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last update:13/06/24




DA7C CAR WINDOW STICKERS are available from Roger Ballard at club night or on club runs, just ask Roger. There are a limited number and these are only for your A7 not your modern car. Please stick with pride.

ASSOCIATION GREY MAG OPT OUT Some of us receive duplicate copies of the Grey Mag from other clubs. To save the trees, if you wish to not receive one from DA7C, please let Roger Ballard know E-mail: keahouse@dialstart.net

New Rule for Club Runs: Due to the number of cars on our Club Runs the Committee have had to introduce a new rule which is that only Austin Sevens and Big Sevens can participate in our Club Runs. If for some reason you are not able to be in an Austin Seven, then please stay right at the back of the convoy throughout the Run, or preferably meet us at the pub in your vintage or modern motor car.  We are sorry for any inconvenience to members, but we are keen to maintain the goodwill of fellow motorists, and to encourage us all to use our Austin Sevens.



2 September 2021 For immediate release
FBHVC clarification on E10 fuel usage and labelling for historic vehicles

After an extensive consultation process, the Department for Transport has introduced legislation to mandate E10 petrol as the standard 95-octane petrol grade from 1 September 2021 and in Northern Ireland, this will happen in early 2022. They will also require the higher-octane 97+ ‘Super’ grades to remain E5 to provide protection for owners of older vehicles. This product will be designated as the ‘Protection’ grade. The change in fuel applies to petrol only. Diesel fuel will not be changing.
Petrol pumps now show new labels designating the grade, the maximum ethanol content and an advisory cautionary notice. Other information regarding the introduction of E10 petrol may also be provided by fuel retailers such as the ‘Know your Fuel’ sticker (shown at the foot of this article).
For some time, service station pumps have had E5 and B7 labels consistent with the BS EN16942 standard that has been adopted across Europe. This standard also sets out the labelling requirements for other renewable fuel grades such as E85, B20, B30, etc. that can be found across Europe either on service station forecourts or for captive fleet use.

At the filling station
At the petrol station, a circular ‘E10’ or ‘E5’ label will be clearly visible on both the petrol dispenser and nozzle, making it easy for you to identify the correct petrol to use together with the warning text “Suitable for most petrol vehicles: check before use” The ‘E10’ and ‘E5’ labels look like this:

Labels on modern vehicles
New vehicles manufactured from 2019 onwards should have an ‘E10’ and ‘E5’ label close to the filler cap showing the fuel(s) they can use.

What fuel should I use?
Almost all (95%) petrol-powered vehicles on the road today can use E10 petrol and all cars built since 2011 were required to be compatible. If your petrol vehicle or equipment is not compatible with E10 fuel, you will still be able to use E5 by purchasing the ‘super’ grade (97+ octane) petrol from most filling stations.

Our recommendation
The Federation recommends that all vehicles produced before 2000 and some vehicles from the early 2000s that are considered non-compatible with E10 - should use the Super E5 Protection grade where the Ethanol content is limited to a maximum of 5%. To check compatibility of vehicles produced since 2000, we recommend using the new online E10 compatibility checker: https://www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-e10-petrol however, please note that many manufacturers are missing and there are some discrepancies regarding particular models. Additional information on vehicle compatibility issues is available on the FBHVC website https://fbhvc.co.uk/fuels.

What is ethanol?
Ethanol is an alcohol derived from plants, including sugar beet and wheat. Increasingly, waste products such as wood are also being used to manufacture ethanol. Therefore, it is renewable and not derived from fossil fuels.

Why are we using it?
Principally ethanol is being added to fuel in order to reduce carbon emissions as Britain heads towards its target of net zero emissions by 2050. According to Government experts, this will reduce greenhouse gases by 750,000 tonnes per year which, they say, is the equivalent output of 350,000 cars. The move will bring the UK in line with many European countries which have been using E10 fuels for a number of years already. In some parts of the world, such as South America much higher levels of bioethanol have been in use since as early as the 1970s.

What might happen?
1. Corrosion / Tarnishing of metal components
2. Elastomer compatibility - swelling, shrinking and cracking of elastomers (seals and flexible
pipes) and other unsuitable gasket materials
3. Air/fuel ratio enleanment
Some historic vehicles use materials in the fuel systems that are damaged by ethanol. These include some cork, shellac, epoxy resins, nylon, polyurethane and glass-fibre reinforced polyesters. In later cars these have largely been replaced with paper gaskets, Teflon, polyethylene and polypropylene which are all unaffected by ethanol. Very old leather gaskets and seals are also resistant to ethanol. As the ethanol molecule is smaller and more polar than conventional petrol components, there is a lower energy barrier for ethanol to diffuse into elastomer materials. When exposed to petrol/ethanol blends these materials will swell and soften, resulting in a weakening of the elastomer structure. On drying out they can shrink and crack resulting in fuel leaks.
If your fuel system has old hoses or any degradation of components, then ethanol may appear to advance these problems very quickly. You may experience leaks or fuel “sweating” from fuel lines. Some fuel tank repair coatings have been found to breakdown and clog fuel systems, although there are plenty of ethanol resistant products on the market.

What can we do?
The most important thing is to ensure your fuel system components are regularly inspected and renewed as part of a routine maintenance programme for your historic vehicles. Ultimately owners should look to renew fuel system components such as hoses, seals and gaskets with ethanol safe versions as a long – term solution and more of these are entering the market through specialists every day. If you should decide to make the necessary vehicle fuel system modifications together with the addition of an aftermarket additive to operate your classic or historic vehicle on E10 petrol. The FBHVC strongly recommends that you regularly check the condition of the vehicle fuel system for elastomer and gasket material deterioration and metallic components such as fuel tanks, fuel lines and carburettors for corrosion. Some plastic components such as carburettor floats and fuel filter housings may be become discoloured over time. Plastic carburettor float buoyancy can also be affected by ethanol and carburettors should be checked to ensure that float levels are not adversely affected causing flooding and fuel leaks.
Ethanol is a good solvent and can remove historic fuel system deposits from fuel tanks and lines and it is advisable to check fuel filters regularly after the switch to E10 petrol as they may become blocked or restricted. If your vehicle is to be laid up for an extended period of time, it is recommended that the E10 petrol be replaced with ethanol free petrol which is available from some fuel suppliers. Do not leave fuel systems dry when storing, as this can result corrosion and the shrinking and cracking of elastomers and gaskets as they dry out.

Engine tuning.
Ethanol contains approximately 35% oxygen by weight and will therefore result in fuel mixture enleanment when blended into petrol. Petrol containing 10% ethanol for example, would result in a mixture-leaning effect equivalent to approximately 2.6%, which may be felt as a power loss, driveability issues (hesitations, flat spots, stalling), but also could contribute to slightly hotter running. Adjusting mixture strength (enrichment) to counter this problem is advised to maintain performance, driveability and protect the engine from overheating and knock at high loads.
Modern 3-way catalyst equipped vehicles do not require mixture adjustment to operate on E10 petrol because they are equipped with oxygen (lambda) sensors that detect lean operation and the engine management system automatically corrects the fuel mixture for optimum catalyst and vehicle operation.

Additives and vehicle storage.
Ethanol has increased acidity, conductivity and inorganic chloride content when compared to conventional petrol which is typically pH neutral. Ethanol can cause corrosion and tarnishing of metal components under certain conditions. These characteristics are controlled in the ethanol used to blend E5 and E10 European and UK petrol by the ethanol fuel specification BS EN15376 in order to help limit corrosion.
Some aftermarket ethanol compatibility additives claim complete protection for operating historic and classic vehicles on E10 petrol. The FBHVC is not aware of, or has tested any additives that claim complete fuel system protection with respect to elastomer and gasket materials for use with E10 petrol. The FBHVC therefore recommends that elastomer and gasket materials are replaced with ethanol compatible materials before operation on E10 petrol. However, corrosion inhibitor additives can be very effective in controlling ethanol derived corrosion and are recommended to be added to ethanol in the BS EN15376 standard. It is not clear if corrosion inhibitors are universally added to ethanol for E5 and E10 blending so as an additional precaution it is recommended that aftermarket corrosion inhibitor additives are added to E5 and E10 petrol. These aftermarket ethanol corrosion inhibitor additives often called ethanol compatibility additives are usually combined with a metallic valve recession additive (VSR) and sometimes an octane booster and have been found to provide good protection against metal corrosion in historic and classic vehicle fuel systems.

What happens if I fill up with E10 by accident?
Don’t panic – your car will continue to run, just fill up with E5 at the next opportunity and avoid storing your vehicle for long periods with E10 fuel.

E5 Petrol
E5 petrol can contain between 0 and 5% by volume ethanol. Other oxygenated blend components may also be used up to a maximum petrol oxygen content of 2.7%. There is a variation at the pumps, not just between brands but also between different areas of the country, some will contain a lot less but the absolute maximum is capped at 5%.

E10 Petrol
E10 petrol contains between 5.5 – 10% ethanol by volume. Other oxygenated blend components may also be used up to a maximum petrol oxygen content of 3.7%. Again, there is a variation at the pumps, not just between brands but also between different areas of the country, some will contain a lot less but the absolute maximum is capped at 10%. It should be noted that some Super E5 Protection grade fuels do not contain Ethanol as the E5 designation is for fuels containing up to 5% Ethanol. To re-iterate, product availability varies by manufacturer and geographical location.

Diesel labelling
The renewable content of diesel fuel will not be changing and service station fuel pumps will continue to be labelled as B7, designating a biodiesel, Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) content of between 0 and 7% by volume. New vehicles manufactured from 2019 onwards should have a ‘B7’ and or higher content label close to the filler cap showing the fuel they can use. The ‘B7’ label looks like this:


By Emma Airey, Head of RH
Winter is approaching and now is the time when you should start to think about getting your vehicles ready for hibernation. After all, can you justify taking your pride and joy out on roads slick with ice and snow? We think not! To help get your vehicle ready for winter, check out these maintenance tips and spare some time to review your current vehicle values and levels of cover with us
Storage: Ideally, you’ll want to store your specialist car or motorcycle in a secure garage. This space should have plenty of room for your vehicle, be well ventilated, and securely locked at all times. If you don’t have garage space available, consider renting space at a specialist storage facility. Your vehicle will be much better pro-tected from the elements under a garage roof than under an outdoor cover.
Clean: The vehicle should be thoroughly cleaned and dried. Pay special attention to remove any bird droppings and tree sap that could damage the vehicle’s paint.
Fuel: Fuel breaks down over time and can cause damage to your carburettor or fuel injection components. Be sure to add a fuel stabiliser to prevent a breakdown. This can keep your petrol fresh for up to a year. Once you’ve added the stabiliser, take the vehicle on a quick drive around the block to ensure that the product and the fuel have mixed together successfully.
Tyres: Ensure the tyres are at the correct pressure before storing your vehicle. To avoid flat spots and increase your tyres’ lifespan, prop your vehicle onto jack stands and cover the sides, front and back with a light coat of lubricant. This helps to keep them from drying out and cracking.
Battery: Good batteries, especially for specialist vehicle models, are expensive these days. Leave a trickle charger connected all winter to keep your vehicle’s battery in tip-top condition. If you’ve got several classics, replacing batteries can be an avoidable expense.
SORN (Statutory Off Road Notice): If you’re thinking of laying your vehicle up for winter, this can save you from paying road tax (if eligible) while it’s not on the road. Your SORN is automatically cancelled when you tax your vehicle again or it’s sold, scrapped or permanently exported. Simple to do, you can SORN your vehicle online via the DVLA website. Just make sure you re-tax the vehicle before you take it out on the road again or you could face a £2,500 penalty.
Insurance: If you are going to lay your vehicle up for a few months this doesn’t mean you should skip insurance coverage. Talk to us about the cover you need to keep your vehicle protected over the winter. If you’re planning to enjoy a few trips out on the warmer/dry days (and/or your vehicle is valued above £50,000), it might
15 www.da7c.co.uk & Facebook
be best to leave your vehicle insured with us on a comprehensive basis. If not, we might be able to offer our basic level of cover – ‘accidental damage, fire and theft’ – providing the vehicle is kept garaged and it proves cost effective to do so.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of your marque’s insurance needs – call the RH Team on 0333 043 3911 or email enquiries@rhspecialistinsurance.co.uk.


DoT: Vehicle Of Historic Interest MOT Exemption 

The following is a statement of the effect of recent legal changes to requirements for MOT testing of vehicles at least 40 years old.
On 20 May 2018 the Motor Vehicle (Tests) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 came into force. Regulation 7 sets out that any car, van (under 3.5t) or motorcycle which is being used on a public road is to be considered a vehicle of historic interest and therefore no longer required to hold a valid MOT certificate if it: 
was manufactured or registered for the first time at least 40 years previously
is of a type no longer in production, and
c)    has been historically preserved or maintained in its original state and has not undergone substantial changes in the technical characteristic of its main components.

his amended the previous exemption from MOT testing for cars, light vans or motorcycles manufactured in 1960 or before.

V5C CLASS: if your Austin Seven is due an MOT, you will need to declare it as a Vehicle of Historical Interest when you renew your Road Tax.  The responsibility to ensure the declared vehicle is a VHI and meets the criteria, rests with the vehicle keeper as part of their due diligence. If a vehicle keeper is not sure of the status of a vehicle, they can consult a marque or historic vehicles expert, a list of whom will be available on the website of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs.  Click here for an advisory paper with more details.

MOT CHANGES: The Substantial Change which is still draft but may impact on your car. “Most vehicles first registered over 40 years ago will as of 20 May 2018 be exempt from periodic testing, unless they have been substantially changed. The Ministry of Transport has recently (January 2019) has issued a letter of clarification which can be read and/or downloaded here.  The FBHVC suggest that drivers of "Historic Class" vehicles carry a copy of this letter in their cars in case they are stopped by the Police for not having a current MOT.

MOT UPDATE (06/08/20): Restarting MOT Testing
Mandatory MOT testing has been reintroduced as COVID-19 restrictions are slowly lifted. 
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, drivers were granted a 6-month exemption from MOT testing in March to help slow the spread of the virus. However, as restrictions are eased when safe to do so, all drivers whose car, motorcycle or van is due for an MOT test from 1 August will be required to get a test certificate to continue driving their vehicle.
 Click here for the full government announcement

LICENSING VEHICLES WITHOUT AN MOT:  According to the DVLA, if you tax your A7 online, the system should recognise we don't need an MOT but if you tax it at a post office then you will have to fill in another, new form V112 "Exemption From MOT Testing".

MOTS & INSURANCE: An Important Message from Richard Hosken:
We have no intention of requesting an annual condition check as we are using our risk selection to ensure that we have the true enthusiast who will do this as a matter of course anyway rather than the people who get bored with an older car and let it wither and die. With the line being drawn at pre 1960 I’m confident that we won’t see people buying them as a means of cheap transport to get round the annual condition checks as they are just too old for everyday transport.
With  regard to going abroad this is fine as long as you comply with the individual traffic regulations in each country and the vehicle condition rules of their home state.  If you are moving or leaving your vehicle abroad then it will need to be re-registered and will then come under that state’s rules for vehicle upkeep.
The unknown factor will be the effect it has on values in the market place between one that has the yearly upkeep history against those that don’t.  Personally I think this will end up ensuring that people continue to MoT their classics, they just won’t get the official government certificate.

MOT INFORMATION ONLINE For sometime you have been able to check to see if a car has an MOT and the Mot history, your car or any car you know. Recent updates to the on line service means you no longer need to enter the make just the registration number.  In the case of some Austin Sevens the make is mis-recorded as say “AUSTINRUBYDELUXE ”. Now just enter the car registration and all the details are there for you. Click here  You can also check the MOT history of any vehicle: click here



Members have encountered some difficulty when driving abroad being stopped by Police and asked for their MOT certificate. The official government form V112 (click here) covers it as A7s are in category R (on the back of the form) which, albeit a self-declaration form, has the government’s logo on it and the categories for exemption.