Summer Heats Up Support for 2017 RPM Act

Your support of the 2017 RPM Act is working! There are more lawmakers now listed as co-sponsors of the bill than at any time last year. Industry leaders are also backing the effort: https://youtu.be/RTN-rb1aqVk



Courtney Hansen

Ladies First: Women Heat Up the Track

By Colby Martin

In many ways, auto racing is a great equalizer. All forms of the sport have much in common with non-motorized team sports. While miracles happen, persistence under pressure is usually the common denominator. It goes without saying that one should never completely count out the underdog. However, one major element that sets racing apart from others is that both men and women compete in the same arena, an idea I’ve always found uniquely refreshing..

When I was very young, I learned quickly that nobody with any sense dared snicker at the lone top fueler painted in bright pink. I fondly recall Shirley “Cha-Cha” Muldowney lining up against the likes of “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, “The Bounty Hunter” Connie Kalitta and other greats..

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Last summer, Austin Haberly was finally able to focus on fulfilling his big plans for his Pontiac Fiero GT. He bought a supercharged 3800 Pontiac GTP and had the engine swapped and running in three months with some help from his roommate and the local community of fellow Fiero owners.

“I’ve always yearned for a white Pontiac Fiero GT since seeing one for the first time when I was ten-years-old,” recalls Austin Haberly. “My family was coming home to Fort Wayne, Indiana, from a family boating trip. I watched it cruising next to us for a half an hour with excitement. These cars hold more appeal to me than the body styles of older Ferraris or Lamborghinis. What could be better than a sleek American mid-engine sports car from the 1980s?”

Before moving to Purdue for studies, Austin had attempted to buy a classic red 1988 Fiero GT. When he learned that the university did not allow freshmen to have vehicles, he had to pass on the purchase. He began looking for a fuel-efficient car during a summer 2014 internship that would replace the Jeep he was driving. “Displeased with the modern selection of front-wheel-drive American cars, I remembered my childhood Fiero fantasy,” Haberly explains. He found the perfect candidate in a nearby town after searching for a few hours. “I hastily bought it the next day.”

“Being in my twenties, I’ve found that I’m an atypical Fiero owner,” Austin adds. “Most enthusiasts I know were alive when the car was still being produced.” The car was almost exactly what he had envisioned aside from a few scratches and bumps. “From the vintage interior to the sleek body, it was a satisfying ride—to look at! However, the factory engine was frustratingly slow!” It sat in a parking lot outside his college apartment for two years. He had neither the time nor money to invest in a new engine while pursuing an Electrical Engineering degree. Completed about a year ago, the engine swap took it from the factory 135 horsepower to around 300. “The road was a bit bumpy being my first swap, but it’s been running well and it is outstandingly quick.”

Haberly’s project served as his motivation to weigh in on Iowa’s single license plate bills with state lawmakers earlier this year. “Being from Indiana, I am not used to driving with a front license plate. I believe any owner of a classic car in Iowa should not have to damage or deface their ride.” Like most car fans, he dislikes the idea of being required to drill a classic bumper to mount a front plate. In fact, he says new front license plate mounts aren’t available for Fiero GTs and used examples are increasingly rare. “Apart from the difficulty of finding actual plate mounts, front tags negatively affect the aerodynamics, styling and cooling of the car’s radiator. Plus, they’re just unappealing and shameful to a classic car.”

Very nice work on your one-of-kind Pontiac, Austin! We hope that your other dream, a 426 Hemi-powered 1971 Plymouth Roadrunner, will one day be parked beside it. 





Stay Up-to-Date on the RPM Act: Get the latest information on the motorsports bill at sema.org/epa-news.


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SEMA SAN Driving Force, Summer 2017



The future of our prized cars and trucks is being threatened! Add your voice to our growing U.S. and Canadian forces united to advance our automotive freedoms. SAN members defend the hobby by responding to timely e-mail updates on vehicle-related legislation and regulations. No fees. No SPAM. No obligations. Great strength comes with great numbers. Can we count on you to help preserve the classics of today and tomorrow?

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