Mid-Year Scoreboard: State Legislative Victories
The 2021 state legislative sessions are in full swing and the SEMA Action Network (SAN) is working non-stop to ensure positive outcomes for our hobby. Below are highlights of the most hard-fought victories counted in the current legislative session. For the latest status on each effort and the complete list of this year's Legislative Action Alerts, visit semaSAN.com/Alerts:
- In the face of SAN's opposition, the Wyoming legislature killed a bill that would have significantly restricted antique vehicle registration eligibility.
- Thanks to SAN's effort, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed into law a version of SEMA's model legislation to allow for the registration and on-road use of surplus military vehicles.
- The Kansas legislature passed a SAN-supported bill to ease restrictions on antique vehicles. The bill is sponsored by State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus member Rep. Leo Delperdang and was signed into law by Governor Kelly.
- After an outpouring of support from enthusiasts, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed into law legislation to expand single license plate usage.
- At the urging of the SAN, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed into law legislation to expand imported foreign-market vehicle titling.
- With the SAN's support, Idaho's Governor Greg Little signed into law a bill creating a new custom vehicle registration class.
- With backing from the hobby, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed into law SAN-supported legislation to expand titling eligibility for older vehicles.
- West Virginia approved SAN-supported resolutions calling for the creation of an interstate off-highway vehicle trail system. The measures were sponsored by SEMA's 2018 Stephen B. McDonald Legislator of the Year Award winner Sen. Mark Maynard and State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus Chairman Del. Gary Howell.
- Pro-hobby legislation in Illinois would allow "Antique Expanded Use" vehicles to be driven without limitation for two additional months each year. The bill awaits Governor JB Pritzker's signature or veto—send a letter of support to the Governor using this link.
SEMA SAN Strike Force
“Every gearhead must make sure to go to a live car race—whether it's IndyCar, drags, NASCAR, or whatever—that's a must!” exclaims Hilary J. Mendonca, Jr. “I have my $5.00 tickets from 1965 to Trans Am and Can-Am races at Laguna Seca when my uncle took me. I guess you can say that experience etched my soul forever.” With such an impression made, no wonder that he ended up claiming a stand-out ride from the era: the ‘66 Chevrolet Chevelle pictured above. He says it is currently in a project state with a complete drivetrain but still requires a bit more TLC.
What rides are in your collection?
The ‘66 Chevelle, a ‘69 Chevy C10, and what I consider my last ‘Vette, an ‘06 C6. The ‘66 and ‘69 are projects at the moment. The C10 is rolling but needs some minor service. We had a ‘69 L89 and a ‘76 L82 4-speed in the past. So with the C6, I told myself the last one would have to be a rag top—that's the nickname—and also the last model for the round taillights.
#1 fantasy powerplant?
I guess it would have to be the L88 crate motor, short block that I bought direct from Chevrolet in 1969. It's a long story, but I later put it into our ‘69 ‘Vette. That made my fantasy real. With 2.73 gears in the rear axle, that car seemed to go faster and faster. A little scary. Of course, there's nothing like standing next to an 11,000-horsepower engine fire up.
Favorite automotive memories?
There's been a few notable moments. One was at my first drag race, where I caught a car’s supercharger reflecting the sun. It went flying by, smoking the tires all the way across the 1320 feet! Almost 60 years later, I witnessed a replica of that same car fire up.
Then there's the time I snuck into the pits at a NASCAR race in Phoenix. Standing about 10 feet away—in between some tires and wheels—I took a candid pic of Dale Earnhardt, Sr., Jeff Gordon, and Ray Evernham, who were standing in front of their race cars chatting.
But the top memory is when I met Mr. Dan Gurney, at Sears Point Raceway, when he was managing the Toyota GTP cars. My boss at the time was engaged to and then married Miss Toyota. She introduced me. What a gentleman! In our photo together, you can't make out the Toyota logo on my shirt because my heart was beating too fast.
Who is your automotive hero?
Dale Earnhardt, Sr., is my ultimate hero. While many finish in second, he's still my #1.
Why should others be involved with the SAN?
I think a book could be written on that subject! But to put it simple, we need to try to keep our hobby alive. If we don't continue standing up for what those before us have stood up for, it could all be gone.