vintage Burgundy 164hp 260ci V8 Convertible


      The MOT emissions test tells you a little of the running health of the vehicle.
      Just make sure it doesn't smoke.....after all, the car is old enough not to. On brake balance? Decades ago when I drove for a very rural bus & waggin firm, the yard was mainly gravel and hardcore...with pronounced slope towards the gatehole. The resident fitter [a Russian ex-POW who...''stayed on'']...would check the balance, or evenness of a bus's brakes by backing up the yard, and accelerating [hurtling] down, before slamming on the brakes, then inspecting the skid marks.
      On the odd occasion he went clean through the workshop doors....
      Life was simpler in those days..if the brakes worked, whooptidoo..if they didn't work as wished for, start braking earlier..or leave a bigger gap? This at a time when my Mustang would have been over 10 years old, as well!
      Speaking as the driver of the very first bus to break down in the middle of the Humber Bridge!
      On the day after opening day!


        In response to the above I would say the following.

        Brakes:- The older Mustangs do not brake like modern cars. Mine originally had un power assisted single circuit drums all round and was just a little short of dangerous on modern roads. Every time you hit the brakes the car wold pull in one direction or the other and its stopping distance was much more than modern vehicles. I've upgraded to power assisted discs on the front and dual circuit brakes, its much safer now, no pulling and the wheels can be locked easily without having to stand on the pedal. This said it still doesn't have ABS and modern wide low profile tyres with modern suspension, so if your driving a classic you have to stay further back from the car in front than normal. You might get bell ends overtaking you and diving into the gap buts that is the way with BAD drivers.

        Omissions :- Older cars only need to have a visual inspection of the exhaust, that is no excessive black smoke or blue smoke. You won't meet the modern emissions standards with a normal carburetor. If you have a slightly more lumpy than standard cam with more valve overlap that will make things even worse. I would say you are wasting your time with gas analysers. You can tune the carb with a good vacuum gauge. If you are a "green" person then a classic Mustang is not the vehicle for you. There are modern retro fit fuel injection systems that will virtually turn your engine into one like a modern vehicle but if you want a classic Mustang then I feel this going too far - ok for a retro mod though.

        I have had people refuse to get in my classic Mustang because it doesn't meet modern safety standards. All I can say is snowflake. I've had it 28 years and it still brings a smile to my face and I get loads of positive comments. Its just so different from the boring grey interior modern cars.


          Again, agreed with the sentiments you both have conveyed. But you are placing a personal view on road worthiness.

          That's not a criticism, by the way. It is what it is. One person's view of quality, whether that is actual quality or operational quality, is different to another person's. None of us would align.

          By the sounds of your brakes, Allan, they'd be better than the classic motor I drive (not a Mustang).

          OK, just to throw in a curveball - if you haven't had your car tested since 2017/2018, do you think your cars would pass an MOT with flying colours now ?

          I would think you would say yes and you would hope that to be true. After all, if the MOT test is the minimum standard for which a car is legal to be on the road, we would expect (hope, perhaps) that all cars are. I know there are many motors that won't. But as a group who have taken the exemption to be as it is, it's now down to you, as owner, to make sure it would meet the standards.

          There is merit in the fact that these motors are not doing big miles, looked after by enthusiasts and should be in the best possible condition. That should be almost a given. Also, the interesting (and important thing) is that since the pre1960 exemption came in 10 yrs ago, there have not been an increase in accidents / issues with those motors out on the road.

          I am only throwing in some thought provokers, that's all. For what it's worth, I may still take up the exemption in a few years. But it does concern me that we are entering an era of 1980s motors and many had a bit of oommph behind them. You know, a Sierra Cossie qualifies for this in a few years and they are 150mph rockets. Their road worthiness will be down to the eyes of the owner as they wrestle the motor around some B roads.


            Their road worthiness will be down to the eyes of the owner as they wrestle the motor around some B roads.
            Not strictly right.......the DVSA [and Constabulary] are busy conducting roadside checks for roadworthiness, load security, etc. In the end we all have a responsibility for the roadworthiness of our vehicles. It has always been thus.

            Yes, My old banger Mustang would pass an MoT tomorrow, no problems. Would I spend 40 just for the reassurance? Nope. As has already been made clear, there are too many ifs & buts...
            But, some of us may have modern daily driver vehicles as well......are they properly compliant with the Law? Do we regularly check? Do we do a light check before we set off? Do we check our tyres, etc? After a day running up and down a motorway, do we re-adjust our tyre pressures? Or were they not adjusted to suit continuous higher speed driving?
            There are lots of things everyday drivers should be doing [and the Law expects them to] with regards to their motors...but, do they bother?

            One thing we can do with our brakes, if we think they are not up to the modern driving environment....and that is, to look for more appropriate brake linings and/or pads.... I also drive around in a 1951 Dellow......which has rod & cable brakes..and will stop an awful lot shorter, and straighter, then any modern....but I also do not use any old brake lining mix. there are companies who will line one's brake shoes with synthetic materials whose characteristics more resemble that of linings from 70 years ago. There are quite a few firms who offer softer or firmer mixes for linings.....Too many old car owners just fit what they're given..then complain the old brakes aren't what they should be. If that were the case, I have no idea how we all survived back then? After all, 70 mph is just as fast then as it is now.

            I sympathise with Allan regarding the snowflake potential passengers and their refusal to ride in an old car.......I would return the favour, and refuse to be driven in any vehicle they happen to be driving! On the grounds I don't have faith in their standards of driving!

            [I'm retired now, but assessing driver standards was part of my previous job of work....I spent many a year biting my lip, when being driven by one or other of my ex wives....Marriage? I tried, but failed....}

            My old banger, a 67 6 pot coupe of dubious parentage....[doors had different date stickers to the shell] for me, a delight to drive....even in even has been known to squirt steam here & there at times. But, it can, and does, keep ahead of general traffic. It stops very quick and straight...[it has Granada discs up front, but no servo].....and the 6 is well endowed with torque, so I don't hang around looking for clutch bite or other feeble Audi tricks....wooof, and I've gone! The lights all work [now!!]...and even the hootah works, despite being stuck on a Grant steering wheel. Aren't the door mirrors rubbish, folks?
            For a drive, I find it is only equalled by my Dellow...chalk...and cheese.....with a mixing of Daihatsu 4trak for Tescos, et al.. [My insurer, Hagerty,insist I have a 'daily driver' modern...oh well,is 26 years old, a modern? Sshhh, don't tell anyone]


              When did you last see the DVSA pulling vehicles based on quality ? I would have thought that waiting for these or local plod to conduct roadside checks could be a very long wait, if it happens at all. I know that there is a Commercial Vehicle purge every so often but it is hardly regular or routine. I spent the best part of 1 million miles on the roads and have never seen a roadside tug like this. I must be driving in the wrong areas.

              But you are correct - that we should hold the responsibility ourselves. It was only that it is a concern (small one, that doesn't keep me awake at night ) that with more and more vehicles entering our roads with the MOT exemption, as each year passes, does the road become a safer place ? Then as you say, you mix in the % of the population that does not care and that population owns 40 yr old motors (it does happen folks - I know a people who are ambling around in 30+yr old Fiestas because they can't be bothered to change it but aren't classic car nuts) - it's just the last roll of the dice for mobility - then we have these basement vehicles all on the roads without MOT.

              That was all.


                that with more and more vehicles entering our roads with the MOT exemption, as each year passes, does the road become a safer place
                Are there really that many?? I don't think so....

                When did you last see the DVSA pulling vehicles based on quality ? I would have thought that waiting for these or local plod to conduct roadside checks could be a very long wait, if it happens at all. I know that there is a Commercial Vehicle purge every so often but it is hardly regular or routine. I spent the best part of 1 million miles on the roads and have never seen a roadside tug like this. I must be driving in the wrong areas.
                I suppose everything depends on locality? The DVSA are very active, but like everything these days, they have to target their activities quite specifically.

                In my County, the Checks are quite regular. I know this because one favourite checkpoint is a layby not more than a mile or so from my abode... When I used to spot it, I would nip home, fetch out my oldies, drive them down and demand that they be checked over...this, despite the police saying I didn't need to, as the vehicle they knew, and it was 'legal' in every respect.....[ANPR sees to that]. Well, the check was free....and conducted by highly qualified vehicle examiners.

                Any ad hoc vehicle checks round here are often conducted on a low profile basis...using 'discretion'...a 'quiet word', etc....but a note made to keep an eye out...if the wee wee was obviously being taken, then bang!

                mind, there will always be those who are able to dodge everything...'Twas ever thus. I knew a local farmer , who drove a most disreputable Land never got taxed, MoT'd and I think he relied on the farm insurance....he went everywhere locally with it...but, by thoughtful use of back roads and byeways, he never ever got 'caught'...Yet he always went to local markets with it....

                It's all really a numbers game. It is easier to identify no insurance than anything local Force has just received new ANPR kit that sweeps all around, even up side roads.....their local xxxxter feed always has two or three vehicles impounded, with drivers having to 'walk home'...In fact, round here, impounding [and consequent long walks] is probably seen as a quite effective form of punishment....Everywhere here is a long walk from everywhere else...


                  I guess it depends on what you classify "many vehicles" qualifying for MOT exemption is. It is a little subjective as we each have a different view. By the way, I don't think there are loads of vehicles now that qualify. But once I point out the stats, you may or may not be shocked. It is a growing number as well.

                  So the stats are that ~200,000 motors pre 1960 qualified at the start of last decade when that exemption part 1 was introduced. They rolled out the date to >40yrs old from 2017/18 and that added ~250,000 motors registered between 1960 and 1978 as part 2.

                  So what you see there is the latter 18 yr period of vehicle car park, we have wiped through the whole of motoring history from year dot to 1960. But that would make sense. Sales increased during the 1960/70s immensely and also the older the vehicle, the probability of it not being on the road through mechanical or body/chassis failure. But it is still quite a significant picture.

                  Half a million (potential - as some do still trot down to the station for the annual) MOT exempt motors represents about 1.5% of the total vehicle car park in the UK. Clearly, none of these motors are on the road daily. But you see the volume and proportion.

                  Unless someone now corrects me, this 40yr is now a rolling one AND is not being changed to a lower age value. So why wouldn't it just stay at around the half million marker ?

                  Well, that is the classic car industry in its making and success of the last 20 years, I am afraid.

                  First, what is key - vehicles are better at longevity than the past. A ~40year old Sierra / Cavalier is far better today (Sierra is nearly 40 - where does time go ?) - these models stand a better chance of lasting because they were built better in the 1980s than the 1960s and prior. There are more 1980 motors on the road today than 1960 motors in year 2000. So that is a growing population as each year is added to the over 40yr list to start with. But also, they have a higher volume per year when they reach 40. There will be more 40 yr old 1990 motors (when that time comes) than 40yr old 1980 motors

                  Second, a 1960s motor in the 1990s was just another old banger. Not all of them, I realise, but many were. Today, a 1980s motor is worth upwards of 5000 (clearly dependent on what it is). Nobody is having a clear out because it would cost a fortune to do so and why would they when they have a usable classic or even a piece of scrap worth 5000 (the "one day, I'll get it on the road" brigade).

                  These are the 2 machines in action and the over 40s will grow and grow as more can stand the rigours of the road.

                  The other key thing - advancements in the vehicle's operation have slowed in the last 40 years. What I mean - you could take a common or garden V registered 1980 motor and it would withstand todays traffic, wouldn't necessarily hold everything up and could be adequately used. They were slower cars then but not so slow that they brought the world to a halt with that situation akin to a tractor out on the road or the odd caravaner who meanders to Cornwall with 5 miles of traffic behind.

                  Austin 7. Lovely motor. But its speed was outdated post WW2 and would hold up everything some 40 years later, let alone 80 yrs on. It is a difficult drive in one of those today or the Ford Y on any of that inter war period production models, unless it was super fast for its day. They aren't so usable but also have become outdated, unlike a Sierra / Cavalier has, in that sense.

                  So the car park of MOT exempt qualifiers will grow and when you add the % of population who know nothing about motors and further don't really care either mingling in that area (free tax, no MOT - I'll have some of that!!), there could be trouble ahead.

                  I think a better way would be to leave the pre 1960 alone and have the post 1960 stuff tested at mileage intervals. It would serve 2 purposes well - still means the cars get tested and doesn't mean that every year, they go to the meaningless test.

                  The issue here is one that we see again and again. Too much of a good thing often leads to tears. The more vehicles that qualify for MOT exemption, and those that are subjected today to rigorous emissions testing, the govt will rein it in. If you have a post 2001 motor, it is quite clear how much pollution it gives out. That's the beauty with older motors - we know they pollute, but we don't care, because it wasn't registered. Older Mustangs fall well into this. If you want a green car, don't buy an old Mustang was what one of you said. But the thing here is - how polluting is it ? We don't know. It wasn't recorded. If you can't see it, it doesn't shock you either.

                  That changed post 2001 and suddenly g/km showed how much a city you choke. In 40 yrs time, how can it be classified as a heavy polluter today, and tomorrow, to run completely tax / MOT/ congestion charge free as if it had roses growing out of the tailpipe, the emissions are so clean ?

                  Today, my road tax is 600 - but tomorrow, it is zero.

                  Seems like a paradox in the making there. Probably not one we are going to worry much about!

                  Sorry, still struggling with Sierra being nearly 40 yrs old!! I must be old!!
                  Last edited by Daz-RSK; 20-10-2020, 02:19 PM.


                    You do need to get an amendment on your V5, to historical vehicle. That's just a quick phone call to DVLA and they will send you through the amended V5 FOC. Next time your tax is due it'll show as a historic vehicle when you'll do the online payment of 0.

                    I don't and would never MOT my over 40 years cars because of two things. Its the cost and the inconvenience of running the car to a MOT station probably in the wet. I am fortunate that I do have a ramp so I do my own annual checks and service the car myself every two years (seeing it does only around 500 miles a year).

                    The loss of the MOT history is only a loss because it does provide a historic vehicle record. You can tell from the cars MOT history if its been well cared for over the years or run on a budget (those bald tyre fails) to just been plain ragged and used (abused).


                      Pollution is something that is used and abused I think.

                      I have had carbureted cars that have fallen well inside the 2001 limits at the MoT...
                      But what about the 'pollution' of manufacture? Or, with destruction? [Work out the cost to the planet of scrapping and dealing with, an electric car?]

                      BTW, any vehicle that 'smokes' in an excessive manner, can be pulled over...

                      I note the 'speed' argument again?
                      There is a presumption that all traffic hurtles along these days at, close to, or over the prevailing speed limits?
                      I don't know what goes on in these big conurbations..or down in the south [I studiously avoid going near either, regardless]....but traffic speeds are not, in my experience, as high as people imagine.
                      I don't think it is the age..or type, of vehicle which is really the issue here?
                      I think it is more to do with the drivers concerned. Their abilities, needs, wishes, etc....? I get the sense that a lot of drivers of very old vehicles feel a weeny bit self conscious in their old cars? I don't know what Austin Sevens they have down south, but generally round here they are quite enthusiastically the extent that moderns actually seem to get in their way a lot?
                      But, the consensus seems to have become one of a perception of the 'need for speed'....?

                      I have proven many times that 50 mph in a Ford Pop is just as fast as 50 mph in a Ford Focus. Although the national speed limit [for cars and motorcycles] in rural areas is 60 mph....the same national limit for transit vans, lorries, buses, and all the other detritus that inhabits our 50 mph. {On a single carriageway]....which means, one has to consider how far one can get, at 60 mph, before one comes up behind a tranny van doing 50 mph [its speed limit]....? My experience of traffic has concluded, for most of the time, maximum traffic speeds are around the 50-55 mph mark [a lorry on its limiter, for example?]....There really is no difference between me driving along at around 50 mph in my old Daihatsu Fourtrak [that speed is the most economical revs for the vehicle]....and a pre-wawer car doing similar.
                      Of course,dual carriageways and motorways are ideal for old cars in many respects......they can easily be overtaken!

                      But, folk get a bit self conscious driving the pre-wawer feel they are creating a 'hold-up' just because there are vehicles behind them....
                      When there really is no need to long as 'reasonable' progress is being made.

                      I also disagree that vehicles of the 1960's and 1970's cannot cope with todays roads....[Thinking back to those days when I was driving those cars?]

                      What have not significantly changed are the speed limits. So, unless we accept [and do something about?] that todays drivers habitually flout the law.....a decently driven 1970's car is just as adequate in traffic as a decently driven 2020 car...[that is, if the technology of the 2020 car allows the driver to drive in a decent manner?]

                      But, one cannot convince a lot of old car owners to not worry over much.

                      It is perhaps a good thing the UK Government chose to ignore the EU edict on MOT exemptions?

                      They wanted a 30 year cut-off date!


                        Well, that is something I like about the north and hate the south for. The more relaxed / friendly way of life. In certain areas of course! The population seems to have more time for each other.

                        A quick hello to a stranger doun souf = punch on the nose for daring to say something and a look in a strange way.

                        And that goes with the traffic and forgiveness. I can tell you now from experience - sitting in an Austin Seven or a Model Y in rush hour in the south is about as frustrating as a pain in the neck. We don't have the time because apparently time is money.

                        By the way, that's not me. But society in the souf. Rush rush rush and people want to get past this selfish owner out on the road with their 30mph top speed. Unfortunately, this is a real argument in this area. Maybe not in other areas.

                        I wouldn't say that 1960/70s motors were in the same arena as one of those pre WW2 animals. What I was meaning - there was quite a world of difference between a Mk1 Cortina and Mk1 Sierra, in operation. One was a good local car that you would chuck everything in for the annual holiday. The other munched mileage everyday quite capably.

                        One had a top speed - or close to top speed - at the m/way speeds. A 200 mile trip up the M1/M6 would have your head buzzing. The other's speed is not that far off the pace of today's motors and can easily cope with a 70mph limit.

                        I would argue the point that as speed limits have not changed, we can't drive any faster legally than 70, this places the wedge between the can do and can't do. If speed limits had increased and general traffic speed had increased in the last 40yrs, I would say that yes, there has been some progression in motors' ability in that duration. But a 1980s motor would muster the legal limit just like today's car and there is no test.

                        Many 1960s motors could not. That drives quite a thick wedge between what a 1960s motor can do and what one that is 20 yrs younger can do. The fact that the average 2020 motor can do 130mph doesn't really concern many because those speeds are illegal and aren't tested in the same way.

                        I must admit to being quite surprised how much of a wedge this is actually from talking to owners of 1970s vehicles where a comfortable cruising speed is around 55-60mph. The gulf between the average 1970 Capri and average 1985 version is quite significant in that aspect, right down to the point that the earlier motors' owners didn't want to complete huge journeys, because frankly, it was a lot harder work.

                        You guys in that period of Mustang don't have quite the same issues as these motors with a 1300cc displacement! The mortals do have issues!!
                        Last edited by Daz-RSK; 20-10-2020, 08:18 PM.


                          All seems to me more a case of fitting modern-day drivers into yesteryear's cars?
                          Aside from the odd French thing, I can't offhand think of any car I had in the 60's and early 70's [some of which were '50's bangers]..that couldn't achieve 70 mph with a degree of ease? Maybe, as a younger driver back then, I just did what other young drivers did, and went as fast as possible anyway?
                          Not sure about Austin Sevens achieving no more than 30 mph? More like 50-60 mph?
                          Possibly the 'slow oldies' thing is more down to the drivers, than the car's abilities?
                          With drivers either not wanting to been seen to be 'thrashing' the poor old thing?
                          Or, more likely, drivers who haven't mastered the control aspects of the older cars...keeping them going, quickly? A sign of a modern driver, who isn't used to what went before, and what the nature of driving was about?

                          Mind,I cannot see a modern white van driver coping with a 70's diesel Transit Luton on the motorway either? When overtaking an artic was down to wings & prayers,rather than was OK moving up the side of the lorry, but any increase in speed came to a sudden cessation once the luton body got to the truck's headwind. There One sat, alongside, unable to get in front, so the only choice was to back off and drop back.
                          A 1970 Capri was easily capable of either over, or close to, the ton....even in 1300cc form...which was a rare combination..most being 1600 cc crossflow motors....
                          I owned a 1964 Vauxhall Victor in the very late 1970's...1600cc, quite heavy..but it would hooofle up the motorways at 70-plus mph, mile after mile.[swapped a Wolseley Hornet for it]
                          In the mid 80's, when my family persuaded me to give up my motorbike, I got an 850cc renault 4....[revenge of the sith?], that would just about get to 70 mph...yet I frequently did the trip over the M62 in it....I could even overtake stuff in it, on ordinary roads....the technique of 'charging the tailgate' being one in which I was well practiced, given my then-line-of-work.
                          But then, I'd challenge a modern driver in a modern motor to keep up with a well driven Citroen 2CV over the likes of Exmoor?

                          It's all down to the driver, and driver attitude. Not the motor.
                          My '51 Dellow has 1172cc of sidevalve Ford power, with 3 gears [who needs more??]...tuned, it pushes out around 50-odd bhp, and, unlike the standard engine, can rev past 5000 rpm...[but can my wallet stand it??} The car weighs around 400 kilos...less than half a tonne? So that gives it around 100 BHP per ton. which is a reasonable power to weight ratio for today's traffic. [who really needs more??]....I find that in most circumstances I find moderns getting in my way..but with only 3 gears [bottom, top, and one somewhere in between?]....overtaking is a top gear task....[The car was originally designed to compete in Trials, so has a reasonable off road capability...and can smash autotests...They even won the Daily Mirror Rally, back in the day..though I admire the crew for doing it]
                          Yet, I can just about see 70 mph out of it....[revs, and back axle ratio] if on a run, I maintain around 50-55 mph, maybe 60 if I'm not concentrating on the rev counter...
                          I cannot think I've held anybody up, who wasn't capable of effecting a safe,low risk overtake? Those who cannot overtake, are probably better off behind I'm obviously going too fast for them??

                          Maybe folk should really be using their old cars, as they were originally intended? Instead of treating them like fragile precious pets?

                          Sorry, I guess with my working background I'm not in a proper position to consider what ordinary drivers think or feel? [BTW, at age 21 I was trained and employed by London Transport as a bus driver. I drove buses out of New Cross depot..for a couple of years, before realising the south [& London] was a miserable place to be living and emigrated north of Watford Gap.]
                          Last edited by alastairq; 21-10-2020, 12:23 PM.


                            I think it comes down to the fact that 60's cars do have a much different feel to modern cars. The modern car feels the same anywhere between 30mph and 100mph. They are quiet and smooth. A 60's car is capable of speed but the noise and vibration level increases proportionally with speed. I've not had much experience in older prewar cars but all I would say is that anyone who gets impatient with the speed of one on the roads is a BAD driver - period. My 65 Mustang is more than capable of keeping up with traffic, even on the motorways and it has been taken on holiday all over the UK. It might be a bit more tiring on long journeys but not much. I remember as a kid going on holiday in my parents Mk1 Cortina but I don't recall it being a massive ordeal. Clearly as we move into the 70's and 80's the car moved towards what a modern car has become, they are much more reliable and maintenance free machines and capable of cruising at higher speeds due to the meeting the requirement of the modern motorway network. I remember as a kid in the 60's helping my dad do weekend maintenance on the car. Plugs, points, adjusting brakes etc. You just don't do those things with modern cars but titivating the classic is all part of the hobby. In the last years of my working career I had hire cars to do most of my working trips so I drove loads of different cars - I say different cars but to me they were all the same and did everything so boringly well. They are all very unimpressive, none stood out, so I have no wish to own one. My daily is my S197 Mustang but I now use the 65 Mustang almost as much because it is so different and fun to drive..


                              Classics with leaf springs all round isn't a good experience!
                              1967 White Convertible Auto ...... 1994 to 2004
                              2005 Redfire GT Manual......2008 to 2010
                              2010 Kona Blue GT Auto ...... 2010 to 2013

                              MOCGB #332 since 1994


                                To be honest I don't see what the problem is, take the MOT free perk if you want it and if you don't want it then get a MOT.
                                I think the time will come when the powers that be will look into VHI and why you have had a MOT when you don't need one. Best thing to do is drive your classic while you can and allowed to do so, you can bet your life in the future it will become more restricted.