October 2001

SEMA Action Network Awards Utah 4 Wheel Drive Association
 
SEMA Action Network Director Brian Caudill - never one to turn down a day of four-wheeling with a SAN member club - journeyed high into the Utah mountains recently to present a SEMA Certificate of Appreciation to the Utah 4 Wheel Drive Association (U4WDA) for its efforts in developing and shepherding through the Utah legislature a bill allowing less restrictive rules on suspension and body lifts and wheel and tire alterations.
 
The new Utah law will expand availability of lift kits and larger wheel and tire combinations for both on- and off-highway use. These modifications are popular among enthusiasts and often essential for trail-riding activities where increased clearance, larger tires and improved suspension are necessary.
 
"In addition," notes Steve McDonald, SEMA director of government and technical affairs, "the law amends previous Utah law which was overly restrictive, difficult to understand and enforce, and provided no real value to 4x4 hobbyists."
 
Caudill added, "Working hand-in-hand with SEMA, the U4WDA crafted legislation that gives Utah's off-highway vehicle enthusiasts more freedom to legally customize their rigs. SEMA provided technical expertise and industry support and the Utah 4 Wheel Drive Association provided the muscle, working tirelessly to push the bill through the legislature. This is how an enthusiast/industry partnership is supposed to work."
 
The SEMA Action Network would like to recognize the entire Utah 4 Wheel Drive Association, as well as U4WDA member Tom Barkume and past-President Brett Davis, for their team effort in getting this law passed.
 
Noted Davis, "Utah 4-wheelers really stepped out of their comfort zones and helped get this thing done and I was proud to be the head cheerleaderand, as one of the senators referred to me during the vote, 'consultant.' Truly a big victory for a bunch of everyday Joes."
 
 
 
'Right to Repair' Act Introduced
 
Fittingly named the "Right to Repair Act," a bill (H.R. 2735) has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that seeks to reaffirm consumer choice in affordable vehicle repair. Specifically, H.R. 2735 would provide independent service mechanics access to the computer data that controls many vehicle systems and components, guaranteeing that they will have the same information as dealers. Not included in this bill is engine and emissions-related service information already addressed in the EPA's on-board diagnostic (OBD) rules.
 
SEMA Director of Outreach and Public Affairs Brian Caudill noted, "We are pleased that legislation has been introduced to ensure consumers have their choice of vehicle repair options. Furthermore, the 'Right to Repair Act' is clearly a step forward for the independent service industry."
 
 
 
Texas Hobbyists, SEMA Offer Expertise to Texas Emissions Regulators
 
Fittingly named the "Right to Repair Act," a bill (H.R. 2735) has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that seeks to reaffirm consumer choice in affordable vehicle repair. Specifically, H.R. 2735 would provide independent service mechanics access to the computer data that controls many vehicle systems and components, guaranteeing that they will have the same information as dealers. Not included in this bill is engine and emissions-related service information already addressed in the EPA's on-board diagnostic (OBD) rules.
 
SEMA Director of Outreach and Public Affairs Brian Caudill noted, "We are pleased that legislation has been introduced to ensure consumers have their choice of vehicle repair options. Furthermore, the 'Right to Repair Act' is clearly a step forward for the independent service industry."
 
 
 
Virginia Man Honors a Friend
 
Auto mechanic Ron Hood had known and watched his young neighbor Justin Thatcher grow up almost from the day he was born until age 14. When Justin began to show an interest in cars, Ron, being the only mechanic on the block, started to spend a lot of time with him.
 
Sadly, Justin developed a rare form of leukemia that would eventually take his life. The illness, however, did not diminish the friendship. In fact, Ron helped conduct several successful bone marrow drives to help his buddy. He would also stop at the hospital on his way home from work to visit with him. Unfortunately, Justin's cancer continued to spread and his health deteriorated. Ron recalls one of the last opportunities he had to spend time with Justin: "Justin was a car nut like most teenage kids. Randy Overachre and I got Justin into the Hampton Coliseum Car Show last year before it opened to the public. At that point, Justin couldn't be around large groups of people because of his weak immune system. He absolutely loved it. That was one of his last requests."
 
Ron didn't forget that experience and he has found a way to help others with similar illnesses while honoring the memory of his friend. He claims he's not a car guy, but you'd never know it by the event he put on in Virginia Beach last month. The inaugural Justin Thatcher Super Auto Show was a huge success. One hundred and twenty seven cars participated. More than $5,000 was raised for Friends of Justin Thatcher, a scholarship fund to help Leukemia survivors go to college, and the Robin Hood Foundation, a group that gives financial assistance to families with children fighting cancer.
 
While auto hobbyists are always sure to turn out in huge numbers to support a good cause, Ron made sure that the participants got their money's worth as well. The band "Nighthawk" entertained the crowd, 45 trophies were awarded and local radio and television stations covered the event.
 
Driving Force would like to commend Ron and all those who supported his efforts, including the Car Club Council of Hampton Road, which handled the registration. Ron says he plans to hold the event again next year and is hoping for an even bigger turnout. If you would like information on participating in next year's show or would like to make a contribution, contact Ron Jones at 513 Boswell Court, Virginia Beach, VA 23452, or by phone at 757/340-0160, or by e-mail at ronjones@pilot.infi.net.
 
 
 
Can You Believe?
 
Texas Car Show Spectators Harassed by State Police 
(Red Balacki from Georgetown, Texas, sent a story that really surprised us.)
 
For the past 12 years, folks have been coming to Round Rock, Texas, to enjoy one of the city's biggest annual events, a car show. However, this year, many people left the event with a bad taste in their mouth. Local Round Rock police have always offered their assistance to help manage traffic flow, parking, etc. This year, however, four state troopers set up a roadblock at the entrance to the event and proceeded to write tickets for illegal modifications to drivers coming to enjoy the show. As the officers looked for the slightest violations, the traffic began backing up further and further. Some spectators were forced to wait as long as 2 hours to enter the show grounds. 
 
Ironically, it was the local Round Rock police who asked the troopers to leave. It seems that some show-goers began to get upset and they believed it was in everyone's best interest for the state police to curtail their ticket-writing spree before there were any problems.
 
Before they were asked to leave, the troopers wrote 139 citations for as much as $200 apiece. Organizers are considering moving next year's show to a more "hobbyist-friendly" location.
 
If you have a horror story regarding unfair restrictions on our rights as hobbyists or about an unfortunate run-in with the authorities, send it to us at: 
SEMA, Attn: "Can You Believe," 
1317 F Street, NW, Suite 500 
Washington, D.C. 20004.
 
 
 
Eagle One Adds $1,000 Cash To Annual 'Golden Rule' Award Prize Package
 
Eagle One, a leading marketer of premium car appearance care products, is expanding the prize package for its 9th Annual "Golden Rule" Award competition. The company announced that it will add $1,000 in cash to the more than $5,000 worth of products that have been awarded each year to winning and runner-up car clubs.
 
The coveted award will be presented to a car club in the West, Midwest, East and South whose community and charitable activities are judged the most outstanding in their region during 2001. A runner-up club in each region will also be honored.
 
Eagle One will now send a $250 cash contribution to a charity designated by each of the four winning car clubs. In addition, each club will receive a custom-designed plaque as well as 20 buckets of Eagle One products and 10 cases of Valvoline MaxLife motor oil for fund-raising purposes. Runner-up clubs will receive 10 buckets of Eagle One products, five cases of MaxLife motor oil and an award of merit.
 
For the past several years, Eagle One has conducted the "Golden Rule" Award program to foster a greater public awareness of the outstanding work being done by car clubs in communities throughout the nation. Since its inception, SEMA has been proud to endorse this program. In fact, last year, four SEMA Action Network (SAN) car clubs were honored with "Golden Rule" and runner-up awards. SAN awardees were Tacoma Model T Ford Club of Tacoma, Washington, and United Street Machines of Troy, Michigan. Runners-up included the Rogue Valley Street Rods of Medford, Oregon, and the Heart of Maryland Classic Chevy Club of Mount Airy, Maryland.
 
This year the deadline for entries is Dec. 10. To download an entry form, visit www.eagleone.com or write to: Eagle One Golden Rule Award, c/o Alex Litrov & Associates, 15720 Ventura Blvd., Ste. 409, Encino, CA 91436, or fax request to 818/501-2690.
 
 
 
Put SEMA on Your Mailing List, Etc
 
We'd like to know what clubs and enthusiasts across the country are up to; what charity events they're involved in; when and where rod runs, car shows and rallies are held; and what issues concern club members and individual enthusiasts. One of the best ways to keep us abreast of what is going on and what is important to the automobile hobbies nationwide is to receive club newsletters and updates. Consider putting SEMA on your mailing list. Send correspondence to SEMA Action Network, 1317 F St., NW, Ste. 500, Washington, D.C. 20004. Clubs can also reach us via e-mail at san@sema.org or by fax at 202/783-6024.
 
 
 
OCTOBER SAN CLUB EVENTS
 
ARIZONA
 
Oct. 20-21, Tucson 24th annual Old Cars and Parts 
Swap Meet and Car Show 
Sponsor: Contemporary Historical Vehicle Assoc., 
Southern Arizona Region 
Information: 562/293-3178
 
CALIFORNIA
 
Oct. 5-7, Palmdale Buick Shootout and Team Challenge #12 
Sponsor: Buick Grand National Racing Association 
Information: 714/772-6201
 
Oct. 7, Fremont 
Chrysler Bay Area Fall Classic Car Show and Swap Meet 
Sponsor: California Chrysler Products Club 
Information: 408/227-1837
 
FLORIDA
 
Oct. 12-14, Tampa 
14th Annual NSRA Southeast Street Rod Nationals 
Sponsor: National Street Rod Association 
Information: 303/776-7841
 
Oct. 27, Miromar 3rd annual Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show 
Sponsor: Fast Fords of Lee County 
Information: 941/495-6831
 
ILLINOIS
 
Oct. 13, Lisle Fall Color Tour 
Sponsor: Northern Illinois Fiero Enthusiasts 
Information: 630/305-9806
 
INDIANA
 
Oct. 20-21, Evansville My Classic Car Autofest Nationals 
Sponsor: Carlisle Productions 
Information: 717/243-7855
 
KANSAS
 
Oct. 5-8, Manhattan 
2nd annual Sunflower Regional Family Reunion 
Sponsor: Scout and International Motor Truck Association 
Information: 785/499-6650
 
MARYLAND
 
Oct. 27, Stevensville Halloween Cruise-In and Show 
Sponsor: Kent Island Cruisers 
Information: 410/643-2817
 
MINNESOTA
 
Oct. 6, St. Paul Halloween Party 
Sponsor: Minnesota Street Rod Association 
Information: 507/263-3100
 
MISSISSIPPI
 
Oct. 3-14, Jackson 
Mississippi State Fair Antique Vehicle Exhibition 
Sponsor: Antique Vehicle Club of Mississippi
 
NEVADA
 
Oct. 13-14, Las Vegas Las Vegas Fuel and Gas Finals 
Sponsor: Goodguys Rod and Custom Association 
Information: 925/838-9876
 
NEW YORK
 
Oct. 15-18, Henrietta 4th Annual Racing Against Drugs 
Sponsor: Street Machines of Rochester, New York 
Information: 716/663-0393
 
NORTH CAROLINA
 
Oct. 26-28, Charlotte Southeastern Nationals 
Sponsor: Goodguys Rod and Custom Association 
Information: 925/838-9876
 
PENNSYLVANIA
 
Oct. 4-7, Carlisle Fall Carlisle 
Sponsor: Carlisle Productions 
Information: 717/243-7855
 
Oct. 6, Doylestown MG at Mercer 
Sponsor: Philadelphia MG Club 
Information: 610/446-2073
 
Oct. 9-13, Hershey AACA National Meet 
Sponsor: Antique Automobile Club of America 
Information: 717/534-1910
 
TEXAS
 
Oct. 6-7, Ft. Worth Goodguys Lone Star Nationals 
Sponsor: Goodguys Rod and Custom Association 
Information: 925/838-9876
 
Oct. 14, Dallas 6th Annual Toy Drive and Car Show 
Information: 972/496-5028

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