By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff
Kansas Representative Leo Delperdang was introduced as the annual winner of the Stephen B. McDonald Legislator of the Year award at the 2021 SEMA Show. Representing the 94th District, Representative Delperdang was recognized for his efforts in the Kansas legislature to promote policies and legislation that support the automotive hobby.
Kansas Representative Leo Delperdang (right) won the Stephen B. McDonald Legislator of the Year award at the 2021 SEMA Show.
Representative Delperdang is proudly counted among the more than 700 pro-hobby lawmakers comprising the SEMA-supported State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus, and has routinely demonstrated his commitment to the industry. The award is bestowed to the state lawmaker who has gone above and beyond to support the industry in their home state and was named for SEMA’s late Vice President of Government Affairs Stephen B. McDonald, who was the driving force behind the founding and growth of the Caucus.
Representative Delperdang most recently championed an effort in his home state to restore order to vintage vehicles eligible for antique registration. Until this year, an antique vehicle was defined by the Kansas Highway Patrol as being “more than 35 years old and as close to the original as possible, without any significant alterations to the major component parts.” The law did not allow the use of non-original materials and did not recognize the limited availability of factory replacement parts. Thus, the overly strict policy prevented the automotive community from lawfully practicing common restoration techniques.
In response, Representative Delperdang authored legislation (H.B. 2165) to remove the unnecessary registration restrictions for antique vehicles. Having quickly passed the Kansas legislature earlier this year, the new pro-hobby law took effect on July 1 with Governor Laura Kelly’s signature. The new law requires only that the vehicle be more than 35 years old, regardless of the type or age of the component parts installed. Kansas now falls in line with other states that allow antique vehicles to be properly defined by their age.
In addition to being a lawmaker, Representative Delperdang is also an enthusiast with a strong interest in the Mopar brand. Rep. Delperdang drives a special-order ’19 Dodge Challenger ScatPack 392 Hemi and is a member of the Wichita Area Mopar Club.