By Dan Sadowski

Photos Courtesy Drew Phillips

Congressman John Campbell Engages SEMA Members on This Year’s Hot Topics


Lance Stander (right), president and CEO of Hillbank Motor Corp. in Irvine, California, welcomed Congressman John Campbell to the company’s facility as part of SEMA’s Congressional Site Visit Program.

United States Congressman John Campbell took time from his busy schedule in January to meet with SEMA members at an event hosted by Hillbank Motor Corporation in Irvine, California. The gathering was part of SEMA’s Congressional Site Visit Program, which provides an opportunity for lawmakers to visit SEMA-member facilities and discuss current industry issues with constituents.

Prior to serving in public office, Rep. Campbell’s career spanned 25 years in the automotive industry representing automobile franchises, including Nissan, Mazda, Ford, Saturn and Saab. After election to the California State Assembly in 2000 and the State Senate in 2004, Campbell established himself as a fiscal conservative and activist for sensible public policies. He was a strong advocate for industry initiatives, such as exempting vehicles 30 years and older from emissions inspections. He was also one of the first members of the SEMA-supported State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus, a bipartisan group of state lawmakers whose common thread is a love and appreciation for automobiles.

Rep. Campbell took his industry credentials to Washington when he was elected to the U.S. Congress in 2005. He represents California’s 48th district, which encompasses much of Orange County and has the one of the highest concentrations of SEMA-member companies in the country, with more than 110. Rep. Campbell joined the Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus and most recently helped SEMA secure a provision within the “Cash for Clunkers” program to protect vehicles 25 years old and older from the crusher.


Hillbank’s garage is stocked with a variety of hand-crafted, carefully engineered Shelby CSX Cobras, Shelby Daytona Coupes, GT40s and Superformance MKIIIs.

From the minute Rep. Campbell arrived at the Hillbank event, he left no doubt that gasoline runs in his veins. Pulling up in his gleaming ’73 Buick Riviera, Rep. Campbell was ready to talk shop—both politics and exotic kit cars. Hillbank’s garage is stocked with a variety of hand-crafted, carefully engineered Shelby CSX Cobras, Shelby Daytona Coupes, GT40s and Superformance MKIIIs.

Hillbank USA was founded in 1999 as an extension of Hillbank South Africa, which has been in business since 1977. Hillbank USA is the southwestern dealer for Superformance replica and Shelby continuation vintage racing and street-legal component cars of the ’60s. It is also a premier retailer of top name-brand and genuine aftermarket American muscle performance parts, including components for late-model Camaros, Challengers, F-Series trucks, Mustangs and Rangers.

Rep. Campbell walked among the exotic cars, asking questions and chatting with SEMA members who were present.

“As a local business owner, I am pleased that Congressman Campbell took the time to meet with SEMA members in his home district and listen to the concerns of small-business owners,” said Hillbank President and CEO Lance Stander. “It was also wonderful to talk about engine performance, superchargers, exhausts and other topics of discussion with a fellow auto enthusiast.”


Stander took time out from discussions about the automotive industry and the current state of political affairs to admire the Congressman’s ’73 Buick Riviera.

After the tour, the congressman convened a Q&A session to discuss important upcoming legislative topics relevant to his constituency. At the briefing, Rep. Campbell showed the same enthusiasm for important legislative issues that he had for the Cobras and GTs. Covering topics such as health care, taxation, regulation and litigation, Rep. Campbell engaged the audience in conversation regarding the current political and legislative landscape in D.C.

“This year more than ever the priorities for our country are clear,” Rep. Campbell said. “We need to work to make tax cuts permanent, simplify the tax code, enact tort reform to stop frivolous lawsuits and reduce the size of government through elimination of needless regulatory burdens. By visiting with small-business owners and employees in my district, I am more aware of the issues important to my constituents to get our economy moving in the right direction.”

For more information about the Congressional Site Visit Program, contact Dan Sadowski.

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