Visit our Twitter feed for more great content
TRExp

Spitfire & GT6 Forum

Is It Legal to Change from Rubber to Chrome Bumpers?

Moss Motors
AutoShrine Sponsor
AutoShrine Sponsor
AutoShrine Sponsor
AutoShrine Sponsor

silverlight7 Charles Morris Jr
Louisa, VA, USA   USA
Hey everyone!

I planned on painting the rubber bumpers on my late '79 Spitfire, but after removing the rear bumper, I noticed how much better the Spitfire looks without that huge rubber bumper on the back. You can really admire the curves a lot more.

Now I'm seriously considering swapping to chrome bumpers, but I was curious, did anyone ever have trouble with state inspections by swapping to the older bumpers? Is it legal to do so? (I live in Virginia, by the way.)

Also, would changing the bumpers lower the resale value? I guess Spitfires aren't ever going to sell for very much anyways, so it's probably not worth worrying about that...

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <
Roy Avatar
Roy roy o
Marietta, GA, USA   USA
Years ago I had a stinger on my exhaust . Failed inspection "exhaust sticks out past bumper" . Then he crossed that out & wrote "no bumpers". NJ early 70's

zinteck Avatar
zinteck Silver Member David Zinteck
Syracuse, NY, USA   USA
1966 Chevrolet Corvair "Yenko Stinger"
1973 Triumph GT6 MkIII
Charles:

Check with DMV in your state. Your car is over 25 years old and may be exempt from a whole bunch of req's.

I don't run bumpers. But, I do have to remove all brackets and hardware to pass inspection.

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <
Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
Mostly you'll get a chorus of concern trolling.

F1000RACER Avatar
F1000RACER Platinum Member Gary H
Alpine, CA, USA   USA
In reply to # 1594312 by silverlight7 Hey everyone!

I planned on painting the rubber bumpers on my late '79 Spitfire, but after removing the rear bumper, I noticed how much better the Spitfire looks without that huge rubber bumper on the back. You can really admire the curves a lot more.

Now I'm seriously considering swapping to chrome bumpers, but I was curious, did anyone ever have trouble with state inspections by swapping to the older bumpers? Is it legal to do so? (I live in Virginia, by the way.)

Also, would changing the bumpers lower the resale value? I guess Spitfires aren't ever going to sell for very much anyways, so it's probably not worth worrying about that...

Your Spitfire was imported to the USA with specific crash and smog related items for that year. Some states (like California) have very specific rules on smog related items from 1976 on. I've never seen a state that had bumper requirements that were year specific.

I seriously doubt anyone in your DMV would even recognize a Spitfire let alone police what bumpers it came with.

As for resale in my opinion it will look better without them so it may actually make it more desirable. Keep all the original parts and pass them on to the next owner.

GH

Spiffy Avatar
Spiffy James P
Kirkwood, MO, USA   USA
1968 Triumph GT6 "Little E"
1968 Triumph Spitfire MkIII "Spiffy"
1974 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Little Brit AKA El Diablo Rojo"
1985 Honda MC CB450SC "Blue Angel"    & more
+1 on F1000Racer Removing or installing earlier under riders (boobs) will likely improve resale.

As zintek noted, in Missouri I have Historic Vehicle license plates that never expire, unless I sell my Spitfire 1500, and did not require any inspections: no emission or safety. Any car or motorcycle over 25 years of age will qualify. A log of miles driven is supposed to be kept but I have never been asked for one and I have owned a number of "Historic" vehicles. Your state may have an Historic Plate available for your car. Check with your DMV.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-02-04 08:14 PM by Spiffy.

Wolfcreek Steve Steve P
Central, WI, USA   USA
1937 Dodge Magnum "The Dodge"
1947 Unknown Unknown "My Autocar"
1980 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Vicki's Little Red Car"
You might have problems with insurance, as the 5mph bumpers supposedly would lower the company's risk and they could say the car isn't as insured and refuse to pay any claims against them. Wisconsin has a hobbiest plate for modified vehicles over 25 years old, in this case, the insurance company insures it as such and takes photos to keep track of what they insured.

Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
See?

silverlight7 Charles Morris Jr
Louisa, VA, USA   USA
I guess I'll check with my DMV to see what they think. I would switch to antique plates, but I want to use the Spitfire as a backup for work in case my primary car breaks.

I assume that there will be no problems since I haven't seen anyone on this forum mention it before, but I just wanted to make sure. It isn't possible to go back to the rubber bumpers once the front is cut, right?

Jediscuba Avatar
Jediscuba Steven Spandorf
Southampton, NY, USA   USA
1963 Triumph Spitfire "Pussycat"
1970 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "PussyCat The 4th"
1972 Triumph GT6
1980 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Pussy Cat"
Charles,
Unless your state has special rules/limitations on vehicles with historical or antique plates,
there is no reason why you can't have them and use the car as a daily driver. The only question left is
concerning insurance. Most firms have mileage and or use limitations if you pay for Classic Car Insurance.
If you buy standard insurance, these limitations disappear, though you can get reduced rates even on
regular driver insurance if your mileage is below a set level. Check it out with your insurer.

Steve

silverlight7 Charles Morris Jr
Louisa, VA, USA   USA
In reply to # 1594452 by Jediscuba Charles,
Unless your state has special rules/limitations on vehicles with historical or antique plates,
there is no reason why you can't have them and use the car as a daily driver. The only question left is
concerning insurance. Most firms have mileage and or use limitations if you pay for Classic Car Insurance.
If you buy standard insurance, these limitations disappear, though you can get reduced rates even on
regular driver insurance if your mileage is below a set level. Check it out with your insurer.

Steve

Yeah, unfortunately, Virginia says you can't drive a car with antique plates to and from work (which is all right, I suppose, I do have another car I can use as a backup). You can only drive the car occasionally for pleasure, not daily, and not more than 250 miles from home.

Not such bad restrictions, although one of my friends who had antique plates said he switched back to regular plates because cops kept pulling him over asking where he was going, etc.

On the other hand, I see some other guy's car with antique plates where I work every day. Guess he just knows how to avoid the cops. smiling smiley

The antique plates may still be worth it just to avoid another darn inspection every year.

Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
In reply to # 1594403 by silverlight7 I guess I'll check with my DMV to see what they think. I would switch to antique plates, but I want to use the Spitfire as a backup for work in case my primary car breaks.

I assume that there will be no problems since I haven't seen anyone on this forum mention it before, but I just wanted to make sure. It isn't possible to go back to the rubber bumpers once the front is cut, right?

I imagine brackets could be fashioned to put the rubber bumpers back on.

DerbyRam54 Neville Wardle
Branford, CT, USA   USA
That mileage limitation is a bit harsh. I drove my Spitfire (which has ordinary plates in CT but is insured through Hagerty) to Wisconsin and back last year and plan to go to Texas this year. That's a lot further than 250 miles!

It is perhaps worth noting, quite apart from insurance considerations, that those much-maligned rubber bumpers do in fact work as designed. Many years ago I was driving my rubber bumper MGB in stop/go traffic. I stopped, the big white van behind me didn't and rammed me at probably 3 or 4 mph. There was no damage to my car. A chrome bumper car, or one with no bumpers, would have been off to the body shop for a while.

Of course, since a lot of other vehicles on the road these days are much bigger and probably have different bumper heights, this protection might not be as good as it was in the 80s.

silverlight7 Charles Morris Jr
Louisa, VA, USA   USA
In reply to # 1594517 by DerbyRam54 It is perhaps worth noting, quite apart from insurance considerations, that those much-maligned rubber bumpers do in fact work as designed. Many years ago I was driving my rubber bumper MGB in stop/go traffic. I stopped, the big white van behind me didn't and rammed me at probably 3 or 4 mph. There was no damage to my car. A chrome bumper car, or one with no bumpers, would have been off to the body shop for a while.

Very true. I got a Spitfire instead of a motorcycle because people drive so recklessly nowadays, and I figured a Spitfire would be a little safer while still feeling a little like a motorcycle.

My Spitfire is yellow, so the black bumpers don't look terrible, just too big. Guess I'll just think about the swap some more.

DerbyRam54 Neville Wardle
Branford, CT, USA   USA
In reply to # 1594529 by silverlight7
In reply to # 1594517 by DerbyRam54 It is perhaps worth noting, quite apart from insurance considerations, that those much-maligned rubber bumpers do in fact work as designed. Many years ago I was driving my rubber bumper MGB in stop/go traffic. I stopped, the big white van behind me didn't and rammed me at probably 3 or 4 mph. There was no damage to my car. A chrome bumper car, or one with no bumpers, would have been off to the body shop for a while.

Very true. I got a Spitfire instead of a motorcycle because people drive so recklessly nowadays, and I figured a Spitfire would be a little safer while still feeling a little like a motorcycle.

My Spitfire is yellow, so the black bumpers don't look terrible, just too big. Guess I'll just think about the swap some more.

Funny you should mention motor bikes. I've often wondered about having a bike but have generally been too chicken to ride one. I view the Spitfire as a motorbike I can't fall off but don't expect much more protection from it when you look at the size of most vehicles on the road today. The rubber bumpers might help in a car park shunt, which I think was the intention, but that's about it.

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <

To add your reply, or post your own questions




Registration is FREE and takes less than a minute!


Having trouble posting or changing forum settings?
Read the Forum Help (FAQ) or contact the webmaster