West Virginia Lawmaker Assumes Leadership Post of State Auto Caucus

West Virginia Delegate Gary Howell has been named vice chairman of the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus.  The Caucus is supported by the SEMA Action Network (SAN) and is chaired by New York Assemblyman Bill Reilich.

The Caucus is a bi-partisan group of state lawmakers whose common thread is a love for automobiles.  To date, almost 600 state legislators from all 50 states have joined the group.  The Caucus serves to raise the motor vehicle hobby’s profile in state legislatures across the country, and in the eyes of the public.  Many of these lawmakers have sought to preserve and expand the hobby by improving existing motor vehicle statutes and regulations.

Howell has worked extensively in the motorsports industry, raced both stock cars and drag cars, built winning race cars and award winning show cars, and designed racing parts. He has also hosted a syndicated radio show, written automotive magazine articles and served as a technical expert on automotive TV shows.

“I have been a strong advocate of SEMA model legislation that helps car enthusiasts enjoy their hobby in a safe and responsible manner,” Howell said.  “I have worked to remove the tax burden on low income car collectors, sponsored a bill to implement an objective exhaust noise testing program and crusaded against increased ethanol blends in gasoline.  I’m currently working on a car collector tag that can be transferred between vehicles like a dealer plate.  The plate could be used by collectors on recently purchased vehicles or those in the process of restoration.”    

Despite his busy legislative schedule, Howell still finds time to fit in personal "car stuff" and enjoys driving his Dodge SRT-4which won Car and Driver's 2005 SuperFour Challenge in the front wheel drive class.  His dream car is a black ’71 GTX, 426 Hemi four-speed.