My Old Kentucky Home…
Bill to Allow Backyard Restoration Projects Signed into Law
Enthusiasts in the Blue Grass state scored a major victory as SEMA-model legislation (H.B. 345) that counters ongoing attempts to limit the outdoor storage of restoration and project vehicles was signed into law by Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher. Under the new law, junked, wrecked or inoperable vehicles, including parts cars, stored on private property would only be required to be maintained out of ordinary public view. The law would apply to owners or occupants of land in a city, county or unincorporated area.
“We believe that clear legal distinctions must be drawn between an owner using private property as a dumping ground and a vehicle enthusiast working to maintain, restore or construct a vehicle,” said SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald. “This new Kentucky law as written by SEMA provides safeguards for hobbyists to work on collector vehicles on private property and establishes reasonable provisions that vehicles be located out of public view.”
In recent years, states and localities have passed strict property or zoning laws that include restrictions on visible inoperable automobile bodies and parts. Removal of these vehicles from private property is often enforced through local nuisance laws with minimal or no notice to the owner. Elected officials develop these initiatives based on the notion that inoperable vehicles are eyesores that adversely affect property values. Many such laws are drafted broadly, allowing for the confiscation of vehicles being repaired or restored.
The new law applies to automobile collectors, defined as those who collect and restore motor vehicles whether as a hobby or a profession. To comply, collectors would maintain hobby cars out of ordinary public view, a sight line within normal visual range by a person on a public street or sidewalk adjacent to the private property. This provision would be achieved by means of suitable fencing, trees, shrubbery, etc.
“To Kentucky’s credit, state legislators were willing to work with us and the state’s hobbyist community to create reasonable and fair compromise legislation permitting outdoor storage of hobby cars and parts if they are maintained in such a manner as not to constitute a health and safety hazard. We are especially indebted to Representative Mike Denham for spearheading this effort,” added McDonald.
LEGISLATIVE QUICK HITS
Arizona Emissions Exemption: SAN-supported legislation (H.B. 2357) to exempt qualified collectible vehicles from the state's mandatory emissions-inspection and maintenance program was approved by the Arizona Legislature. H.B. 2357 defines collectible vehicles as 15 years old or older, of unique or rare design, of limited production and an object of curiosity. These vehicles are to be maintained primarily for car club activities, exhibitions, parades, etc., and can be used infrequently for other purposes. Qualifying vehicles would have to maintain appropriate collectible or classic automobile insurance to retain these benefits. The bill now goes to Governor Napolitano for her approval.
Arkansas Nitrous: Working with Arkansas lawmakers, the SAN was successful in negotiating a compromise on legislation (H.B. 2086) that originally threatened to prohibit public road use of all passenger cars or motorcycles equipped to supply the engine with nitrous oxide. Originally written as an outright ban, the new law allows for nitrous systems as long as they are disconnected or the tanks removed when the vehicle is being driven on a public road. The SAN is especially indebted to former Arkansas state legislator Jerry Allison, Wayne Styles of Centerville Dragway and Jeb Burnett of Deep Freeze Cryogenics for their efforts in supporting the amendment.
Arkansas Ground Effects: SAN-supported legislation (S.B. 927) to allow motor vehicles to be equipped with ornamental ground-effect lighting has been introduced in the Arkansas Legislature. The bill defines ground-effect lighting to include neon or light-emitting-diode tubes placed underneath a motor vehicle to create a halo effect. The measure provides that the lighting may not flash and that no portion of a neon or light-emitting-diode tube may be visible except from underneath the motor vehicle.
Georgia Blue Dots: Working with State Representative and former SEMA Board Member Calvin Hill, lawmakers in Georgia approved a bill that included SEMA-written provisions to permit the use of blue-dot taillights on antique, hobby and special-interest vehicles. The bill would allow for 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. The legislation now goes to Governor Perdue for his approval.
Illinois Inoperable Vehicles: For the second session in a row, SAN members in Illinois have stalled legislation that threatened to further restrict the ability of Illinois hobbyists to maintain inoperable vehicles on private property. The bill (H.B. 25) 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 it had been passed and signed into law, would have subjected ungaraged historic hobby cars to disposal and possible fines. The measure will be carried over to the 2006 legislative session.
Iowa Spinners: The SAN defeated Iowa legislation (H.F. 108) that would have prohibited motor vehicles equipped with spinner hubcaps. The bill ignored the fact that spinner hubcaps have no proven detrimental effect on motor vehicle safety and are not prohibited by Federal law. Earlier this year, SAN members in Virginia defeated similar legislation that would have prohibited motor vehicles equipped with spinner wheels, wheel covers and hubcaps. The SAN is grateful to the Central Hot Rod Club, which consists of student from Central Clinton Community High School, for its assistance in defeating H.F. 108.
Maine Nitrous: SAN-supported legislation (L.D. 71) to expand the permissible use of vehicles equipped with nitrous oxide systems was signed into law by Maine Governor John Baldacci. In 2003, working with the Maine Custom Auto Association, the SAN amended 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. That bill was modified to permit the use of nitrous oxide systems if all canisters have been removed or if the vehicle is en route to or from a racetrack. The newly passed legislation expands upon the 2003 law to allow the use of nitrous oxide systems if the vehicle is en route to a car show, off-highway competition or fill station.
Massachusetts Exhaust: After being stalled in the last three legislative sessions, 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” has been reintroduced in the Massachusetts State Legislature-although, this time with a twist. It has been revised from previous versions to exclude limited-use “antique motor cars.” This represents a clear attempt to divide the automobile hobby in an effort to gain cleaner sailing for this restrictive and damaging piece of legislation. H.B. 2011 ignores the fact that aftermarket exhaust systems are designed to make vehicles run more efficiently without increasing emissions and would make it difficult for hobbyists to replace factory exhaust systems with more durable, better-performing options.
Massachusetts Street Rod/Custom Vehicle: SEMA-model legislation has been introduced in Massachusetts that would create vehicle registration classes for street rods and custom vehicles. The proposed measures also provide for special license plates for these vehicles. Introduced by separate sponsors, the bills (H.B. 2156 and H.B. 2212) define 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. Both bills allow kit cars and replica vehicles to be assigned a certificates of title bearing the same model-year designations as the production vehicles they most closely resemble.
Montana Street Rod/Custom Vehicle: Lawmakers in Montana are one step closer to passing legislation (S.B. 507) that would establish vehicle titling and registration classes for street rods and custom vehicles. The SEMA-model bill-which is currently being considered in Massachusetts, Tennessee and Maine-was approved by the Montana House Transportation Committee. The bill now goes to the full House for their consideration.
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 May:
20th Annual Advance Auto
Parts 4-Wheel Jamboree
Allen County Fairgrounds
SEMA Auto Salon
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Indiana Off-Roaders Unite to Open Abandoned Mining Area
By: Gary DeLong, Chairman, Indiana Trails Advisory Board
Nearly sixty years ago in an area five miles Northeast of Dugger, Indiana, several thriving coal mines were in operation. As years passed and the mining industry suffered, reclamation of the land was simply to plant some pines to hold soil and move on. This left behind a vast number of lakes and extreme hills and gullies. Unfortunately, the ecological side of the land had been forsaken. Through the years, millions of dollars were spent in an effort to stabilize the remains.
One positive side to these old mines was the use of the area for outdoor recreation. Since the mid-1970s off-highway motorized users started riding in areas surrounding the old Redbird mine. Enthusiasts found the rugged terrain perfect for testing their skills and equipment. As activity increased, trespassing became a big issue, and many recognized that something had to be done to control erosion of the land and safety for the users.
In 1993, the Federal government rolled out the “Recreational Trails Program,” which provides funding for trail users, both motorized and non-motorized. To enact this federal program, states must form a trails advisory board to oversee the request and funding for user groups who request grants for projects. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Outdoor Recreation had been studying the possibilities of using the Redbird mine site for a pilot project to see if a motorized area would work. With funding from the Recreational Trails Program, other available grants and a volunteer group to aid in the bold project, Director John Goss of the DNR gave the green light to move ahead.
After 10 years of planning, land purchases, management agreements, construction and networking with state and local governments, the new facility opened. The property was given the name “Redbird State Riding Area” and is managed under the Division of Outdoor Recreation with support from volunteers known as the Redbird Management Group.
The Redbird State Riding area currently consists of 640 acres, including parking, restroom facilities and a shelter house for picnics. Signs are posted at trail heads with difficulty ratings, types of vehicles allowed and map location points. These amenities are just phase one of a multi-phase project. Future improvements include additional land acquisition; an interpretive trail for education and history; a training range for vehicle safety classes; an office and a storage building.
Recognizing the accomplishments made at Redbird, Maggie Kernan-the wife of former Governor Joe Kernan-made a surprise visit to the site in October 2004. The state’s First Lady didn’t shy away from taking a short tour of the property in an open-top Jeep.
“I came today because I’m a naturally curious person,” Kernan said. “This is the first state land for off-road vehicle recreation, and I wanted to see what it was like and what you do here.” In her visit, Kernan congratulated the volunteers for their efforts to establish the Redbird facility. “The fruits of your labor are expanding and growing,” she said. “You should all be very proud of what’s been accomplished here. It’s amazing what can happen when we all work together. Partnerships can do great things.”
Volunteers have played a large role in many areas of the Redbird project. Without these partnerships, the project would have been months, if not years, behind schedule. In a time of budget cuts and user conflicts, the most interesting point to this project is how all of the different groups joined together to make this a reality. Several meetings between the Indiana Four Wheel Drive Association, the Midwest TrailRiders (ATVs) and Discover Indiana Riding Trails (off-road motorcyclists) decided that one united voice would better get the attention of those in charge than several fragmented groups. Said Tony Lance, president of the Indiana Off-Roaders: “Everyone has respect for each other’s chosen mode of off-road transportation. Once the groups learned our goals were the same, every thing fell into place.”
Special thanks are due to Director Emily Kress and Nila Arm-strong of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Outdoor Recreation, for their caring and guiding hands throughout this process. Without their insight, Redbird would have been only a dream.
For more information contact the Redbird Management Group at 812/847-9172 or visit their website at www.RedbirdSRA.com.
Special thanks goes out to the following organizations and clubs that made Redbird a success:
United Four Wheel Drive Association
American Motorcyclist Association
Indiana Four Wheel Drive Association
Discover Indiana Riding Trails (DIRT)
ABATE of Indiana
Warick County Recreational Development
Hoosier Trail Riders
Midwest Trail Riders
Mooch Motorcycle Club
Central Indiana Trail Riders
Lynnville Area Riders
Black Coal (Tri-State Enduro Riders
Boonie Riders 4x4
Four Wheels to Freedom
Monroe County 4x4
Fat Boy’s Jeeper’s
PJ Frog 4x4
Terre Haute Off-Road
Let’s Get Twisted 4x4
Midwest Trail Runners
Southern Indiana Ridge Runners
Firewalkers Four Wheel Drive
Purdue Off-Road Club
Southern Indiana 4x4 Club
Lincoln County Trail Riders
Hoosier K-5 Off road
Odd Squad Off-Roaders
And many, many more…..
HEY, THAT'S MY CAR!
Strike Outs to Street Rods
Former major league pitcher and long-time supporter of the SEMA Action Network Dick Bosman recently submitted photos of his ’36 Chevy roadster to Driving Force. With baseball season in full swing, it seems fitting to share Bosman’s passion for the game and, of course, his roadster.
Starting his first game as a Washington Senator on June 1, 1966, Bosman developed into a hard-throwing pitcher with excellent control. Over his12 years in the majors, teammates learned that they had better hustle whenever he was on the mound. After pitching his last game in 1977, Bosman continued his baseball career by becoming a pitching coach for the White Sox, the Orioles and the Rangers, and he has spent the last four years with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays organization.
The SAN was first introduced to Bosman when he was the pitching coach for the Rangers. While in Texas, the Dick Bosman Street Rod Club-which includes several major league players-played a key role in helping to mitigate harmful scrappage legislation. Along the various stops in his coaching career, Bosman has continued to be an active voice on behalf of the hobby. Sharing his passion for street rods with others, he has rebuilt about a dozen cars, including a 1946 Chevy for former Devil Rays pitcher Bobby Witt and a 1933 Ford for the left-handed David Wells of the Boston Red Sox.
Career Stats: 1591 Innings pitched; 82 wins, 85 losses; 757 strikeouts; career ERA of 3.67.
Career Highlights: Bosman was 14-9 with an AL-best 2.19 ERA for the 1969 Senators. He won a career-high 16 games in 1970 and no-hit the Oakland A’s on July 19, 1974, while playing for the Cleveland Indians. Bosman would later pitch for the A’s and won 11 games to help Oakland win a division title in 1975.
1936 Chevy Roadster Specs: 330 Crate Motor; 200 RH Auto Trans with 308 gear; Whooper radiator; Hooker Headers and Flowmaster 2-1/2-inch pipes with Delta flow exhaust. (Photo Courtesy FC Associates)
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.
The Bill Stops Here!!
My name is Ben Burdick, and I recently started as the Research Coordinator for the SEMA Government Affairs Office. I am excited to have the opportunity to monitor the legislation that affects enthusiasts everywhere. Growing up, I spent a lot of time in the garage working on Volkswagens, restoring a 1969 and a 1967 Beetle, the latter being my first car. On many weekends, you will still find me and many of my friends working on anything that has an engine attached to it—especially, but not limited to, anything and everything in the sport-compact market.
After graduating from the University of Virginia in 2004, I decided to pursue another of my interests: politics. Joining the SEMA staff has allowed me to combine two of my interests, cars and politics, into one job. Being an enthusiast myself, I have always been concerned with issues affecting the automotive industry, and I look forward to helping protect the rights of automotive enthusiasts everywhere. Please, do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance. I can be reached at (202) 783-6007, ext. 38 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We Get Letters
Dear Driving Force:
I thought your readers might enjoy a friendly nudge. Remember the old story of the boy who cried “wolf,” with the moral of the story being don’t warn of a wolf unless there is one? Well, there are a number of them trying to destroy our hobby. These wolves are disguised as laws, an uninformed public and hobbyists, special-interest groups, apathy and lack of leadership and direction.
In 2001, street rod and custom vehicle owners in Peoria, Illinois, were virtually prohibited from driving their automobiles due to the State Police ticketing vehicles for equipment violations. Laws that were ignored for 30 years were now on the “must enforce” list of several state troopers.
However, working with the SEMA Action Network, we were able to create a pro-hobbyist street rod and custom car titling and registration law in 2002, and we were back on the road in 2003.
Organize now and get favorable street rod and custom vehicle laws in your state! You can do this by making sure that your fellow enthusiasts join the SAN. Show the legislators that we are united in our efforts to preserve our sport.
-- Gary Bohlen, Chairman
The Committee to Upgrade
Street Rod Laws in Illinois
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 2485: Changes language regarding the issuing of license plates for antique or historical vehicles.
Colorado HB 1069: Authorizes a collector of a fire vehicle or ambulance to possess emergency signal lamps, use in a parade, funeral or other purpose.
Maine HB 468: Amends the motor vehicle law in relation to defining an “altered vehicle” so that an antique vehicle cannot be an altered vehicle. Also deals with suspension alterations.
Texas HB 3425: Relating to the use of certain exhibition vehicles, amends current law to allow for transporting of vehicle to and from maintenance as a defense when stopped or prosecuted.
Nevada AB 315: Enacts provisions relating to event data recorders in motor vehicles.
New York AB 6318: Creates a temporary state commission to study and investigate problems associated with auto safety, especially SUVs and trucks, and accidents caused from the modification of vehicle design from the original manufacturer’s design.
Pennsylvania SB 422: Creates act called the Motor Vehicle Replacement Parts Act to require use of original-equipment manufacturer crash parts or equivalent for repairs to motor vehicles.
Connecticut HB 6908: Creates a clean car incentive program that provides tax incentives to those who purchase and use clean cars and provides sales-tax increases to new motor vehicles determined to have high emissions of greenhouse gases.
Nevada AB 225: Specifies that vehicles must not be required to be emissions tested more than every two years. Exemptions are provided for vehicles no older than three years or those four years or older with less than 36,000 miles.
Nevada AB 239: Declares vehicles built after 1995 would be required to be emissions tested only every two years, and Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicles (ULEV) would not be required to submit to emissions.
North Carolina SB 1038: Creates a Mobile-source Emissions Reduction Program Fund which establishes a surcharge to annual vehicle registration fees based on the "green vehicle" guide score.
Pennsylvania SB 574: Amends the current code for vehicle emissions inspections, providing exemptions for vehicles driven less than 5,000 miles in the previous 12 months; provides a fee for vehicles falling under exemption.
Pennsylvania SB 576: Provides a tax exemption on parts and labor necessary for a motor vehicle to meet compliance standards for vehicle emissions.
Minnesota HB 2195: Requires motor vehicle headlamps and taillamps to be illuminated at all times the vehicle is operated on highway.
Minnesota HB 2245: Defines an “unlawful speed contest” as a motor vehicle race on a public roadway. Provides penalties for participants and spectators of such events.
Texas HB 369: Defines the civil and criminal consequences and penalties of racing a motor vehicle on a public highway.
Pennsylvania HB 979: Requires tinting and windshield obstructions to meet with code in order to pass inspection. Also provides penalties for vehicles that are on public roads and do not meet tinting and windshield obstruction code.
May 7, Prattville
Sixth Annual Open Car Show
Sponsor: Heart of Dixie Mustang Club
Information: 334/277-5822 or www.hodmc.org
May 7, Prescott
VW’s On the Square
Sponsor: Arizona Bus Club
May 7, Prescott
Rod and Custom Car Show
Sponsor: Mountain Top Street Rodders
Information: 928/776-8813 or HerbertSirDon@aol.com
May 21, Prescott
Mopars on the Mountain
Sponsor: Mopars Unlimited of Arizona
Information: 928/445-4970 or www.moparsonthemountain.com
May 1, Tulare
Thirty-Second Annual Car and Parts Swap Meet
Information: 559/732-9729 or email@example.com
May 7, San Leandro
MGs by the Bay
Sponsor: MG Owners Club
Information: 408/923-3927 or firstname.lastname@example.org
May 27-29, Jacksonville
7th Spring Nationals
Information: www.good-guys.com or 925/838-9876
May 1, Grayslake
Fortieth Annual Car Show, Car Corral and Swap Meet
Sponsor: Waukegan and North Shore
Chapters of AACA
Information: 708/485-3633 or email@example.com
Fortieth Annual Little Hershey Swap Meet and Car Show
Sponsor: Rockford Chapter Model T International
Information: 815/239-1695 or firstname.lastname@example.org
May 21-22, Redbird State Riding Area Spring Fling
Sponsor: Monroe County 4X4 Club and Illiana Off-Roaders
Information: 812/876-6688 or 812/398-3613
May 27-29, West Burlington
Midwest IHC Classic
Sponsor: Iowa Heartland Chevys
Information: 319/372-3281 or email@example.com
May 12-14, Bowling Green
National Corvette Museum ZR-1/C4 “Gathering”
Sponsor: National Corvette Museum
Information: www.corvettemuseum.com or (800) 53-VETTE
May 1, Merriam
Corvette Show and Shine Car Show
Sponsor: Kansas City Corvette Association
Information: 816/453-0461 or 816/229-7210
May 6-8, Lawrence
Forty-Second Annual Swap Meet
Sponsor: Lawrence Region AACA
Information: 785/843-AACA or firstname.lastname@example.org
May 7, Frederick
Twelfth Annual New Meets Old Truck Show
Sponsor: Mason Dixon Chapter ATHS
May 7, Stevensville
Spring Fling #11 Car Show and Cruise In
Sponsor: Kent Island Cruisers
May 7, Havre De Grace
Third Annual All-GM Show
Sponsor: Maryland Chevelle Club
Information: www.chevelles.net/mcc or email@example.com
May 15, Brookline
Cadillac Day at Lars Anderson Auto Museum
Sponsor: N.E. Region, Cadillac LaSalle Club
May 1, Ypsilanti
Twenty-Sixth Annual Show and Shine Car Show
Sponsor: Ypsi Street Rods
Information: 734/485-7025 or firstname.lastname@example.org
May 12-15, Laughlin
Hotrods and Harley’s 2005 Spring Run
Sponsor: Hotrods and Harley’s
May 7, Egg Harbor Township
American Classics Car and Truck Show
Sponsor: South Jersey Mustang Club
Information: 856/423-7750 or www.southjerseymustangclub.com
May 21-22, Atlantic City