If you ask average Americans what they love about auto racing, you’ll find a striking similarity in the responses: speed, teamwork and passion. Since the invention of the automobile, Americans have been converting their street vehicles into race cars. Powered by this passion, most professional motorsports leagues, including NASCAR, were founded on that concept. More than a century later, the very core of this tradition is under attack.
SEMA Government Affairs
The racing community has been instrumental in getting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw a proposed rule that threatened the future of racing and modification equipment, and in getting dozens of Congressional Reps to co-sponsor the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act. But the threat isn’t over.
Maryland Historic Vehicles: In a conversation with the Maryland State Police, SEMA has learned that legislation to revise the state’s historic-vehicle registration requirements is only intended to subject historic vehicles of model-year ’86 and later to equipment repair orders. These repair orders would be issued only for vehicle safety equipment that is in disrepair and would require a subsequent inspection to determine that the repair had been effected. The bill does not subject these vehicles to periodic inspections, as previously believed.
“The way I see it, if you’re going to build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?” explained Dr. Emmett Brown in the blockbuster film “Back to the Future.” As any movie buff will tell you, the car Doc Brown spoke of was the DeLorean DMC-12. Unfortunately for movie lovers and gearheads alike, the DeLorean hasn’t been in production since 1983. However, thanks to a new SEMA-supported law, that’s about to change.
Earlier this week, SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting testified before the U.S House Science, Space, and Technology Oversight Subcommittee, urging the group to continue allowing street vehicles to be modified and converted for motorsports competition.
The House Natural Resources Committee passed legislation that requires the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to reopen the 75,000-acre Clear Creek National Recreation Area (NRA) in San Benito and Fresno counties for recreational use, including off-highway vehicle (OHV) access.
Our cover story this month calls attention to a significant shift in how the federal government regulates replica cars. Enactment of this law was a great victory for SEMA and the industry, but exactly how this win was achieved is, perhaps, even more important. In many ways, we can chalk it up to a long-term effort to build key relationships.
Legislation has been prefiled in Missouri to exempt from sales tax vehicles at least 10 years old with a sales price under $15,000. A separate prefiled bill provides for the parking of unlicensed vehicles on private property if the vehicle is parked within the boundaries of the property, is parked on a surface generally considered to be suitable for parking and is not supported by any device other than its own wheels and tires, except for the limited purpose of repairing the vehicle for a period not to exceed 72 hours.
SEMA is supporting Capitol Hill allies on legislation that will clearly exempt from the Clean Air Act street vehicles converted to racecars for competition-only use.