June 2004

Missouri Shows Us the Way with Hobbyist-Friendly Legislation: The SAN Out in Front

By Conrad Wong, SAN Director, SEMA Office of Government Relations

SEMA staff will be joining the annual Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour that
starts on June 5 in Dallas, Texas, and ends
on June 11 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. This moving car and truck show will
feature more than 3,000 vehicles of all kinds, from musclecars to
custom trucks and everything in between. One of the states we’ll be
traveling through is the “Show Me” State of Missouri. On Mon-day, June
7, the tour will stop at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield.
The next day, Tuesday, June 8, we'll be going through Osage Beach on
our way to Gateway International Raceway in St. Louis. We hope you’ll
support your fellow car guys and gals by getting out there in your ride
and joining in or admiring the parade from your porches as we drive by!
Over the past few months, you’ve read in these pages about how active
and successful our legislative efforts have been in Missouri. This is
due in large part to a Missouri legislature that is hobbyist friendly
and, most importantly, to motivated and concerned SEMA Action Network
(SAN) contacts across the state working in tandem with SEMA-member
businesses. Our legislative victories show how a coordinated effort
between elected representatives and an energized grassroots
organization like the Missouri SAN can work effectively to get
favorable laws passed. The SAN members in Missouri have worked hard to
convince their legislators that these car-friendly laws are worth
fighting for. We’d like to share a couple of the stories and victories
with you. With a little effort, hobbyists in other states can enjoy the
same type of success!
The Missouri Senate and the Missouri House Transportation Committee
recently approved SEMA-model legislation that would create vehicle
registration classifications for street rods, custom vehicles, kit cars
and replicas. It would also provide for special license plates for
these vehicles. State House Representatives Larry Crawford (R-District
117) and Thomas Green (D-District 15) and State Senator John Loudon
(R-District 7) originally sponsored the bill (S.B. 1233). These
legislators deserve our thanks. Senate Bill 1233 defines a street rod
as an altered vehicle manufactured before 1949 and a custom as an
altered vehicle at least 25 years old and manufactured after 1948. The
measure also exempts street rods and customs from periodic vehicle
inspections and emissions inspections; provides that a replica vehicle
will be assigned the same model-year designation as the production
vehicle it most closely resembles; allows the use of non-original
materials; exempts street rods and custom vehicles from a range of
standard-equipment requirements; and allows the use of blue-dot
taillights. Identical legislation is also pending in Rhode Island and
New York.
The Missouri legislature also introduced a SEMA-supported bill to
exempt all vehicles at least 26 years old from the state’s
emissions-inspection requirements. Current law in Missouri exempts only
vehicles manufactured prior to the 1971 model year from emissions
inspection. Historic vehicles, defined as those over 25 years old,
owned as a collector’s item and driven up to only 1,000 miles per year
are also currently exempted. The Missouri Senate and the House
Transportation Committee passed the bill. Meanwhile, the Missouri House
passed a measure that would require the state to suspend operation of
all motor-vehicle emissions-inspection programs, regardless of vehicle
As yet, the full Missouri House of Representatives has not voted on
either the street rod/custom vehicle bill or the emissions-test
exemption for older cars. While we remain confident of success, the
bills will not become law until signed by the governor. As always, we
encourage Missouri SAN members not to take anything for granted. Please
contact your state representatives and Governor Bob Holden to request
their support.

Legislative Quick Hits

California Emissions Exemption: The California Senate Transportation
Comm-ittee approved legislation that would extend the state’s current
rolling-emissions-test exemption for vehicles 30 years old and older to
similarly aged vehicles that are brought into California from out of
state. SEMA is supporting this legislation while at the same time
seeking to defeat a California Assembly bill that would repeal entirely
the 30-year rolling emissions exemption and replace it with a provision
requiring the permanent testing of all 1976 and newer model vehicles.
(See “We Get Letters” section on p.3)

Illinois Inoperable Vehicles: SEMA defeated legislation that threatened
to further restrict the ability of vehicle hobbyists to maintain
inoperable vehicles on private property. The bill sought the removal of
historic vehicles over 25 years of age from a list of vehicles exempt
from county inoperable-vehicle ordinances if the vehicles were not kept
within a building. (Thanks to the members of Corvettes Unlimited of
Plainfield, Illinois, for their invaluable help and assistance.)

Rhode Island Exhaust Systems: Absent a last-minute push by the bill’s
sponsor, it appears that SEMA has defeated Rhode Island legislation
that would have labeled as defective an exhaust system found to be in
violation of the state’s noise-limit restrictions. The measure also
prescribed fines and replacement of the exhaust system. Given that
statutory roadside exhaust-noise tests rarely, if ever, are employed,
SEMA was concerned that this bill’s effect would have been to ban the
sale of aftermarket exhaust systems of any kind.

Rhode Island Street Rods/Custom Vehicles: The Rhode Island House of
Representatives approved SEMA-model legislation to create vehicle
registration classifications for street rods, custom vehicles, kit cars
and replicas. The bill also provides for special license plates for
these vehicles. The Rhode Island Senate now will consider the
legislation. Of note, the bill also provides that a replica vehicle
will be assigned the same model-year designation as the production
vehicle it most closely resembles, allows the use of non-original
materials and exempts these vehicles from periodic safety and emissions

Virginia Inoperable Vehicles: Virginia enacted into law SEMA-supported
legislation to limit significantly the ability of local jurisdictions
to implement restrictive ordinances preventing automobile collectors
from pursuing their hobby. Under the new law, at least two inoperable
vehicles (or more, if a locality permits) being actively repaired or
restored on private property would be exempted from any local ordinance
if shielded or screened from public view. The measure defines “shielded
or screened from view” as not visible by someone standing at ground
level from outside the property on which the inoperable vehicles are

State Legislator and Motorsports Enthusiast: Meet North Dakota State

By Suzie Carroll, SEMA Research Coordinator

North Dakota State Representative Frank Klein (R-District 36) is the
epitome of a citizen legislator. In addition to fulfilling the duties
of elected office, Klein runs a family farm, holds a full-time job and
is a member of many local boards and commissions. He was first elected
to the North Dakota House of Representatives in 2001 to represent the
constituents of District 36, which includes parts of Dunn, Hettinger,
Morton and Stark counties in southwestern North Dakota. When the legislature is in
session, Klein sits on the Finance and Taxation and the Natural
Resources Committees.

A lifelong motorsports and auto enthusiast, Klein is currently
President of the Roughriders Racing Association, which has helped to
secure funding for a new racetrack project in Dickinson, North Dakota.
Moreover, Mr. Klein has been a racecar driver for over 30 years and is
an active auto collector and restorer.

Driving Force: We know that you are an avid automobile and motorsports
enthusiast. Tell us about your vehicles and your personal interest in
the hobby.

Frank Klein: My first vehicle was a 1929 Ford Model A pickup that I
bought for $15 when I was 12 years old. This was also the beginning of
my racing career. My neighbor had a Shetland pony and we would race.
Once in a while, my ’29 would not be running on all four cylinders, and
it would look as if the horse was going to win. This was remedied by
honking the horn, spooking the horse, getting the rider bucked off, and
me winning the race. From there, I progressed to a 1949 Ford coupe with
a 283, followed by a 1957 Chevy two-door Bel Air. Then it was on to a
1970 Olds Cutlass S. From that point forward, my emphasis was on
racecars. I started racing in 1974 with a ’56 Chevy. I progressed
through the various classes and ended up with an International Motor
Contest Association (IMCA) modified. Now, when I look back through my
scrapbooks from the last 30 years, I figure that I won over 300 races
and 9 championships including the Nationals in Rapid City, South
Dakota. Currently, I race Legends cars a couple times a year, and I am
restoring a 1950, five-window Chevy pickup.

DF: Did your experience with the motorsports hobby have any impact on
your decision to run for elected office?

FK: If you race all over the countryside for 30 years and you still
have the same wife, you have a future in politics. So the answer would
be yes. I have always enjoyed competition and races of any kind,
including political.

DF: What are the issues confronting North Dakota automobile enthusiasts
that we should be concerned about?

FK: One item we need to visit during the next session is suspension
lift heights. Currently, North Dakota law allows a maximum 4-inch
suspension lift and 44-inch tires. Many new pickups have more lift
than that and exceed our current laws relating to bumper heights. I would
propose allowing up to a 49-inch tire and an 8- to 10-inch suspension

DF: Recently, SEMA partnered with the Minnesota racing community to
successfully amend a bill that would have outlawed some currently legal
motorsports events. Do you foresee any opportunities in North Dakota to
work with SEMA on issues such as these to produce proactive legislation
to protect the rights of automobile enthusiasts?

FK: I am unfamiliar with the events in Minnesota, but I would
like to work with SEMA in my state to protect the rights of auto

DF: What advice do you have for those involved in the motorsports or
collector-car hobby who would like to take an active role in protecting
their rights as enthusiasts from unnecessary government intervention?

FK: I urge motorsports enthusiasts to get to know their legislators on
a first-name basis. Just calling on them when there is an auto issue is
not enough. Put up yard signs or attend a legislative committee
session. It’s important to let them know that you are interested in all
issues, not just automotive ones. You would be surprised to know how
many legislators are car collectors, street rodders and racers!

Taking the High Road, the Low Road and No Road: News and Developments for Off-Roaders

Court Rules Against New Mexico Roads: Off-road vehicle users apparently
have hit the end of the road with respect to keeping open 12 separate
“roads” covering 9 miles within New Mexico’s 11,640-acre Robledo
Mountains Wilderness Study Area. An appeals court has upheld a 1983
ruling by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that the roads, in
use since the 1950s, are “two-track vehicle trails” that do not
constitute roads. A court also ruled that the statute of limitations
had passed for challenging the BLM’s decision to designate the land as
potential wilderness.
Utah County Appeals Limits on “Rights-Of-Way Claims”: A Utah county has
challenged a federal court ruling that limits the definition of
highways to which states and counties can claim jurisdiction under a
1866 federal mining law. The court ruled that the roadways must be
graded or otherwise constructed to serve a public purpose. Dirt routes
or two-track trails for ORVs would not fall under that definition, even
if they have been in continuous use since before the land was
designated as federal property. At issue is the opportunity to prevent
some public lands from being designated as wilderness since, by
definition, they must be “roadless.” If the court ruling stands, the
narrow definition of “road” could be cited in other court cases across
the country.
Petition to Restrict Off-Road Vehicle Use at Nevada’s Sand Mountain: A
coalition of environmental groups has petitioned the federal government
to list the Sand Mountain Blue Butterfly as an endangered species, a
move that could threaten off-road activities in the Sand Mountain
Recreation Area. Last spring, the BLM instituted a restrictive but
voluntary off-road route system within the most sensitive habitat, yet
the environmentalists claim that the system is not working.

We Get Letters

What was the outcome of the April 12 vote concerning California
Assembly Bill No. 2683 that seeks to repeal the state’s current
rolling-emissions-test exemption for vehicles 30 years old and older?
Did it pass, or (I hope) fail?

--Jay Roth

Dear Jay:

On April 12, the California Assembly’s Transportation Committee passed
AB 2683 with the minimum necessary votes, eight. The bill now has been
referred to the Assembly’s Appropriations Committee.
Unfortunately, this bill has less to do with fair and effective
air-quality policy in California and more to do with the political
blame game. Despite the fact that the environmental regulators are
often cited as the bill’s chief supporters, it is a coalition of
stationary-source polluters that is greasing the wheel. Thanks to you
and many others, we bombarded this bill like no other (committee
members registered thousands of e-mails and phone calls), and our
testimony to the Assembly’s Transportation Committee was pretty darn
compelling. Members of the Association of California Car Clubs and the
National Motorists Association also voiced their opposition. We thank
them for their steadfast efforts to block this bill. Meanwhile, the
corresponding Senate committee unanimously passed a bill that we
supported to extend the 30-year rolling exemption to vehicles that are
brought in from out of state. Interesting, huh?
We believe that our next best chance to defeat this legislation will be
if and when the bill moves to the California Senate. As indicated
above, the bill currently sits in the Assembly’s Appropriations
Committee, where we are in discussions with the Committee’s budget
analyst. We have been told that the appropriations threshold for
increased scrutiny has been lowered due to the state’s budget problems.
The analyst projects a cost for this bill at $200,000, which was not
much in years past but is pretty significant with today’s financial
This process is a long way from over. Our discussions with Governor
Schwarzenegger’s people have proven fruitful and may result in some
alternative approaches that will enable retention of the exemption in
some manner or form. Still, the Governor recently stated that he is
seeking to rid the State of California of “clunker” vehicles. We are
trying to show the Governor that he should not label a car as a
“clunker” simply because it’s old. In fact, as we all know, many older
vehicles are beautifully preserved or restored classic automobiles that
are well maintained, infrequently driven and not a good source for
emissions reductions. These vehicles are most definitely worth saving.
Thanks for your interest.

Newly Introduced Legislation

Note:  The following state bills are not laws. They were recently
introduced and are currently under consideration by the respective
state legislatures:

All-Terrain Vehicles
Minnesota SB 2793: Requires a study on the impact of off-highway
vehicle use on wetlands.

Minnesota SB 2831: Modifies off-highway vehicle requirements and
establishes an off-highway vehicle hot line. Increases civil penalty
amounts and prohibits air-intake pipes that are more than 6 inches
above the stock engine manifold.

Missouri HB 1714: Amends definition of “all-terrain vehicles” to
include off-highway vehicles that are 84 inches or less in width,
travel on four or more wheels or tracks, are intended to transport
persons and cargo, and have a top speed between 25 and 50 miles per

South Carolina HB 4921: Enacts the “All-Terrain-Vehicle-Safety Act,”
which defines an “all-terrain vehicle,” requires registration and
requires operators 16 years old and younger to complete a safety
education course. It also regulates operation and safety equipment, and
sets penalties for violations of the Act.

California AB 2128: Provides financial incentives to vehicle owners who
voluntarily retire a gross polluter or other high-emitting vehicle as
part of the Voluntary Accelerated-Light-Duty-Vehicle-Retirement
Enterprise Program.

Minnesota SB 3046: Requires the state Pollution Control Agency to adopt
rules that will conform to the same emissions standards as those
adopted in California.

Inoperable Vehicles
Louisiana HB 1593: Amends definition of “junk vehicles” to clarify the
criteria for a vehicle considered to be junked.

Louisiana SB 277: Creates the crime of vehicular manslaughter due to
operation of a vehicle in violation of current traffic law.

Rhode Island SB3024: Adds a new chapter to motor-vehicle code to
provide incentives for the purchase of low-greenhouse-gas-emitting
light-duty vehicles.

Vehicle Height
Louisiana HB 1531: Increases the maximum allowable height of vehicles
from 13 feet, 6 inches to 14 feet.



June 11-13, Irvine
20th Annual VW Classic
Sponsor: Bugorama Productions
Information: 800/929-0077

June 19-20, Modesto
6th Annual American Graffiti Car
Show and Festival
Information: 888/746-9763

June 25-26, Pomona
7th Pomona Nitro Nationals, Pomona Raceway
Sponsor: Goodguys Rod and
Custom Association
Information: 925/838-9876

June 26, Sacramento
Mopar Day at the Park XI
Sponsor: Capital City Mopars
Information: 916/721-4626

June 27, Anaheim
28th Annual Forty Ford Day, La Palma Park
Sponsor: Forties Limited of Orange County
Information: 714/968-6440

June 27, Valley Center
Buicks at Bates Nut Farm
Sponsor: Buick Grand National
Racing Association
Information: 714/772-6201


June 5-6, Lakewood
Old Car Council Swap Meet and Car Show
Information: 303/426-8843

June 25-27, Pueblo
20th Annual NSRA Rocky Mountain
Street Rod Nationals
Sponsor: National Street Rod Association
Information: www.nsra-usa.com


June 6, Waterford
17th Annual “British by the Sea” Gathering, Harkness Memorial State
Sponsor: Connecticut MG Club
Information: 860/693-4249

June 6, Windsor Locks
4C’s Auto Show and Aircraft Exhibit,
New England Air Museum
Sponsor: Connecticut Council of Car Clubs
Information: 860/623-3906 or 860/526-5729


June 4-6, Gainesville
Sunshine State Fun Ford Weekend
Sponsor: American Autosports Productions
Information: 225/664-0996


June 26, Soda Springs
6th Annual Pizza’s Run 2004
Sponsor: Main Street Cruisers
Information: 208/547-2426


June 26, Island Lake
5th Annual Island Lake All-American Car Show
Information: 847/526-1812


June 11-13, Indianapolis
16th Annual Hot Rod Nationals,
Indianapolis Raceway Park
Sponsor: Goodguys Rod and Custom Assoc.
Information: 925/838-9876


June 6, Marion
23rd Annual Chevy Car Show, Thomas Park
Sponsor: Hawkeye Area Classic Chevy Club
Information: 319/265-0323 or 319/362-9488


June 15-19, Lexington
2004 CORSA International Convention
Sponsor: Central KY Corvair and Derby City Corvair
Information:  859/278-6081

June 18-20, Bowling Green
2nd Annual NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion
Sponsor: National Hot Rod Association
Information: 909/622-8502


June 6, Hyattstown
23rd Annual Car Show, Burdette Brothers Pontiac
Sponsor: National Capital Area Chapter, Pontiac-Oakland Club
Information: 410/604-2577 or 703/768-1569

June 12, Cecil County
NCRS Annual Corvette-Only Drag Racing,
Cecil County Dragway
Information: 410/879-2542

June 18-20, Hagerstown
2004 AACA National Spring Meet
Sponsor: Tri-Valley Region LCCI
Information: 540/665-9607 or 304/258-7878

June 26-27, North East Community Park
17th Annual Mid-Atlantic Chevelle Show/ACES Northeast Regional Meet
Sponsor: Maryland Chevelle Club
Information: mdchevelleclub@aol.com


June 20, Holliston
Father’s Day Breakout on the Holliston
Historical Society Lawn
Sponsor: Dominators Hot Rod Club
Information: 508/429-7192

June 27, Belmont
Concours d’Elegance at The Beaver, Beaver Brook Reservation
Sponsor: Dominators Hot Rod Club
Information: 508/429-7192


June 24-26, St. Ignace
St. Ignace Car Show
Information: 906/643-8087

June 26, Riverview
5th Downriver Cruise on Fort Street
Sponsor: The News Herald
Information: www.cruisindownriver.com


June 6, Pine River
7th Annual Lakers Car Show, Flea Market and Swap Meet, Pine River
Sponsor: Lakers Car Club
Information: 218/568-8878 or 218/587-3661


June 6, St. Charles
American Roadhouse Spring Car Show
Sponsor: American Roadhouse Car Club
Information: 636/946-4389


June 20, Auburn
50th Anniversary Fathers Day Car Show, Emerson Park
Sponsor: Prison City Ramblers
Information: davidauto@aol.com

June 26-27, Syracuse
Sport Compact and Truck Blast
Sponsor: Right Coast Association
Information: 800/753-3978


June 25-27, Carson City
20th Annual “Run What Cha Brung,” Fuji Park
Sponsor: Karson Kruzers
Information: 775/882-0892 or 775/883-0927


June 6, Dunellen
18th Annual Antique and Custom Car Show
Sponsor: Unforgettable Autos of Mid-Jersey
Information: 732/752-2114


June 12-13, Rochester
30th Anniversary Outdoor Car Show
Sponsor: Street Machines of Rochester
Information: 585/663-0393


June 25-27, London
Double Venom Spring Fling 4
Sponsor: Classics By Elite
Information: 740/852-5280


June 10-13, Tulsa
Mid-America Performance Ford & Shelby Meet
Sponsor: SAAC-OK Region
Information: www.midamericafordmeet.com


June 4-6, York
31st Annual NSRA Street Rod Nationals East
Sponsor: National Street Rod Association
Information: www.nsra-usa.com

June 6, Schnecksville
14th Annual All-Chevy Show, Schnecksville Fire Company Pavilion
Sponsor: East Penn Late Great Chevy Club
Information: 610/285-6337


June 26-27, Anderson
8th Annual Southeastern 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals, Anderson County
Information: 317/236-6515, ext. 129


June 11-12, Milford
Yester-Years Car Show
Sponsor: Lions Club
Information: 801/487-3829


June 25-27, Lynden
Can-Am Nationals Car Show
Information: 360/398-1327


June 12, Wauwatosa
21st Annual Renner Olds Show
Information: 920/233-5875

June 26-27, Crandon
Championship Off-Road Racing
Information: 317/272-2827


June 16-20, Cheyenne
Cheyenne Thunderbird Days
Sponsor: Rocky Mountain Thunderbird Club
Information: 303/666-6766