Authentication

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Sir,

I am rather puzzled by the FISA Vehicle Identity Form as mentioned by Michael Bowler in January 1980 Motor Sport. As I understand it, the object of this form is to verify that each car has sufficient history in order for it to be accepted in International Historic Racing.

It would be sad indeed if some cars were to be prohibited from racing due to the inability of being able to prove their innocence. Even worse, the very fact of being “authenticated” will raise the prices of such car making it even more tempting (for some) to make a replica car and then getting around the forms. Should a person choose to pay a great deal of money for such a car is it not wise to check the history beforehand? Caveat emptor.

Now just who does benefit from having the history of a car verified by the relevant club? Not the club; consider all that extra work. Not the owner of an authentic car; he is probably the one who collected the facts for authentication anyway!

Well then, who is at a disadvantage by not having their car authenticated? Not the dealers; they buy and sell according to the demands of the market place. Not the maker of a replica car; surely he does it to an order by a customer. Not the customer; at least not until all the cars that are eligible for International Historic Racing are accounted for. Someone who is at a disadvantage is the person owning a car made by a manufacturer who kept less than perfect records. How can he prove this car is genuine?

One final thought: if the vehicle is not inspected every year who is to police the forms to prove that the car still exists two years after it was inspected and the form issued? After all, policing more and more regulations causes more and more confusion. Why cannot sleeping dogs lie?

Abingdon, Martin Hasker