“A vehicle is only original once.” This phrase is commonly spoken among the “gearhead” community and rings so true. As time persists, the trend to totally restore vintage cars and trucks has made way for a heightened demand in “patina.” Interest in preserved survivors and unrestored specimens—often referred to lovingly as “barn finds”—has skyrocketed in the last few years. This trend is due in large part to televised auction and “relic picking” programs where less-than-perfect examples are sought-after prizes. Today, classics in nearly any condition are considered valuable in the marketplace, even if only as parts donors.
Unfortunately, many don't share our enthusiasm when it comes to non-running projects, be it an historic gem or otherwise. The increasing number of states and localities currently enforcing or attempting to legislate strict property or zoning laws that restrict visible automobile bodies and parts in this condition is rather alarming. Read More »
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SEMA SAN Strike Force
Yorktown, Virginia-resident Harold "Hal" Hartel (left) speaks with My Classic Car host Dennis Gage (right) at the Virginia Fall Classic held at the Newport News Park last October. With a healthy helping of vintage vehicle “eye candy” included, the segment recently aired in Episode 17 of the show.
Dedicated car enthusiast Harold "Hal" Hartel's background is impressive, to say the least. The native of Tonawanda, New York, counts among his collection a 1928 GMC fire truck, a 1932 Chevrolet Special Sedan, a 1967 Ford Mustang fastback and a 1967 Ford Mustang convertible, the latter still undergoing restoration. A foundry metallurgist by trade, the Yorktown, Virginia-based Hartel is often engaged with the SAN Facebook page and frequently shares SAN posts, especially the Legislative Alerts. He is currently a member of the Peninsula Mustang Enthusiasts, Styling Stangs of Hampton Roads and the Mustang Club of Tidewater, as well as past president and member of the Classic Cruisers Car Club and the Historic Virginia Peninsula Region of AACA.
Not content with all of these accomplishments, Hal also serves as president of the not-for-profit group Virginia Peninsula Car Club Council (VPCCC). The group was established to support the automotive clubs and enthusiasts in the Virginia peninsula region and surrounding areas. VPCCC has roughly 60 members, 39 of which are car clubs, and works with local authorities, tracks legislation, hosts functions and promotes a "good public image for the automotive hobby." With the support of various clubs, VPCCC has raised almost $400,000 for Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters in the last 11 years. As in years past, they will again honor Collector Car Appreciation Day next month at Charlie Daniels Racing in Smithfield, Virginia. In fact, Delegate Rick Morris of the 64th District spoke at last year's event!
It's a wonder that you successfully wear all these "hats" simultaneously, Hal, but we're glad you make it work. Cheers!
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