When it comes to California State Senator Doug LaMalfa, well, he tried. That’s more than most legislators can say for themselves when it comes to making emission standards in California a bit more fair for classic car owners. Unfortunately, the effort to pass legislation aiming to exempt pre-1981 vehicles from strict emissions standards in the golden state has crashed and burned. According to an update we received from the SEMA Action Network, the recently drafted legislation failed to impress the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, causing the bill to be dropped for the remainder of the year.
With fingers and toes crossed, rabbits feet in hand and stockpiles of four-leaf clovers, we brought you the news back in March that maybe, just maybe pre-1981 vehicles would be freed from the confines of California’s strict emissions standards. Although many campaigned for the bill’s approval and Senator Doug LaMalfa, the bill’s sponsor, fought tooth and nail for it to pass, the bill has been squashed after failing an initial vote.
“Although the bill was granted reconsideration, the opponents contend the exemption is intended as a means of ignoring the effects of pollution caused by older, high-emissions vehicles rather than a legitimate benefit for classic car collectors whose vehicles are rarely driven,” LaMalfa was quoted as saying in the SEMA update. “My efforts to convince my colleagues of the merits of the bill have been unsuccessful, and therefore, the bill has been dropped for this year and, of course, I am very disappointed.”
While we had hopes that the new legislation would pass, we all knew the battle it would face. After all, California seems to have it out for anyone who wants to drive something other than a bone-stock 2010 Camry. Modify your car in any way… and they’re out to get you.
Luckily, pre-1976 vehicles still remain exempt from emissions in California. This means that hot rod and muscle car fans can relax a little bit while continuing to fight for late 70s-era vehicles to be awarded the same consideration as their earlier counterparts. But don’t get too comfortable. With the way emissions standards seem to go in California, we might be having to get emissions on our Ford Model-Ts here soon.