“I love it when I see kids get all excited as I drive by!” exclaims Tom Pettit.  He’s owned his understated ‘62 Chevrolet Bel Air for more than ten years.  “I didn’t want it to be a racer, just a good dependable cruiser.”  To fit his vision, Tom pulled the original 235 c.i. six-cylinder out and installed a 305 c.i. TPI engine from an ‘86 Camaro Z28.  “I love taking it to car shows and hearing someone say, ‘I did not expect to see that under the hood!’”  The interior has also been overhauled and a deep paint job applied.  Still, he says the car is a work in progress.  “I have some more things I want to do to it.”  He is hoping to start working on an ‘86 El Camino this Spring—one which may end up funding another project. 
A resident of West Jefferson, Ohio, Tom recently wrote to his lawmakers in support of a bill introduced in the state.  "I am an automotive enthusiast and would like to be able to pass that interest along to my grandchildren.  I would like to think that I can count on your support of this bill."  A version of SEMA model legislation, the proposal would ease the process by which replica vehicles are titled and registered.  Currently, there is no specific registration and titling class for replicas.  It is awaiting consideration in committee at the moment.
While his Bel Air will not be directly impacted by this particular bill, Tom nevertheless took action.  “If the government would ban the kind of stuff I am into, I would be crushed—along with all this history that is worth preserving,” he says.  “I don’t just want to see cars in a museum but out on the streets being driven!  Being a member of the SEMA Action Network (SAN) lets me know what is going on with the hobby in my own state.”  He counts on others being on board with the cause as he is.  “Together, we will continue to pass down our knowledge of the ‘good old days.’  I think there are boys and girls out there that see these old cars and aspire to own one—or even better, restore one.” 
Special thanks for selflessly doing your part, Tom!  Your effort serves the ‘greater good’ of the automotive community—present and future.