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Hobby Scores First
Cash for Clunkers Program Blocked. Fight Against Scrappage Continues
The true power of a well-informed and mobilized hobby was on display as thousands of SEMA Action Network (SAN) members responded in force against a national “Cash for Clunkers” program. Efforts were made by some in Congress to include the proposal in the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,” also known as the “economic stimulus bill.” These attempts were defeated. On February 17, President Obama signed a clunker-free stimulus bill into law.
Cash for Clunkers programs accelerate the normal retirement of vehicles through the purchase of older cars, which are then typically crushed into blocks of scrap metal. For 20 years, Congress has rejected this “sounds good” idea because it fails to spur car sales, reduce vehicle emissions or raise fleet fuel economy.
“Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., heard overwhelming opposition from the enthusiast community against these short-sighted proposals,” said SEMA Director of Congressional Affairs Brian Duggan. “While the fight against Cash for Clunkers and other related scrappage bills are far from over, members of Congress now recognize that they will face steadfast opposition from SAN members.”
Two proposals were considered during the Senate debate on the economic stimulus bill. The first was an $8 billion program targeting SUVs and pickups of any model year that make less than 18 mpg, such as Chevy Silverados, Dodge Rams, Ford F-Series and Jeep Wranglers. The second would have provided $16 billion worth of cash vouchers toward the purchase of a new vehicle for qualified individuals who allowed their turned-in cars to be destroyed.
The $787 billion stimulus bill included a SAN-supported provision allowing consumers to take a federal deduction for state and local sales/excise taxes paid on the purchase of a new car, light truck, recreational vehicle or motorcycle through 2009. The deduction is phased-out for taxpayers with an adjusted gross income in excess of $125,000 ($250,000 for couples) and applies to car loans up to $49,500.
For 2009 and 2010, the stimulus bill also provides a refundable annual tax credit of up to $400 for working individuals and $800 for working families, phased-out for taxpayers with adjusted gross income beyond $75,000 ($150,000 couples). Workers will receive this benefit through a reduction in the amount of income tax that is withheld from their paychecks or by claiming the credit on their tax returns. The Treasury Department will be adjusting the payroll withholding tables to reflect the change.
“I am truly impressed by the passion SAN members have for this hobby and their dedication in protecting it from legislative threats,” said Duggan. “While we celebrate this victory by keeping Cash for Clunkers out of the stimulus bill, SAN members are urged to remain vigilant as we collectively work to protect this great American tradition.”
Each month Driving Force will feature members of the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus. The SEMA-supported caucus is a bipartisan group of state lawmakers whose common thread is a love and appreciation for automobiles.
Here is its newest member:
New Jersey Assemblymember Alison Littell McHose
HEY, THAT'S MY CAR!
Dreaming of a DeSoto
1933 DeSoto Standard Sedan
Owner: Ron Daugherty
As a young inquisitive boy I imagined myself driving my dad’s car. One Saturday afternoon while it sat in our driveway I got behind the wheel, which I could barely see over, and hit the starter. The car lurched forward. While having a great time and after several lurches up the driveway, to shocking surprise, I crashed a headlight of the car into the back of a flat-bed truck that was parked in front of it.
The incident abruptly ended my dream of driving, and I ended up in my room for several hours. I was informed some years later by family members sharing the childhood experience, that my father’s car was a ’33 DeSoto Sedan.
Although now that I am much older and hopefully wiser, my childhood love with cars continued. I have done numerous collector car builds and restorations through the years and would periodically seek out early DeSotos whenever I could find them. Unfortunately, none of them made it into my garage.
After years of searching, I finally found a ’33 DeSoto in a private Florida museum. Flashbacks to my dad’s car flew into my mind. I watched the car for some time before making an offer to buy.
As I researched its history, I discovered that I was to become its third owner. My car was first re-built in South Dakota back during late ’60s into early ’70s. It is a 97% stock-appearing, absolutely rust-free retro-rod of which I’m refreshing and updating presently for its next generation of continued operation. Planned upgrades include 5.7L Hemi power with a five-speed automatic transmission, and a set of wide-whites will soon top off the DeSoto retro look.
Coincidentally, the car still has its original headlights, and I have no intentions of running them into any flat-bed trucks, that’s for sure.
LEGISLATIVE QUICK HITS
Montana Exhaust Noise: Legislation to repeal a SAN-sponsored law enacted in 2007 that permits vehicles with modified exhaust systems that do not emit an excess of 95 decibels was tabled in committee. Under the repeal legislation, all exhaust system modifications that were subjectively determined by law enforcement to increase noise would have been illegal. Under the current law, exhaust noise emissions are measured in accordance with SAE test standard J1169. Under the SAE standard, a sound meter is placed 20 inches from the exhaust outlet at a 45-degree angle, and the engine is revved to three-quarters of maximum-rated horsepower. The highest decibel reading is then recorded. Similar legislation to restrict exhaust system noise has been introduced this year in Connecticut and New Jersey. With the committee’s action, the Montana bill is effectively dead for the year.
Oregon Aftermarket Parts: The Oregon House Environment and Water Committee will consider SAN-opposed legislation to prohibit the sale and distribution of aftermarket motor-vehicle parts if alternatives are available that “decrease greenhouse-gas emissions from motor vehicles.” The bill is primarily focused on aftermarket tires and would authorize the Environmental Quality Commission to implement enforcement regulations, likely based on a rolling resistance calculation. The bill was introduced at the request of Governor Theodore Kulongoski.
Texas Nitrous Oxide: Texas has introduced SEMA-model legislation to allow for nitrous-oxide systems on motor vehicles. The bill allows the system if the vehicle is en route to or from a track and the device is inoperative or the container has been removed from the vehicle.
Virginia Inoperable Vehicles: The sponsor for SAN-opposed legislation to allow the city of Newport News to adopt a more restrictive inoperable vehicle ordinance has withdrawn the bill from consideration by the Virginia Legislature. Under the bill, the city could have adopted an ordinance prohibiting any person from keeping more than one inoperable motor vehicle on private property except within a fully enclosed building. Further, the bill required that the one vehicle now be shielded from view by the “installation of an opaque fence.” In 2004, Virginia signed into law a SAN- negotiated bill to exempt at least two inoperable vehicles being actively repaired or restored on private property from any local ordinance if shielded or screened from public view. The law defines “shielded or screened from view” as not visible by someone standing at ground level from outside of the property on which the inoperable vehicles are located. This measure would have changed the rules of this fairly negotiated compromise.
Wyoming Rods/Custom Vehicles: SEMA-model legislation to create a vehicle registration and titling class for street rods and custom vehicles was approved by the Wyoming House and awaits final passage by the Wyoming Senate before being sent to the governor for his signature. The measure 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 bill allows kit cars and replica vehicles to be assigned a certificate of title bearing the same model-year designation as the production vehicles they most closely resemble.
Federal Wilderness Legislation: The House of Representatives is expected to approve legislation already approved by the Senate to add more than 2 million acres to the National Wilderness Preservation System. The “wilderness” designation is consequential since no mechanized activity is permitted on lands so designated. The legislation designates wilderness in nine states and establishes several new national parks, monuments and conservation areas. Covered areas include portions in and around Joshua Tree National Park and the Eastern Sierras in California, Owyhee-Bruneau Canyonlands in Idaho, Mt. Hood in Oregon and Zion National Park in Utah. Some roads and trails were excluded from the wilderness designations and, therefore, remain available to the OHV enthusiast. Nevertheless, the SAN expressed regrets that lawmakers had moved too quickly since not all roads and trails received protection.
Motor Heads and Musclecars
Pennsylvania-based Club Brings Great People and Great Cars Together
The Susquehanna Valley GTO (SVGTO) club was founded in 1995 in York, Pennsylvania, by a group of local GTO enthusiasts looking to share knowledge and camaraderie with other like-minded “motor heads.” Membership in the club does not require ownership of a GTO or any Pontiac, for that matter, just an appreciation of the history of what these great cars represent in the whole of the American musclecar era.
As a regional chapter of the GTO Association America (GTOAA), SVGTO grew in its membership as the club became better known, both locally, regionally, and nationally. The breadth of the club now reaches outside the confines of York County to such areas as Hagerstown in Maryland; Exton, Newville, Ephrata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Conestoga, Carlisle and Mechanicsburg in Pennsylvania; and the greater Harrisburg area. The club has grown into a truly regional club and continues to expand.
The SVGTO is a proud sponsor of M.J. Anderson Loving Care Ltd. of York, Pennsylvania. M.J. Anderson is an assisted care facility for the elderly. The club donates proceeds from their car shows and events to the facility, as well as donating time as chauffeurs for their annual Celebrity Golf Tournament. Members have a strong belief in giving back to the community and urge other clubs to adopt a worthwhile charitable organization in their community.
Throughout the car show season, SVGTO members can be found attending other car shows, cruises, parades and other public venues in the spirit of community involvement. The club also hosts its own annual All Pontiac Show at Jones Pontiac in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. For more information on the Susquehanna Valley GTO club, visit www.svgto.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:
Arkansas HB 1013, Delaware HB 40, Georgia HB 19, ndiana HB 1242, Kentucky HB 41, Missouri HB 26, Oregon SB 329, South Carolina HB 3083, Texas SB 51, Utah HB 248, Virginia HB 1615 and Wyoming SB 63: Would prohibit using a cell phone while driving unless equipped with a hands-free device. Also, would prohibit sending or reading a text message while driving.
Oregon HB 2186: Would prohibit the sale of aftermarket parts if alternatives, which decrease greenhouse gases, are available.
Minnesota HB 85 and SB 323: Would allow GPS units to be mounted near the bottom of a windshield.
Connecticut SB 557: Would amend the vehicle law to allow modified antique vehicles to be registered as an antique vehicle.
Connecticut HB 5896 and Indiana HB 1102: Would allow antique vehicles to display a restored or refurbished license plate.
Hawaii HB 768: Would require an inspection every two years for antique vehicles.
New York AB 1228: Would only require the display of a rear license plate on a registered historical vehicle.
New York AB 2658: Would amend the historical vehicle registration fee from a $25 yearly fee to a one-time $100 fee.
South Carolina SB 199: Would establish a historic vehicle license plate for vehicles 25 years or older.
Hawaii HB 768, Maine HB 37, New Hampshire HB 259 and Virginia SB 526: Would amend vehicle inspections law to require biennial rather than annual inspections.
Texas HB 740: Would allow an inspection certificate to not be issued when a vehicle is equipped with nitrous unless the bottles have been removed or if the vehicle is en route to or from a race track.
Registration and Titling
Arizona HB 2010: Would require a license plate to be displayed so the states’ name at the top isn’t obscured.
Kansas SB 122: Would amend the registration for rebuilt salvage vehicles to reduce the fee for the first registration by two classes.
Mississippi HB 44: Would amend the salvage vehicle title law, so when a vehicle has been repaired to road-quality condition, the title must contain the word “rebuilt.”
New Hampshire HB 162: Would amend the law dealing with rebuilt vehicles to require the terms “rebuilt vehicle” on the title and registration.
Virginia HB 1731: Amends the state vehicle law to only require a license plate on the rear of a vehicle.
New York SB 1207: Would establish a replacement tire-energy efficiency program for passenger cars and light-duty trucks.
March 19–22, Lake Havasu City
Desert Run Havasu
Sponsor: Sidewinders 4-Wheel Club
Information: www.sidewinders4wheelers.com or 928/505-3723
March 21, Sierra Vista
12th Annual Benefit Car Show
Information: www.cruisinarizona.com/flyers/032109bgc.pdf or 520/221-0091
March 28, Tucson
14th Annual Mustang Mania
Sponsor: Old Pueblo Mustang Club
Information: www.tucsonpony.com/Mania09Reg.html or 520/746-1161
March 6–8, Salton City
47th Annual Desert Safari
Sponsor: Tierra Del Sol 4x4 Club
March 7–8, Anaheim
The SoCal All Porsche Swap and Car Display
Sponsor: Porsche 356 Club
Information: www.porsche356club.org/Flyers/3rd_Annual_So_Ca_Swap-2009.pdf or 949/697-4499
March 14–15, Costa Mesa
Orange County Get-Together
Information: www.good-guys.com/events/eventDetails.aspx?eventid=09-805 or 925/838-9876
March 28–29, Pleasanton
27th All American Get Together
Information: www.good-guys.com/events/eventDetails.aspx?eventid=09-801 or 925/838-9876
March 8, Hollywood
21st Florida Mopar Nationals Car Show & Swap Meet
Sponsor: Florida Mopar Connection Car Club
Information: http://clubs.hemmings.com/frameset.cfm?club=floridamoparconnection or 954/920-7096
March 21–22, Lawrenceville
2009 Nostalgia Race & Rod-A-Rama
March 28–29, Dalton
7th Annual March Meet
Sponsor: North Georgia HotRods
Information: http://northgeorgiahotrods.com/mm09.jpg or 706/278-2846
March 14, West Friendship
36th Annual Antique Auto Parts Flea Market
Sponsor: Chesapeake Region, AACA
Information: http://local.aaca.org/chesapeake/FleaMktFlyer09ColorRev.pdf or 410/653-3108
March 6–8, Detroit
Information: www.autorama.com/casi/show/detroit.html or 248/373-1700
March 13–15, Jackson
Dixie Rod Run #31
Sponsor: Mississippi Street Rod Association
Information: www.ms-sra.org/IMAGES/dixierun31.pdf or 601/831-2008
March 20–22, Omaha
World of Wheels
Information: www.autorama.com/casi/show/omaha.html or 248/373-1700
March 28–29, Columbus
Columbus Spring Swap
Sponsor: Mid Ohio Ford Club
Information: www.springswap.com or 614/855-4750
March 7–8, Roseburg
32nd Annual Roseburg Benefit Car Show
Sponsor: Umpqua Flatheads & Stray Angels Car Clubs
Information: 541/672-2359 or 541/672-7235
March 7–8, Hamburg
42nd Annual Hamburg Swap Meet & Car Corral
Sponsor: Hamburg Antique Automobile Club of America
March 20–22, Eugene
Eugene Roadster Show
Information: http://roadstershows.com or 541/689-6824
March 28, Clarksville
3rd Annual March Madness
Sponsor: Wildhorses Mustang Club
Information: www.wildhorsesclub.net/marchmadness or 931/980-4453
March 14, Dallas
Spring Classic Chevy Show for ’55, ’56, ’57 Chevys
Sponsor: Dallas Classic Chevys
March 15, La Porte
25th Annual Old Car Picnic
Sponsor: Special Interest Fords Car Club
Information: www.fordsofthe50s.com or 281/373-0209
March 21, Palestine
24th Annual People’s Choice Car Show
Sponsor: Cars of Palestine
Information: www.carsofpalestine.com/home.asp or 903/729-0403
March 27–29, Salt Lake City
World of Wheels
Information: www.autorama.com/casi/show/saltlakecity.html or 248/373-1700
March 14–15, Puyallup
2009 Almost Spring Swap Meet & Car Show
Sponsor: Gallopin’ Gertie A’s
Information: www.gertieas.org or 360/456-8938
March 27–29, Winnipeg
World of Wheels
Information: www.autorama.com/casi/show/winnipeg.html or 248/373-1700
Early April 2009 Events
April 6, Tempe
18th Annual Field of Dreams
Information: www.mensartscouncil.com/cs/cars_show.php or 480/229-5691
April 3–4, Louisville
43rd Annual Indoor Swap Meet
Sponsor: KYANA Region AACA
Information: 502/619-2916 or 502/619-2917
April 2–4, Laughlin
Gambler Classic River Run
Sponsor: Southern Nevada Classic Chevy Club
Information: http://gamblerclassicriverrun.com or 888/880-0210
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.