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Would the DVSA require a new catalytic converter to import my 1985 Pininfarina Spider from Spain?

I have recently bought a 1985 Pininfarina Spider Europa (Fiat 124). It is in good condition but I am currently refurbishing neglected areas. The catalytic converter has been removed by a previous owner and the adjusted exhaust system occasionally fouls on the rear suspension and makes a knocking noise. The car is in Spain and satisfies pollution regulations here because of its age. I might import the car to UK in a few years time. There are two options: reinstate the cat or adjust the existing system. Would the DVSA require a cat and would it reduce performance? Should I restore it anyway to original spec?

Asked on 3 July 2017 by Martyn Hill

Answered by Keith Moody
Despite a US-spec Pininfarina Spider being fitted from new with a cat, this won't be required in the UK. No 1985 car will fail an MoT for not having a cat in place. Unless you're fastidious about originality, we'd be tempted not to reinstate the cat, as the car is likely to run better and be marginally better-performing without one. Our temptation would be to focus on a cat-free exhaust system, either adapting the one you have (maybe fitting a new rear section to prevent it fouling on the suspension) or investing in an all-new system. Talk to Middle Barton Garage ( and DTR European Sports Cars ( regarding new exhausts.
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