Call your U.S. Senators now to save racing from government threat!

Many thanks to those who have signed the letter to Congress in support of the “Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016” (RPM Act). Given the potential impact of this rulemaking on car clubs and automotive organizations nationwide, support from U.S. Senators nationwide is critical in passing the bill. As such, the SEMA Action Network (SAN) needs your Senators to cosponsor the RPM Act (S. 2659) if they haven’t done so already. Please use the following SAN website link for lawmaker contact list and talking points: Go to webpage

SAN DIRECTOR’S DISPATCH: Mastering the Power of the Moment

The racing community and the industry that supports it have made major headlines of late. A grassroots movement to thwart a recent threat to motorsports has activated the entire auto hobby. Ultimately, this issue led SEMA Action Network’s (SAN) allies in the U.S. Congress to introduce the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016 or RPM Act (H.R. 4715/S. 2659) in both the House and Senate. In case you haven’t heard, the pro-hobby bill comes in response to a proposed EPA regulation that would have made illegal the act of converting a street car into a race car used exclusively at the track if the emissions system is taken out of compliance from its stock configuration. (Read More)



With summer now in full swing, make plans now to honor Collector Car Appreciation Day (CCAD)! This year’s festivities will be celebrated on July 8, 2016. At the request of the SEMA Action Network (SAN), this “holiday” has been marked each year since 2010 by a U.S. Senate Resolution recognizing that the “collection and restoration of historic and classic cars is an important part of preserving the technological achievements and cultural heritage of the United States.” A wide range of automotive events will once again be held to commemorate the occasion. As this annual observance continues to grow worldwide, states, provinces, counties and cities are following suit with their own recognition. SAN encourages participation throughout the month of July to honor the classics of the past and the future.

As in prior years, a growing list of scheduled car shows, cruise-ins, parades and other gatherings will be held in support of this celebration and added to the SAN website. Submit your July event, public or private, at no cost on the celebration’s webpage.  (Read More)


Legislative Front Lines

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SEMA SAN Strike Force

The car hobby is a total family affair for Todd Ryden. He is shown here enjoying Hot Rod Drag Week with his parents and their Buick Grand National.

To say that Todd Ryden has made the automotive world a huge part of his life would be an understatement. From car projects to auto events to employment opportunities, he has availed himself fully of the car hobby and the industry that supports it. Todd is very much a “hands-on” gearhead and says the hobby has always been close to him. “Beginning with Hot Wheels and model cars, I always wanted to take mechanical things apart and reassemble them,” he remembers. “My dad and his brother grew up on Woodward Avenue in the ‘60s, so cars were always around. Living between Detroit and Flint, nicknamed ‘Buick City’ back in the day, gave me a lot of exposure.”

“I seem to want a different car nearly every month,” says Todd. “However, to me it’s not about the car itself but more the build or story behind it. Even when they’re gone, the experiences are what make lasting memories.” His first vehicle was a ‘56 Bel Air sedan that was found in a classified ad by his father. Later, he and his dad built a ’51 Chevy and covered the process in Street Rodder magazine. There’s also a ’70 Chevelle that’s been in his family since about 1980. Ryden fondly recalls a ’67 pro street Corvette and road trips in a ’62 Biscayne and ’64 Ford. Years ago he got a wagon ready for the Hot Rod Power Tour with help from a friend. Todd’s kids even worked on that one with him. “As far as future projects go, I’ve always wanted a ’66 Nova. I’ve been collecting parts to build one someday. Lately, I’m also lusting after a tin woody and a gasser of some sort.”

Todd’s journey into a successful automotive career began early. He became a mechanic at a Chevy dealership after high school. He got his start as a writer while attending Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Upon graduation with a degree in journalism, he moved to El Paso, Texas. There he spent eighteen years working with MSD Performance, rising to Director of Marketing, while continuing to produce stories and coverage for a number of automotive publications. These days, Ryden is the editor of Street Rod Life, a title that “celebrates the amazing cars, performance ingenuity and hot rodding lifestyle from coast to coast.” It covers traditional pre-1964 street rods, as well as classic trucks and custom cars up to 1972, with a mix of event coverage, lifestyle features and technical content. Todd has also been able to publish articles about the SEMA Action Network’s (SAN). “The SAN keeps us all apprised of legislation that could have an effect, positive or negative, on our hobby and industry,” he explains. “Many of these proposed laws and updates would likely go unnoticed by most people. Having a resource that can pull this information, share it with those concerned and organize a unified front is imperative to the health, growth and future of hot rodding.”

Your commitment to the four-wheeled lifestyle is truly impressive, Todd! Keep up the inspiring work.


SEMA SAN Driving Force, Spring 2016