Images: SEMA

Owning a classic, street rod, custom or muscle car is a right that all of us have if we so desire to act on it, but rules and regulations affecting our favorite hobby can put a damper on being a gearhead. Luckily, the Specialty Equipment Market Association is working with car clubs, individuals, groups and legislators across the country to pass fair laws and fight against regulations that will negatively impact those of us that would rather own a hot rod than a time share. These are the updates from SEMA’s July Law & Order publication that could affect you as a hot rodder.

The summer season means recess for many legislatures, which has proven to be beneficial for classic car owners in Connecticut. Back in May we told you about a SEMA-opposed bill being proposed in Connecticut that aimed to increase the age requirement for vehicles eligible to be registered as “antique.” This bill would have upped the age requirement from the current 20 years or older to at least 30 years and would have also increased the maximum assessed value of such vehicles to $2,500 from the current $500 for property tax reasons.

While this would have benefited owners of cars worth more than $2,500 still, it would have punished those with vehicles worth less than that amount. Luckily, when the Connecticut Legislature adjourned for the year, the bill died.

This comes as good news after the Joint Committee on Planning and Development approved the bill with a 10 to nine vote earlier, sending it off to the Connecticut Legislature for further approval.

Summer has also brought about the SEMA designated Collector Car Appreciation Day on July 13th. This day is meant to recognize the vital role that restoration and collecting of vehicles plays in society. Businesses, clubs, and organizations are encouraged to celebrate with special car-related activities. Although Hawaii had not recognized this day earlier in the year, resolutions have been approved by Hawaii State Legislature to recognize Collector Car Appreciation Day as an official day.

California emissions standards are by far the strictest in the country, and many people aim to resolve that especially in the automotive hobby. Earlier this year, SEMA-supported legislation had been introduced in California aiming to exempt pre-1981 models from emissions testing, increasing the model years exempt by just four years. Initially this legislation failed to pass but was granted a reconsideration. Unfortunately, legislators who opposed the bill in the first place maintain that the bill is a means to ignore the pollution contribution of older, high-emissions cars according to bill sponsor Senator Doug LaMalfa and the bill has once again been dropped.

SEMA is very involved with these legislative proceedings and many more that can be found in the latest Law & Order update. You can also stay updated and join in the fight for fair laws and regulations that could affect your hobby by joining the SEMA Action Network here. By joining, you will be connected to individuals, companies and groups across the country that aim to promote pro-hobby legislation. It’s free, has no obligations and best of all, will keep you up to date on the need-to-know in the automotive hobby.