History in the Making...
Lawmakers across the country are showing their support for the antique automobile hobby by introducing legislation to reduce the burden in owning and registering these vintage vehicles. These measures, which range from emissions exemptions to reduced or one-time registration fees and to expanding existing “limited use” restrictions, further on-going efforts to highlight the importance and historic significance of the antique auto hobby.
“Legislators everywhere continue to recognize the immeasurable amount of time, money and effort automotive hobbyists invest in their cars. These bills represent an opportunity for lawmakers to acknowledge their commitment to the hobby,” said Steve McDonald, SEMA vice president of government affairs. “These SAN-supported proposals not only encourage increased participation in the auto hobby but also will ensure that the hobby will be enjoyed by future generations.”
One such measure, which would exempt qualified collectible vehicles 15 years and older from mandatory state emissions inspections, is currently under consideration by the Arizona Legislature. The bill (H.B. 2357) defines collectible vehicles as 15 years old or older or of unique or rare design, of limited production and an object of curiosity. These vehicles are maintained primarily for car club activities, exhibitions, parades, etc., and are used infrequently for other purposes. The measure was virtually unopposed as it moved through the House of Representatives. It now awaits consideration by the Arizona State Senate.
Another initiative introduced in North Dakota proposes to eliminate the excise tax on the purchase of an automobile or truck that is eligible for registration as a “collector’s motor vehicle” or as an “antique motor vehicle.” Current North Dakota law defines an antique vehicle as at least 40 years old and a collector vehicle as at least 25 years old. Sponsored by State Senator John Syverson, the bill (S.B. 2314) passed the Senate by an overwhelming margin. “This measure shows our appreciation for the antique auto hobby,” said Syverson. “By reducing the costs to purchase and collect these vehicles, we hope to give back to those who play a role in preserving this important part of our history and heritage.”
Pro-hobby legislation has also been introduced in the Empire State through a proposal to allow historical-vehicle owners to pay a one-time registration fee of $100 for a qualifying vehicle. Under current New York law, a historical motor vehicle is either a vehicle manufactured more than 25 years ago or one that has unique characteristics and that is determined to be of historic, classic or exhibition value. The one-time fee would replace the current annual fee of $23. Through this bill (S.B. 59), the reduced registration fee would be available to an owner of a historical vehicle owned and operated as an exhibition piece or collector’s item and used for club activities, exhibits, tours, parades, occasional transportation and similar uses.
Similar legislation has also been introduced in Maryland. Sponsored by State Senator Larry Haines, the bill (S.B. 13) will provide for a registration class for antique motor vehicles and reduced registration fees for vehicles manufactured before 1946 that have not been substantially altered from the manufacturer’s original design. The measure would exempt antique vehicles from annual registration fees and require a one-time-only registration fee of $25.50, provide for a special antique motor vehicle registration plate and exempt these vehicles from periodic inspections.
Continuing in this trend, Missouri lawmakers are considering legislation (H.B. 262) to repeal the requirement that historic-vehicle owners submit their cars for biennial safety inspections. The measure would require only that vehicles registered as historic undergo an initial one-time inspection. As currently defined under Missouri law, a historic vehicle is 25 years old or older, owned as a collector’s item and is limited to 1,000 miles per year for personal use.
Finally, legislation (H.B. 121) introduced before the Iowa General Assembly would expand the purposes for which a motor vehicle registered as an antique may be used to include “other occasional use.” Under current Iowa law, use of antique vehicles, defined as 25 years old or older, is strictly limited to participation in exhibitions, entertainment or educational purposes. Many Iowa vehicle owners whose cars qualify for the antique registration class have chosen to register as “daily drivers” to avoid the limited-use restrictions and are, by consequence, paying the higher fees required of cars that are registered under this class.
“The SAN is truly grateful to all the car clubs and individual enthusiasts who contacted their elected officials asking that they support these measures,” said Jason Tolleson, director of the SEMA Action Network. “Their tireless efforts reflect the continued commitment to preserve the antique auto hobby.” The SAN would also like to thank Haggerty Insurance and the Haggerty Protection Network for their assistance in spreading the word on these important pieces of legislation.
LEGISLATIVE QUICK HITS
Illinois Inoperable Collector Vehicles: A bill (H.B. 25) has been reintroduced in Illinois that would further restrict the ability of Illinois vehicle hobbyists from maintaining inoperable vehicles on private property. The SAN-opposed legislation removes historic vehicles over 25 years of age from a list of vehicles exempt from county inoperable vehicle ordinances if they are not kept within a building. Under current law, a county board may declare all inoperable vehicles a nuisance and order their disposal. This bill, if enacted, would subject ungaraged historic hobby cars to disposal and possible fines and would give local authorities an inordinate amount of power in determining the disposition of historic project cars. The measure would make it virtually impossible for Illinois hobbyists to maintain inoperable collector vehicles on private property.
Iowa Spinner Hubcaps: In what could be the state's first step in limiting custom wheel and hubcap options for motor vehicle enthusiasts, legislation (HF 108) that would prohibit motor vehicles equipped with spinner hubcaps has been introduced in the Iowa Legislature. The SAN-opposed bill ignores the fact that spinner hubcaps have no proven detrimental effect on motor vehicle safety and are not prohibited by Federal law.
Maine Nitrous Oxide: SAN-supported legislation (H.B. 67) introduced in Maine would further expand permissible highway use of vehicles equipped with nitrous-oxide systems to also include those en route to a car show, off-highway competition or fill station. In 2003, working with the Maine Custom Auto Assoc-iation, the SAN helped amend Maine legislation that originally threatened to prohibit the operation of vehicles equipped with nitrous oxide or other “power booster systems” (e.g. superchargers) on public roads.
Montana Vehicle Fenders: Working with enthusiasts in Montana, the SAN persuaded lawmakers to table legislation (H.B. 323) that would have required the use of fenders, splash aprons or mud flaps on vehicles. The bill included vehicles for which these items were not even required when the vehicle was manufactured. While current law in Montana exempts street rods, H.B. 323 would prohibit some specialty vehicles, including replicas and kit cars, from maintaining the same look as the original production vehicle without having to add unnecessary fenders or other devices to comply with the law.
New Hampshire Inoperable Collector Vehicles: A SAN-supported bill (H.B. 493) has been introduced in the New Hampshire State Legislature that would expand the means by which hobbyists in the state could block visual access to antique vehicle restoration projects and parts. Current New Hampshire law requires that all antique restoration projects are kept out of view by means of storage inside a permanent structure, by suitable fencing or by trees and shrubbery suitable to block year-round visual access. Under the measure, hobbyists could additionally screen these vehicles from public view by qualifying mobile temporary structures.
Tennessee Custom Vehicle: Legislation has been introduced in the Tennessee House of Representatives (H.B. 320) and Senate (S.B. 812) that would create vehicle registration and titling classifications for custom vehicles and provide for special license plates for these vehicles. H.B. 320 and S.B. 812 define a custom as an altered vehicle at least 25 years old and of a model year after 1948. Under the bills, kit cars and replica vehicles will be assigned a certificate of title bearing the same model-year designation as the production vehicle it most closely resembles. The bills mirror model legislation created by SEMA and recently enacted in Illinois, Missouri and Rhode Island.
Virginia Spinner Hubcaps: Working with enthusiasts in Virginia, the SAN defeated legislation (H.B. 2390) that would prohibit motor vehicles equipped with spinner wheels. The SAN convinced Virginia legislators that spinner hubcaps have no proven detrimental effect on motor vehicle safety and are not prohibited under Federal law. The measure also ignored the fact that there is federal oversight of spinners since manufacturers are required to notify the federal government of a safety problem or defect related to motor
vehicle equipment within five days of becoming aware of such issue.
Virginia Altered-Height Vehicles: SAN-opposed legislation that would have included height-altered pickup or panel trucks under the scope of vehicles required to maintain a bumper height within the range of 14 to 22 inches has been defeated by the Virginia State Legislature. In a letter to the bill's sponsor, the SAN argued that the measure would have banned reasonably altered vehicles due to overstated concerns with bumper mismatch, forced owners of many modified vehicles to spend large sums of money to reinstall original components and banned useful alterations that provide adequate clearance for on-/off-road capability and accommodate heavy loads, larger tires, improved suspension and water-fording capability. In addition, the bill did not account for new vehicles coming off the assembly line with bumper heights significantly higher than 22 inches. The SAN supports reasonable and relevant regulations at both the state and federal levels, consistent with the current model policy of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). However, this measure would have imposed restrictive vehicle bumper height requirements on these trucks without substantiating that the legislation would have improved or provided highway safety or provide other tangible benefits.
California: A federal judge ordered the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to close off-highway vehicle (OHV) access to more than half a million acres of California desert that is home to a desert tortoise protected under the Endangered Species Act. The ban covers large portions of the Sonoran and Mojave deserts in eastern San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial counties east of the Salton Sea and Joshua Tree National Park, including a number of washes popular with off-roaders. (The ban does not affect the Algodones Dunes in Imperial County, where off-roaders and conservationists reached a separate, interim settlement banning access to about 80,000 acres and allowing off-road use of another 80,000 acres.) The ban took effect immediately and will remain in effect until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rewrites habitat protection plans for the area. The SAN joined with OHV groups in expressing disappointment in the decision, which adds more acreage to the millions already closed to OHV access across the western United States. The SAN is also concerned that it will be difficult for the BLM to post signs to distinguish between legal and illegal OHV access areas.
Oregon: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a draft plan to close more than 90,000 acres to off-road-vehicle users in central Oregon, including a section called the Badlands that is subject to wilderness designation. The closure would prohibit all motorized vehicles on the last 10 miles of routes currently still open within the 32,000 acre Badlands. Another 40 miles of roads and trails are already closed. The off-highway-vehicle ban is part of the Upper Deschutes Resource Management Plan, which will guide the long-term management of 400,000 acres of public land in central Oregon. Public comments on the BLM plan are due by February 14.
Eagle One Honors Four Car Clubs With Golden Rule Award
Four car clubs have been honored by Eagle One with the prestigious Golden Rule Award for conducting the most outstanding community service program in their region during 2004. This marks the 12th year that the leading maker of appearance care products has recognized and rewarded car clubs for exemplary community involvement.
And the Winners Were:
West - Cal-Rods Car Club, West Covina, CA
Midwest - Shelby Shifters Car Club, Shelbyville, IN
East - Syracuse Corvette Club, Liverpool, NY
South - Pee Dee Street Rodders, Effingham, SC.
The clubs will receive a cash donation of $250 from Eagle One and $250 from Valvoline for a charity of their choice. They will also receive a custom-designed plaque and a generous supply of Eagle One products and 10 cases of Valvoline MaxLife motor oil for fund raising purposes.
Runners-up in each region were:
Roamin Angels, Grass Valley, CA
Kalamazoo Antique Auto Restorers, Lawton, MI
Wheels That Heal Car Club, Parsonsburg, MD
Southwest Virginia Car Council, Blue Ridge, VA
Each club received a generous supply of Eagle One and Valvoline products and an Award of Merit. Entry forms for next year's awards will be available for downloading in mid-September by visiting www.eagleone.com. Eagle One is a division of The Valvoline Company.
[Editor’s Note: Cal-Rods Car Club, Syracuse Corvette Club, Kalamazoo Antique Auto Restorers and the Southwest Virginia Car Council are all SAN members. Congratulations to each of these fine clubs! Well done!]
Wisconsin Club Donates $1,500 in Tools and Equipment to Local High School
Over 130 Automotive Technology students in Grafton, Wisconsin, will benefit this year from the generosity of local old-car enthusiasts who care about the auto hobby. The members of the Rods-N-Relics Car Club donated $1,500 worth of MAC tools, including a portable electronic diagnostic testing devise, for use in auto tech classes at Grafton High School. In addition to the club's donation, MAC Tools regional distributor Tim Senkbeil added another $300 worth of tools to the collection. Grafton auto class teacher Carl Hader accepted the gifts on behalf of students and the local school district. Hader, who also chairs Grafton's Technology Education Department, teaches six classes of 22 students each in a modern automotive facility on the campus.
“Our goal”, said Rods-N- Relics Club President Mark Schueller, “is to provide the wherewithal to teach auto-mechanic skills in the hopes that some of the students who benefit will desire careers in automotive service, technology, engineering and perhaps even want to carry on enjoying our hobby. We like to give basic tools as well as some of the more sophisticated implements in hopes these kids will learn it all from rebuilding a carburetor to diagnosing electronic engine controls.”
HEY, THAT'S MY CAR!
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air 2 door Hardtop
Owner: Ken Mueller II
“I enjoy cruising in the car with my family: wife Lynda, daughter Jamie, sons Kam and Brent, and granddaughter Juliet. We go to local cruise nites, Club events, and the annual Woodward Dream Cruise. I belong to a club called The Woodward Tri Five Cruisers ('55, '56 and '57 Chevys only). They are a great group of people to spend time and cruise with, plus we all share the same interest of our Classic Tri Five Chevys.”
Specs: 350 Chevy crate motor; Muncie 4 speed and 3.55 posi rear axle. It sits on four P245/60R15 BFG T/A radials and Cragar wheels. Interior: original-looking black and dark blue cloth with medium blue vinyl. Paint: Larkspur Blue with an India ivory top.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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:
ANTIQUE/ HISTORIC VEHICLES
Connecticut SB 190: Permits motor vehicles 20 years old or older to be registered as antique motor vehicles.
Nebraska LB 275: Relates to registration applications. Changes “historical vehicle” to mean a vehicle that is 30 or more years old. Changes calculation of age of kit car to year reflected on certificate of title.
Alaska SB 18: Relates to motor vehicles equipped with data recording or transmitting devices. Requires disclosure of device by seller to buyer and sets guidelines for downloading or retrieving information recorded by device.
Alaska HB 12: Relates to televisions and monitors in motor vehicles. Prohibits watching television while operating a motor vehicle. Prohibits the installation of TVs and monitors in a vehicle where they are capable of being viewed by the driver. Sets penalties.
Connecticut HB 5086: Concerns the operation of DVD players in motor vehicles. Prohibits the operation of DVD players within the view of motor vehicle operators
Hawaii HB 857: Amends current statute to allow director of transportation to set limits on the number of decibels a vehicle may emit and to establish a testing requirement for official inspection stations.
New Jersey AB 3738: Requires aftermarket mufflers to be certified to operate at a certain noise level. Department of Environmental Protection to establish new noise standards.
Vermont HB 43: Requires all motor vehicles to be equipped with a muffler or other equipment or device to reduce noise. States new maximum allowable noise level shall not exceed 82 decibels on the A scale at 50 feet in a normal operation environment.
Hawaii HB 223: Requires the use of headlights during periods of inclement weather when visibility is reduced to a distance of 1,000 feet or less. Requires headlights to be used during conditions requiring continuous use of windshield wipers.
Indiana HB 1238: Requires a vehicle to display lighted headlamps and illuminating devices when weather conditions require continuous operation of windshield wipers.
Iowa HF 9: Requires the use of vehicle headlamps when a vehicle's windshield wipers are in use
Kansas SB 81/ HB 2127: Requires the use of headlights when windshield wipers are in use as a result of smoke, fog, rain, sleet or snow. Does not require lights when wipers are used only intermittently
New York AB 127/ SB 430: Provides that no light of any color shall be affixed to or displayed on the windshield wipers of any motor
STREET RODS/ REPLICAS
Maine HB 298: Repeals the requirement of membership in a qualified street rod owners’ organization to qualify a vehicle as a street rod.
Nebraska LB 587: Defines replica vehicle. Provides for certificates of title, registration, license plates and taxation for replica motor vehicles
Nebraska LB 663: Changes and eliminates provisions relating to certificates of title and license plates for assembled, kit and historical vehicles.
Connecticut SB 778: Transfers administration duties of the motor vehicle emissions testing program to the Department of Environmental Protection no later than July 1, 2005.
Connecticut HB 6330: Requires the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Transportation to report to the General Assembly on the effectiveness of the new motor vehicle emissions program.
Hawaii SB 1553: Directs the Department of Health to establish greenhouse gas emissions standards that achieve maximum feasible reduction of greenhouse gases emitted by passenger vehicles, light-duty trucks and other noncommercial vehicles.
Connecticut HB 5448: Requires that motor vehicle racetrack and exhibition centers be assigned an inspector from the DMV to inspect racecars.
Minnesota SB 595: Prohibits speed contests and individuals from being spectators at speed contests. Provides definitions and sets penalties
New Hampshire HB 90: Relates to private driving instruction and exhibition facilities. Repeals exemptions of private driving instruction and exhibition facilities from rules pertaining to motor vehicle racetracks.
New York AB 212: Sets penalties for any person who is knowingly present at a prohibited motor vehicle speed contest, exhibition of speed or race for the purpose of watching the event as a spectator
Texas HB 369: Relates to prohibited racing on public highways. Gives definitions of various types of motor vehicle racing and provides fines and punishments for violations
Vermont HB 57: Amends definition of negligent operation of a motor vehicle to include operating a motor vehicle on a public highway for the purpose of racing.
March 5, Mobile
4th Annual Open Charity Car Show & Swap Meet
March 19 - 20, Gilbert
12th Annual ICA St. Patricks Collector Car Auction
Information: www.icaauctions.com or 800/Bid-1957
March 6, Pomona
Swap Meet, Pomona Fairplex
March 11,12,&13, Bakersfield
46th March Meet at Famoso Raceway
Sponsor: The Goodguys
Information: www.good-guys.com or 925/838-9876
March 12-13, Lake Perris
8th Annual Forbidden Fantasy
March 18-20, Santa Maria
Chevy/GMC Truckin' Nationals
March 19 & 20, Pleasanton
23rd All American Get - Together
Sponsor: The Goodguys
Information: www.good-guys.com or 925/838-9876
March 6, Enfield
Antique Auto Swap/Sell Flea Market
March 6, Hollywood
17th Annual Mopar Nationals All Mopar and AMC Car Show
March 6, Homosassa
21st Manatee Pre 1980 Car and Truck Show
Sponsor: Citrus County Cruisers
March 11-13, Panama City Beach
9th Annual Spring Fling at Frank Brown Park
Information: www.vitalsigns.org or 850/258-4077
March 12, St Simons Island
24th Annual Car Show
Sponsor: Golden Isles Antique Auto Club
March 26, Athens
Elks Charities Open Car Show
Sponsor: Elks Club
March 20, Joliet
29th Annual Show & Parts Swap
Sponsor: Corvettes Unlimited
March 12-13, Louisville
38th Annual Giant Swap Meet
Sponsor: Kyana Region AACA
March 26, Hammond
17th Annual Car Show
Sponsor: Florida Parishes Vintage Car Club of Louisiana
March 5, Poplar Bluff
Concours d'Coliseum Car Show
Sponsor: Poplar Bluff Kiwanis Club
March 11-12, Carolina Beach
Back to the Beach 2005
Sponsor: Sun Coast Cruisers
Information: www.suncoastcruisers.com or 910/383-6824
March 19-20, Lima
26th Annual Spring Auto Parts Swap Meet
March 4-6, Portland Convention Center
49th Portland Roadster Show
Sponsor: Multnomah Hot Rod Council
Information: www.portlandroadstershow.com or 503/232-4567
March 4-6, Portland
35th Model Car Contest at the
Sponsor: MHRC Scale Auto Builders
March 12, Astoria
13th Annual Astoria Swap Meet
Sponsor: Lower Columbia Classics
March 12-13, Roseburg
Roseburg Benefit Car Show
Sponsor: Umpqua Flatheads
March 18-20, Eugene
Sponsor: Reflections ST Rods
March 31 - April 2, Laughlin
Gambler Classic River Run
Information: www.gamblerclassicriverrun.com or 702/593-5777
March 6, Hamburg
38th Annual Swap Meet & Car Corral
Sponsor: Ontelaunee Region AACA
March 4-6, Fort Worth
Fort Worth Rod and Custom Show
March 18-20, Houston
16th Annual Auto Swap at Traders Village
Sponsor: San Jacinto Region AACA
March 19, Downtown Palestine
20th Annual Peoples Car Show and Parade
Sponsor: Cars of Palestine
Information: www.carsofpalestine.com or 903/723-4737
March 27, Galveston at the Strand
21st Annual Car Show
Sponsor: 1st Choice Motors and APA
March 4-6, Roanoke
25th Annual MDA Car Show
Sponsor: Roanoke Valley Charity Car Show Committee