From Sea to Shining Sea
Caucus Chairman Announces Growth of Legislative Coalition to All 50 States
With the enrollment of Alabama State Representative Randy Woods, the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus now has members in all 50 states. The Caucus, which consists of state lawmakers whose common thread is a love and appreciation for automobiles, now has more than 230 members nationwide.
“Since assuming the position of chairman, I have made it my number one priority to grow our membership so we can ensure that this hobby is protected for years to come,” said Caucus Chairman and New York State Assemblymember Bill Reilich. Since January of this year, 116 state lawmakers have joined the Caucus.
This bipartisan coalition of state lawmakers has helped raise the motor-vehicle hobby’s profile in the state legislatures and in the public’s eyes. Working in state capitals, many of these legislators have sought to preserve and protect the hobby by seeking the amendment of existing motor-vehicle statutes and creating new programs to safeguard and expand the hobby.
“By informing state representatives throughout the United States of the need to monitor legislation that would either harm the hobby or friendly legislation that would protect those who invest their time and resources into restorations and modifications, we are paving a path for future generations of car enthusiasts,” added Reilich.
Since its inception in 2005, Caucus members have achieved a series of significant legislative accomplishments for the vehicle enthusiast community on issues ranging from equipment standards to registration classifications, and from emissions-test exemptions to hobbyist rights. Through the Caucus, SAN members have been able to easily identify and develop relationships with these pro-hobby lawmakers.
“The automobile is part of our culture and history,” said Reilich. “I am extremely pleased at how the membership numbers have increased, however, our work is not done. I will continue to help educate and encourage participation by our state governmental leaders and work toward my personal goal of having at least 500 members actively participating in the Caucus.” In working to reach this goal, Reilich has enlisted the support of his colleagues. This year alone, he has recruited 35 new Caucus members from the New York State Legislature.
SAN Expands its Efforts North of the Border
The SEMA Action Network (SAN) announced that it has broadened its legislative advocacy activities to include the Parliament of Canada and the provincial governments. This effort is in collaboration with hobbyists, car clubs, provincial and national hobby organizations to further the grassroots lobbying efforts in Canada.
“Cooperative efforts of the automotive hobbyists and car clubs who participate in the SEMA Action Network have resulted in numerous legislative successes across the United States,” said SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald. “Canadian enthusiast groups face identical challenges. We are confident that by working with Canadian enthusiasts and hobbyist groups, we can add our voice to the debate and help legislators identify reasonable and responsible solutions to the array of issues affecting the automotive hobby.”
In the United States, the SAN regularly rallies the support of 3,500-plus car clubs, thousands of individual contacts and 100-plus consumer automotive publications, with an estimated reach of 36 million enthusiasts nationwide; sends out action alerts to generate an abundance of responses to state and/or federal legislative actions and regulatory proposals; and issues timely updates of legislative and regulatory developments.
“We are excited by this effort to expand the SAN into Canada,” said SAN Director Jason Tolleson. “In cooperation with the various organizations and clubs, we look forward to developing a pro-hobby platform to help protect the rights of enthusiasts across Canada.”
Busy Month in Boston
Enthusiasts in Massachusetts had a busy October as state lawmakers considered two pieces of legislation which would have greatly impacted the hobby. One bill would have done considerable harm to the hobby, while the other would have helped to make it easier to enjoy street-rod and custom vehicles.
The first bill, which SAN members in Massachusetts know all too well, seeks to ban the sale and installation of aftermarket exhaust systems. During an October 2 hearing, the Joint Transportation Committee heard testimony but did not conduct a formal vote on the bill. The chairman has asked interested parties to work together to find a compromise. The SAN is hopeful that the SEMA-model legislation to create a decibel limit under an industry-recognized test procedure will be the basis for that compromise.
The second measure, which was heard before the same committee on October 11, would create titling and registration classes for street rods and customs vehicles. Based on SEMA-model legislation, this bill has been enacted in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington. Under the bill, kit cars and replica vehicles will be assigned a certificate of title bearing the same model-year designation as the production vehicle they most closely resemble.
During the hearing, committee members heard testimony regarding the difficult process enthusiasts face in trying to title and register these custom vehicles. Lawmakers responded favorably to hobbyist concerns and acknowledged support for the bill. SAN members in Massachusetts should stay tuned for e-mail action alerts as this bill moves through the legislative process.
Federal Government to Close 100,000 Acres to OHV Use in Utah
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has announced the closure of approximately 100,000 acres in the Indian Creek Corridor of San Juan County, Utah. While OHV use will be permitted on existing roads and trails, all “cross-country” OHV activity within the designated area is prohibited. This closure will remain in effect until the BLM completes a review of its existing management plan for OHV use in San Juan County.
Large-scale public land closures are consequential to SAN members as they deny access to off-roaders, further limiting recreation activities for this increasingly popular hobby. The SAN is actively working with the other land-access groups on reasonable land-use policies that protect motorized recreation and our nation’s natural wonders.
HEY, THAT'S MY CAR!
Swap Meet Special
1970 Ford Torino
Owner: Ron Serianz
The restoration of my ’70 Ford Torino almost ended before it even began. I found it listed in a local paper, and although it lacked an engine, I couldn’t pass up on the chance to own one of these. I got it home as Hurricane Gloria was barreling down on the Connecticut coast. I parked the car in my garage and hoped for the best.
It survived the storm unscratched, and it was clear to me that it was time to begin the restoration process. I went from swap meet to swap meet looking for the necessary parts, starting, of course, with an engine. I found a disassembled 429 Cobra Jet at a swap meet, and later I would add more swap meet finds, including a shaker air cleaner and hood. To help add to the car’s style, I added a Mustang spoiler, rear window covers and Magnum 500 wheels. Once again, all items were courtesy of my local swap meets.
The paint job was the hardest part of the restoration. To help reduce costs, I decided to wet-sand and buff the car myself. After putting in 40 hours of work, I was satisfied that the job was done right. In addition to the blue base coat, I picked a red-orange laser strip and placed a Cobra emblem on the rear. The final product looked very sharp. Not bad for a couple days at the local swap meet!
Street Rodders Playing Santa Claus
With more than 1,100 members and growing, the Georgia Street Rod Association (GSRA) has worked to bring together auto enthusiasts from across the state of Georgia. Since its inception in 1976, GSRA has been committed to working within the community and preserving the great street-rod tradition. Even though it’s a street-rod association, members welcome anyone interested in the car hobby. You don’t even need to own a car. As a strong member of SAN, GSRA continues to push for pro-hobby legislation in the Georgia Legislature, including recent efforts to have the SEMA Street Rod/Custom Vehicle Bill introduced.
In its ongoing effort to support community programs, GSRA hosts an annual “Santa Cruise” to benefit the Marine Corp Reserve’s Toys for Tots program. While over 650 vehicles participated in last year’s event, GSRA has already planned for bigger and better things by moving to a venue that can host over 1,000 vehicles. This year, the GSRA hopes to collect over $10,000 worth of toys for the deserving cause.
For more information on the Georgia Street Rod Association and the 2nd Annual Santa Cruise, visit www.gsra.com or call 478/757-8552.
November 16–18, Scottsdale
10th Southwest Nationals
Sponsor: Goodguys Rod & Custom Association
Information: www.good-guys.com or 925/838-9876
November 3, Lucerne Valley
Candy Cane Classic Car Show
Sponsor: Lucerne Valley Roadrunners
November 10–11, Pleasanton
18th Autumn Get-Together
Sponsor: Goodguys Rod & Custom Association
Information: www.good-guys.com or 925/838-9876
November 16–18, Palm Springs
Palms to Pines
Sponsor: Porsche 356 Club
November 2–3, Pinellas Park
32nd Annual Car Show & Swap Meet
Sponsor: Florida West Coast Region, AACA
November 8–11, Panama City Beach
Emerald Coast Cruizin
November 18, Bradenton
16th Annual Super Sunday Mustang and Ford Show
Sponsor: Mustang Club of West Central Florida
November 22–25, Daytona
34th Annual Daytona Turkey Run
Sponsor: Daytona Beach Street Rods
Information: www.turkeyrun.com or 368/767-9070
November 23–24, Ormond Beach
50th Gaslight Parade, Block Party and Antique Car Show
Sponsor: Volusia Region Antique
Automobile Club of America
Information: www.aaca.org/volusia or 386/441-7793
November 17–18, Rosemont
26th Annual Fall Chevy Vettefest
Sponsor: Nickey Chicago
Information: www.chevyvettefest.net or 248/373-1700
November 3–4, Richmond
35th Annual Indoor Rod & Custom Car Show
Sponsor: Vintage Wheels
November 3, Glen Burnie
4th Annual Hot Rod Jalopyrama
Sponsor: The Rusty Nuts H.R.G.
Information: www.jalopyrama.com or 440/437-3763
November 3, Cleveland County
Fairgrounds in Shelby
Hog Happening Bikes Cars Barbecue
November 3, Wilmington
9th Annual Brits and Battleship Car Show
Sponsor: The British Motor Club of the Cape Fear
Information: www.bmccf.org or 910/799-2753
November 16–18, Asheville
Corvettes at Biltmore 2007
Sponsor: RTP Corvettes
November 4, Wayne
The Cruisers Memorial Toy Run
Sponsor: Chester County Cruisers
November 9–10, Bastrop
Bastrop Veterans’ Day Car Show
Sponsor: Bastrop Area Cruisers
Information: www.bastropareacruisers.com or 512/303-6775
November 11–12, 2007, Houston
2007 SVT Cobra & Shelby GT 500 Nationals
Sponsor: SVT Cobra Mustang Club
November 16–18, Jasper
7th Annual Rod Run
Sponsor Lakes Area Cruisers
Information: 409/384-8745 or 409/565-4913
November 22, Houston
48th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts AutoRama
Information: www.autorama.com or 936/344-9441
Early December 2007 Events
December 1, Forrest Park
2nd Annual Santa Cruise
Sponsor: Georgia Street Rod Association
Information: www.gsra.com or 478/757-8552
December 1–2, Timonium
East Coast Indoor Nationals
Attention Car Clubs, Event Organizers and Enthusiasts!
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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.