Montana Governor Signs Street Rod/Custom Vehicle Bill Into Law
Massachusetts and Maine next to consider pro-hobby legislation
Enthusiasts in "Big Sky Country" scored a major victory as SEMA-model legislation (S.B. 507), which creates vehicle titling and registration classifications for street rods and custom vehicles, was signed into law by Governor Brian Schweitzer. Montana joins Illinois, Missouri and Rhode Island
as states that have enacted the bill into law.
Sponsored by State Senator John Brueggeman, the new law 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 allows for the use of non-original materials and creates titling criteria that assigns these vehicles the same model-year designation as the production vehicle they most closely resemble. Vehicles titled and registered as street rods and custom vehicles may only be used for occasional transportation, exhibitions, club activities, parades, tours and similar events.
"It's been great working with SEMA and the hobbyist community in our state," said Brueggeman. "We've managed to craft and pass a piece of legislation that inserts common sense into titling and registration for customs and street rods with the added bonus of only requiring the display of one
The legislation is the product of months of consultation with the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA), state legislators, regulators, local police departments and the hobbyist community.
"Backed by the hard work and perseverance of Senator Brueggeman, we are extremely gratified that Montana will join the list of states that recognize street rods and customs as distinct classes of vehicles," said SEMA Vice President, Government Affairs Steve McDonald. "The new law offers the
benefit of also including qualifying replicas and kit cars in these specialty vehicle titling and registration classifications."
Lawmakers in New England are also looking to enact the SEMA-model legislation as two identical versions of the bill (H.B. 2156 and H.B. 2212) have been introduced in Massachusetts. In addition, officials in Maine are looking to add the custom-vehicle portion of the bill (H.B. 806) to their
existing street-rod-friendly laws.
"The model bill will continue to be pursued by SEMA in states that either don't have registration classifications for these vehicles or have laws that are lacking in some way," said McDonald. "Efforts are ongoing this year to work on this initiative in these states and we hope to add others to that list in the coming legislative sessions."
For more information on the bill or to learn how to pursue a plan to enact the model into law in a specific state, contact Steve McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org. A copy of the model bill can also be downloaded from the SAN website at www.semasan.com.
Hot Rodders Get Ready to Hit the Road
It¹s that time of year again! So check your tires, fill the gas tank and get ready for the long haul. In its 11th year, the Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour will draw enthusiasts from across the country for this pilgrimage across the heartland. Starting at Miller Park in Milwaukee, the convoy of collectibles will travel over 1,500 miles before pulling into Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida. Over the seven days, participants will pass through seven states, stop at venues in seven cities, and the SEMA Action Network (SAN) will be there covering every mile of it.
Whether you're a long hauler or are just planning to attend one of the stops along the way, be sure to stop by the SAN RV and meet with Jason Tolleson, director of the SAN. Bring your fellow car guys and gals and have them join this nationwide partnership between vehicle clubs, enthusiasts and members of the specialty automotive parts industry who have joined together to oppose harmful legislative initiatives and promote hobby-friendly legislation. The more people that get involved, the more we can all stand up to protect our hobby.
For daily updates, pictures and a diary from the road, check out the SAN website at www.semasan.com.
2005 Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour
June 4 - Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
June 5 - Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, Illinois
June 6 - Indianapolis Raceway Park, Indianapolis, Indiana
June 7 - Gaylord Opryland Resort, Nashville, Tennessee
June 8 - Birmingham Race Course, Birmingham, Alabama
June 9 - North Florida Fairgrounds, Tallahassee, Florida
June 10 - Osceola Heritage Park, Kissimmee, Florida
* For more information about the Power Tour, visit their website at www.hotrod.com/powertour.
LEGISLATIVE QUICK HITS
Georgia Blue Dots: Legislation permitting the use of blue-dot taillights on antique, hobby and special-interest vehicles was signed into law by Governor Sonny Perdue. The new law, which contains SEMA-written provisions, allows blue light or lights of up to one inch in diameter as part of a vehicle's rear stop lamps, rear turning indicator lamps, rear hazard lamps and rear reflectors.
Illinois Blue Dots: SAN-supported legislation to allow antique vehicles to display a blue light of up to one-inch diameter as part of the vehicle's rear stop lamps was recently passed by the Illinois Legislature and has been transmitted to the governor for his approval. The measure recognizes that
blue dot taillights have no detrimental impact on safety and allows enthusiasts to modify their vehicles to recall in fine detail the glory days of the hot rod era in America.
Maine Inoperable Vehicles: Working with officials from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Maine Municipal Association, the SAN modified legislation (L.D. 1268) that originally threatened to take away the current hobbyist exemption from the state's graveyard laws. As introduced, the bill would have required hobbyists to get business licenses and be regulated as automobile graveyards. Under the SAN amendment, hobbyists would retain the exemption but would be required to shield project cars from public view and properly handle vehicle fluids to prevent environmental contamination. The modified bill was approved by the Natural Resources Committee.
New York Spinners: SAN-opposed legislation (S.B. 4740) that would prohibit the "sale or use" of motor vehicles equipped with spinner hubcaps has been introduced in the New York State Legislature. Under the bill, vehicle owners could be fined up to $150 for a first offense, up to $300 for a second offense and up to $750 for a third or subsequent offense. The legislation also proposes to fine those who sell spinner hubcaps $150 for each violation. The measure ignores the fact that custom wheels are not prohibited by Federal law and that spinner hubcaps have no proven
detrimental effect on motor-vehicle safety. Earlier this year, the SAN defeated similar legislation in Iowa and Virginia.
New York Registration: The New York State Legislature has introduced a bill (A.B. 7413) that would change the existing $23 annual registration fee for historic motor vehicles to a one-time $23 fee. Current law allows a vehicle to be registered as historic if it is 25 years old or older, or if the DMV
determines that the vehicle has historical, classic or exhibit value. The SAN-supported bill has been referred to the Senate Transportation Committee for consideration.
South Carolina Property Tax: SAN-supported legislation (S.B. 776) has been introduced in the South Carolina State Legislature to provide an exemption from property taxes for motor vehicles licensed and registered as antiques. South Carolina law defines an "antique" as every motor vehicle which is "over 25 years old, is owned solely as a collector's item and is used for participation in club activities, exhibits, tours, parades and similar uses, but in no event used for general transportation." The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance for consideration.
A Tale of Two Bills
Massachusetts and Pennsylvania reintroduce bills to ban aftermarket exhaust systems
They're back! For the second year in a row, lawmakers in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania have introduced legislation that would restrict the sale and use of aftermarket exhaust systems. The Massachusetts bill (H.B. 2011) seeks to ban the sale or installation of 'an exhaust system which has been modified in a manner which will amplify or increase the noise emitted by the exhaust.' Unlike previous versions, the bill now contains language to exclude limited-use 'antique motor cars.' Current law defines 'antique motor cars' as those vehicles over 25 years old which are used exclusively for exhibitions, club activities, parades, etc. This provision is a clear attempt to divide the auto hobby in this state. The bill is currently before the House Transportation Committee.
Lawmakers in Pennsylvania are also considering legislation (H.B. 1330) that would prohibit the sale and use of exhaust systems other than the 'factory-installed muffler' or a 'muffler meeting factory specifications.' The bill has been referred to the House Transportation Committee. These proposals ignore the performance, durability and appearance benefits provided from these aftermarket systems without increasing emissions.
Visit www.semasan.com to view copies of the legislative action alerts, which includes the necessary contact information for enthusiasts in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania to call or e-mail their state lawmakers.
Emissions Exemption Becomes Law in Arizona
Enthusiasts in Arizona scored a majority victory as legislation (H.B. 2357) which exempts qualified collectible vehicles from the state¹s mandatory emissions inspection and maintenance program was signed into law by Governor Janet Napolitano. Under a SEMA amendment, vehicles would have to be either at least 15 years old or of unique design, limited production and an object of curiosity. Owners would have to maintain appropriate collectible or classic automobile insurance and their vehicles would be primarily used for car club activities, exhibitions, parades, etc. and only infrequently used for other purposes. The new law must now be adopted by the U.S. EPA as part of Arizona¹s state implementation plan for air quality.
The SAN is indebted to the members of the Arizona Automotive Hobbyist Council whose countless phone calls, e-mails and visits to the state house in Phoenix played an essential role in getting this bill signed into law.
On The Road Again
We invite you to stop by and meet with Jason Tolleson, director of the SEMA Action Network, at these events in June:
Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour
(See page 1 for dates and locations)
Third Annual Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Court Ruling Requires That Environmental Groups Must Prove Harm to Species: In a closely watched land issue case in Idaho, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that plaintiffs seeking injunctions under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) must present actual evidence that a species is likely to be harmed. The court indicated that the lack of evidence of past harm to a species is indicative of the likelihood of future harm. This is an important victory for off-road enthusiasts in countering ongoing land closures. In recent years environmental groups have been able to get injunctions to ban off-road use based on mere allegations of harm to species. The case was remanded back to a lower court to revise the type of evidence that can be included in ESA cases.
Beehive State Turns Into Off-road Battleground: Three recent announcements regarding land use in Utah continue to keep the national spotlight on this state as off-road organizations and environmental groups battle over access to these areas.
An emergency petition was filed with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to restrict off-highway vehicles (OHVs) in the Factory Butte area in Central Utah. At question are 166,000 acres of land located east of the Capitol Reef National Park, of which only 3,800 acres are currently closed to OHVs. The environmental groups want nearly 50,000 acres to be closed on the premise that OHVs are crushing endangered plants and accelerating soil erosion. The petition responds to the BLM¹s preliminary proposal to close only 4,700 acres, maintain 6,000 of open unrestricted use, and permit limited use on the remaining 156,000 acres.
Congress is also getting involved in this fight as over 165 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed on to support legislation that would declare 9.5 million-acres in Utah as wilderness. However, notably absent from this list are the five members of the Utah Congressional delegation. The "America's Red Rock Wilderness Act" has been introduced in the House every year since 1989 and in the Senate since 1997. Facing an ongoing trend of similar wilderness legislation introduced by those outside of the affected region, House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo has requested the support of the state¹s congressional delegation and local communities as a prerequisite for consideration of wilderness legislation.
Along those lines, Sen. Bob Bennett and U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson, both members of the Utah delegation have agreed to introduce legislation to protect up to 43,000 acres of wilderness lands around Zion National Park and in Washington County. This is home to St. George, one of the nation¹s fastest growing metropolitan areas. The SAN will continue to track these legislative proposals and provides updates in Driving Force and on the off-road section of the SAN website.
HEY, THAT'S MY CAR!
A Girl's Best Friend
Owner: Cheri Embree
San Diego, California
Twenty years ago I walked home from high school to see a beat up red Mustang in the driveway. This was a common occurrence since my Dad worked on everyone's car so I thought nothing of it. Also parked in the driveway was a beige '72 Toyota Corona, which for $550 was going to become my first car.
I walked into the house and casually asked Dad "whose Mustang is that?" His answer: 'yours.'" My first thought was "oh crap! I only have $350 saved up." Well, $200 to the original owner and $45 to the tow company and I was its new owner. I went out into the driveway and there was an instant bond of girl and car. The lifelong friendship had begun.
Specs (2001 restoration): Ford 302 motor, AOD transmission, Paxton supercharger, MSD ignition, disc brakes, eclipse sound system, and fiberglass front end from '67 Shelby.
Thanks to all who have sent in or e-mailed us photos. Please continue to send us photos of your trail rides, restorations in progress, rod runs, car shows, charity events and drag races. Kindly submit pictures to: email@example.com.
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 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We Get Letters
Dear Driving Force:
I read in the May issue about the inoperable vehicle law that was signed into law in Kentucky. As a lifelong car hobbyist, I have frequently used parts cars in undertaking restoration projects. While I agree that hobbyists should consider those around them and not turn their property into junkyards, lawmakers should also consider writing reasonable and fair legislation which allows us to work on and store these vehicles. What can I do to help pass similar laws here in Ohio?
-- Joe Stevens
The Kentucky law was based on SEMA-model legislation that provides a statewide solution to the public-nuisance laws introduced on the municipal or county level. The legislation allows for junked, wrecked or inoperable vehicles, including parts cars, to be stored on private property as long as they are maintained our of ordinary public view.
The first step to getting this bill enacted in Ohio, or any state for that matter, would be to contact your State Representative or State Senator and make them aware of this ongoing issue. You should also pass along to these elected officials a copy of the SEMA-model bill, which can be downloaded
from our website at www.semasan.com. Once the bill is introduced, SAN members throughout the state will receive Legislative Action Alerts asking that they contact their own representatives and senators in support of this legislation.
If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact the SAN at 202/783-6007, ext. 39 or at email@example.com.
June 4-5, Pleasanton
12th Summer Get Together
Information: www.good-guys.com or 925/838-9876
June 11, Long Beach
The O.C.T.O. Show 2005
Sponsor: Orange County Transporter Org.
Information: www.octo.org or 714/374-7506
June 25, Rancho Cordova
Mopar Day at the Park XII
Sponsor: Capital City Mopars
Information: www.capitalcitymopars.com or 916/455-5417
June 5, Windsor Locks
4C¹s Auto Show and Aircraft Exhibit
Sponsor: Connecticut Council of Car Clubs
Information: www.ctccc.com or 860/623-3906
June 5, Waterford
British by the Sea, 18th Annual Gathering
Sponsor: Connecticut MG Club
June 11, Middlebury
Classic Car Show
Sponsor: Blood Sweat & Gears Club
Information: www.bloodsweatandgearscar-club.com or 203/931-0886
June 26, Bridgewater
Antique and Classic Auto Show
Sponsor: Housatonic Valley Region AACA
June 5, Wilmington
Riverfront Camaro Show
Sponsor: Kruise Kahunaville
Information: www.kahunaville.com/events_kruise or 302/528-7731
June 10-12, McCook
Adventure Driver Route 66
Sponsor: Route 66 Association of Illinois
June 10-12, Indianapolis
17th Hot Rod Nationals
Information: www.good-guys.com or 925/838 9876
June 5, Cedar Rapids
24th Annual Chevy and Chevy Powered Car Show
Sponsor: Hawkeye Area Classic Chevy Club
Information: www.hacc.com or 319/265-0323
June 17-19, Bowling Green
National Hot Rod Reunion
June 23-26, Fryeburg
20th Annual Rod Run
Sponsor: Rod and Kustom Kruisers of Maine
June 25-26, North East
18th Annual Mid-Atlantic Chevelle Show
Sponsor: Maryland Chevelle Club
June 4, Sandwich
15th Annual Rock and Roll Rumble
Information: 508/888-3300 x122
June 19, Holliston
"It's Father¹s Day - Celebrate It Your Way"
Sponsor: Dominators Hot Rod Club
June 5, Hibbing
11th Annual "Blast from the Past" Car Show
Sponsor: Shifters Car Club
June 17-19, St. Paul
32nd Annual Back to the 50¹s Weekend
Sponsor: Minnesota Street Rod Association
June 5, Warrenton
7th Annual Charity Car and Model Show
Sponsor: American Roadhouse Car Club
June 5, Omaha
29th Annual Swap Meet and Car Show
Sponsor: Midwest Early Corvette Club
June 11, Reno
Classics in Paradise
Sponsor: Classic Chevys of Reno
Information: www.classicchevyclubreno.com or 775/358-5630
June 26, Hammonton
Cruisin' Classics 19th Annual Auto Show
Sponsor: Cruisin' Classics Auto Club, FACA
Information: www.cruisinclassics.net or 609/561-2581
June 11-12, Rochester
31st Annual Outdoor Car Show
Sponsor: Street Machines of Rochester
Information: www.streetmachinesof-rochester.com or 585/663-0393
June 19, Cazenovia
Sponsor: MG Club of Central New York
June 26, Liverpool
Annual Car Show and Swap Meet
Sponsor: Central New York Street Rods
Information: www.cnystreetrods.org or 315/463-1730
June 26, Woodlawn
Motoring For Mercy Flight Car Show
Sponsor: Southern Tier Auto Buffs
Information: www.southerntierautobuffs.com or 716/652-8876
June 4-5, Lancaster
42nd Annual Spring Festival
Sponsor: Lancaster Old Car Club
June 11, McConnelsville
20th Annual M&M Jaycees All Open Cruise-In
June 17-19, Medford
Medford Cruise 2005
Sponsor: Medford Cruise
June 3-5, Carlisle
Carlisle All Ford Nationals
June 11, York Springs
Antique Car and Truck Show
Sponsor: Gettysburg Region AACA
June 22-24, Carlisle
Carlisle All GM Nationals
June 25, Hershey
Tenth Annual Expo Car Show
Sponsor: AACA Museum
June 25, Trexlertown
12th Annual Classy Cruisers Club Show Sponsor: Class Cruisers Club
June 5, West Warwick
13th Annual Pontiac/GMC Show
Sponsor: Little Rhody Pontiac Chapter, POCI
June 10-11, Milford
Milford USA Yester-Years Car Show
Sponsor: Lions Club and Oldies Productions
Information: www.jchackett.com or 801/450-4494
June 5, Westminster
25th Annual Car Show and Flea Market
Sponsor: Now and Then Vehicles Club
June 9-11, Manchester
Hildene Car Show Weekend
Sponsor: Conn. Valley Region AACA & VMCCA
June 3-5, Yorktown
10th Annual Show Weekend
Sponsors: Grafton Dodge, Li'l Red Express and Warlock Owners Club
June 17, Tacoma
Tacoma Model T Club Car Show
Sponsor: Tacoma Model T Club
June 11-12, Princeton
Yesterday¹s Rides Car and Motorcycle Show
Sponsor: Yesterday¹s Rides Car Club
June 12, Wauwautosa
22nd Annual Renner Oldsmobile Show
Sponsor: Oldsmobile Club of Wisconsin
June 17-19, Warrens
The Wizards of Rods 24th Annual Fun Run
Sponsor: Wizards of Rods
Early July 2005 Events
July 1-3, Fontana
Sponsor: Shelby American Automobile Club
July 1-3, Des Moines
14th Heartland Nationals
Information: www.good-guys.com or 925/838-9876
July 2, Grafton
15th Annual Rods-n-Relics Car Show
Sponsor: Rods-n-Relics Car Club
Information: www.rodsnrelics.org or 262/242-3834