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Published on Sun, Jun 26, 2005

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

DRIVING FORCE By Jason Tolleson, SEMA Action Network

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH SEMA Action Network Celebrates Kit Car Victory In Colorado Car hobbyists in Colorado scored another major victory when a version of SEMA-model legislation to create a statutory titling and registration class for kit cars was passed by the Colorado State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Bill Owens. The new law, which goes into effect on July 1, 2007, includes the added benefit of exempting kit cars from Colorado's emissions inspection program. Colorado joins Montana, Illinois, Missouri, Maine, Hawaii and Rhode Island as states that have enacted similar bills into law. The law defines a "kit vehicle" as a passenger-type motor vehicle assembled by someone other than a licensed manufacturer, from a manufactured kit that includes a prefabricated body and chassis and is accompanied by a manufacturer's statement of origin. The new law, which gained the bi-partisan support of the Legislature, is the product of months of consultation between the SEMA Action Network, representatives of the Old Car Council of Colorado, the Mile Hi Cobra Club, state legislators and county motor vehicle regulators. The measure was introduced by Colorado State Representative Ann Ragsdale. "Backed by the hard work and perseverance of the Old Car Council of Colorado, the Mile Hi Cobra Club and Representative Ragsdale, we are extremely gratified that Colorado will join the list of states that recognize kit cars as distinct classes of vehicles" said SEMA Vice President, Government Affairs Steve McDonald. "We are especially indebted to the efforts of Keith Hall, Vice President of the Mile Hi Cobra Club, who spearheaded this effort on the ground by coordinating the support of state car clubs and enthusiasts and by working with state and local vehicle administrators." "I think that the most important lesson that we learned from our first legislative experience is that politics is all about compromise and cooperation" commented Hall. "By taking the time to involve everyone who had a stake in our issue during the early decision process we won friends, mollified potential adversaries and discovered areas of shared interest with groups that we had never known existed. The respect gained and contacts made in our first legislative venture will serve our club well in the future." The new law recognizes the unique nature of these vehicles as hobbyist cars that are generally only used for occasional transportation, exhibitions, club activities, parades and tours. "For many vehicle enthusiasts in Colorado and throughout America, building, maintaining and enjoying their vehicles is a favorite pastime" McDonald added. "This law represents an opportunity to acknowledge their commitment to the hobby and to protect it for future generations. These vehicles are the same crowd pleasers that participate in exhibitions and as parade vehicles, and whose owners regularly contribute to charities and civic events. These vehicles are pampered and coddled, buffed and shined and meticulously cared for. They are the pride and joy of those who own them." The model bill will continue to be pursued by SEMA in states that either don't have registration classifications for these vehicles or have laws that are lacking in some way. Efforts are ongoing this year to work with the state legislature in Massachusetts, Florida, New Hampshire and Tennessee on this initiative and to add others to that list in the coming legislative sessions. LEGISLATIVE QUICK HITS Hawaii/Illinois Exhaust Noise: SAN-opposed legislation that sought to dramatically increase fines for those who violate the state's ban on the sale, installation and use of aftermarket exhaust systems died with the close of Hawaii's legislative session. Currently, Hawaii prohibits any exhaust system that increases "the noise emitted by a motor vehicle above that emitted by the vehicle as equipped from the factory." This law does not supply law enforcement with a clear standard to enforce, allowing them to make subjective judgments on whether or not a modified exhaust system is in violation. The SAN also killed an Illinois bill that threatened to ban vehicles equipped with a "muffler or exhaust system that clearly has been modified to amplify or increase the noise of the vehicle." Under this measure, vehicles determined to have been modified by virtue of a "visual observation" would have failed emissions inspection. How emissions inspectors would have determined that an exhaust system increases noise through a visual inspection was not explained in the bill. Minnesota Off-Road: Working with off-road vehicle groups in Minnesota, the SAN managed to kill amendments to a Minnesota bill that would have limited modified 4x4 trucks to minimally maintained roads and to the areas specifically designated for their use. The amendments sought to severely restrict 4x4 truck access to hobbyists by prohibiting use of "trails;" defined 4x4 trucks as four-wheeled motor vehicles manufactured to operate on public roads and subsequently modified with special tires, suspension or other equipment. The amendments were passed on the House and Senate floors at the last minute. The amendments were removed at the request of state hobbyists by a conference committee of House and Senate legislators. Ohio Inoperable Vehicles: The SAN stalled consideration of a bill in Ohio that would further restrict the ability of stat! e vehicl e hobbyists from maintaining inoperable vehicles on private property. The bill provides authority to townships to remove inoperable vehicles deemed to be "junk" including collector cars, from private property. Generally, SAN supports legislation that permits the outdoor storage of motor vehicles if the vehicles are maintained in such a manner so as not to constitute a health hazard. These vehicles could be located away from public view, or screened by means of a suitable fence, trees, shrubbery, opaque covering or other appropriate means. The Ohio bill, however, makes no concession for even properly maintained project cars. The SAN coordinated its opposition with Ohio members of the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus. South Carolina Antique Vehicles: The South Carolina Legislature approved SAN-supported legislation to provide an exemption from property taxes for motor vehicles licensed and registered as antiques. South Carolina law defines an "Antique" as every motor vehicle which is "over 25-years old, is owned solely as a collector's item and is used for participation in club activities, exhibits, tours, parades and similar uses, but in no event used for general transportation." The bill now goes to the governor for his signature and enactment into law. West Virginia/Hawaii Inoperable Vehicles: The SAN defeated a West Virginia bill that would have redefined "abandoned motor vehicles" to include vehicles or vehicle parts which are either unlicensed or inoperable, or both, are not in an enclosed building and have remained on private property for more than 30 days. Under current law, the abandoned vehicle law applies primarily to vehicles on public property. The bill sought to make violation a misdemeanor offense punishable by substantial fines, community service and jail and made no legal distinction between an owner using private property as a dumping ground and a vehicle enthusiast working to maintain, restore or construct a vehicle. Similarly, the SAN beat back a Hawaii bill that provided for the removal and disposal of "derelict vehicles" from private property. SAN Celebrates Sweet Success with Southwest Virginia Car Council In its continuing efforts to recognize car clubs across the country for their active involvement in promoting pro-hobby legislation, the SEMA Action Network (SAN) was in Salem, Virginia on Wednesday, June 7 to honor the Southwest Virginia Car Council. The Roanoke-based council of car clubs was recognized for its continued successful legislative efforts in Virginia to promote and protect the motor vehicle hobby during the annual Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour as it passed through the Roanoke Valley region. This year and in years past, the SAN has worked with the Southwest Virginia Car Council to help ensure that laws and legislation in Virginia are hobby-friendly. This partnership has resulted in several legislative successes in Richmond. In coordination with the SAN, Virginia auto enthusiasts work with state legislators to encourage the introduction and passage of pro-hobby legislation‹from emissions test exemptions for older vehicles to a law guaranteeing the right of hobbyists to restore and maintain inoperable vehicles on private property. The groups also coordinated successful opposition to legislation banning spinner wheels. The bill ignored the fact that spinners have no proven detrimental effect on motor vehicle safety and are not prohibited by Federal law. This year, the Council supported SEMA's model bill to assign street rods and custom vehicles, including kit cars and replicas, a certificate of title bearing the same model year designation as the production vehicle they most closely resemble. That bill will be considered during the 2007 legislative session. In collaboration with the other clubs in the area, the council has played a key role in supporting the Virginia Transportation Museum located in downtown Roanoke. The council is also actively engaged in supporting the Star City Motor Madness, the proceeds of which are donated to the museum. In addition, the council hosts an annual legislative forum where area lawmakers are invited to a dinner sponsored by the member clubs to develop upon the ongoing relationship with their elected officials. "Working with the SAN has resulted in huge dividends for our Council and for the other car club organizations in the state" said Tom Cox, President of the Southwest Virginia Car Council. "Hobbyists can make a huge difference by organizing and developing statewide contacts with legislators. Having your car club join the SAN is a win-win situation." Steve McDonald, Vice President of SEMA's Government Affairs Office in Washing-ton, D.C., agrees. "The SEMA Action Network is indebted to Tom and the other Virginia councils and enthusiasts for their tireless work and unflagging efforts in helping get pro-hobby legislation introduced and passed. It is through their efforts and determination that the hobby will continue to thrive in Virginia and across the country for years to come. We are excited to be honoring the Council during the 2006 Power Tour." Caucus Corner Each month Driving Force will feature members of the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus. The SEMA-supported caucus is a bi-partisan group of state lawmakers whose common thread is a love and appreciation for automobiles. Here are its newest members: Alaska Representative David Guttenberg California Assemblymember Michael Villines Michigan Representative Lorence Wenke Minnesota Representative Rick Hansen Nevada Assemblymember Chad Christensen Ohio Representative Kenny Yuko HEY, THAT'S MY CAR! Diamond in the Rust '56 Chevy Wagon Owner: Chad Reynolds Allen, TX As a self-proclaimed car nut and owner of a custom build shop in Allen, Texas, I decided that it was time to build something a little bit crazy. After purchasing a 1994 Caprice police car for its engine, transmission, brakes, and the rear end, I discovered that it was really close to the same dimensions as a '56 Chevy Wagon. After scoring a barn-fresh and well-worn '56 wagon, it was time to pull out the welder and make the two cars into one. After thinking about the whole process, I came to the conclusion that this crazy idea just might work. After some measurements, I welded the wagon body to the complete chassis, floorpan, and running gear of the Caprice. The best part of all, after selling all the unused parts from both cars, I had a little more than a grand in the whole thing. After sitting for four years, the car was finished and driven for the first time the night before the 2005 Hot Rod Power Tour. In addition to turning heads at car shows across the country, this trusty wagon has crisscrossed the country several times and has yet to let me down. It may not be the prettiest, but it's rock-solid reliable with only 82,000 miles on the chassis. SPECS: Drivetrain: LT1 350 4L60e 8.5 inch 10 bolt posi Suspension: Complete 9C1 (police package) chassis with 1.25 inch front sway bar 1 inch rear swaybar Quick ratio steering box Air Ride Technologies Ride Pro E air management system Front and Rear Coolride Air Springs front and rear Wheels/Tires: Stock Caprice police car 15x7 inch wheels with 205/65/15 front and 235/70/15 rear tires 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: The Driving Force, SEMA, 1575 South Valley Vista Dr., Diamond Bar, CA 91765. You also may send high-resolution digital pictures (minimum resolution of 300 pixels per inch; minimum 5 inches wide) by e-mail to [email protected]. JULY 2006 SAN CLUB EVENTS CALIFORNIA June 30-July 2, Sonoma 18th Sonoma Nitro Nationals Sponsor: Goodguys Information: or 925/838-9876 COLORADO June 30-July 2, Delta 16th Annual Mopar Magic Weekend Sponsor: Mopars Unlimited Colorado Information: or 70/434-7756 July 3-7, Grand Junction 45th National VCCA Anniversary Meet Sponsor: VCCA Information: or 626/963-0205 July 14-17, Salida 13th Annual Rocky Mountain Rendezvous Information: or 303/838-8505 CONNECTICUT July 9, Simsbury 5th Annual Valley Classic Wheels Car Show Sponsor: Valley Classic Wheels Car Club Information: or 860/658-7122 ILLINOIS July 4, Effingham Firecracker Car Show Sponsor: Classic Pony Car Club Information: or 217/536-5162 July 16, Barrington 4th Annual All Pontiac Car Show Sponsor: Illinois POCI Information: 847/526-1812 July 16, Union Grove CGH Drag Day/Car Show Sponsor: Chicago Gearheads Information: 630/918-5552 July 29-30, Joliet 5th Annual NMCA Hot Rod and Muscle Car Nationals Show and Shine Sponsor: NMCA and Chicago Gearheads Information: or 949/254-5693 INDIANA July 15, Portland 5th Annual Benefit Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show Sponsor: Hollowblock Cruisers Information: 260/726-4150 IOWA June 30-July 2, Des Moines 15th Annual Heartland NationalsSponsor : Goodguys Information: or 925/838-9876 KANSAS July 29-30, Newton 7th Annual Sunflower International Harvest Show Sponsor: Heartland International Club Information: 316/835-2740 MARYLAND July 9, Glen Burnie 17th Christmas in July Annual Toy Run 2006 Sponsor: Lost in the 50's Car Club Information: 410/224-6406 July 29, Pasadena 5th Annual Brits by the Bay Car Show Sponsor: Triumphs Around the Chesapeake Information: or 410/679-6421 MINNESOTA July 4, Stewartville 3rd Annual Car Show Sponsor: Stewie Cruisers Information: or 507/273-2127 July 12-16, Rochester 2006 Buick Club of America National Meet Sponsor: BCA Information: July 14-16, St. Cloud 3rd Annual Bad Boyz Car Show Information: or 320/252-5498 MISSOURI July 14-16, Kansas City 1st National Solstice Gathering Information: or 314/340-2315 NEVADA July 22, Fernley Silverado Classic Sponsor: Classic Chevys of Reno Information: or 775/358-5630 NEW MEXICO July 22, Belen 1st Annual Belen Classic Car Show Sponsor: Classic Chevy Club of Albuquerque Information: 505/385-1410 July 26-30, Albuquerque National DeSoto Convention Information: [email protected] or 505/342-2601 NEW YORK July 2, Clarence 31st Annual Show Sponsor: Tri-Five of Western New York Information: 716/634-1149 July 14-16, Syracuse Syracuse Nationals Sponsor: Right Coast Association Information: or 800/753-3978 OHIO July 4, Xenia 41st Anniversary Car Show and Swap Meet Sponsor: Greene County Antique & Classic Car Club Information: [email protected] or 937/372-3405 July 7-9, Columbus 9th Goodguys Nationals Sponsor: Goodguys Information: or 925/838-9876 July 7-8, Dublin 24th Annual Arthritis Foundation Classic Auto Show and Cruise-In Information: or 614/876-8200 July 15, Wyandot County Fairgrounds 3rd Annual Danny Garza Memorial Fundraiser Show Information: [email protected] or 419/273-2957 July 22, Delaware 13th Annual Blast from the Past Sponsor: Vintage Auto Club of Delaware, Ohio Information: 740/363-3545 July 29, Plain City 27th Annual Poor Man's Nationals Sponsor: Buckeye Rod Builder's Information: 641/263-9514 PENNSYLVANIA July 7-9, Bloomsburg 19th Annual Summer 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals Information: or 317/236-6522 July 7-9, Carlisle Carlisle All Chrysler Nationals Information: or 717/243-7855 TEXAS June 28-July 2, Dallas Lone Star Nationals Sponsor: Oldsmobile Club of America Information: or 517/663-1811 UTAH July 22, Spring City Spring City Car Show Sponsor: Sanpete Cruisers Information: 435/436-8310 July 28-30, Salina 3rd Annual Blast from the Past Car Show Sponsor: Forever Young Car Club Information: 877/473-8368 VIRGINIA June 30-July 2, Alton SAAC-31 Sponsor: Shelby American Automobile Club Information: [email protected] or 860/364-0449 July 3-4, Roanoke 4th Annual Star City Motor Madness Information: July 11-15, Williamsburg 37th Annual National Meet Sponsor: Walter P. Chrysler Club, Inc. Information: July 15, Midlothian 21st Annual Early Bird Rod Run Sponsor: Virginia Street Rods Information: or 804/360-1255 WASHINGTON July 14-16, Puyallup 19th Pacific Northwest Nationals Sponsor: Goodguys Information: or 925/838-9876 July 29-30, Westport 2nd Annual Super Cruzz Show and Shine Information: 360/268-1280 WEST VIRGINIA July 15, Capon Bridge 4th Annual Bash at the Bridge Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Show Sponsor: USMCF-MAIA Information: or 304/856-3446 WISCONSIN July 1, Grafton Rods-n-Relics Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show Sponsor: Rods-N-Relics Car Club Information: or 262/242-3834 July 7-9, Iola Iola Old Car Show and Swap Meet Sponsor: Oldsmobile Club of Wisconsin Information: [email protected] July 14-16, West Allis Milwaukee Nationals Sponsor: National Street Rod Association Information: or 901/452-4030 July 22, New London 2nd Annual Riding for Rawhide Fish Fry and Car Show Sponsor: Valley Vettes Information: or 920/428-0530 Check out these early August 2006 events CALIFORNIA July 31-August 3, Truckee National Solid Axle Corvette Club Convention Sponsor: SACC Information: or 916/991-7040 MISSOURI August 2-4, Springfield 32nd International Convention Sponsor: Classic Chevy Club of Springfield Information: or 321/385-9703 NEVADA August 3-5, Reno Hot August Nights/41st Annual Reno Classic Car & Parts Swap Meet Information: or 916/933-0949 TENNESSEE August 1-5, Kingsport Professional Car Society's 30th Anniversary International Meet Information: [email protected] or 423/288-3454 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: INOPERABLE VEHICLES North Carolina HB 2397/SB 1810/SB 1391/SB 1358/HB 2001: Affects the regulation of abandoned or junked motor vehicles in the towns of Matthews, Mint Hill, Ahoskie, Lagrange, and Farmville. The bill would allow the city to remove vehicles that are partially dismantled or wrecked, worth less than $500, and display no current license plate. EMISSIONS/INSPECTIONS North Carolina SB 1560/HB 2185: Creates Low Emission Vehicle standards for vehicles in North Carolina. Allows governor to exempt vehicles but also prohibits the transfer of the title of motor vehicles or engines that do not meet new emissions standards. WINDOW TINTING North Carolina HB 2805: Prevents a safety inspector from inspecting after-factory tinting if a vehicle has previously passed inspection and is owned by the same individual. MISCELLANEOUS North Carolina HB 2158: Encourages the development and maintenance of the motorsports industry in North Carolina. Attention Car Clubs, Event Organizers and Enthusiasts! 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: Jason Tolleson, SEMA, 1317 F Street, N.W., Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20004-1105. Or by e-mail at [email protected].

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