Street Rod/Custom Vehicle Bill On the Move
Tennessee Joins the List of States Considering SEMA-Model Legislation
Lawmakers from the Volunteer State have joined the ranks of other pro-hobby legislators in introducing SEMA-model legislation that creates special titling and registration classes for street rods and custom vehicles. Introduced by Tennessee State Senator and vehicle enthusiast Tim Burchett, the bill (S.B. 812) also provides special license plates for these vehicles. A companion version of the bill (H.B. 320) has been sponsored by Representative Eugene Davidson in the Tennessee House of Representatives.
As originally written, the legislation applied these provisions only to custom and replica vehicles. However, after being contacted by the SAN, Senator Burchett agreed to amend the measure to include language for street rods. "Bobby Allaway, a world-class car builder in Tennessee, originally presented the SEMA-model bill to me as a solution to the registration and titling problems hobbyists are facing," said Senator Burchett. "By providing the same accommodations for street rodders, I've committed, along with Representative Davidson, to making Tennessee a pro-hobbyist state."
Under the proposed amendment, replica vehicles are assigned the same model-year designation as the production vehicle they most closely resemble. The measure exempts street rods and customs from emissions tests and periodic inspections, provides for the use of non-original materials and requires an initial safety inspection based on criteria established in part by the local hobbyist community. It also stipulates that vehicles titled and registered as street rods and custom vehicles may be used only for occasional transportation, exhibitions, club activities, parades, tours, etc., and not for general daily transportation.
In addition to Tennessee, the SEMA-model bill is currently being considered in Montana, Massachusetts and Maine.
In 2004, car hobbyists scored a major victory when the bill was enacted into law in Rhode Island and Missouri. The bill was previously enacted in Illinois in 2002. The Missouri measure also exempted all vehicles 26 years old and older from emissions inspections. The 26-year rolling emissions-test exemption replaced a law that exempted only vehicles manufactured prior to the 1971 model year. The model bill is the product of consultation with the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA), local police departments, regulators and hobbyists.
"We are extremely gratified that, through the persistence of pro-hobby legislators like Tim Burchett, Tennessee could join the list of states that recognize street rods and customs as distinct classes of vehicles," said SEMA Vice President, Government Affairs Steve McDonald. "This legislation offers the added benefit of also including qualifying replicas and kit cars in these specialty-vehicle titling and registration classifications. Bills like these help avert complicated titling and registration processes that have, for example, created confusion among hot rod owners in California and DMV officials charged with applying these laws at the ground level."
Those interested in reviewing the model bill or obtaining information on how to pursue a plan to enact the model into law in their states should contact Steve McDonald at email@example.com.
LEGISLATIVE QUICK HITS
Arizona Emissions Exemption: SAN-supported legislation (H.B. 2357) to exempt qualified collectible vehicles 15 years old and older from the state's mandatory emissions inspection and maintenance program passed the Senate Transportation Committee. H.B. 2357 defines collectible vehicles as 15 years old or older or of unique or rare design, of limited production and an object of curiosity. These vehicles are to be maintained primarily for car club activities, exhibitions, parades, etc. and can be used infrequently for other purposes. Qualifying vehicles would have to maintain appropriate collectible or classic automobile insurance to retain these benefits. The bill now will be scheduled for a vote by the full Senate.
Hawaii Exhaust Noise: Legislation (H.B. 1173) to increase fines for exhaust systems that increase "the noise emitted by a motor vehicle above that emitted by the vehicle as equipped from the factory" passed in the Hawaii State Legislature. The SAN-opposed measure increases the fine for a second violation to $100 and $200 for a third or subsequent violation. First-time offenders can be fined up to $250.
Kentucky Inoperable Vehicles: A version of SEMA-model legislation (H.B. 345) that would exempt certain owners or occupants of land in a city, county or unincorporated area from public nuisance laws passed in the Kentucky House of Representatives. The bill provides that junked, wrecked or inoperable vehicles-including parts cars-stored on private property are only required to be maintained out of ordinary public view.
Maryland Antique Vehicle Registration: SAN-supported legislation (S.B.13) providing for a registration class for antique motor vehicles and reduced registration fees for vehicles manufactured before 1946 has passed the Maryland Senate. The bill would exempt antique vehicles from annual registration fees and require a one-time-only registration fee of $50, provide for a special antique motor vehicle registration plate and exempt these vehicles from periodic inspections. The bill now moves to the House Environmental Matters Committee.
Michigan Historic Vehicles: Legislation amending the state's current law defining historic vehicles has been reintroduced in the Michigan Legislature. The SAN-supported bill (H.B. 4362) would allow these vehicles to take advantage of "other occasional use." Under current Michigan law, use of historic vehicles is strictly limited to club activities, exhibitions, tours and parades. Many Michigan vehicle owners whose cars qualify for the historic-registration class have chosen to register as "daily drivers" to avoid the limited use restrictions and are, by consequence, paying the higher fees required of cars that are registered under this class.
New Hampshire Racetrack Study: SAN-opposed legislation that sought to establish a commission to study noise and hours of operation of motor vehicle racetracks was set aside by a New Hampshire legislative committee. Generally, these bills represent an attempt by a small group of residents to silence racing without regard to the many racing enthusiasts in the state. These measures impose a statewide, one-size-fits-all approach to racetrack control, ignoring the significant economic and recreational benefits these facilities provide and creating serious difficulties in completing race events. Area businesses, such as hotels and restaurants, also suffer from decreased turnout.
Vermont Vehicle Taxes: A bill (H.B. 157) to reduce purchase and use taxes for antique motor vehicles by providing that taxable costs not include the cost of restoration has been introduced in the Vermont State Legislature. The SAN-supported measure defines "Restored Antique Motor Vehicle" as an exhibition vehicle of a model year 1940 or earlier, purchased on or after Jan. 1, 1970 and which, at the time of purchase, was not operable and which has been restored to operable condition. Current law stipulates that "Exhibition Vehicles" be maintained solely for use in exhibitions, club activities, parades and other functions of public interest and not used for the transportation of passengers or property except to attend such functions.
West Virginia Antique Vehicles: SAN-supported legislation (H.B. 2101) has been reintroduced in the West Virginia legislature to exempt owners of antique motor vehicles, antique motorcycles, classic motor vehicles and classic motorcycles from annual registration fees for these vehicles. Current West Virginia law defines "antique motor vehicles and motorcycles" as more than 25 years old and owned as collector items and "classic motor vehicles and motorcycles" as more than 25 years old and used for general transportation.
Calling All California Car Enthusiasts
Association of California Car Clubs Works With SAN to Promote Pro-Hobby Legislation in Sacramento
By Bob Stearns, President, ACCC
We need your help and support in attacking the challenges that await the car hobbyist in the State of California. I want to explain to you who we are, what we can do for you and what you can do for the hobby.
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. Formed in 1972, the ACCC is a volunteer organization of regional representatives that keeps member clubs, individuals and business members across the state informed of issues that affect the hobby.
Working with groups such as the SEMA Action Network (SAN), we form the bridge between the automotive enthusiast and our elected officials. Through this united front, we work to inform and educate hobbyists of legislative initiatives and establish channels of communications at all levels of governments. Since 1990, over 150 bills are typically introduced into the California Assembly and Senate each year that have an impact on the automobile, both collectibles and daily drivers. ACCC is now part of the legislative review process for these bills. We will take a position on them or become more involved in the process. We also introduce legislation on behalf of the hobby.
In addition, the ACCC holds a Legislative Conference each year in Sacramento at the Towe Automobile Museum. This conference allows automotive hobbyists to discuss challenges and mutual issues directly with legislators, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the California Highway Patrol and other officials in the state government. The 2005 Legislative Conference is scheduled for May 11-12. Other planned events include a car show at the state Capitol on May 10 and a special tour of the California Highway Patrol Academy in Sacramento on May 13.
I invite all interested collectors, hobbyists and car enthusiasts to visit our website at http://www.acccdefender.org for additional information about ACCC, including contact information for regional directors in your area. Visitors to the website can also download registration forms for the upcoming Legislative Conference.
While the ACCC and the SAN play a vital role in informing and educating enthusiasts of legislative and regulatory developments, whether they be in California or across the country, it is through the work of individual clubs and enthusiasts who voice their opinion to their elected officials that we are able to fulfill our mission of preserving and protecting the auto hobby. The more people who join in these efforts, the stronger this voice will be.
[Editors Note: The SAN is truly grateful for the efforts of the ACCC and its membership in continuing the fight on behalf of the hobby in California. We look forward to working with them in 2005 to promote hobby-friendly legislation.]
HEY, THAT'S MY CAR!
His and Her Camaros
Owner: Eric and Kelly Johnson
His-Daily Driver: 1976 Camaro LT; 350 Goodwrench engine with Edelbrock intake, Quadra-Jet carb, Weiand aluminum water pump, original four-speed trans, Zoom clutch into the original 10-bolt 3.08-gear posi rear. The interior is original white houndstooth from the factory, still like new after 29 years. Body is all original metal, with Daytona Yellow paint.
Hers-Weekend Racer: 1967 Camaro Coupe; 350 Chevy short-block with GM "X" rods, polished cast crank, Edelbrock Torker cam, roller-tip steel rockers, Torker II intake, 670 Holley Street Avenger carb, Heddman headers, Moroso chrome. Turbo 350 transmission, B&M shift kit and 2200 stall converter, Denny's pro-street driveshaft, Richmond 4.10 gears and an Eaton Posi unit. 2-1/2" dual exhaust with Cherry Bomb mufflers. Stock Interior except for 69 Camaro seats and Summit gauges. Steel body except Harwood 3" cowl hood, metallic raspberry paint with ghost flames. Suspension is mostly stock, mono-leaf rear springs, Competition Engineering slapper bars, gas shocks all around, rolling on Cragar Street Stars, 15x6 front and 15x8 rear.
"After watching me race a few times, my wife told me she wanted to try drag racing. So we went to a local swap meet and found this 67 Camaro for sale. She liked it, so I thought 'Okay, I'll buy it, put a motor in it and let her race it once. It'll scare the life out of her, she'll quit and I'll take the car.' Well, she raced it, and after the fourth pass I had to pry her hands off the steering wheel to get her out! Needless to say, she still has the car."
Thanks to all who have sent in or e-mailed us photos. Please continue to send us photos of your trail rides, restorations in progress, rod runs, car shows, charity events and drag races. Kindly submit pictures to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On The Road Again
We invite you to stop by and meet with Jason Tolleson, director of the SEMA Action Network at these events in April.
Food Lion AutoFair
Lowe's Motor Speedway
(part of the ARMO
New Products Showcase
in the Busch Garage Pavilion)
Charlotte, North Carolina
Information: www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or 704/455-3205
Information: www.carlisleevents.com or 717/243-7855
U.S. Senate Committee Approves California and Washington Wilderness Bills: The Senate Energy Committee approved a bill to designate 300,000 acres in five Northern California counties as wilderness. The panel also passed a bill to create the 106,000-acre Wild Sky Wilderness in Washington's Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. The legislation now moves to the Senate floor. The U.S. Senate passed both bills last year, but progress was blocked in the House. Representative Richard Pombo (R-CA), Chairman of the House Resources Committee, has proposed alternative approaches that would reduce the amount of land set aside as wilderness which, by definition, is roadless. "The SAN remains concerned that not all of the proposed land should be off-limits to motorized recreation and that the bills would close a number of existing, legal OHV routes," said Stuart Gosswein, SEMA director of federal government affairs. "Moreover, the legislation may rely too heavily on cherry-stem roads-dead-end roads that frequently form part of a wilderness boundary."
Two Government Agencies Join Forces to Revise Colorado Land Management Plan: In an unprecedented move, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service will work together to revise land management plans for the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado. This is 2.5 million acres of public land (1.8 million acres of national forest surrounded by 600,000 acres of BLM lands) and the management decisions will last the next 10 to 15 years. It is the first such joint venture on such a scale. The current plans for the area were developed separately and date back to the mid-1980s. The agencies will address several major issues, including off-road vehicle use, mineral rights, grazing and timber harvesting. The SAN supports dialog between the government agencies since the lands are adjoining.
Nevertheless, the SAN also supports strong local involvement in the decision-making process. For example, off-highway vehicle (OHV) use will be a main topic of discussion. Since some of the trails used by OHV enthusiasts are not officially inventoried, the government agencies should carefully consider the views of the local OHV community as they revise the travel management plans. The agencies want to issue a draft plan later this year and a final plan in 2006.
Newly Introduced Legislation
Note: The following state bills are not laws. They were recently introduced and are currently under consideration by the respective state legislatures:
ANTIQUE / HISTORICAL VEHICLES
Connecticut HB 6560: Changes license plates currently issued for vintage motor vehicles from "Early American" plates to "Vintage" plates to more accurately reflect the nature of the vehicle.
Georgia SB 117: Amends current statutes to allow authentic Georgia license plates issued in 1970 or before to be displayed on antique vehicles. Changes year of manufacture for "antique motor vehicles" authorized to display authentic license plates from 1957 to 1970.
Illinois AB 127: Provides that an antique vehicle may display a blue light or lights of up to one inch in diameter as part of the vehicles rear stop lamp or lamps.
New York AB 3618: Allows motor vehicles registered as historical vehicles to display a number plate on the rear of the vehicle only.
Tennessee HB 320: Authorizes vehicles 25 years old or older or that are replicas of vehicles 25 years old or older to receive custom license plates.
Tennessee HB 1157: Increases penalty for operating a vehicle registered as an antique for general transportation purposes. Changes penalty from a five-year ban to a 10-year ban on applying for or holding antique motor vehicle registration.
Vermont HB 157: Provides that the taxable cost of a "restored antique motor vehicle" shall not include the cost of the restoration of the vehicle.
Hawaii HB 299/ SB 1034: Prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle on public roads that is equipped with an LCD panel or video monitor that is located at any point forward of the back to the driver's seat.
Illinois HB 960: Prohibits the operation of a vehicle on public highway if equipped with visual media technology, other than a navigational system, if the viewer or screen is located where it is visible from the driver's seat and is activated.
Maryland HB 591: Prohibits the use of television-type receiving equipment in front of the back of the driver's seat or visible to the driver while the vehicle is being operated.
New York SB 1310: Prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle with a video monitor that plays prerecorded programming within the view of the operator of the vehicle.
Rhode Island SB 165: Prohibits displaying video cassette players within the field of view of the operator of a motor vehicle.
Hawaii HB 1173: Amends motor vehicle muffler noise law to provide a schedule of increased fines for second, third and subsequent violations.
Kentucky HB 345: Exempts inoperable vehicles kept by auto collectors from nuisance abatement laws if vehicles and parts cars are stored out of ordinary public view by means of suitable fencing, trees, shrubbery or other means.
Maine SB 18: Requires rear lights on vehicles to be on during the same circumstances when headlights are required to be illuminated.
New Hampshire HB 212: Requires use of headlights when continuously operating windshield wipers during inclement weather.
Vermont HB 204: Defines motor vehicle spotlight to include all lights on a motor vehicle other than the originally installed lights and their replacements or lights installed for law enforcement or public safety.
California AB 184: Expresses the intent of the Legislature to establish a pilot program to improve air quality by removing gross-polluting vehicles from the roadways.
Maryland SB 357: Establishes a task force to study requiring the Motor Vehicle Administration and Secretary of the Environment to establish a decentralized vehicle-emissions inspection program.
Maryland HB 401: Requires vehicle-emissions inspection program to be applied in all counties in Maryland on or before December 31, 2008.
Maine HB 448: Requires legislative review before rules provisionally adopted by the Department of Environmental Protection, Board of Environmental Protection containing tailpipe-emissions standards for vehicles are adopted or implemented.
New Hampshire HB 579: Exempts vehicles from OBD II inspection requirements until July 1, 2006. Also establishes a committee to study the federal EPA OBD II standards.
Pennsylvania HB 221: Imposes a moratorium on the implementation or continued use of a vehicle-emissions inspection program until certain standards and studies of on-board vehicle-emissions diagnostic testing systems are completed.
Tennessee SB 600/ HB 25: Requires promulgation of rules that authorize the sale of motor vehicles that meet California emissions standards; requires monitoring of California emissions standards and adoption by other states; requires adoption of California emissions standards unless shown that the California standards will not achieve greater emissions reductions than federal standards.
Illinois HB 773: Provides that the operating of a vehicle at a speed that is 40 miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed is evidence of reckless driving.
Pennsylvania HB 277: Adds new subsection relating to window tint. Requires labeling by manufacturers on sun-screening materials of percentage of light transmittance and installers name. Prohibits sale of material not in compliance with new subsection.
April 2-3, Phoenix
The Gatherings of Mustangs
Sponsor: Copperstate Mustang Club
April 29-May 1, Payson
12th Annual Beeline Cruise-In and
Charity Auto Show
Sponsor: Rim Country Classic Auto Club
April 1-3, Del Mar
5th Del Mar Rod & Custom Nationals
Sponsor: The Goodguys
April 23 & 24, Sonoma
17th Nitro Nationals Nostalgia Drags
Sponsor: The Goodguys
April 10, Stafford Springs
Spring Swap Meet
Sponsor: Ty-Rods Auto Club
April 8 & 9, St. Augustine
Legends on the Green British Car Show
Sponsor: Jaguar Car Club of North Florida
Information: www.jagdriver.org or 904/716-9572
April 9, Cocoa
Celebration of Cars Car Show & Car Corral
April 23, Pensacola
Antique and Classic Car Show
Sponsor: West Florida Antique Car Club
April 3, Bridgeview
BOPC Swap Meet & Car Corral
Sponsor: Illinois Valley Olds Chapter
April 17, Elmhurst
22nd Annual Car Show and Swap Meet
Sponsor: Northern IL Region of the
Walter P. Chrysler Club
April 21-23, Bowling Green
8th Annual C5/C6 Bash
Sponsor: National Corvette Museum
Information: www.corvettemuseum.com or 800/53-Corvette
April 16, Jonesboro
9th Annual Car Show
Sponsor: Jackson Parish Classic & Antique Car Club
April 24, Rockville
Annual Mustang & All Fords Spring Show
Sponsor: National Capital Region Mustang Club
Information: www.ncrmc.org or 301/862-3235
April 9, Aberdeen
18th Annual Aberdeen Antique & Classic Car Show
Sponsor: Aberdeen Antique and Classic Car Show
Information: 662/ 369-8576
April 30-May 1, Springfield
8th Annual 4 Wheel Jamboree
Sponsor: O'Reilly Auto Parts
April 29-May 1, Great Falls
34th Antique Auto Parts Swap Meet & Collectibles
Sponsor: Skunk Wagon Chapter of Montana Pioneer & Classic Auto Club
April 14-16, Laughlin
Seventeenth Annual Spring Tour
Sponsor: Phoenix Model A Club
April 3, Rochester
28th Annual Automotive Swap Meet
Sponsor: Western New York Early Ford V-8 Club of America
Information: 585/254-4059 or www.wnyrg.org
April 30, Floral Park
Our Lady of the Snows Car Show
Benefits Our Lady of the Snows Church
Information: 718/347-6070 or www.olsnows.org
April 29-30, Maggie Valley
Mo-Par Fun Tour
Information: 828/ 659-1428
April 23, Bartlesville
3rd Annual Spring Cruise
Sponsor: Charger Fever
Information: 316/ 788-3290
April 9 & 10, Cleveland
Rod & Custom Show
Sponsor: Choppers Hot Rod Association
Information: www.cruisintimes.org or 440/331-4615
April 17, Berea
6th Annual Swap Meet
Sponsor: North East Ohio Buick Club of America
April 30, Oregon City
Children's Foundation of Oregon Benefit Cruise
Sponsor: Trick'n Racy Cars
April 20-24, Carlisle
Spring Carlisle Collector Car Swap Meet & Corral
Sponsor: Carlisle Productions
April 8 & 9, Shelbyville
Spring Fest Car Show and Cruise-In
Sponsor: Hoodlum Alley Cruisers
April 16, Pleasant View
Sycamore's Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show
Sponsor: Sycamore High School Band Program
April 2-3, Fredericksburg
Inaugural 4 Wheel Jamboree
Sponsor: O'Reilly Auto Parts
April 16, Boerne
13th Annual Open Car Show
Sponsor: Texas Corvette Association
Information: www.texas-corvette-association.org or 830/226-5386
April 23, Paris
Wheels for Meals Classic Car Show
Benefiting Meals on Wheels of Par