A few people have been flagrantly ignoring the 8 point rule in their car builds and DVLA, realizing this, has started to tighten up on it,
I think this is mainly in the 'hot rod' community, those who take a ford pop and put a space frame chassis under it and a huge V8. Plus from what I have seen a lot of people who own old escorts have heavily modified them way outside of the 8 point rule. It's generally those people who will shout the loudest and stamp their feet about it being 'unfair'. With an engine swap like yourself, Dan and a couple of the guys who have done MX5 conversions I don't think we have anything to worry about too much.
I agree that the folk who have put a massive V8 in a space frame under a GRP Pop shell, or an air cooled flat 4 in the back of an Allegro (Yes it really does exist) are the DVLA's main targets here.
I'm not going to go into the in and outs of how iniquitous the 8 point rule is, or how it was meant to apply to kit cars, not modified production cars. The fact is that the rule exists and it is the yardstick that DVLA uses and we are almost certainly stuck with it!
And what it says, with only tiny exceptions, is that if you have a monocoque shell, that shell must REMAIN in a completely original and unmodified state to garner the 5 points and original shell marker needed to avoid a Biva and all that entails You can't cut out even a small inconvenient bit of bulkhead or tunnel (structurally significant or not) and stay within the rules. Even if you replace it with something twice as good - but different.
Now i'm not worried for myself, both the Carledo and the Dolomega have been built adhering to this key point, but I know of a few other Dolomites (no names, no pack drill) which have not observed the rules so carefully. It is these cars that are "at risk" and I think that DVLA WILL turn it's attention to ever more minor infringements once a) they've dealt with the more serious malefactors and b) they have some way (like self incrimination by owners as proposed in the 15% rule) of easily identifying possible targets!
After all, every VED free VHI is lost revenue for them and that probably irks them as much as it pleases us to fill in the online form and get the £0.00 bill!
I know that DVLA can demand to inspect your modified car if they have reason to suspect that it is in contravention of said rules, and I don't want to scaremonger, but if they can get YOU to admit its "substantially modified" how long will it be before they call in ALL such cars and charge their owners for the privilege of having to prove it's NOT outside the rules?