The Interesting Facts of Historical Vehicle Evaluation

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The Interesting Facts of Historical Vehicle Evaluation

Often I get calls or e-mails with questions about historical vehicle registration marks, i.e. brown historical numbers. First of all, it should be figured out what is a historic vehicle? According to the Republic of Lithuania on Road Traffic Safety Law, the historical motor vehicle – 30 years ago or earlier produced vehicle, the model is no longer produced at least 15 years and which is the original, suitable for exploitation, but is not used for everyday purposes.
The second question is the way in which ordinary vintage vehicles can be recognized as a historical vehicle? The Historical Motor Vehicles Associations which carry historical vehicle evaluation can confirm the acknowledgement of historical motor vehicle. List of Associations can be found here: http://vkti.lrv.lt/lt/kitos-paslaugos/technine-prieziura/istorines-motorines-transporto-priemones/istoriniu-motoriniu-transporto-priemoniu-asociaciju-vykdanciu-istoriniu-motoriniu-transporto-priemoniu-vertinima-sarasas
So, let’s say your car meets all the obligatory requirements of the law. You give your car to an expert evaluation and after a positive answer, you can be proud of historical vehicle marks (further – historical license plates). Is it worth doing this?
My answer would be negative. Historical vehicle license plates restricts your freedom of movement for giving any advantages. Once again, let us not forget that part of the law which do not pay sufficient attention than the antique vehicle owners nor officials: “Historical motor vehicle … … which is original, suitable for exploitation, but is not used for everyday needs“!
Are you sure that you would never drive your friends by your car or would never go somewhere on weekends to show off your antique beauty? While Lithuania does not have, but in many countries, the concept “not daily use” is explained by subordinate legislation or insurance companies agreements which are made insuring a historical vehicle. They usually state that the historical vehicle may be used only in the antique clubs organized tours, events, exhibitions, and during the trip in connection with historic vehicles a legal and technical service. It is prohibited to use a historical vehicle for commercial purposes.
So, whether you would be able to prove that you are driving to fix the tires to the angry uncle policeman who stops you while showing off your historical license plates in a wedding procession? The bride was in your car occasionally, because the groom, hear, is the mechanic of tires workshop and kindly promised to take care of your flat tire…
The following is even more beautiful. Leafed through antique vehicle club websites and not found all the information about the historical technical evaluation, I anonymously sent inquiries to all the associations engaged in historical motor vehicle evaluation. The question was specific – how much does a car evaluation? The answer – from 100 to 150 Euros. The highest price this service is provided by the association “Retromobile”, Dzūkija Antique Vehicle Club, Lithuanian “Beetles’” club, an Antique Technique Club “Ekipažas” and The American Automobile Club V8. The cheapest, only 100 Euros, evaluation is by Lithuania Antique Cars and Motorcycles Amateur Association, which is located in Kaunas. So, is it expensive or cheap? Compared with neighbor Latvian service – expensive, because there historic vehicle evaluation costs only 43.03 Euro. The evaluation is carried out by a state agency, our “Regitra” equivalent, and charge goes to the state treasury. Lithuania state of your pay 100-150 Euros just does not get a cent! Your paid money remains to associations – antique vehicle clubs conducting the evaluation. Who establishes this service cost in Lithuania? Historical motor vehicle evaluation price is determined by the associations themselves performing evaluation…
Lithuania currently has 320 recognized historical vehicles. Their list can be found here: https://ltsa.lrv.lt/lt/kitos-paslaugos/technine-prieziura/istorines-motorines-transporto-priemones/pripazintu-istoriniu-motoriniu-transporto-priemoniu-sarasas To sum up, it comes out that several antique vehicles clubs significantly improved its financial position and the proceeds of those least able to develop high-quality international antique vehicles events. Only if they are going? It’s a shame, but somehow I do not remember any noteworthy antique vehicle exhibition, organized by clubs – historical technical evaluators. Well, unless – only three years ago, the international antique motorcycles gathering “DSTK Moto 2012”…
So, with such interesting subordinate legislation leads to the conclusion that the best way to save – to set up an association, articles of association necessarily indicate that one of the association policy objectives are preservation of antique motor vehicles. After three years, the law provides that your club will be included in a list of associations engaged in historical motor vehicle evaluation. You choose three representatives (number of signatures that must approve the evaluation act), even better – all ten, and would evaluate yours and your friends’ vehicles. It would not be a surprise, if in a few years, each village in Lithuania has a historical vehicle expert! I’m not prejudiced against the establishment of new clubs. Competition – a good thing. Frightens quite another – the abundance of antique vehicle experts and estimated natural “growth” of experts. Today we have 72 official experts, approved by the State Road Transport Inspectorate. How many of them are proficient in their work, and how many of them do not even know what is FIVA (in French: Federation Internationale des Vehicules Anciens)? And how can they know if more than half of them do not speak another foreign language than Russian? How can and if can an expert from the antique vehicle club, which has the oldest car 1953 GAZ M20 (Pobeda – Russian car), to evaluate the inter-war American, German, French or Italian car? After all, this requires not only the English and German languages, special literature, but also experience. With the rise in living standards, Lithuania is reached by older and unique cars which make them evaluate, not only to see their photos, but also “touch” them. Are there many Lithuanian experts at this moment who could be met at the best immediate antique car exhibitions “Riga Retro” and “Timeless Klasika”? My answer: 5-6 people can be really unashamedly called experts in antique technology. I am talking about those who write articles, books, and has issued a firm belief in the authority of antique vehicles in society. And where others gaining experience, and the remaining 66? And who are they?
Another question – what kind of punishment is applied to losers, incompetent and cheating elements of historical technical evaluators (experts). And – no! State Road Transport Inspectorate Order No. 2B provides that only in one case – when it turns out the fact that the vehicle evaluator is concerned with evaluation of the historical motor vehicle, i.e. he is an owner of valued historical motor vehicle – the Inspectorate shall remove the vehicle evaluator from the Inspectorate website list. So, no punishment for incompetence and fraud! And more importantly, it does not foresee any penalties and sanctions to an association which appointed the offender evaluator. The association even has the right to replace the guilty (deleted) evaluator…
Surprising not only an expert assessment of qualification, but already recognized 320 historic vehicles fate. Where are they? Why not see their antique vehicles exhibitions? This suggests that they may be non-original and evaluated incorrectly, or used solely for commercial purposes – a wedding and the joy of tourists…
So, how many experts, i.e. evaluators of antique vehicles, could (should) be Lithuania? Once again, refer to the example of neighbor. Latvia has five (not 72, but only 5) evaluators who are recognized, approved and work in the state service. In a word – professionals, improving their qualifications and working in jobs directly linked to the antique vehicles. They are seen not only in the offices, but in all, at least important antique technique events. And it is natural, because in order to know you have to learn and be interested in it…
In conclusion, it should be said that our antique vehicle recognition procedure and an abundance of experts already laugh Europe. And that’s because the subordinate legislation in Lithuania is developed and made in response to certain non-historical technical experts’, collectors’ conclusions, but the restorers’ views. Everyone, a little bit polished or repaired a motor bike, believes to be a titled expert of antique vehicles; and every club, within three years, which have organized a miserable ride of antique vehicles – legislators advisers! So be it – we wanted better, but it turned out as always…

Egidijus Einoris
President of Antique Vehicle Club “Klasika”