Antique Victory in Virginia
Old Dominion Hobbyists Beat Back Antique Vehicle Restrictions
In a significant victory for Virginia hobbyists, legislation that threatened to restrict pleasure driving of antique motor vehicles was withdrawn by the bill's sponsor. The bill (H.B. 288) sought to limit the range of driving to no more than 50 miles from the owner's residence. Under current Virginia law, vehicles registered as antiques are strictly limited to club activities, exhibitions, tours and parades and to test operation, obtain repairs or maintenance and pleasure driving up to 250 miles from the owner's residence.
"This bill would have denied Virginia citizens the opportunity to enjoy the occasional long-range pleasure drive in their antique vehicles," said SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald. "The legislation disregarded the immeasurable time, money and thought automotive hobbyists, especially antique vehicle owners, invest in their cars."
While the bill sought to clarify that antique vehicles may not be used for work-related travel, supporters of the measure also considered including antique cars in the state's mandatory annual safety inspection program, claiming that many are unsafe junkers. In a message to the SAN, the sponsor of the bill said, "I am not trying to hurt the person who has a 1968 Dodge Hemi Cuda, but the person who has a 25+ year old Dodge Dart that the brakes do not work. We will work to make this happen. The bill is off the docket for this year."
Due to the tremendous response by those opposing the bill, the sponsors have agreed to work with the SAN and the various car clubs and councils in Virginia to address their concerns before similar legislation in the future.
"It all worked like a well oiled machine," said Tom Cox, AACA eastern chairman of legislative affairs and president of the Southwest Virginia Car Council. "Within hours of receiving the alert from the SAN, Virginia hobbyists from all facets of the hobby were participating in the democratic process with a unified voice. In conjunction with the SAN and the other clubs and car councils, we were able to derail the bill this year."
"Having your club, or even you as an individual, join the SAN is a win-win situation. It's fun, informative and furthers the point that there is strength in numbers," added Cox.
[Editor's note: Congratulations to all the Virginia enthusiasts, car clubs and councils, who worked so tirelessly to prevent this unnecessary and unfair change to the Virginia antique statute.]
Michigan Enthusiasts Muffle Proposed Exhaust Ban
With fierce opposition from SAN members, a Michigan bill to ban vehicles equipped with replacement exhaust systems that differ from the design specifications of the original muffler was withdrawn by its sponsor. The bill (H.B. 5543) ignored the fact that aftermarket exhaust systems are designed to make vehicles run more efficiently without increasing emissions; failed to recognize that aftermarket exhaust systems offer increased performance; and would have made it impossible for hobbyists to replace factory exhaust systems with more durable, better performing options.
"SAN members agree that aftermarket exhaust systems should not be used in a way that causes overly loud or objectionable noise," said SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald. "However, we believe that this bill would ban the sale and installation of exhaust systems that result in modest and inoffensive noise increases."
In its place, the sponsor is considering SEMA-model legislation that provides for the testing of vehicle exhaust noise to a standard adopted by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) with an established noise limit of 95-decibels (SAE J1169). Under this procedure, a calibrated sound meter (meeting industry standards) is placed 20 inches from the exhaust outlet at a 45 degree angle, the vehicle engine is revved to three quarters of maximum rated horsepower and the highest decibel reading is recorded. A 95-decibel limit has been enacted in California, Maine and Washington State.
"The SEMA-model bill is a proven method for determining violations of the vehicle code and provides fair treatment to the many law-abiding and responsible Michigan motorists who choose to customize their vehicles," added McDonald.
The SAN would like to thank the numerous Michigan enthusiasts and car clubs whose quick action put a stop to this harmful piece of legislation.
LEGISLATIVE QUICK HITS
Maryland Antique Vehicle Registration: SAN-supported legislation (S.B.184) providing for a registration class for antique motor vehicles and reduced registration fees for vehicles manufactured before 1946 has been introduced in the Maryland Senate. The bill would exempt antique vehicles from annual registration fees and require a one-time-only registration fee of $50, provide for a special antique motor vehicle registration plate and exempt the vehicles from periodic inspections. The bill is before the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.
Massachusetts Exhaust Systems: After being stalled by the SAN in 2005, a bill (H.B. 2011) 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 was approved by the Massachusetts Joint Transportation Committee. The bill had been revised from previous versions to exclude limited-use antique motor cars. This amendment represents a clear attempt by the bill's sponsor to divide the automobile hobby in an effort to gain clearer sailing for this restrictive and damaging piece of legislation. The measure has now been referred to the House Steering, Policy and Scheduling Committee.
New Jersey Exhaust Noise: A bill (A.B. 757) that would require the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to establish a decibel limit for all aftermarket mufflers sold in the state has been reintroduced in New Jersey Legislature. However, the bill gives no instruction on what the decibel limit should be. In some states, noise limits for modified exhaust systems are established by a SEMA- model bill and applicable to an easy to administer test standard. The SEMA model provides for the testing of vehicle exhaust noise to a standard adopted by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) with an established noise limit of 95-decibels (SAE J1169). The SAN has provided the sponsor with information regarding the 95-decibel and will work to incorporate it in the proposed legislation.
West Virginia Antique Vehicles: The SAN is supporting legislation (S.B. 44) to exempt owners of antique motor vehicles, antique motorcycles, classic motor vehicles and classic motorcycles from annual registration fees for these vehicles. Current West Virginia law defines antique motor vehicles and motorcycles as more than 25 years old and owned as collector items and classic motor vehicles and motorcycles as more than 25 years old and used for general transportation.
West Virginia Inoperable Vehicles: The SAN is opposing a West Virginia bill (S.B. 116) that would further restrict the ability of West Virginia vehicle hobbyists to maintain inoperable vehicles on private property. The legislation would redefine abandoned motor vehicles to include vehicles or vehicle parts which are either unlicensed or inoperable, or both, are not in an enclosed building and have remained on private property for more than 30 days. Under current law, the abandoned vehicle law applies only to vehicles on public property. The bill would make violation a misdemeanor offense punishable by substantial fines, community service and jail.
Street Rod/Custom Vehicle Legislation Roundup
In a cooperative effort between the SAN, state lawmakers, regulators, local police departments and the automotive hobby, SEMA produced model legislation to create titling and registration classifications for street rods and custom vehicles.
California: Enacted in 2001. Allows 500 specially constructed vehicles each year, including kit cars, to be held to the emissions standards for the model-year that the body of the vehicle represents.
Colorado: Bill introduced in 2006 to provide titling and registration class for kit cars. Based on the SEMA model, kit cars would be exempted from the State's emissions inspection program.
Hawaii: Enacted in 2004. Portions based on SEMA model.
Illinois: SEMA model enacted in 2002.
Maine: Custom vehicle portion of SEMA model enacted in 2005.
Massachusetts: Introduced in 2005, two separate but identical SEMA-model bills are awaiting final action by the Massachusetts Joint Transpor-tation Committee. The bills need to be approved by the committee in March in order to be enacted this year.
Missouri: SEMA model enacted in 2004.
Montana: SEMA model enacted in 2005.
New Hampshire: Introduced in 2006, the SEMA model bill is awaiting final action by the Senate Transportation Committee. A hearing on the bill was held on February 1. If approved by the Transportation Committee, the bill would go before the New Hampshire Senate for their consideration.
Oregon: Working with the SAN, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has proposed new state regulations that will exempt newly built street rods, custom cars, replicas and assembled vehicles from the state's mandatory emissions inspection program.
Rhode Island: SEMA model enacted in 2004.
Tennessee: Pending bill before the Tennessee Legislature based on SEMA model bill. The SAN is currently working with the bill's sponsor to address issues raised by the Tennessee Department of Safety, Registration and Titling.
Virginia: Bill originally introduced in 2006 which would create a vehicle registration classifications for street rods and custom vehicles. Ongoing negotiations with Virginia DMV and other officials to produce an agreement in time for 2007 session.
Each month Driving Force will feature members of the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus. The SEMA-supported caucus is a bi-partisan group of state lawmakers whose common thread is a love and appreciation for automobiles. Here are the new members:
Representative William A. Oberle
Representative Kathleen Law
Representative Bob Hasegawa
Beacon Hill, WA
Representative Chris Strow
HEY, THAT'S MY CAR!
An Exclusive Club
1949 Ford Club Coupe
Owner: Gary Bohlen
My folks owned a '49 Ford sedan which I really loved. So much so that I got into bunches of trouble after getting caught driving it without a license. Since then, I've always wanted to build one of my own. After years of searching, a buddy of mine found a '49 coupe that was in need of attention.
The car had been started but sidelined for over 10 years in a barn. Needless to say I rescued it that day. It took my buddies and I over 3 years to finish it and now there's another Ford back in the family.
Chevrolet 350ci V-8
Modified Chevrolet 350 Transmission
Ford Maverick 8 rear end
HPC headers with 2 aluminized exhaust and Turbo Cherry Bomb mufflers
Front: Mustang II - 2 dropped spindles
Rear: Stock with 1 1/2 lowering blocks
Wheels and Tires:
Ansen Sprint 17 X 6
Front and Rear 225/55R17 BF Goodrich
Pontiac Grand Am Seats, re-upholstered in Tweed/Mellow Hide/Grey
Vintage Air AC/Heater
March 17-19, Phoenix
Sponsor: Mopars Unlimited of Arizona
Information: www.moparsunlimited-ofaz.com or 602/548-4364
March 10-12, Bakersfield
47th March Meet at Famoso Raceway
Information: www.good-guys.com or 925/838-9876
March 17-19, Santa Maria
Chevy/GMC Truckin' Nationals
March 18, Orange
6th Annual SCVCOA Spring Picnic
Sponsor: SoCal Chapter, Volvo Club of America
Information: www.scvcoa.org or 951/674-0818
March 25-26, Pleasanton
23rd All American Get-Together
March 31 - April 2, Del Mar
6th Del Mar Rod and Custom Nationals
March 5, Hollywood
18th Annual Mopar Nationals
March 5, Crystal River
22nd Manatee Car and Truck Show
Sponsor: Citrus County Cruisers
March 25, Vero Beach
29th Annual Under the Oaks car show
Sponsor: Indian River AACA
March 25, Macon
Cherry Blossom Festival Mustang and Ford Show
Sponsor: Flag City Mustang Club
March 26, DuQuoin
34th Annual Auto and Truck Parts Swap Meet
Sponsor: Egyptian Antique Auto Club
March 26, Wheaton
Buick Olds Pontiac Cadillac Swap
Sponsor: Chicagoland Chapter, (BCA)
March 11-12, Louisville
39th Annual Giant Swap Meet
Sponsor: Kyana Region AACA
March 11, West Friendship
Antique Auto Parts Flea Market
Sponsor: Chesapeake Region-AACA
March 19, Troy
25th Annual Swap Meet
Sponsor: Southeast Michigan Buick Club
March 6, Rochester
2nd Annual Indoor Swap Meet
Sponsor: MN Region-AACA
March 10-12, St. Louis
Autorama: World of Wheels
March 12, Lincoln
33rd Annual Rocky Manginelli Memorial Swap Meet
Sponsor: Eastern Nebraska-Western Iowa Car Council
March 24-26, Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Mopars at the Strip
March 16-17, River Palms Resort
Gambler Classic River Run
Sponsor: Southern Nevada Classic Chevy Club
March 24-26, Albuquerque
Southwestern Musclecar Nationals
March 25, Las Cruces
Wheels Downtown Car Show
Sponsor: Las Cruces Rodrunners
March 31 - April 1, Artesia
9th Annual Main Event Show and Cruise
March 25-26, West Fargo
Toppers Car Show
March 26, Troy
3rd Annual Swap Meet
Sponsor: Piqua Antique Car Klub
March 3-5, Portland
50th Portland Roadster Show
Sponsor: Multnomah Hot Rod Council
Information: www.portlandroadstershow.com or 503/232-4567
March 9-11, Mars
14th IHC Winter Convention
Sponsor: IHC, Western PA Chapter #16
Information: www.ihcwp16.itgo.com or 724/573-4404
March 16-18, Florence
Run to the Sun
Sponsor: Pee Dee Street Rodders
Information: www.peedeestreetrodders.com or 800/456-0009
March 18, Palestine
21st Annual Peoples Car Show and Parade
Sponsor: Cars of Palestine
Information: www.carsofpalestine.com or 903/723 4737
March 19, San Jacinto Battlegrounds
Old Car Picnic
Sponsor: Special Interest Fords of the 50's
Information: www.fordsofthe50s.com or 281/599-7920
March 3-5, Roanoke
26th Annual MDA Car Show
Sponsor: Roanoke Valley Charity Car Show Committee
Information: www.mdacarshow.com or 540/772-3237
March 11, Chesapeake
9th Annual Car Swap Meet
Sponsor: Tidewater Region-AACA
Early April 2006 Events:
April 1-2, McCormick Place
April 1-2, Fredericksburg
2nd Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Texas 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals
Information: www.familyevents.com or 317/236-6522
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:
Alabama HB 463/SB 342: Allows a vintage vehicle owner to register an original Alabama license plate issued for the model year of the vehicle.
California AB 1915: Allows the use of model year plates for the owner of a passenger vehicle that is a 1969 or older model year vehicle or a commercial vehicle or pickup that is a 1972 or older model year.
Colorado HB 1020: Defines the phrase early date of manufacture for the purposes of registering collectors motor vehicles that are at least 50 years old. Requires the Executive Director of Dept. of Revenue to register collectors vehicles for 5 years.
Colorado HB 1294: Creates a rebuilder's title for a motor vehicle if it is of historical interest and the owner can show proof of ownership. Vehicle must: not be roadworthy, be at least 25 years old, and have a rolling chassis.
Illinois SB 2252: Authorizes Secretary of State to create an Antique Vehicle Show Fund.
Kansas HB 2805: Defines and regulates the use of historic military vehicles. Allows operation only: to or from an assemblage, club activity, parade/exhibition, or to or from a location for repairs and maintenance.
Kentucky HB 375: Inspections on historic vehicles brought into the state shall be limited to the verification of the VIN number with supported documentation.
Oklahoma HB 2448: Creates the Oklahoma Motor Vehicle Inspection Act. Also creates emissions testing in county areas greater than 500,000 people. Ancient vehicles are exempted from inspection and modified ancient vehicles can be inspected according to NSRA standards and issued a Certificate of Exemption. Vehicles older than 1979 and vehicles manufactured in current model year are exempt from emissions inspections.
Virginia SB 708: Increases registration and license plate fees on antique vehicles from $10 to $20.
West Virginia HB 4307: Permits the use of antique vehicles for recreational purposes starting Friday at 4 p.m. through Sunday. Existing law only allows use on Saturday and Sunday.
California AB 1870: Requires Department of Consumer Affairs to include a visible-smoke test into the motor vehicle inspection program so that visible smoke from a motor vehicle's tailpipe or crankcase would result in test failure. Allows the vehicle owner to dispute by going to state-designated referee.
Missouri HB 1532: Exempts vehicles driven less than 12,000 miles between biennial inspections, new motor vehicles for 2 years following year of manufacture, and vehicles with fewer than 7,500 miles and 2 years old or less, from emissions inspections.
New Jersey AB 996: Exempts motor vehicles 5 years old or less from vehicle inspections.
Virginia SB 312: Exempts vehicles manufactured for the current model year, or any of the 3 preceding model years, from emissions inspection.
Arizona SB 1028: Requires two license plates to be displayed on motor vehicles, one on the front and one of the rear of the vehicle. Existing law only requires one plate on the rear.
Hawaii SB 2010: Prohibits the amplification of noise from motor vehicles plainly audible at a distance of thirty feet or more, or louder than necessary, while in areas adjoining churches, schools, and hospitals.
Washington HB 2643: Prohibits the use of an aftermarket hydraulic or mechanical system that raises or lowers the vehicle unless the vehicle is: in a parade, on a roadway with a speed limit of 25mph or less and is going 15mph or less and vehicle can't leave road surface at any time.
Washington HB 3189: Allows vehicle owners to pay a fee of $75 to exempt vehicle from front license plate requirements.
Vermont HB 686: Proposes changing disturbing the peace to include unreasonably loud motor vehicle acceleration noise and playing electronically produced music at an unreasonably loud level. Also increases the maximum fine from $50 to $250.
South Dakota: Prohibits the use of taillamps and stop lamps if the lamp has a decorative covering that restricts the amount of light emitted when the lamp is in use.
Virginia HB 917: Prohibits more than two fog lights to be in use at any time.
Maryland SB 453: Creates a show class vehicle registration class. Show class vehicle: has decorative features or alterations and is used primarily for transportation to and from shows, repair facilities, parades, holiday/weekend activities, or similar uses. Limits such vehicles from being driven more than 5,000 miles per year. Exempts them from inspections, emissions, and sound level limits.
Vermont HB 736: Establishes a progressive fee for motor vehicles of model year 2007 and later registered at the pleasure car rate that achieve fewer than 20 miles per gallon.
Tennessee SB 2441: Allows the presence of a nitrous oxide system in a vehicle so long as the line feeding nitrous oxide is disconnected, the container of nitrous oxide is removed or the tank is turned to the off position.
Arizona HB 2622/SB 1508: Makes numerous changes regarding off-highway vehicles. Changes requirements for registering, licensing, and equipment for off-highway vehicles (including exhaust/muffler noise requirements).
Washington SB 6687/6688/HB 3105: Strengthens provisions governing off-road vehicle noise in private residential areas.
Colorado HB 1084: Prohibits in engaging in speed contests on public highways and specifies that speed contests and speed exhibitions are separate crimes with separate penalties. Clarifies that aiding in a speed contest offense or speed exhibition offense results in liability.
Virginia HB 1042: Provides penalty for causing the death of another while engaging in a vehicle race. Sets penalty to no less than one year and up to 20 years in prison, with loss of license for 1-3 years.
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 2005. This marks the 13th year that the leading maker of appearance care products has recognized and rewarded car clubs for exemplary community involvement.
And the Winners Were:
West-Burbank Road Kings, Burbank, CA
Midwest-Southern Cruzers Car Club, Apple Valley, MN
East-Jukebox Cruisers Car Club, Jim Thorpe, PA
South-Corvettes of Naples, FL, Naples, FL
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
Bay Cities Corvettes, Midland, MI
Heart of Maryland Classic Chevy Club, Mount Airy, MD
Bull City Street Rod Assn., Chapel Hill, NC
Each club received a generous supply of Eagle One and Valvoline products and an Award of Merit. Eagle One is a division of The Valvoline Company.
[Editor's Note: Burbank Road Kings, Corvettes of Naples, and the Roamin Angels are all SAN members. Congratulations to each of these fine clubs! Well done!]
Attention Car Clubs, Event Organizers and Enthusiasts!
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