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Old 31-01-2012, 11:41 PM
Rowan Harman Rowan Harman is offline
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Default Is a CoD a Commercial Document?

Is a CAMS Certificate of Description (CoD) a “Commercial Document”?

I have received recent correspondence from the CAMS stating…

“…the Certificate of Description process is to enable the correct Group Classification for competition purposes only and is not intended to be used for commercial purposes or relied upon as proof of the cars identity”

Is a CoD a “Commercial Document"? Is the definition “Commercial” a misuse of terminology? Would the better terminology be a “Document of Value”, viz: “…and is not intended to be used for (as) a Document of Value or relied upon as proof of the cars identity”.

So why do we pay CAMS for a CoD? Is that not a “commercial transaction” with CAMS? If the CoD was not a “Commercial Document” or a “Document of Value”, and as the Historic Commission is made up of volunteers, why the cost? Commercial reality?

Before the CAMS boffins get all high and mighty blurting out that the CoD is purely a “competition document” for the purity of Historic Racing in Australia, just think for a minute.

Point One. If you wanted to sell your Group C VC Commodore (legal or not, re-shelled or not, but has a CoD), would you list in the sale advertisement “comes with current CAMS CoD” or not? How about you set a price for your Group C VC Commodore with our without a CoD, would there be a price difference? Would it be the difference between the car with a CoD = $X and the car less the cost of the CoD = $X - $950.00? I think not.

Remember, a CoD is for competition purposes only. So, if you were to sell your Group C VC Commodore to a person who was purchasing the vehicle for, say, investment purposes to include in their private collection/museum in Queensland, or, as part of their Superannuation Package, and never had any intention of the vehicle hitting the race track again, other than “demonstration laps”, the price would be the asking price less the cost of a CoD? Yes? And have no fear, there could be no other difference in the asking price for your vehicle other than cost of the CAMS CoD as the CoD cannot even be relied upon as proof of the cars identity. Please note, that if the purchaser of the vehicle wanted to do some “demonstration laps” at some meetings, if the car did not have a CoD, then they would be required to run the word “REPLICA” on the windscreen. Don’t worry, no need for you to advise the new owner of this as this does not take away from your vehicle’s value and not even CAMS will get involved.

Point Two. What is a “commercial purpose”? I own my house and wish to sell it, I put it in the hands of a Real Estate Agent. I now have a “commercial arrangement” with the Agent, is this arrangement for a commercial purpose even though I am selling my “private property”? The Agent is also expected to work with me and my Solicitor (another “commercial arrangement”) to ensure that 1., I have the Title to the property and 2., the history of the property is documented, (that is like a CoD for a house/property, the difference being that the Titles Office can be relied upon as proof of the property’s identity). So, to sell my private property, I enter into commercial arrangements with an Agent, a legal person, maybe an advertiser of the property, a keeper of records (Titles Office) etc, is all of this for commercial purposes? Now, what if I was selling my Factory, a Commercial Premises! Is it owned by me as an individual, as a partnership with my partner (wife) or partner (business), as a Company, as a Trust that my Company pays rent? If it is a Commercial Property owned by my Company, then is this sale for “commercial purposes”? Regardless, to sell it, I must enter into some, or all, of the “commercial arrangements” above to make the sale. Now, if I sell the house to a Company, is their purchase (my sale) now for a commercial purpose? If an individual buys my Factory for private use, even though it is a commercial property, they may have made the purchase for “private purposes”.

Back to cars. If I want to go to the Titles Office (CAMS) for documents to prove the existence of my vehicle, privately owned, to offer for sale and one of the reasons for refusing the documents is that the documents will be used for “commercial purposes”, where am I?

Confused?

It can also be read into the CAMS CoD terminology that a CoD is issued for competition purposes only! So if you have a CoD, you must race the car? I’m aware that there are a couple of well known A9X’s that have CoD’s yet will never be “raced” again (well not by the current museum owners). I am also aware of a Bathurst winning car that has recently been granted a “GOLD CoD”, and that car will never be raced again either! It will be driven but not raced. So, why did these owners bother with the CAMS for a CoD? Maybe they thought that a CoD may be seen as a document, of sorts, as to proof of the vehicles history by the Titles Office (CAMS)? That’s wrong. Maybe they thought that a CoD may be a document that would contribute “value” to their vehicle? In the instance of the Bathurst winner, could it be that to obtain insurance cover for the vehicle, the insurer (a major sponsor of Motor Sport and CAMS) requested that for the agreed value of cover, verification from CAMS was required (a CoD). That could be perceived as a commercial purpose. Or maybe these owners just derive great pleasure pissing dollars up against the (CAMS) wall and, in turn, being showered with requests for obscure documents by delegates that weren’t even born when the vehicle raced? Anyway, by the CAMS statement, these owners should not have been granted CoD’s as the CoD is for “competition purposes only”.

Many of you would be aware of a Group C VC Commodore, with a significant history, that has been recently advertised. The vehicle is not restored, it has a fully documented history (sorry Willy), has not been re-shelled, would not need a re-shell and has, in the past, been viewed by CAMS Historic Commission delegates as the car. Now, the vehicle was offered for sale at what I would say was a very reasonable price (taking into account purchase price, the cost of restoration and end value all added up). There was a rush of enquiry from past owners, would-be punters, current Croup C owners looking for another vehicle etc, it goes without saying that all of them knew more about the vehicle than the current owner. First question by all was, “… does it have a CoD”? Does this make the CAMS CoD a “Document of Value”? The exercise was very worthwhile and I thank you all for contributing.

I believe the CoD system was originally devised to ensure that vehicles complied with the period regulations, specifications and livery (in Group C) that were to be entered into Historic Competition. The problem is that the CoD system is now corrupted. The CoD is now perceived in the “market”, historic racing knowledgeable or not, as a “document of value” and therefore becomes a component of “commercial (value) purpose”

So, “…the Certificate of Description process is to enable the correct Group Classification for competition purposes only and is not intended to be used for commercial purposes or relied upon as proof of the cars identity” statement by CAMS is no longer correct.

Anyone care to comment?

Last edited by Rowan Harman; 31-01-2012 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:30 PM
Rowan Harman Rowan Harman is offline
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Default Certificate!

Certificate. The relevant description of the word from the Oxford Dictionary…
noun
Pronunciation: /səˈtɪfɪkət/
• 1 an official document attesting a fact, in particular:
• a document recording a person’s birth, marriage, or death:a birth certificate
• a document confirming that someone has reached a certain level of achievement in a course of study or training:a university-accredited certificate
• a document attesting ownership of an item or the fulfilment of legal requirements:a share certificate
verb
Pronunciation: /səˈtɪfɪkeɪt/
[with object] British
• provide with or attest in an official document:the amounts earned have to be certificated by employers

In relation to a CAMS AHMSC CoD, note the above, “1 an official document attesting a fact”.

You send to CAMS/AHMSC a payment of $950.00 and then supply the documentation for your CoD, in that documentation the CAMS/AHMSC demand the complete history of the car, specification, photographs, Statutory Declarations, letters of authenticity – often from people that need to recall items/events up to 40 years ago, Log Books, Race Results, on and on before you can even contemplate getting a look in. Then you have (usually) uninformed EO’s glance at the car and then do the ring around to self appointed “experts” or mates, that may not like you or are influenced by other parties that have vested interests, on and on it goes. In some cases, depending on how much they are influenced, they will also call in Solicitors or even dip deeper!!! Lets suppose that you get your CoD after all this work to be sub-titled…“…the Certificate of Description process is to enable the correct Group Classification for competition purposes only and is not intended to be used for commercial purposes or relied upon as proof of the cars identity”

So where does the CAMS/AHMSC get off by stating that a Certificate of Description is not a Certificate attesting to the proof of the car!!!!!!!

Why are we spending the money for a worthless Certificate that the issuer will not even stand behind?

Last edited by Rowan Harman; 02-02-2012 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:06 AM
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Coolvet Coolvet is offline
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Rowan, I think CAMS want to avoid involvement in any litigation where someone might sell a car with a CofD and then the car turns out to not be strictly legitimate. CAMS don't want to be brought into any subsequent litigation. That's my guess.
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:48 PM
Bill Cutler Bill Cutler is offline
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Rowan, how would you propose the current system be changed?
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:59 PM
Rowan Harman Rowan Harman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coolvet View Post
Rowan, I think CAMS want to avoid involvement in any litigation where someone might sell a car with a CofD and then the car turns out to not be strictly legitimate. CAMS don't want to be brought into any subsequent litigation. That's my guess.
Thanks Carey,

I am aware that the CAMS/AHMSC are "gun shy" regarding the potential of issuing a CoD for a vehicle and then later, possibly after going through several owners, the car is proven to not be what is purported to be and the CoD being waved in front of the Judge. This has happened in Europe to the FIA.

So we get to my point. A "Certificate" is an official document. CAMS/AHMSC have a small print disclaimer hidden in the background to cover themselves for just such a case. Now the "Market" may not be privy to the small print, or more correctly, the Market has adopted the CoD as proof of a vehicle. My advice has been that despite any "small print", the meaning of a "Certificate" in law, is an official document attesting a fact and any small print attached by an institution, sporting organisation or whatever, cannot modify the law to its own interpretation or perceived needs. At the moment, to all out there that have not read this thread, a CoD is the proof of the vehicle and if you scan back through the vehicles offered for sale, there is always mention of the CoD inferring the "legitimacy" of the vehicle. That is the market perception.

To me, the CAMS/AHMSC have not done anything to advise the "Market" that the CoD is a - sort of - Certificate that does not attest to the legitimacy of a vehicle. It could almost be said that the use of the word Certificate is not legal

I have no issue with the intent of the CAMS/AHMSC as to what the CoD is for but the CAMS/AHMSC need to change the wording and be "loud" about what the process for an Historic Log Book is about.

First suggestion. The CoD wording be replaced by an "Authority to Race" (AtR).

Oxford Dictionary. "Authority"

noun (plural authorities)

1 [mass noun] the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.


[often with infinitive] the right to act in a specified way, delegated from one person or organization to another

Any other suggestions?

Last edited by Rowan Harman; 03-02-2012 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:03 PM
Bill Cutler Bill Cutler is offline
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Wrap it up in a concise submission for discussion by the AHMSC at their next meeting....
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:33 PM
MYDR30 MYDR30 is offline
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Some great conversations going on in here. Love the quotes of the Oxford Dictionary hehe.

I have always believed that a CofD was a document with value. That has only been my perception of it, and I have to say, added value to my car when I bought it. I was really lost when a CofD was mentioned, and being a complete novice, had no idea what to do. Terry helped me enormously to get my CofD. If someone asked me the question about whether I thought my CofD was valuable, and a valued incentive to by the car, I would say a definate yes. AND just because CAMS will not commit to it as having a "Real" value, shouldn't mean it doesn't. I think we would all agree, that buying a car with an Historic Logbook and a CofD, would make any potential purchase of a Historic Car a much nicer proposition, and that has to have some value on it.

Excellent discussion though.
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:11 PM
Rowan Harman Rowan Harman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Cutler View Post
Wrap it up in a concise submission for discussion by the AHMSC at their next meeting....
Thanks for the opportunity Bill. When is the next meeting?

I hope there will be more inputs from this Forum that will then give a broader and more informed view to be able to present to the CAMS/AHMSC.

Any chance that this subject can be distributed to the wider Historic Community by the CAMS/AHMSC? As by the above, I would be more than happy to assist.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:59 PM
shaun shaun is offline
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Rowan , are you having problems with getting a CofD for your car or the cost ? or Maybe i,m missing something .

I found the system in which i,m going through with my second group c car easy and understandable with much time involved in documenting , research and proving its provenance of its past history , exact modifications in the day etc , then laying all the facts on the table prior to restoration , very time consuming but fairly straight forward ..


i,m sure cams want to get it right to ensure only correct eligible cars are on the track with other genuine cars would be my thoughts .
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:56 AM
Rowan Harman Rowan Harman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaun View Post
Rowan , are you having problems with getting a CofD for your car or the cost ? or Maybe i,m missing something .

I found the system in which i,m going through with my second group c car easy and understandable with much time involved in documenting , research and proving its provenance of its past history , exact modifications in the day etc , then laying all the facts on the table prior to restoration , very time consuming but fairly straight forward ..


i,m sure cams want to get it right to ensure only correct eligible cars are on the track with other genuine cars would be my thoughts .
Shaun, there are issues with the system that will effect different applicants in different ways. As I have stated, I have no issue with the intent, the cost is "gouging" by the CAMS/AHMSC (particularly when there is only one part time person being paid by CAMS, the rest are voluntary). Everybody knows that I have been having trouble getting a CoD for both of my cars over the last 5 years. Maybe I don't know the right people, maybe because they are both MHDT cars, I don't know, but as I work through the CAMS /AHMSC process, with advice, I/we are continually coming up against new small print, excuses and reasoning that have to be addressed or corrected. Certainly some new frontiers in Historic Racing management in Australia.

So, if you are happy to have your Authority to Race called a "Certificate", so be it. I could also argue that your cars aren't genuine. You haven't proven anything to me! You may have a CAMS/AHMSC "Certificate of Description" but be aware, that is no proof of the cars being genuine, all it means is that it is a non-legal "Certificate" being used to say your cars meets the rules for Competition.
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