January 2009


Click on image above to open the newsletter PDF.
Speaking Out Against Scrappage
SEMA Cautions Congress on Flawed Cash for Clunker Programs
SEMA and the SEMA Action Network (SAN) are opposing efforts to revive consideration of federal funding for vehicle scrappage programs. These programs accelerate the normal retirement of vehicles through the purchase of older cars, which are then typically crushed into blocks of scrap metal.  
In response to testimony delivered on Capitol Hill, SEMA sent letters to members of Congress to counter requests that tax dollars be used to entice motorists to trade in their older cars and trucks for newer models.  SEMA emphasized that hobbyists would suffer with the indiscriminate destruction of older cars, trucks and parts they need if scrappage programs were expanded with federal funds.
“America safeguards its artistic and architectural heritage against indiscriminate destruction,” said SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald. “Our automotive and industrial heritage deserves the same protection.”
SEMA has also learned that legislators may also be considering scrappage as a clean-air measure and are now in contact with these offices to explain scrappage’s shortcomings as an environmental measure. Traditionally, scrappage efforts focus purely on vehicle age rather than actual emissions produced.
Enthusiasts played a vital role in defeating federal scrappage legislation in 2002 and should be prepared to counter this renewed threat to the hobby. SAN members should stay tuned for e-mail alerts and updates in Driving Force should a bill be introduced.
Cash For Clunkers Sounds Good, But Is Bad Policy
Old Cars Are Valuable to Collectors, But Not Taxpayers: An unchecked Cash for Clunkers program risks destroying classic, historic and special-interest vehicles. America safeguards its artistic and architectural heritage against indiscriminate destruction. Our automotive and industrial heritage deserves the same protection. 
Cash for Clunkers Programs Do Not Take Gross Polluters Off the Road: Cash for Clunkers focus on vehicle age rather than actual emissions produced. This approach is based on the erroneous assumption that “old cars are dirty cars.” However, the true culprits are “gross polluters”—vehicles of any model year that are poorly maintained. 
Squeezes Low-Income Citizens: Low-income Americans would be hurt by expanding Cash for Clunkers. Such programs reduce the supply and availability of affordable transportation and repair parts—the very cars and parts most often bought by low and fixed-income drivers. 
How Can the Federal Government Ensure that the Replacement Vehicle Is Any Cleaner?: There is no guarantee with a Cash for Clunkers program that a replacement vehicle (if there is one) will be cleaner running or more fuel-efficient than the vehicles the government paid to scrap. For example, many popular cars in 1979 achieved higher mileage ratings than 2008 vehicles.
More Car Guys in Congress
U.S. Representative Tom McClintock  
U.S. Representative Bill Posey
Two members of the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus have won seats in the U.S. Congress. California State Senator Tom McClintock and Florida State Senator Bill Posey were elected in the November 4, 2008 election and will be sworn into the 111th Congress this month in Washington, D.C.
No stranger to SAN members in California, State Senator Tom McClintock has been a long-time supporter of the automotive hobby in the Legislature. In 2004, he worked tirelessly against the repeal of the 30-year rolling emissions exemption in the state.
An avid enthusiast, Florida State Senator Bill Posey introduced and worked to enact the SEMA Street Rod/Custom Vehicle bill in 2007. Posey shared his passion for the hobby by featuring one of his collector cars in a campaign ad.
In addition, fellow caucus members Johnny Key of Arkansas, Bob Huff of California, David Parks of Nevada and Daylin Leach of Pennsylvania were successful in their campaigns to move from the House to the Senate in their respective legislatures.
Cruisin’ In Cheyenne
Hobby-Friendly Lawmakers Introduce Street Rod/Custom Vehicle Bill in Wyoming
Wyoming Representative, and member of the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus, Pat Childers has reintroduced the SEMA-model Street Rod/Custom Vehicle bill in 2009. Following through on a promise by Childers to SAN members in Wyoming, the bill (H.R. 2) was amongst the first bills filed in the Legislature. He is joined by fellow Caucus member Representative Stan Blake in pushing the bill through the process.
In 2007, the bill was approved by the Wyoming House of Representatives, but did not pass the Senate given their short legislative session. SAN members in Wyoming should stay tuned for e-mail alerts and updates in Driving Force on the bill.
Summary of SEMA-Model Street Rod/Custom Vehicle Bill
  • Defines a street rod as an altered vehicle manufactured before 1949 and a custom vehicle as an altered vehicle manufactured after 1948.
  • Provides specific registration classes and license plates for street rods and custom vehicles.
  • Provides that replica vehicles and kit cars will be assigned the same model-year designations as the production vehicles they most closely resemble and allows the use of non-original materials.
  • Exempts street rods and custom vehicles from periodic vehicle inspections and emissions inspections.
  • Provides that vehicles titled and registered as street rod and custom vehicles may only be used for occasional transportation, exhibitions, club activities, parades, tours, etc. and not for general daily transportation.
  • Exempts street rods and custom vehicles from a range of standard-equipment requirements.
  • Allows the use of blue-dot taillights on street rods and custom vehicles.
Little Car, Great Fun!
1968 Leitch Super Sprint
Owner: Graham and Jill Earley
Bloomington, Illinois
The body and chassis of our Super Sprint was built by Leitch Motorsports and Restoration in New Zealand. The frame consists of square and round tubing with an aluminum body—the only exception being the nose and fenders which are fiberglass. Once the kit traveled the 10,000 miles from New Zealand to Illinois, it was time to start putting it together.
The donor car was a ’85 Toyota Corolla GTS. It wasn’t a nice one, but it ran well. The 16-valve 4AGE would be swapped out for the higher-horsepower 20-valve (five per cylinder) 4AGE.
Once the motor, transmission and rearend were dropped in, all the fabrication work was started. I built the fuel-injection plenum/airbox for the four throttle bodies. I used a universal wiring kit and spliced in the computer and original EFI wiring. After a little messing around, it fired up.
The front suspension has really cool upper and lower control arms using elliptical tubing. There is anti-dive geometry built in to stop nose dive under braking. The spindles are Ford Cortina, which have been turned to accept the Corolla hubs and Brembo slotted and grooved rotors. All four corners have GAZ 28-way adjustable shocks. The dampening is what changes the ride. The car ended up within 2 lbs. front to rear weight transfer. I am still surprised at how well it handles.
The rearend is the stock GTS (4.30-1) open-wheel differential with Brembo slotted and grooved rotors. It has Wilwood master cylinders with a Tilton brake bias pedal setup. I am very impressed how it stops. Mind you at 1,320 lbs. soaking wet and four-wheel discs, it should.
The dash has Stewart Warner gauges and toggle switches to operate all the lights, wipers etc. The dash in the Leitch is painted aluminum.
It was a lot of fun to build, and is just as fun to drive.
Paying It Forward
New Mexico Car Club Puts Community First
In its 50th year, the Santa Fe Vintage Car Club (SFVCC) has continued its calling in putting the community first. With more then 200 member families in the club, it actively seeks to provide support for charitable causes in the area.
“Everything we do is for someone else,” says board member and former Club President Norton Bicoll. “The most important thing we do as a club is to give back to the community.”
Recently, the club hosted a show at a local hospital to raise funds for the addition of a children’s wing at the facility. SFVCC contacted clubs throughout New Mexico asking them to support in this effort. To share their automotive passion with future generations, the club has children serve as judges at this unique event.
Along those lines, SFVCC members focus their attention on local youth. Each year the club gathers toys and other donations for Toys for Tots, the local Boys and Girls Club and the Salvation Army. “If we have good young children that grow up to be good citizens, then they will learn how to give back too,” said Club Vice President Buddy Royball.
For more information on the SFVCC, contact bicoll@cybermesa.com.
To spotlight your club in a future issue, contact san@sema.org.
January 10, Casa Grande
17th Annual Car Show
Information: 520/866-7653
January 24, Tubac
15th Annual Collector Car Show
Sponsor: The Santa Cruz Valley Car Nuts
Information: www.carnuts.org or 520/885-6630
January 16–18, Grass Valley
27th Winter Fun Festival
Sponsor: California Association of 4WD Clubs Inc.
Information: www.cal4wheel.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=76&Itemid=202 or 916/973-9782
January 17–18, El Centro
11th Annual Superstition Mountain Run
Sponsor: San Diego 4 Wheelers
Information: www.sd4wheel.com/drupal/node/129
January 24–25, Salton City
14th Annual Truckhaven Challenge
Sponsor: California Off-Road Vehicle Association
Information: www.corva.org/events/truckhaven14.html or 661/478-5719
January 4, Fort Myers
6th Annual Classic Car Show
Sponsor: Corvettes on the Gulf
Information: www.premiumcarshows.com or 727/547-8082
January 10, Lake Worth
9th Annual Fords and Friends Meet
Sponsor: Early Ford V-8 Club, Palm Beach Region 129
Information: 561/712-9252
January 11, Sunrise
3rd Annual Open Car & Truck Show
Sponsor: Renegade Corvette Club
Information: www.renegadecorvetteclub.com/uploads/Flyer.pdf or 954/980-2670
January 21–25, Kissimmee
31st Anniversary Winter Regional Meet
Sponsor: Florida Chapter of National Corvette Restorers Society
Information: http://ncrsfl.org/Events/31stRegional/31stRegional.htm or 352/394-6547
January 25, Sarasota
Devereaux-Kaiser Antique Car Show
Sponsor: Sunshine Region-Antique Automobile Club of America
Information: 941/924-5224
January 16–18, Atlanta
World of Wheels
Information: www.autorama.com/casi/show/atlanta.html or 770/270-0175
January 11, St. Charles
32nd Annual Auto Parts Swap Meet
Sponsor: Waukegan Chapter of the Illinois Antique Automobile Club of America
Information: http://local.aaca.org/illinois/2009_swap_meet.htm or 708/485-3633
January 23–25, Chicago
World of Wheels
Information: www.autorama.com/casi/show/chicago.html
January 4, Indianapolis
Super Sunday Indy Car Sale/Swap Meet
Information: www.midamericapromotions.com or 708/563-4300
January 23–25, New Orleans
World of Wheels
Information: www.autorama.com/casi/show/neworleans.html
January 24, Cambridge
21st Winter Automotive Parts Meet
Sponsor: Bay Country Region Antique Automobile Club of America
Information: http://local.aaca.org/baycountry or 410/228-0758
January 9–11, Boston
World of Wheels
Information: http://autorama.com/casi/show/boston.html
January 9–11, Grand Rapids
40th Annual AutoRama
Information: http://autorama.com/casi/show/grandrapids.html
January 25, Warren
Great Lakes Region Indoor All Mopar Swap Meet
Information: 586/322-8518 or 586/773-7882
North Carolina
January 9–11, Charlotte
25th Annual Charlotte-In-January Antique, Classic & Collector Car Swap Meet and Car Corral
Information: www.tommackclassics.com/2009-clt-n-jan/index.html 
January 9–11, Cincinnati
Cavalcade of Customs
Information: http://autorama.com/casi/show/cincinnati.html
Early February 2009 Events
February 6–8, Hartford
The Show of Dreams
Information: www.fmautoshow.com/index.htm or 860/347-3625
February 6–8, Baton Rouge
Super Chevy Show
Information: http://superchevyshow.com or 740/964-2350
New Mexico
February 6–8, Albuquerque
18th Annual Supernationals Custom Auto Show
Information: www.thesupernationals.com/indexold.php or 505/332-9222
North Carolina
February 1, Greensboro
3rd Annual Shriners Winter Volksfest 2009 
Sponsor: South Eastern Volkswagen Association
Information: http://sevwa.com/index.htm
February 7–8, Puyallup
35th Annual Corvette & High Performance Meet
Information: www.corvhp.com/chpmeet-old.htm or 360/786-8844
Attention Car Clubs, Event Organizers and Enthusiasts!
Put SAN on Your Mailing List!
We’d like to know what’s going on with SEMA Action Network clubs and enthusiasts across the country; what charity events you’re involved in; when and where the rod runs, car shows, trail rides, rallies and tech meetings are held; and what legislative and regulatory issues concern club members and individual enthusiasts. 
One of the best ways to keep us abreast of what’s going on and what’s important to the vehicle hobbies nationwide is for us to receive your club newsletters and updates. Please consider placing SEMA on your mailing list. Send correspondence to: SEMA Action Network, 1317 F Street, N.W., Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20004-1105. Or by e-mail to san@sema.org