driving force online april 2018 issue 2



Calling a Spade a Spade: Legislative Solution Implemented for Street Rods, Customs and Replicas

With the ever-growing popularity of street rods and customs in recent years—especially the replica and kit car varieties—the need for unique licensing designations has become critical. For decades, modified vintage and reproduction vehicles did not fall under existing state classifications. Outdated and convoluted registration rules in many states created confusion among motorists and those charged with applying these laws at the ground level. Thus began the task of designing and implementing reasonable titling, registration, emissions and equipment standards nationwide in the earliest years of the SEMA Action Network (SAN).

The SEMA-Model Street Rod/Custom Vehicle Bill was developed by SAN staff to simplify the titling and registration of specialized vehicles and remedy common problems.

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Jay Raskin's 1956 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible Coupe was displayed inside the showroom of New Jersey's Gold Coast Cadillac at one of the annual car shows organized by his club, the Raritan River Region of the national Cadillac & LaSalle Club.

Jay Raskin's entry into our hobby runs contrary to that of many. "I wasn't particularly interested in collector cars until one fateful day towards the end of Summer, 2001," he explains. He and his wife, Janis, were returning home from vacation on Eastern Long Island, New York and happened to be passing through Bridgehampton. "While stopped at a red light, this big old yellow Caddy convertible was facing us from a vintage car lot. I was intrigued; it was just sitting there, exposed to the elements. Fortunately, its top was up. Since the lot was closed, we continued discussing the possibility of calling the dealership on our drive home."

The owner of the lot explained to Jay that the 1956 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible Coupe was on consignment for a "little old lady" who had stored it away for decades. In fact, the car had been in her family for years. "After a series of negotiations, I agreed to come and test-drive the car while armed with a bank check. The car drove pretty well aside from a leaky exhaust manifold. I sensed that this diamond in the rough would open up a fun hobby. So, I looked past the ripped-up leather seats and the original, faded paint." Pink slip in hand, Raskin made a memorable three-hour drive back home to New Jersey—overcoming signs of overheating along the way.

Shortly thereafter, Jay became aware of car shows and cruises that were taking place in many towns nearby. Bringing his '56 to these shows resulted in meeting knowledgeable car enthusiasts. "I was given great advice about where to go for engine work, a re-paint, and much needed reupholstering of my leather seats. Most importantly, I met a bunch of Caddy guys who had recently started a local New Jersey chapter of the national Cadillac & LaSalle Club: the Raritan River Region. I joined the club, served as Director for one term and have formed a great many lasting friendships." He also takes short trips around the area just for fun.

Despite having only one collector car, Jay has found a great deal of joy in becoming part of the community of antique car owners. "Being a 'Caddy Guy' at cruise nights is very cool! Antique automobiles are like historic landmarks that need to be preserved at all costs. Taking our cars out for drives is good for them and keeps their 'blood' flowing. I also continue to urge everyone who owns antique cars to follow and support SEMA Action Network's (SAN) outstanding work to keep our hobby thriving!"

It's a pleasure to count you among our ranks, Jay! Thanks for planting the seeds of automotive interest in the Garden State.



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


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