Sema SAN Driving Force March 2012

SEMA Action Network, Uncategorized Comments Off




Performance, Power & Polish

Three States Seek to Protect Modified Exhaust Systems

The misconception that custom exhaust components are associated with illegal street racing has plagued the automotive hobby for decades and has created friction between vehicle enthusiasts and the law. In fact, unfair assumptions about modified exhaust systems have led some states to prohibit the use of this equipment, other than “factory-installed mufflers” or “mufflers meeting factory specifications.” Others have banned systems that create “excessive or unusual noise.” Subjective measures like these leave the fate of your vehicle in an uncertain limbo. While the SEMA Action Network (SAN) believes that exhaust systems should not be used in a way that causes overly loud or objectionable noise, these vague provisions fail to provide a clear and objective standard and make it difficult to know the parameters of acceptable modification.

To combat these issues, the SAN developed model exhaust noise legislation. In 2002, California was the first state to enact this model legislation into law. After 10 years, California’s automotive hobbyists are now better equipped to fight unfair exhaust noise citations issued by state law enforcement officers. The law features fair, standardized testing that can be accurately measured. Results from the test settle whether or not a vehicle’s modified exhaust system meets the state’s exhaust noise standards. If the smog check station’s referee determines that the exhaust system emits no more than 95-decibels, a certificate of compliance is issued.

Based on the success of California’s exhaust noise test standard, other states have established fair noise limits, including Montana and Maine. Like California, these states have included the SAN provision for the testing of vehicle exhaust noise to the standard adopted by the Society of Automotive Engineers to an established noise limit of 95-decibels (SAE J1169). Under the SAE standard, a sound meter is placed 20 inches from the exhaust outlet at a 45-degree angle and the engine is revved to three quarters of maximum rated horsepower. The highest decibel reading is then recorded.

Recently, three additional states have made proposals to clear up the confusion once and for all. Hawaii, Iowa and West Virginia have just introduced bills that would benefit consumers and police officers charged with enforcing the law. “In incorporating the SAN model into their state statutes, this legislation recognizes that aftermarket exhaust systems are more durable, are designed to make vehicles run more efficiently without increasing emissions and offer increased performance, which can make a vehicle safer by improving its ability to merge, pass and travel uphill,” said SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald. “Further, these efforts challenge the erroneous assumption that enthusiasts who equip their vehicles with modified exhaust systems are involved in illegal street racing.”

Similar to California, Maine and Montana, the Hawaii, West Virginia and Iowa legislation provide that vehicle exhaust systems in compliance with a 95-decibel limit under SAE J1169 satisfy requirements under the “noisy mufflers” law. We encourage SAN members in those three states to make their voices heard in support of these bills. For more information on each of these measures, please refer to the information posted at www.semasan.com.


CAUCUS CORNER

Each month, Driving Force features members of the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus. The SEMA-supported caucus is a bipartisan group of state lawmakers, almost 550 members strong, whose common thread is a love and appreciation for automobiles.

Here are its newest members:

Alaska
Senator
Dennis Egan

Colorado
Senator
Nancy Spence

Colorado
Representative
Joe Miklosi

Colorado
Representative
Ray Scott

Georgia
Representative
Earnest Smith

Indiana
Senator
Jim Buck

Iowa
Senator
Thomas Courtney

Iowa
Representative
Josh Byrnes

Kansas
Senator
Jeff Longbine

Kansas
Representative
Melanie Meier

Maine
Representative
Sheryl Briggs

Maryland
Senator
Ronald Young

Maryland
Delegate
Charles Otto

South Dakota
Representative
Peggy Gibson

Tennessee
Representative
Sheila Butt

Tennessee
Representative
Jim Gotto

Tennessee
Representative
Curry Todd

Vermont
Representative
Jim Condon

West Virginia
Delegate
Tom Azinger

West Virginia
Delegate
Carol Miller

West Virginia
Delegate
Amanda Pasdon

West Virginia
Delegate
Kelli Sobonya

Wisconsin
Representative
Elizabeth Coggs

Visit www.semasan.com for a complete list of caucus members.


Federal Update

Ethanol in Gasoline

House Committee Wants Ethanol to be Reevaluated

The U.S. House Science Committee approved a SAN-supported bill that directs the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study on how gasoline blended with 15 to 20% ethanol (E15 and E20) may impact gas-powered vehicles. The analysis would consider a variety of issues including tailpipe emissions, materials compatibility and fuel efficiency. The House bill would prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from introducing E15 into the marketplace until the report has been submitted to the House Science Committee. The bill will now be considered by the full House of Representatives. Ethanol increases water formation in the gas tank, which can then produce formic acid and corrode certain metal, plastic and rubber parts. Last year, the EPA approved the sale of E15 for MY 2001 and later vehicles. The EPA agreed with the SAN’s concerns that ethanol poses a threat to older vehicles and made it “illegal” to fuel pre-2001 vehicles with E15. However, the SAN contends that a gas pump warning label will not protect consumers from accidentally misfueling these vehicles. E15 is not yet in the marketplace and is still the subject of several lawsuits and legislation to block the sale.

Legislative Quick Hits

Colorado Emissions Exemption: The SAN is supporting legislation to extend the emissions inspection exemption to vehicles that have not yet reached their eighth model year. Current law only exempts vehicles that are 4 model years old or newer. Colorado already exempts pre-1976 collector cars, kits and street rods from emissions testing. The logic for this trend is clear; such vehicles do not contribute in significant ways to air quality problems. This logic applies equally to newer cars.

Iowa Antique Registration Fee: The SAN is supporting a bill to allow any vehicle that is 25 years old or older and used only for exhibition, entertainment or educational purposes to be registered for an annual fee of $5. Under current law, a motor vehicle that is 25 years old or older may be registered as an antique vehicle upon payment of the regular annual registration fee for the vehicle. Certain vehicles that are 25 years old or older and used only for exhibition, entertainment or educational purposes may be registered as “limited-use” vehicles, subject to a registration fee of $40 for a two-year period.

Maryland Historic Vehicle Registration: Legislation to increase the age requirement for vehicles eligible for registration as “historic motor vehicles” was introduced. Under the bill, the age requirement would be raised from 20 to at least 25 years old and would prohibit these cars from being used for “occasional transportation.” The measure would also require that an historic vehicle is insured by an historic vehicle, show vehicle or antique insurance policy. A hearing to consider the bill is scheduled in the Environmental Matters Committee. The SAN is opposing the bill.

New Jersey Emissions Exemption: In 2010, SAN-supported legislation to extend the emissions inspection exemption to vehicles five model years old or newer was signed into law, subject to approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Previous law only exempted vehicles four model years old or newer. The EPA is now proposing action to incorporate revisions to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by state regulators to improve performance of the state’s Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) program. Chief among the amendments the EPA is proposing to approve is the extension of the new vehicle inspection exemption from four years to five years. This action acknowledges the relatively minimal environmental impact of the vehicles targeted for this exemption and that it is senseless to test newer vehicles, the results of which demonstrate no significant air quality benefits.

Utah Vintage Travel Trailers: A SAN-supported bill to create a statutory definition of a “vintage travel trailer” and provide for a one-time registration fee was approved by the Utah House of Representatives and now moves to the Senate for consideration. Under the bill, vintage travel trailers would also be eligible for a special group license plate and would be exempted from wheel cover, mudguard, flap, or splash apron requirements. The measure provides for a $40 one-time registration fee.

Vermont Exhaust Noise: The SAN is opposing legislation to ban motor-vehicle exhaust systems that increase the noise level above the level emitted by the originally installed system. Under the bill, violators would not pass the state’s required inspection. The bill does not provide an opportunity for vehicle hobbyists to install and use aftermarket modified exhaust systems that meet an objective 95-decibel limit under a fair and predictable test. In addition, the measure does not supply inspectors with an enforcement standard, allowing them to make subjective judgments on whether an exhaust system increases “the noise emitted by the motor vehicle above the level emitted by the exhaust system as originally installed.”

Virginia License Tax: Legislation that originally threatened to provide localities with the authority to raise from $100 to $500 the amount charged for an annual license tax for vehicles that do not display current license plates was amended by a subcommittee of the Virginia House Counties, Cities and Towns Committee. Working with Virginia hobbyist groups, the SAN successfully negotiated an amendment with the bill’s sponsor to (1) totally exempt all vehicles 25 years old and older from the license tax that are undergoing restoration or repair and (2) extend the exemption to all other vehicles (including parts cars) undergoing restoration or repair that are stored on private property for fewer than 60 days. Vehicles stored within a structure would remain exempted from the tax. The bill was approved by the subcommittee on a 4-3 vote.

Washington Inoperable Vehicles: SEMA-model legislation that would prohibit cities or towns from enforcing an ordinance, development regulation, zoning regulation or administrative practice that prevents legitimate automobile collectors from pursuing their hobby, was approved by the Washington State Senate Government Operations Committee. Under the bill, a limited number of junked, wrecked or inoperable vehicles, including parts cars, stored on private property, would only require screening from public view if required by local law. The bill will now be considered by the Senate Rules Committee.

West Virginia Property Tax: The SAN is supporting legislation to provide owners of antique motor vehicles with a cap on property taxes paid on antique motor vehicles. The bill was approved by the House Roads and Transportation Committee and will now be considered by the House Finance Committee. West Virginia law defines an “antique motor vehicle” as any motor vehicle that is more than 25 years old and owned solely as a collector’s item. The bill would assess antique motor vehicles for property taxes at their salvage value. That value could not exceed $500. At the most costly rate in West Virginia (approximately 3%), the actual property tax paid by antique motor vehicle owners at the maximum salvage value would be only about $15 per year.

March 2012 SAN Club Events

Arizona

March 9-11, Scottsdale
3rd Spring Nationals
Sponsor: Goodguys
Info: www.good-guys.com or info@good-guys.com

March 30-31, Phoenix
Pontiac Heaven Car Show
Sponsor: Speedworld Dragstrip
Info: steve@pontiacheaven.org or 480/899-7873

Arkansas

March 24, Little Rock
Z-Car Show
Sponsor: Arkansas Z-Car Club
Info: www.azcc.ww4.us/azcc2/

California

March 1-3, Los Angeles
Deuce Week
Sponsor: Petersen Automotive Museum
Info: www.DeuceWeek.org or 323/964-6325

March 4, Pomona
Swap Meet & Classic Car Show
Sponsor: George Cross & Sons
Info: matt.jzarzana70@pomonaswapmeet.com or 714/538-7091

March 16-17, Sacramento
26th Annual Legislative Conference
Sponsor: The Association of California Car Clubs Inc.
Info: www.acccdefender.org or acccpres@gmail.com

March 18, Sacramento
40th Anniversary Celebration Dinner and Car Show
Sponsor: The Association of California Car Clubs Inc.
Info: www.acccdefender.org or acccpres@gmail.com

March 24-25, Pleasanton
30th All American Get-Together
Sponsor: Goodguys Rod and Custom Association
Info: www.good-guys.com or 925/838-9876

March 30-April 1, Del Mar
12th Meguiar’s Del Mar Nationals
Sponsor: Goodguys Rod and Custom Association
Info: www.good-guys.com or 925/838-9876

Connecticut

March 9-11, Hartford
53rd Annual Frank Maratta’s Auto & Cycle Show
Sponsor: Town Fair Tire
Info: Linda@fmautoshow.com or 860/347-3625

Florida

March 1-4, Bradenton
18th NMRA Annual Spring Break Shootout
Sponsor: NMRA
Info: swapmeet@promediapub.com or 714/444-2426

March 2-3, Lake Buena Vista
1st Annual Magical Rod Run
Sponsor: Vintage Street Rodders of America
Info: 423/571-6430 or streetrod34coupe@yahoo.com

March 3, Naples
Naples-Marco Island 23rd Annual Meet
Sponsor: Naples-Marco Island Chapter AACA
Info: gdoner4822@comcast.net or 239/597-4822

March 3, Coconut Creek
1st Annual Open Car and Truck Show
Sponsor: Corvette Club of South Florida
Info: jcutroni@att.net or 954/242-5332

March 4, Hollywood
24th Annual Florida Mopar Nationals
Sponsor: Florida Mopar Connection Car Club
Info: floridamopar@bellsouth.net or 954/920-7096

March 24, Winter Springs
Motormania Car Show
Sponsor: Orlando Bowtie Club
Info: www.orlandobowtieclub.com or arasnova@yahoo.com

March 25, Ocala
10th Annual Live Oak Carriage & Antique Car Show
Sponsor: AACA Ocala
Info: art2cars@cfl.rr.com or 352/671-6782

Georgia

March 3, Chamblee
Mopars at the Galaxy
Sponsor: North Georgia Mopar Club
Info: www.northgeorgiamoparclub.com/

Louisiana

March 24, New Orleans
British Car Day
Sponsor: British Motoring Club of New Orleans
Info: www.bmcno.org or mlandrick@gmail.com or 225/571-7064

Massachusetts

March 30-April 1, Boston
37th Annual World of Wheels Auto Show
Sponsor: Town Fair Tire
Info: www.autorama.com or 248/373-1700

New Mexico

March 10, Bosque Farms
Los Lunas Cruz Poker Run
Sponsor: New Mexico Council of Car Clubs
Info: 505/565-2105

March 31, Las Cruces
Wheels of Dreams Swap & Show
Sponsor: New Mexico Council of Car Clubs
Info: 575/526-5432

March 31, Deming
Smokin’ Oldies Car Show
Sponsor: New Mexico Council of Car Clubs
Info: 575/494-7265

March 31, Farmington
2nd Annual Rockabilly Car Show
Sponsor: Road Runners Car Club
Info: mike@roadrunnerscc.com or southernrockiesroadtour@msn.com

Oregon

March 10-11, Roseburg
35th Annual Roseburg Benefit Car Show
Sponsor: UMPQUA Flatheads and Stray Angels
Car Clubs
Info: www.strayangelscarclub.com or 541/672-2359

Pennsylvania

March 2-27, Hershey
Alternative Energy Vehicle Exhibit
Sponsor: Antique Automobile Club of
America Museum
Info: www.aacamuseum.org or 717/566-7100

March 4, Hamburg
45th Annual Hamburg Swap Meet
Sponsor: Wheels of Time SRA
Info: lhedgehog1@aol.com or 610/262-9718

South Carolina

March 24, Columbia
Old Car Drop-In
Sponsor: Columbia Classic Chevy Club
Info: barryta@netzero.com

March 31, Cayce
Carolina British Classics VI
Sponsor: British Car Club Midlands Centre
Info: www.bccmc.com or bccmc1@gmail.com

Texas

March 3, Bellville
9th Classic Car Stampede
Sponsor: Austin County Cruisers
Info: austincocruisers@sbcglobal.net or 979/865-3187

March 16-18, Fort Worth
2nd Spring Lone Star Nationals
Sponsor: Goodguys Rod and Custom Association
Info: www.good-guys.com or 925/838-9876

March 31, Shreveport
21st Annual MOPAR Nationals
Sponsor: Mopar Magic Unlimited
Info: Tmemsmith3@aol.com or 318/453-7027

Wisconsin

March 16-18, La Crosse
GCRA 38th Annual Custom Auto Show
Sponsor: God’s Country Racing Association
Info: clubs.hemmings.com/clubsites/gcra or 608/526-1162


HEY, THAT’S MY CAR!

Far East Meets Old West

Classic Sportscar Made in Japan and Modified in America

1974 Datsun 260Z “Scarab”
Owner: Robert Walters
Jacksonville, FL

I’ve always wanted a V8-Z. Finally, I found this one on eBay about 10 years ago. I’m the third owner of the car after it changed hands between two friends a couple of times in central California. The car was built from a Scarab kit except for the wide front fenders. The car came with the Stage II 425hp turbocharged 350 Chevy mated to a T10 four-speed with a special Scarab embossed bellhousing. The Scarab kit included the flared quarters, louvered hood, Recaro seats and Scarab vacuum/boost gauge. The original owner equipped the car with 16-inch Simmons B45 3-piece rims, filled the quarter vents, relocated the fuel filler to the upper quarter and added a remote release. The battery was also relocated between the rear strut towers.

I’ve made a number of modifications over the last 10 years. Many parts were swapped, including a T56 transmission now taking the place of the T10. Under the hood, a Powerjection III EFI has replaced the Quadrajet carburetor. An AlkyControl methanol injection setup has been installed as well. A Griffin Aluminum radiator with a 2-speed Taurus electric fan cools the engine. For braking, the front-end received 300ZX vented rotors with Toyota 4-piston calipers while the rear-end now has Willwood discs. It’s also got 280ZX CV axles and a 300ZX R200 differential with Quaife LSD. Other features include a 3.5-inch oval exhaust, a J&S Electronics Safeguard timing control, a custom stainless box housing the Optima battery and best of all, A/C!

My Scarab is still a work in progress but aren’t they all? I’m hoping to take the car on the Hot Rod Power Tour in June. My wife and I did the Tour last year in her Murano. Unfortunately, the Scarab’s EFI lost a circuit board just before the trip so we had to go with “Plan B!”

Have your car or truck featured in a future issue of Driving Force.
Submit your high-resolution photos to san@sema.org.

CLUB SPOTLIGHT

Divine Legacy

The Roamin Angels Celebrate 50 Years of Good Deeds

What’s in a name? With the Roamin Angels Car Club of Grass Valley, California, the name says it all. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the original club. When the club was first organized in 1962, a group of high school hot rodders got together to cruise their cars. However, they also decided to stop and help local motorists whose vehicles had broken down. Club members handed out cards that said, “You’ve been helped by a Roamin Angel.”

The annual Roamin Angel Toy Drive was established 23 years ago with the same charitable spirit in mind. At the last event, the club adopted 60 families using $6,000 of its own funds to augment the toys with clothes, blankets and household needs. This donation was raised at the annual Roamin Angels “Cruisin’ the Pines” Car Show at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, held the second weekend of September each year.

Each year, the Toy Drive is publicized as part of a Christmas celebration. Refreshments were provided by Reibe’s Auto Parts of Grass Valley and the Salvation Army. A local band played live seasonal tunes for the crowd. Santa Claus even arrived in an antique fire truck! Club members also work with the local Salvation Army throughout the holiday season to help those in need.

During the year, the Roamin Angels participate in community service activities, make donations to local groups and support the Association of California Car Clubs (ACCC). The original spirit of this car club is alive and well after 50 years.

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SEMA SAN Stands Head of the Class

SEMA Action Network Comments Off

SEMA SAN Stands at the Head of the Class

Remember in high school when you would dread the thought of the semester’s report card? Panic would set in, and your mind would race with apprehension as you braced yourself for the news. Had you prepared enough for your algebra final? Did you recall that there are nine planets in the solar system (or did Pluto’s demotion bring that number down to eight)? Relax. This time, the report card brings great news! As we hit the mid-term of the state legislative season, the SAN is proud to showcase an “A+” grade in its efforts to defend and promote the rights of America’s automotive enthusiasts. So far this year, from coast-to-coast, SAN members have dealt with a wide array of legislative initiatives. Some proposals were good, some were bad, but SAN members buckled down and scored high marks on protecting the hobby!

Arkansas: SAN defeated legislation that would have allowed cities to remove inoperable vehicles from private property if the vehicle was deemed a
“nuisance” under a local ordinance.

Hawaii: SAN was part of a coalition that opposed legislation to ban the installation, ownership or use of any car with aftermarket speakers more than 6.5 in. in height or depth, any five-speaker aftermarket system, any aftermarket speaker more than 100 watts and any aftermarket speaker installed external to the passenger compartment or in an open hatch back. The bill will not be considered in the Hawaii legislature this year.

Nebraska: Governor Dave Heineman signed into law a SAN-supported bill to redefine parts cars and make such vehicles easier to transfer. Prior to the bill’s enactment, Nebraska required a certificate of title when transferring any vehicle. The new law, effective immediately, allows for parts cars to be transferred using only a bill of sale issued by the DMV.

Nebraska: SAN successfully opposed legislation to change labeling requirements on gas pumps across the state so that labeling is only required when gasoline contains 11% or more alcohol. The bill would have made it impossible for enthusiasts to know whether the gasoline they put into their vehicles contains any ethanol, making it possible to misfuel the vehicle and cause engine damage. While the measure will receive no further consideration this year, it will remain alive through the 2012 legislative session.

North Carolina: SAN-supported legislation requiring ethanol content labels on all pumps that dispense ethanol-blended gasoline has been signed into law by North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue. Previously, retailers were not required to post labels regarding ethanol content.

North Dakota: As a result of the opposition mounted by SAN, legislation that threatened to prohibit the modification of any motor vehicle that altered the manufacturer’s original suspension, steering or brake system was amended to remove those restrictions.

Oregon: At the insistence of SAN, the sponsor of the legislation bill that would have banned the sale of certain new motor-vehicle exhaust systems has decided to withdraw the measure from further consideration.

Oregon: As a result of SAN-opposition, a bill that would have severely limited vehicle suspension, body lift and wheel/tire alterations died without committee consideration. The measure sought to ban vehicles whose bumpers were elevated more than 3 in. over the original manufactured bumper clearance.

Utah: SAN-supported legislation to allow vehicles 30 years old and older to be classified as “vintage vehicles” was signed into law by Governor Gary Herbert. Under previous law, Utah reserved the “vintage vehicle” class only to vehicles 40 years old and older.

Washington: Under pressure from SAN, legislation that originally sought to increase the age requirement for vehicles eligible for registration as “collector vehicles” was amended. Under the amended bill, vehicles seeking registration as collector vehicles and the one-time registration fee would still only be required to be at least 30 years old and not 40 years old as the original bill required. The bill also now deletes provisions that would have created penalties for violating the limited-use provisions.

Washington: In an agreement reached with SAN, legislation to require annual renewal fees for collector vehicle and horseless carriage license plates did not receive committee consideration this year. Under the bill, the initial $35 license plate fee for these vehicles would have remained and a new annual $30 renewal fee would have been added.

Washington: SEMA-model legislation to create a vehicle titling and registration classification for street rods and custom vehicles was signed into law by Washington state Governor Christine Gregoire. The bill defines a street rod as an altered vehicle manufactured before 1949 and a custom as an altered vehicle at least 30 years old and manufactured after 1948. Kit cars and replica vehicles will be assigned a certificate of title bearing the same model-year designation as the production vehicle they most closely resemble.

West Virginia: SAN-opposed legislation to provide that the noise from a motor-vehicle exhaust system that has been deemed “disturbing or unreasonably loud” constitutes the crime of disturbing the peace did not receive committee consideration. Under the bill, violators could have been fined up to $1,000 per occurrence, jailed for six months or both.

Wisconsin: The Wisconsin Department of Transportation withdrew its SAN-opposed proposal to prohibit the registration of imported vehicles manufactured after 1967 that do not meet federal safety standards. U.S. law specifically exempts imported vehicles that are 25 years old and older from these safety standards.

Wyoming: A SAN-supported bill to ease the burden on hobbyists by providing an exemption from bonded title requirements was signed into law by Governor Matt Mead. By allowing enthusiasts to title vehicles being restored for personal use without posting bond, the exemption reduces costs associated with titling hobby vehicles when an original title was never issued or can no longer be located.

As you can see, the first half of the 2011 legislative session has been a busy (and productive) one for SAN and its members. The second half undoubtedly will bring new challenges and opportunities. Rest assured, SAN is on the case, working diligently, doing our homework and preparing for the challenging tests that lay ahead.

Be sure to visit www.SEMASAN.com for up-to-the-minute information on the issues affecting the hobby!
CAUCUS CORNER

Last month, Senator Mark Manendo and Assemblymember Richard Carrillo, Nevada Members of the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus, participated in a friendly game of basketball against their Republican counterparts to benefit charities within the state. Founded in 2005 as a non-partisan group of state legislators whose common thread is a love and appreciation for automobiles, the caucus recently enrolled its 500th member.

LEGISLATIVE QUICK HITS

Arizona Emissions Exemption: Legislation that originally sought to exempt all vehicles more than 25 years old from the state’s mandatory biennial emissions inspection program was amended and passed in the Arizona House and Senate. Under the amendment, vehicles manufactured in the ’74 model year and earlier would be exempted after approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Currently, only vehicles manufactured in 1966 and earlier and “collectibles” are exempt. The bill has now been sent to the governor for her signature and enactment into law. While the bill is now not as inclusive as the previous version, SEMA continues to support the measure for creating additional model-year exemptions.

Connecticut Antique Vehicles: The SAN is opposing legislation to increase the age requirement for vehicles eligible for registration as “antique, rare or special interest motor vehicles.” The bill was amended in Joint Committee on Planning and Development to increase the age requirement for registration as an antique to 30 years old and increase the tax assessment amount on vehicles registered as antiques to $2,500. Currently, vehicles 20 years old or older are eligible for antique status and antique, rare or special-interest motor vehicles are assessed at a rate of $500, and owners pay personal property taxes on that amount. The bill will next be considered by the full House of Representatives.

Florida Street Rods/Customs: The SAN is supporting Florida legislation to correct existing titling laws to include street rods and custom vehicles. Due to the enactment of SEMA-model legislation in 2007, Florida already provides for the registration of these specialty vehicles. The bill will require titles to be issued under the provisions that provide for rebuilt vehicles and be labeled with “street rod” or “custom vehicle” designations. The bill also offers a means for enthusiasts who are unable to provide the DMV with sufficient proof of ownership for a vehicle, or its major component parts, to obtain a bonded title for the vehicle.

Iowa Ethanol: The SAN is opposing Iowa legislation to change labeling requirements on gas pumps across the state to only require labeling for unblended gasoline and E85. Current law in Iowa requires labeling when gasoline is blended with ethanol, in any amount. If enacted, the bill would remove labeling requirements for ethanol-blended gasoline containing 15% or less ethanol, thereby increasing the risk of misfueling and potential engine damage. Unblended gas is required to be labeled, but there is no guarantee that unblended gas will be available. The EPA has been urged to create national labeling requirements for ethanol-blended gasoline that are placed as close as possible to the pump’s product selection mechanism, but since such requirements are not currently in place, vehicle owners must rely on state labeling requirements for information about the gasoline they use in their vehicles.

Nevada Emissions Exemptions: SAN-supported legislation to provide that classic vehicles and classic rods would be exempted from emissions inspections if owners pay a one-time $6 fee and submit a certification that their vehicle will not be driven more than 5,000 miles per year was passed by the Nevada Assembly. Currently, classic rods and classic vehicles are subject to a 2,500 mile per year limit to qualify for an emissions exemption and must pass an initial two-speed idle emissions inspection to qualify. Also, each year the owners of classic rods and classic vehicles must fill out a certification that their vehicles have not been driven more than 2,500 miles during the previous year and the certification must be verified by a DMV emissions technician. Under the bill, the initial emissions inspection would no longer be required. The bill will now be considered by the Nevada State Senate.

Nevada Old Car Tax: The SAN is supporting Nevada legislation to repeal a 2009 increase in the valuation of older vehicles for the purpose of assessing the yearly government services tax. The 2009 increase raised the tax assessment from 5% to 15% of the initial value of a vehicle nine years old and older. The bill changes the yearly assessment rate back to 5% of the initial value.

Tennessee Emissions Tests: SAN-supported legislation to exempt vehicles more than 25 years old from the state’s annual emissions inspection and maintenance program has been sent to Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. To qualify for the exemption, these vehicles must be registered as “antique motor vehicles.” Existing law only exempts vehicles manufactured before the ’75 model year from emissions inspections.

SPOTLIGHT CANADA

SAN Comments on Nova Scotia Proposal to Regulate Altered-Height Vehicles

The SAN submitted comments to a Nova Scotia proposal to regulate altered-height vehicles. The proposal is the policy adopted by the Canadian Council for Motor Transport Administrators. Two years ago at SAN’s request, a Nova Scotia regulation that would have required retailers and installers to provide proof that all suspension lift products had been approved by a certified engineer was put on hold to allow regulatory agencies to conduct an impact study. At the time, the province had only one certified engineer available to conduct these inspections. In its comments, SAN reiterated its support for the 1988 American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators’ (AAMVA) policy as the only model regulation of its kind that gained the support of the car companies, the affected industry and the regulators and is still as valid and effective today as when first adopted.

“The SEMA Action Network has consistently supported enactment of responsible regulations in the matter of raised vehicles and has indicated its willingness to work with jurisdictional enforcement groups to assess and improve provincial and state regulations with the assistance of comprehensive data and support,” said SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald.

The SAN continues to support the 1988 AAMVA model because it was founded on comprehensive OEM engineering analysis and data and it allows a reasonable opportunity for utility and performance-enhancing modifications. When adopted and enforced, the model prohibits unreasonable height modifications. The SAN is unaware of any data or information otherwise demonstrating that the 1988 AAMVA standard allows modifications which are the cause of accidents or injuries. In fact, if regulated within the current AAMVA standard, the variation in vehicle ride heights, bumper and frame heights due to aftermarket modification is not a factor considering the greater variation between stock OEM vehicles on the road today.

MAY 2011 SAN CLUB EVENTS

California

May 6, Yucaipa
Family Classic Car Cruise Night
Sponsor: Past Pleasures Car Club
Information: www.pastpleasurescarclub.com

May 7, Redwood City
American Truck Show
Information: 650/368-8212

May 14–15, Davis
Davis Car Show & Swap Meet and Autocross
Sponsor: Golden Gate Chapter & Sacramento Chapter, Volvo Club of America
Information: www.ggvcoa.org

May 19–21, Petaluma
Cruisin’ the Boulevard
Information: www.americangraffiti.net

May 19–22, Morro Bay
North Meets South
Sponsor: 356 Club of Southern California
Information: 949/697-4499

May 21, Suisun City
27th Annual Biggest Little Car Show
Information: 510/453-6203

May 27–30, Anderson Dry Lake
Hi Desert Round-Up
Information: www.cal4wheel.com

Connecticut

May 7, Putnam
Cinco De Mayo Run
Sponsor: Connecticut MG Club
Information: 860/346-0005

Georgia

May 21, Valdosta
5th Annual Super Cruise-In
Sponsor: South Georgia Classic Car Club
and South Georgia Corvette Club
Information: 229/834-6622 or 229/251-8558

May 21, Norcross
Norcross Open Car Show
Information: 770/448-2664 or 770/316-0073

Indiana

May 20–22, Nashville
34th Annual Shelby Spring Fling
Sponsor: Indiana SAAC
Information: 812/988-7146

Kentucky

May 1, Louisville
NSRA Kentucky 17th Annual Safety Day
Information: 502/741-1229 or 502/969-1370

Maine

May 14, Lebanon
Maine NSRA Appreciation Day
Information: 207/457-1093

Massachusetts

May 15, Charlton
NSRA Appreciation Day & Open House
Information: 508/248-1555

May 29, Attleboro
36th Annual Bristol Stomp Rod Run
Sponsor: Bristol City Street Rods
Information: 508/222-7518

Michigan

May 22, Warren
2nd Annual Charity Fundraiser, Special Needs Boy Scout Troop 390 Car Show
Information: 586/757-2481 or 586/759-3439

Missouri

May 27–29, Springfield
28th Annual NSRA Mid-Am Street Rod Nats
Information: 574/875-4032

New York

May 27–29, Syracuse
King of Trucks All Truck Super Show
Information: 800/753-3978 or
www.RightCoastCars.com

May 22, Smithtown
6th Annual Spring Car Show Fundraiser
Sponsor: St. Patrick School
Information: 631/588-2696

Oregon

May 15, Coos Bay
Sunset Classic Chevys Annual Swap Meet
Information: 541/269-9871

May 27–28, Prineville
Annual Rod & Custom Weekend
Sponsor: Central Oregon Street Rod Association
Information: 541/548-8368

Pennsylvania

May 20–22, Carlisle
Carlisle Import & Kit Nationals
Sponsor: Carlisle Events
Information: 717/243-7855

Texas

May 29, Houston
17th Annual People’s Choice Car Show
Sponsor: Texas Gulf Coast Oldsmobile Club
Information: 281/970-3041

May 27–29, Dallas/Ft. Worth
29th Annual Lone Star Classic
Chevy Convention
Information: www.lonestarchevys.com

Tennessee

May 6–8, Knoxville
37th Annual NSRA Street Rod Nationals
Information: 303/776-7841

SAN Members Powering-Off the Starting Line in the Race to 2011 SEMA Show!

The SEMA Action Network’s (SAN) Challenge Is Coming Around the First Turn!

The contest will reward current SAN members for recruiting new SAN members. If you’re already enrolled in the Challenge, thank you for joining and keep recruiting new SAN members! With more than 60 contestants in the running already, the race is tight!

Sign up to compete today for a chance to win the Grand Prize—a FREE trip for two to the 2011 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Challenge participants are responsible for identifying and signing-up new members to the SAN. The entrant who takes the checkered flag—enrolls the most new SAN members by September 1, 2011—will win entry into the world’s premier automotive specialty products trade event. Ten runners-up will win a year’s subscription to the Source Interlink Media automotive publication of their choice.

Contact us today to qualify for the challenge. Don’t miss your opportunity to win passes, hotel accommodations and airfare for two to Las Vegas for the SEMA Show.

Registration of new members for the Challenge can only be made at www.semasan.com/san/join.aspx, and contest entrants must ensure that new members write-in the entrant’s name in the “please specify” section of the online registration form under “How Did You Hear About SAN?”

To participate or to get more information, visit www.SEMASAN.com/Challenge or contact Ashley Ailsworth at ashleya@sema.org or 202/783-6007 x39.

HEY, THAT’S MY CAR!

Snake Bitten for Life

1965 Shelby Cobra
(CSX 4000/6000 Continuation Series)
Owner:  Doug Wheeler
Washington, D.C.

I have shared the love of cars with my father since I was old enough to walk and the Shelby Cobra was as good as it got. Two years ago, for my 40th birthday, I decided that I had waited long enough, and this was the solution to a well-executed midlife crisis.

A few months later, I was in Atlanta at Planet Cobra gazing over the multiple Shelby Cobras in stock and found mine—a stunning navy blue car. But which motor? A modern aluminum 427FE or a vintage iron block 427FE? The answer to this question led me to one of the coolest experiences of the build. I was introduced to Dwight Powell, an engine builder specializing in Ford FEs since 1968.

Dwight’s shop was a bit like walking into a ’60s time warp—a treasure trove of NOS Ford FE parts, with boxes of pistons, rods and heads stacked on shelves, cranks hanging from racks and 427/428 FE blocks stacked in a corner like cord wood. Turns out that Dwight bought up left-over NOS 427 blocks from NASCAR shops years ago after they changed the rules so teams couldn’t run 427s any longer.

I knew right then and there that Dwight would build the motor for my Cobra. I took advantage of his inventory, and my motor is almost entirely NOS (a 427 side oiler block, medium riser heads, a steel crank, TRW small dome pistons and Lemans rods). Not the choice some would make, but I love the authenticity. Even the cam is an old school Holman Moody “B” grind flat tappet cam, with solid lifters happily ticking away. The motor has 11:1 compression and makes about 500 hp.

Two months later, I met my father in Atlanta for a test drive—900 miles back to D.C. I spent the next two days with my father on the back roads of Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. The Cobra was raw, loud and fast. Just the way it should be. We ran the Tail of the Dragon several times and spent many beautiful hours on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was a perfect father/son road trip and a memorable maiden voyage.

Resolution Designating July 8, 2011, as “Collector Car Appreciation Day” Approved by U.S. Senate

At the request of the SAN, Senator John Tester (D-MT) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) have introduced and the Senate has approved Resolution 154 (S. Res. 154) in the United States Senate, officially designating July 8, 2011 as “Collector Car Appreciation Day.” S. Res. 154 states that the Senate “recognizes that the collection and restoration of historic and classic cars is an important part of preserving the technological achievements and cultural heritage of the United States.”

The date marks the second commemoration in what will become an annual event to raise awareness of the vital role automotive restoration and collection plays in American society. “Last year, thousands of Americans gathered at car cruises, parades and other events to celebrate our nation’s automotive heritage,” said SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald. “As we move forward, SEMA’s commitment to preserving and promoting the automotive restoration industry through its projects and programs is evident in this
special day.”

Senators Tester and Burr, both members of the Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus, have been strong advocates for the automotive hobby in Washington. By sponsoring S. Res. 154, Tester and Burr have reaffirmed their understanding of the cultural importance of collector cars. The caucus is an informal, non-partisan group that pays tribute to America’s ever growing love affair with the car and motorsports. The caucus recognizes the integral role collector cars have played in fostering our nation’s appreciation for the automobile’s unique historical place in our history.

Car clubs, individuals and all SAN members are encouraged to organize events to help celebrate the day. For a listing of 2011 Collector Car Appreciation Day events already planned, visit www.semasan.com/collectorcarappreciationday. For more information or to have your event included, please contact Ashley Ailsworth at ashleya@sema.org.

CLUB SPOTLIGHT

The Colorado Springs Corvette Club Lives the Golden Rule

As we all know, our love of cars unites us all to give back to the community we live in. We organize things such as shows, cruise-ins and track days to raise funds for needy causes and to educate the public. For 18 years, Eagle One has recognized the philanthropy efforts of the nation’s car clubs and enthusiasts to show that there is more to car clubs than just a love of automobiles. Eagle One’s Golden Rule Awards showcase the great support of community that local car clubs provide.

One such club, the Colorado Springs Corvette Club, won the 2010 western region and was selected as the Grand Prize winner among four regional winners for the most compassionate achievement. Over the holiday season, the club donated baskets with complete Christmas dinners and enough food for a week to feed more than 1,000 needy family members, primarily children, in their area.

“Eagle One has been proud to recognize and reward car clubs for the outstanding work they perform in their communities while actively engaged in the preservation of one of our country’s greatest heritages, the automobile,” said Rob McCarter, brand manager for Eagle One.
Eagle One and associate sponsor Valvoline donated $1,500 to the club’s favorite charity and donated $500 to the charities of the three other regional winners. In addition to these donations, the clubs received a custom-designed award, Eagle One appearance car products and Valvoline oil for fundraising purposes.

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SENATOR SCHUMER “TAXING CLASSIC CARS” NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE REVEALED AS ONLY AN APRIL FOOL’S PRANK

Classic Car Humor, SEMA Action Network Comments Off

The Shelby American Automobile Club’s annual April Fool’s gag reached a much wider audience that anyone could have predicted. Initially a four-page newsletter was emailed to every member. It contained stories about a perpetual motion ’68 Shelby, a ’69 GT350 that supposedly got 40 miles per gallon and a bogus front page recreation of the New York Times, dated March 28th, that had two stories. One was a hoax about purported tax legislation being prepared by Sen. Charles Schumer, which would tax every collector car, antique, hot rod and race car in the country. This was, of course, concocted out of thin air. But it was, on the surface, believable and it hit numerous hot buttons of car owners.

As soon as some SAAC members read this they immediately went into full “Paul Revere mode,” posting the article on a wide variety of Internet car forums. Once on those forums, readers swarmed like angry killer bees, both posting angry comments about the unfairness of the concept and spreading parts and pieces of the original article in emails and postings. It was the classic definition of something “going viral.”

When readers on some forums recognized the whole thing as an April Fool’s joke and posted this, other readers seemed to look right past the warnings. We now know how Orson Wells must have felt after his 1938 “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast resulted in traffic jams as panicked people tried to flee New Jersey.

While we enjoy a good April Fool’s prank as much as anyone, we never envisioned that this one could spread so quickly or so widely beyond the Shelby American Automobile Club. We deeply regret if taking this story seriously has caused anyone any undue distress or embarrassment. To keep more of that from happening we would greatly appreciate it if you could forward this message to as many car enthusiasts as possible. If they forward it to others who can forward it to even more people, maybe this second message will catch up with and overpower the first one.

And finally, please do not contact Senator Schumer’s office. He already has his hands full with real issues of importance.

Best regards,

Rick Kopec

Shelby American Automobile Club

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SEMA DRIVING FORCE NEWSLETTER APRIL 2011

SEMA Action Network Comments Off

To view this issue as it was printed, please click here (5.49 MB)

Washington State Poised to Take its Place as Hot Rod Nirvana

SEMA Model Street Rod and Custom Bill Passes in Washington State Senate

You’ve dreamt about it for years – the hot rod or kit car you’ve wanted all of your life.  Now it’s within your grasp.  You painstakingly do your research and find your project car or kit of choice.  Hours upon hours are spent organizing, sourcing parts, assembling, and troubleshooting.  You spend a great deal of money acquiring all the vital components for your dream machine.  Finally, after several hundred man-hours, your vision is complete.  Time to hit the road, right?  Not so fast.  Unfortunately, in some areas, it remains extremely difficult to title and register homebuilt vehicles like customs, street rods, hot rods, and kit cars.  Thankfully, SAN is on the case and actively promoting legislation that will alleviate that problem for the enthusiast community by streamlining the process.  Our model language gets these rides out of the garage and onto the road… where they belong!

The most recent example of this legislation is in the state of Washington.  This year, Senate Bill 5585 was offered up in the Washington Legislature by State Senator Mike Carrell, a car guy himself.  This much-needed piece of legislation would create a vehicle titling and registration classification for street rods and custom vehicles.  Lawmakers in Olympia understand the need for SB5585 and the State Senate recently passed the bill in a unanimous 48 to 0 vote.  The bill is now pending consideration in the State House of Representatives.  As Senator Carrell said, “These folks have a passion for restoring old cars or building something new and one-of-a-kind out of parts gathered from a dozen different cars. This bill will establish constancy in state law and clarify previously unclear registration requirements.”  Working with Senator Carrell and his staff, the SAN played a critical role in drafting amendments to the bill to accommodate Washington’s unique requirements.

SB5585 provides guidance for registering and titling street rods and customs, including kit cars and replicas.  When enacted into law, Washington enthusiasts will no longer arrive at their local DMV office and denied a means of putting their creations on the road.  Moreover, the bill acknowledges that original parts may have “dried up” and that technological advancements have created improved materials.  SB5585 allows for the use of non-original components and creates a titling criterion that assigns these vehicles the same model year designation as the production vehicle they most closely resemble.  Another important cornerstone of the bill is that it exempts street rods and customs from a range of standard equipment requirements and emissions inspections.  Vehicles classified under this class will be held to standards applicable to the designated model year, not those of 2011 and beyond. Finally, SB5585 also permits the use of “blue dot” taillights, a favorite among restorers of classic automobiles.

“This type of legislation is a top priority for SAN on behalf of the nation’s enthusiasts,” said Mike Dingell, director of the SEMA Action Network (SAN).  “We want enthusiasts to express themselves by building their dream cars and to share them and enjoy them on America’s streets,” he continued.  Versions of our model bill have been successful in helping hobbyists title their rides in 21 states to date and we are working to add more to that list.  This year, similar SAN model titling and registration legislation is also pending consideration in New York, Texas, and New Mexico.

For more information on SB5585 and SAN model legislation, please visit www.SEMASAN.com or contact Mike Dingell, director of the SAN, at (202) 783-6007, ext. 38 or email miked@sema.org.

House Approves SEMA-Supported Measure to Suspend EPA E15 Program; Senate Action Next

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a provision to prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from using agency funds to permit an increase in the amount of ethanol content in gasoline to 15% (E15).  The provision is part of a larger bill to fund the federal government during fiscal year 2011 which must also be approved by the U.S. Senate. SAN requested this action and worked hard to secure the vote.  When signed into law by President Obama, this timely legislation will protect automotive enthusiasts and consumers from misfueling and other unnecessary harm.  On behalf of millions of auto enthusiasts across the country, SAN applauds the House of Representatives for acknowledging the need for more unbiased and independent testing on the impact of E15 on vehicles and engines.  The provision suspends EPA’s premature efforts to permit E15 in the marketplace in fiscal year 2011.  The SAN is now working to help pass a newly introduced bill (HR 748) to repeal the EPA E15 program altogether.  The SAN will continue to take proactive steps in Washington, D.C. to oppose E15 until there are conclusive scientific findings that demonstrate that it will not harm automobiles of any age as a result of corrosion or other chemical incompatibilities.

Association of California Car Clubs to Host 25th Annual Legislative Conference

Formed on March 16, 1972, the Association of California Car Clubs (ACCC) consists of thousands of automobile hobbyists throughout the state who are interested in California laws and policies regarding collector automobiles.

The ACCC is a volunteer organization with regional representatives who represent the interests of individual members and member clubs across California. Hobby clubs and individuals joining the ACCC contribute to the protection of the hobby and are kept informed of the issues. These representatives form the Board of Directors, serve without pay, and are elected from the pool of active auto enthusiasts in the state.

Again this year, the ACCC will be hosting its 25th Annual Legislative Conference from May 11-13, 2011 at the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento. Speakers from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, California Air Resources Board, Bureau of Automotive Repair, California Highway Patrol and various legislators will address the membership about issues relating to the collector vehicle hobby.   All interested enthusiasts are welcome to attend the conference. Additional information and registration forms can be viewed on www.acccdefender.org or contact Bob Stearns at bstearns@ncbb.net.


Second Annual Collector Car Appreciation Day Scheduled for July 8

The SEMA Action Network (SAN) is proud to announce July 8, 2011, as Collector Car Appreciation Day. This will be the second celebration in what will become an annual event to raise awareness of the vital role automotive restoration and collection plays in American society. The SAN is now working to secure a Congressional resolution to recognize the day’s significance.

The SAN encourages enthusiasts all over the nation to commemorate Friday, July 8 as Collector Car Appreciation Day. To help enthusiasts celebrate, SAN is compiling a list of events happening around the country on July 8, 2011. If you are attending, promoting or know of any car shows, cruises, etc. that are scheduled for Friday, July 8 or that weekend, please forward the information to Mike Dingell at miked@ sema.org. It doesn’t matter how big or small the event is, we want to know about it! To view an updated list of commemorative events, please visit www.semasan.com/collectorcarappreciationday.
LEGISLATIVE QUICK HITS

Arizona Emissions Tests: SAN-supported legislation to exempt all vehicles 25-years old and older from the state’s mandatory biennial emissions inspection and maintenance program was approved by the Senate Rules Natural Resources and Transportation Committee.  The bill will now make its way to the floor for a vote by the full Senate.  Existing law in Arizona only exempts pre-1967 model year vehicles and those vehicles designated as “collectible.”

Arkansas Inoperable Vehicles: SAN is opposing legislation that would allow cities to remove inoperable vehicles from private property if the vehicle is deemed a “nuisance” under a local ordinance.  The bill was approved by the Arkansas House of Representatives.  Among other things, the measure provides no reasonable safeguards for legitimate automotive hobbyists that choose to work on inoperable collector vehicles on private property and establishes no provisions that would enable vehicles located out of public view to avoid being classified as abandoned.

Connecticut Antique Vehicles: Legislation to increase the age requirement for vehicles eligible for registration as “antique, rare or special interest motor vehicles” has been introduced in the Connecticut General Assembly.  Under the SAN-opposed bill, vehicles seeking registration under these classes would be required to be at least 25 years old.  Currently, vehicles 20 years old or older are eligible for such status and a reduced assessment for personal property tax purposes.  Antique, rare or special interest motor vehicles are currently assessed at a rate of $500 and owners pay personal property taxes on that amount.

Hawaii Car Audio Equipment: SAN-opposed legislation to ban the installation, ownership or use of any car with aftermarket speakers over 6.5 inches in height or depth, any 5 speaker aftermarket system, any aftermarket speaker over 100 watts and any aftermarket speaker installed external to the passenger compartment or in an open hatch back will not be considered in the Hawaii legislature this year.  The measure was discriminatory toward aftermarket products, as it did not seek to limit systems installed by the original vehicle manufacturer or dealer.  If enacted, the bill would have denied hobbyists the opportunity to purchase and install a range of aftermarket alternatives to original equipment stereos.  Following a hearing on the bill in the House Transportation Committee, the measure was deferred.

Nebraska Parts Cars: Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman signed into law a bill to redefine parts cars and make such vehicles easier to transfer. Prior to the bill’s enactment, Nebraska required a certificate of title when transferring any vehicle.  The new law, effective immediately, allows for parts cars to be transferred using a bill of sale issued by the DMV.  Parts vehicles eligible to be transferred using only a bill of sale under the new provisions include vehicles for which title has been surrendered due to the vehicle being destroyed, dismantled or scrapped or for which title has been surrendered to another state or an insurance company to render it fit for sale for scrap parts.

New Mexico Street Rods/Customs: SAN model legislation to create a vehicle registration classification for street rods and custom vehicles and provide for special license plates for these vehicles was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee.  The bill will now be considered by the Senate Finance Committee. The bill defines a street rod as an altered vehicle manufactured before 1949 and a custom as an altered vehicle at least 25 years old and manufactured after 1948.  Among other things, the measure allows for the use of non-original materials, creates a titling and registration criterion that assigns these vehicles the same model year designation as the production vehicle they most closely resemble, only holds street rods, customs and replicas to the equipment standards specified by law during the model year listed on the title of the vehicle and provides for a one-time registration and plate fee of $100.

North Dakota Vehicle Modifications: A bill in North Dakota to severely restrict the modification of any motor vehicle that alters the manufacturer’s original suspension, steering or brake system has been amended and approved by the House of Representatives.  At the insistence of SEMA and the North Dakota hobbyist community, among the provisions that were deleted from the bill are those requiring the state highway patrol to issue an inspection certificate for all modifications (without indicating objective criteria that would be used to determine which modifications are legal) and requiring fenders on all vehicles regardless of whether or not they were originally manufactured with this equipment.  The bill will now be considered by the Senate Transportation Committee.

Oregon Suspension/Tire Alterations: SAN is opposing a bill in the Oregon legislature that would severely limit vehicle suspension, body lift and wheel/tire alterations.  Specifically, the measure would ban vehicles whose bumpers are elevated more than 3 inches over the original manufactured bumper clearance.  Identical legislation was last introduced in Oregon in 2001.  Among other things, the bill discriminates against hobbyists and aftermarket parts makers by leaving it solely to the vehicle manufacturers to choose bumper heights; would force owners of modified vehicles to spend large sums of money to reinstall original components and would ban useful alterations that provide adequate clearance for on/off road capability and accommodate heavy loads, larger tires, improved suspension and water-fording capability.  The bill would also impose a fine of up to $360 per offense for vehicles that exceed the 3 inch clearance requirement.

Oregon Exhaust Systems: A bill to ban the sale of certain new motor vehicle exhaust systems or exhaust system components that cause motor vehicles to produce noise that exceeds noise limits has been introduced in Oregon and will be considered by the House Transportation and Economic Development Committee.  Under the bill, noise limits would be specified in rules adopted by the Environmental Quality Commission (DEQ).  However, in 1991 the DEQ terminated its noise control program.  Among other things, the bill would prohibit the sale of these exhaust systems in Oregon and the sale of these systems by an Oregon-based business to an out-of-state customer; provides no clear standard to enforce, and refers to DEQ noise standards that are not currently in use; and makes no accommodation for SAN model legislation to allow vehicle hobbyists to buy and install aftermarket modified exhaust systems that meet a 95-decibel limit under a fair and predictable test.

Tennessee Emissions Tests: SAN is supporting identical legislation in the Tennessee House of Representatives and Senate to exempt vehicles more than 25-years old from the state’s annual emissions inspection and maintenance program, where applicable.  To qualify for the exemption, these vehicles must be registered as “antique motor vehicles.”  Existing law defines an antique vehicles as a motor vehicle over 25-years old with a non-modified engine and body that is used for club activities, exhibits, tours, parades, and similar uses as a collector’s item; on the highways for the purpose of selling, testing the operation of, or obtaining repairs or maintenance; and for general transportation on Saturday and Sunday.

Texas Street Rods/Customs: The Texas Senate has joined the House in introducing SAN model legislation to create a vehicle registration classification for street rods and custom vehicles and provide for special license plates for these vehicles has been reintroduced in Texas.  Both bills define a street rod as an altered vehicle manufactured before 1949 and a custom as an altered vehicle at least 25 years old and manufactured after 1948.  The measures also allow for the use of non-original materials and create a titling and registration criterion that assigns these vehicles the same model year designation as the production vehicle they most closely resemble.

Utah Vintage Vehicles: SAN-supported legislation to allow vehicles 30 years old and older to be classified as “vintage vehicles” was approved by the Utah House of Representatives and Senate.  Currently, Utah reserves the “vintage vehicle” class only to vehicles 40 years old and older.  Under the bill, “vintage vehicles” 30-40 years old would be charged a $45 annual registration fee.  When the vehicle reaches 40 years old, the registrant would pay a one-time $40 fee.  Vintage vehicles are exempted from annual emissions and safety inspections.  The bill now moves to Governor Gary Herbert for his signature and enactment into law.  Utah exempts vehicles manufactured prior to 1968 from emissions inspections.  Vehicles manufactured after that date must be registered as “vintage vehicles” or “customs” to qualify for this exemption.

Washington Street Rods/Customs: SAN model legislation to create a vehicle titling and registration classification for street rods and custom vehicles was approved unanimously by the Washington State Senate.  The bill defines a street rod as an altered vehicle manufactured before 1949 and a custom as an altered vehicle at least 30 years old and manufactured after 1948.  Under the bill, kit cars and replica vehicles will be assigned a certificate of title bearing the same model year designation as the production vehicle they most closely resemble.  Among other things, the measure exempts street rods and customs from a range of standard equipment requirements (only that equipment required in the model year that the vehicle resembles) and emissions inspections, provides that vehicles titled and registered as street rods and custom vehicles may only be used for occasional transportation, exhibitions, club activities, parades, tours, etc. and not for general daily transportation and permits the use of blue dot taillights.  The bill will now be considered by the House Committee on Transportation.

Washington Collector License Plates: Legislation that originally sought to increase the age requirement for vehicles eligible for registration as “collector vehicles” was amended and approved by the Washington House Transportation Committee.  Under the amended bill, vehicles seeking registration as collector vehicles and the one-time registration fee would only be required to be at least 30 years old – not 40 years old as the original bill required.  The amended bill also deletes provisions that would have created penalties for violating the limited-use provisions.  The measure now only requires the Department of Licensing to establish a method for law enforcement to readily access collector vehicle information using the collector vehicle’s plate number, which will aid in ensuring a plate is being used on its properly assigned vehicle.

Washington Inoperable Vehicles: SAN model legislation has been reintroduced in Washington State to prohibit cities or towns from enforcing an ordinance, development regulation, zoning regulation, or administrative practice that prevents automobile collectors from pursuing their hobby.  Junked, wrecked or inoperable vehicles, including parts cars, stored on private property would only require screening from public view if required by local law.

West Virginia Personal Property Taxes: Legislation in the West Virginia Legislature to provide owners of antique motor vehicles with a fair and equitable personal property tax assessment was approved by the House Roads and Transportation Committee.  The bills seek to address recent unfair valuation practices which have negatively impacted many West Virginia hobbyists.  This important legislation provides that for the purposes of the property tax, the assessed value of an antique vehicle cannot exceed $200.  It is now en route to the House Finance Committee for consideration.

Wyoming Titles: A bill to ease the burden on hobbyists by providing an exemption from bonded title requirements has been signed into law by Governor Matt Mead.  By allowing enthusiasts to title vehicles being restored for personal use without posting bond, the exemption reduces costs associated with titling hobby vehicles when an original title was never issued or can no longer be located.  The new law allows restorers to title their completed works by submitting an affidavit of vehicle ownership, a notarized bill of sale, a written statement of the value of the vehicle (based on a national appraisal guide or appraisal performed by a dealer) and a VIN inspection.  To prevent abuse of the new procedure, titles issued under this procedure will not be transferable for the first 180 days after issuance.

HEY, THAT’S MY CAR!

One Real Cool Stude

1953 Studebaker 2-Door Hardtop
Owner: Steve Fowler, Payson, Arizona

My love of Studes goes way back. One of my first cars was a ‘53 Studebaker hardtop. It started out as just transportation but eventually got hopped up a bit and got a coat of paint. As so often happens, it was sold when “life” got in the way. I have owned over a hundred other cars but there was always that hankering for another “Loewy Coupe.”  About eight years ago, I got the street rod bug and after considerable searching, I found a clean ‘53 hardtop in Sacramento.

My wife said that I could get it running but couldn’t start modifying it until work on her Packard was finished, which motivated me to get my tail in gear. Once her Packard got a “best-in-show” trophy in Fortuna, I was off and running.

We attended the Pleasanton Goodguys show and I was like a kid in a candy store.  Several items were ordered and used in conjunction with the Ford 8” rear axle and 1990 Corvette engine and transmission that I had acquired for the project. My wife, who is also my upholsterer, helped with a late ‘80’s Thunderbird interior and a few other trinkets on the inside.  Soon, the mechanical work was done and the engine gleamed like a jewel. I turned my attention to the exterior which was not too tough, mostly panel fit issues.  It had already been partly de-trimmed so I finished the nose, deck and shave job.  I even rigged-up a spray booth in a portable garage and shot the paint.  After a couple of tries on the clear, I got it the way I liked then color-sanded it and had it buffed.

“Low & Red” turned out nearly perfect and has been an incredibly fun ride. It handles well, stops on a dime, rides beautifully, goes like stink, gets great mileage, turns heads and gets kudos wherever we go.  It has even done well on the showfield with our favorite award being the Homebuilt Heaven pick at the Goodguys West Coast Nationals in 2004.  It’s nice to be recognized for doing it all ourselves, but the real fun is in the driving and we have over 10,000 trouble-free miles on it so far.

CLUB SPOTLIGHT

Rumblin’ in Detroit
The Royal Pontiac Club of America Pays Homage to the Hobby’s Roots

The Royal Pontiac Club of America was formed 18 years ago by a group of high performance Pontiac enthusiasts who yearned for the glory days when Pontiacs ruled the streets and tracks of America. These founders had grown-up in Detroit and had been involved with the Woodward Avenue street scene during the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. The mission was to go back to its  roots, race, and help fellow enthusiasts. These members have had the ability to participate in weekly gatherings with a variety of different automotive engineers, designers, executives, manufacturers and hobbyists to discuss current issues that affect both the hobby and the industry as a whole.

The Royal Pontiac Club of America has been a very active club and has hosted and participated in many local and regional events. These events have included hosting a summer drag racing series at several Detroit drag strips including the historic and now defunct Detroit, Milan, and Lapeer Dragways.

The club has hosted cars shows with the support of the Pontiac Motor Division at Pontiac dealerships as well as in the City of Pontiac.  The club has set-up displays at the Detroit Autorama and can be found at the Ames Tri-Power Weekend at Norwalk Raceway Park. The club hosts family picnics, Woodward Dream Cruise BBQ, fall color cruises, cider mill cruises and mid-winter banquets.  Members have volunteered as judges at Carnival of Cars at the Packard Proving Grounds and at the National Muscle Car Shoot Outs and Car Show.   The Royal Pontiac Club also assists Temple Israel of West Bloomfield, MI with its shows.

The club also recognizes that it is important to support community organizations as well.  It has made contributions to Toys for Tots, the American Cancer Society, the University of Michigan Health Systems for Cancer Research, the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, and the Jeffery Ansbacher Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Marshal School of Business at University of Southern California.  Further information and to join the Royal Pontiac Club of America can be found at www.RoyalPontiac.org.

APRIL 2011 EVENTS

ARIZONA

April 15-17, Alpine
4th Annual Bulldog Cliffs Rennen.
Sponsor: Arizona 356 Outlaws
Information: 360-317-7078

April 23, Peoria
2nd Annual Greens Car Show
Sponsor: Arizona Rod & Classic Car Club
Information: 480-577-4861

CALIFORNIA

April 1-3, Del Mar
11th Del Mar Nationals
Sponsor: Good Guys Rod and Custom Association
Information: www.good-guys.com

April 11-18, Redding
Kool April Nites
Information: 530-226-0844

April 29-May 1, Bakersfield
35th Annual NSRA Western Street Rod Nats
Information: 574-875-4032

CONNECTICUT

April 10, Stafford
26th Annual Ty-Rods All Automotive Swap Meet
Information: 860-684-2783

April 17, Wallingford
Connecticut Street Rod Association Spring Dust-Off
Information: 203-742-0413

FLORIDA

April 22-23, Panama City Beach
2011 Corvette Beach Odyssey
Sponsor: Emerald Coast Corvette Club
Information: www.emeraldcoastcorvetteclub.com

GEORGIA

April 9, Marietta
Georgia Street Rod Association Swap Meet 2011
Information: www.gsra.com

April 29-30, Marietta
30th Annual Peach Blossom Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac Car Show and Swap Meet
Information: 770-271-2759

MARYLAND

April 2, Glen Burnie
Lost in the ‘50s Opening 2011 Saturday Night Cruise-In
Information: 410-491-9969

MASSACHUSETTS

April 1-3, Boston
37th Annual Town Fair World of Wheels
Information: 248-373-1700

NEVADA

April 7-9, Laughlin
24th Annual Gambler Classic River Run
Information: 1-888-880-0210

NEW HAMPSHIRE

April 24, Amherst
Monthly Outdoor Auto Show & Flea Market
Information: 603-673-2093

OHIO

April 2-3, Columbus
Columbus Spring Swap
Sponsor: Mid-Ohio Ford Club
Information: 614-855-4750

OKLAHOMA

April 15-17, Oklahoma City
28th Annual NSRA SW Street Rod Nats
Information: 209-474-0103

OREGON

April 16, Salem
Oregon Cherry Blossom Drive and Poker Run
Information: 503-393-3143

SOUTH CAROLINA

April 30, Myrtle Beach
“Back to Summer” Car and Truck Show
Information: www.myrtlebeachcarclub.com

TEXAS

April 8-10, Mesquite
Wild West Pony Show, MCA National Show
Sponsor: Mustang Club of America, North Texas Mustang Club
Information: 972-979-8840

UTAH

April 23, Ogden
Northern Utah Autism Program’s 3rd Annual Car & Bike Show
Information: 661-317-8555

VIRGINIA

April 2-3, Nelson County
2nd Annual Oak Ridge Wheelin’ for Hope
Information:434-226-0549 or http://wheel4hope.110mb.com

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State Laws and Regulations Impacting Specialty Vehicles

SEMA Action Network, Uncategorized Comments Off

SAN Compiles State Laws and Regulations Impacting Specialty Vehicles

On behalf of hobbyists nationwide, the SEMA Action Network has released a compilation of state laws and regulations governing specialty motor vehicles.  The compilation is a one-stop shop for state resources listing each state’s specialty vehicle definitions, registration and titling provisions, inspection criteria and other requirements and exemptions.  Known as the “Tag & Title Toolbox,” the new compilation also includes key administrative forms that can be printed for titling and registering specialty vehicles at DMVs nationwide. Information on state emission inspection programs has also been added.  “Tag & Title Toolbox” can be found online at www.semasan.com.

The term “specialty vehicle” includes the following vehicle classes: ancient, antique, assembled, classic, collectible, collector, custom, exhibition, historic, homemade, horseless carriage, kit, modified, parade, parts, rebuilt, reconstructed, replica, show, special interest, specially constructed, street cruiser, street rod and vintage.  Given that a uniform system for defining such specialty vehicles does not exist among the states, applicable definitions for each state are listed separately at the beginning of each state’s document to clarify the language in the statutes and regulations.

“For years, the SAN has researched individual state laws in order to identify states that would benefit from our model titling and registration legislation,” said SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald.  “Using these statutes as an informational resource and reference tool, we drafted legislation to create new titling and registration classes for street rods and custom vehicles, including kit cars and replicas.  Versions of this model legislation have since been enacted in 21 states across the country.”

The information is current for 2010, but subject to change in the future.  SAN advises hobbyists to also directly consult the statutes and regulations for states of interest to ensure the accuracy of the information.  “SAN members can use this resource to determine their state’s specific specialty car requirements and relay this information to their hobbyist network,” McDonald added.

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SAN Leads the Way in Opposing E15 Waiver and Proposed Rule to Prevent Misfueling

SEMA Action Network, Uncategorized No Comments

REGULATORY ALERT (UPDATE)

SAN Leads the Way in Opposing E15 Waiver and Proposed Rule to Prevent Misfueling

The SEMA Action Network (SAN) asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend the partial waiver issued last October to permit the sale of E15 for model year 2007 and newer vehicles.  While issuing the waiver, the EPA confirmed that there was insufficient test data to permit E15 to be used in MY 2000 and older light-duty motor vehicles.  SAN has consistently voiced concern that ethanol increases water formation which can then create formic acid and corrode metals, plastics and rubber.  The agency is still gathering data for the 2001-2006 vehicles.  The EPA’s ruling responded to a request from the ethanol industry to raise the ethanol content in gasoline from 10 percent (E10) to 15 percent.

The SAN also opposed a proposed rule on how to label gas pumps to help prevent vehicle misfueling, citing E10 as an example in which the EPA has not satisfied its mission to provide adequate information to the public on whether the fuel they are buying contains ethanol.  There are no uniform nationwide requirements.  Labeling rules are subject to state regulation.  Some states do not require labels and the rules for other states vary depending upon the content percentage.  SAN recommended that the EPA create national labeling requirements for both E15 and E10, and that the E15 warning label be placed as close as possible to the pump’s product selection mechanism.

Several lawsuits have been filed against the EPA contending that the agency did not have the authority to issue a partial waiver.  Legislation may also be introduced in Congress to overturn the waiver.  SAN will continue to oppose E15 until there are conclusive scientific findings that demonstrate that it will not harm automobiles of any age as a result of corrosion or other chemical incompatibilities.

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