I received this from the EV list.
Be very careful about what you call your vehicle, especially in California. About two years ago, the DMV and tax authorities did a sting on custom car builders who, for example, took a '55 Chev and extensively modified it, sometimes producing a car worth $100K+ and sold and registered it as a '55 Chev, thereby avoiding a hefty tax. The builders paid huge fines for their slight oversight.
Can you explain how this worked? If they registered it as a '55 Chevy, and it really *is* a '55 Chevy, what law is being broken? In every state I've lived in, vehicle registration price has nothing to do with the true value of the vehicle; they only use its "book" price. They don't care if I put $10,000 worth of EV parts into a car with a book value of $100 -- I still pay registration based on its book value.
Insurance is another matter; if you expect to be reimbursed for what the vehicle is really worth, then you need to insure it for that value.