A Brief Farewell to Uncle Sam
By Colby Martin

For me, vehicles have always perfectly symbolized the idea of freedom to explore unfamiliar territories. My mom still enjoys saying that my “babysitter” as a child was the AutoTrader classifieds. Apparently, I could spend a healthy amount of time in my crib studying the shapes of those now classic cars—the images representing the big world outside of our family home in suburban Los Angeles.

Over the years, a few major auto events, as well as the occasional cruise night, have become treasured family memories. The array of regional tastes and styles found in our hobby continue to fascinate me.

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SEMA Ignited & 2017 SEMA Show Invitation: Exclusive to SAN Members

SEMA Action Network (SAN) members, time to make plans! In special recognition of your continued support on legislative issues important to the automotive hobby, we are inviting you to SEMA Ignited, the “Official After-Party” of the SEMA Show, FREE OF CHARGE (a $20 value). Join us as we celebrate the top cars built for display at the trade-only SEMA Show. Meet exhibitors, industry icons and SEMA Battle of the Builders® contestants. Enjoy live drifting demonstrations, music, food trucks and much more! SEMA Ignited will be held at the Gold Lot, adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center on Friday, November 3rd starting at 3:00 pm.

You will also be able to register up to 10 guests to join you at SEMA Ignited, compliments of the SAN. Use the following personalized link below to confirm your party’s attendance for this one-time only, non-transferable offer.

Registration deadline is October 5, 2017 for your complimentary passes to SEMA Ignited courtesy of the SAN.

After receiving your SEMA Ignited registration confirmation, be on the look-out for a separate email invitation for you and a guest to complimentary Friday-only access at the SEMA Show. This opportunity will be available to the first 500 members of the SAN who register. We hope to see you in Las Vegas!

[A personalized link was emailed to the SAN membership in the original version of this newsletter]



Click here for the complete list of Legislative Action Alerts.



Arthur Ehrich’s 1940 Chevrolet coupe features a Chevrolet ZZ4 crate motor with tuned port injection, 700 R4 transmission, 8-inch rearend with 3:55 gears, as well as custom wiring, gauges, disc brakes and wheels.

Arthur Ehrich has always been interested in cars. “As a teenager back in the ‘50s, I would take my father’s car apart,” he recalls. “I found out the hard way that I couldn’t always get it back together when he needed it!” Ehrich discovered a local hot rod club that was sponsored by the local police department. A round of golf between his father and the police chief formed the idea to create a “junior” membership for Arthur and others his age.

Even as life became more complex in the years that followed, he always found a way to have a nice driver vehicle. “As I approached retirement, I knew that I wanted to get back to playing with cars,” he says. Ehrich reconnected with old friends from his youth at about the same time. A mutual interest in early machines was rekindled among the group. Together, they formed the Gold Coast Cruisers Car Club of Long Island, New York.

“I’ve often heard that is better to buy a finished car instead of building one and that was what I did,” he said of his fat-fendered 1940 Chevrolet coupe. “As soon as I put the car on show fields, the paint started to pop off. For years, I kept touching it up.” Finally, fellow club members Don Figliozzi and Ken Fransen approached him with the idea of repainting it in a two-toned scheme. The car was taken off the road to begin work in May 2008.

“This particular build was filled with many emotional moments. As soon as we stripped it down to bare metal, we immediately realized a big job lay ahead. The original builder had brazed all the body modifications, causing the body filler and paint to pop off. We redid all of the body work with welding and leading techniques.” After eight years of work, the car was completed in 2016 with stunning results.

Ehrich believes in the goodwill woven into the auto hobby. He’s found that people are generally fascinated with cars. “A very large number of weekend car shows do some real good for the community. They often support one charity or another. Car people are not selfish and give their time to support these causes usually at some expense to themselves. Our government should get behind us and not hinder us in performing these good deeds.” Earlier this year, he referenced his ’40 in messages to New York legislators in support of bills introduced in his state: street rod and custom titling designations and proposals requiring only single front-mounted license plates. He explained that his own ride and those of fellow vehicle owners would benefit from the enactment of such legislation into law.

Arthur, your commitment to enjoying your street rod and our hobby are truly commendable. Bravo!



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


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SEMA SAN Driving Force, Summer 2017