Help Save California’s Johnson Valley OHVRecreation Area
A new effort to save the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) recreation area in California has been launched to prevent the unnecessary expansion of the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base. A coalition of organizations, including the SEMA Action Network (SAN), has initiated a petition requesting support from the White House. The petition requests that “our government encourage the Marines to work with the public . . . to meet training objectives instead of closing this land to the public forever.”
Don’t Delay! The petition must reach 25,000 signatures by February 14. Click here to sign the petition: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/save-johnson-valley-ohv-area-be-fiscally-responsible-stop-29-palms-marine-base-expansion-keep-public/5r0C7Xw4
Also, please forward this Alert to your fellow off-road enthusiasts. Urge them to join the SAN and help defend the hobby! Thank you for your assistance.
The SEMA Action Network (SAN) announced that the next Collector Car Appreciation Day will be celebrated on July 12, 2013. The date marks the fourth consecutive commemoration in what has become an annual event to raise awareness of the vital role automotive restoration and collection plays in American society. The SAN will once again seek a congressional resolution to recognize the day’s significance.
“The U.S. Senate helped launch Collector Car Appreciation Day by passing Resolutions each year at our request,” said SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald. “As we prepare for the fourth celebration of our nation’s automotive heritage, enthusiasts and related businesses are already planning open houses, car cruises, club gatherings and educational events to mark this annual commemoration. In fact, Collector Car Appreciation Day is quickly taking on a global character, with additional events held in Canada and Australia.”
The previous resolutions were sponsored by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC). Senators Tester and Burr have been strong advocates for the automotive hobby in Washington, D.C., and recognize the integral role collector cars have played in fostering our nation’s appreciation for the automobile’s unique historical place in our history.
The SAN will again maintain and publicize a list of scheduled events to commemorate America’s time-tested love affair with the automobile at www.SEMAsan.com/CollectorCarAppreciationDay. Individuals, car clubs and business owners interested in publicizing events should contact Colby Martin, SAN director, at 909-978-6721 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are unable to celebrate on July 12, the SAN encourages events to be scheduled throughout the month of July.
SAN Votes 2012
Hope. Change. Believe. Forward. These buzz words are an unavoidable element of today’s political campaigns. Many historic political messages, such as the “Don’t Tread On Me!” slogan, are being adopted as rallying cries for certain political constituencies. A flood of messages such as these reflect the views of a portion of the citizenry that is seeking to influence our country’s governing policies.
What if these buzz words also represented a bigger ideal than just encouraging support for a single party or candidate? Perhaps we should look past the obvious campaign marketeering and consider a more universal message: Go vote! This year, voters will elect the president of the United States, 435 members of the U.S. House, 33 U.S. senators, 12 governors and thousands of state and local leaders.
The struggles to gain and maintain the right to vote have been legendary in our country. In 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted, allowing women the right to vote. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was the result of years of discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of many of our fellow citizens. Despite the persistence of our forefathers and mothers to gain these rights, today only about half of Americans actually vote. In fairly recent times, we’ve seen the impact of individual votes on elections. In 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected by a margin of 0.16% of the popular vote, while in 2000, the race between George W. Bush and Al Gore hinged on the outcome of a single state’s returns, the result of which was ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
As SEMA Action Network (SAN) members know, the automotive hobby is impacted daily by laws and regulations issued at the national, state and local levels. Some laws are hobby-friendly but many, if not most, are not. On Election Day, we have an opportunity to determine which candidates will be making the laws which set the future course for our country and our hobby.
The SAN works closely with hundreds of lawmakers at the state and federal level. More than 600 legislators who support the motor-vehicle hobby have joined the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus. In Washington, D.C. nearly 100 members make up the Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus to recognize contributions made by the automotive performance and motorsports industry to the U.S. economy. Many of these lawmakers seek to expand the hobby by improving existing motor-vehicle statutes and regulations.
Legislators such as New York Assemblyman Bill Reilich are more than just supporters of our hobby, they’re gearheads themselves. He is the chairman of the State Caucus and can often be found tinkering with vehicles from his own collection, including a prized ’57 Chevy and a custom ’60s-era Batmobile that he built from a kit. Reilich has introduced several pro-hobby bills, including SEMA-model legislation to create a vehicle titling and registration classification for street rods and custom vehicles and legislation to reduce registration fees for historic vehicles. Reilich fights daily to protect the rights of motor-vehicle enthusiasts and encourages them to get more involved with their elected officials.
“Enthusiasts and car clubs should write about the top two or three issues of importance to them and send it to their elected officials,” said Reilich. “The more information we have from groups affected by legislation helps not only to formulate our decisions on how to vote, but gives us valuable information for debating the matter at hand. Even a handful of letters on a particular subject are effective.”
As an American, your vote has equal value to every other voter, regardless of wealth, power or influence. “Participating in the election process is always very important,” added Reilich. “I recommend that car hobbyists consider supporting those that show support to them and their hobby.” To determine if your elected officials are members of these bipartisan caucuses, visit www.semasan.com.
With so much at stake for our country, speak your mind and be heard at the polls on November 6...your hobby may depend on it!
Owning the Road
On July 13, 2012, automotive enthusiasts, car clubs, civic organizations and businesses participated in celebrations to honor the third annual Collector Car Appreciation Day (CCAD). Nearly 200 official events were held in the United States, Canada and Australia to commemorate the day throughout the month of July. The official events included car club cruise-ins, business open houses, specialty shows at automobile museums and "drive your collector car to work" displays. Scores of unofficial gatherings included car shows, picnics and cruise-ins.
"This annual celebration has brought thousands of collector car owners to the forefront, which translates into millions of dollars spent in pursuit of our passion—the love of the automobile," explained William "Skeeter" Rader, who hosted a celebration with his club, the Coachmen, in Newbury Park, California. "At the same time, we can recognize how the automobile has historically been so crucial in the growth of our society, both from a developmental perspective as well as in the creation of jobs."
This special day was designated by U.S. Senate Resolution 452 sponsored by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) at the request of the SEMA Action Network (SAN). Lawmakers in several states and Canada, including many local governments, followed the Senate's lead. New York, New Mexico, Idaho, West Virginia and Hawaii, along with the Canadian Provinces of Manitoba and Nova Scotia and the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, adopted their own resolutions commemorating the day. A gallery of more than 1,000 images from these gatherings is available in an online album found at the CCAD homepage on the SAN website (www.SEMAsan.com/CCAD). Enjoy a sample of the coverage on the following pages. The SAN would like to thank everyone who supported our hobby's "holiday" this year. Stay tuned for the announcement of next year's celebration!
“Historic” Win for Dream Cruisers
Remember the days when roadways were jam-packed with cars sporting whitewalls, tailfins and chrome bumpers? It was a time when disc brakes, power windows and air conditioning weren’t standard equipment and rock bands sang about Little Deuce Coupes, GTOs and Hot Rod Lincolns. Well, welcome to Michigan in August!
In a day and time when miles per gallon often trump miles per hour in automotive conversation, the rules of the road generally aren’t intended to favor vintage vehicles. However, a new Michigan law not only benefits classics but encourages their use. Just in time for the famous Woodward Dream Cruise, Senate Bill 1146 will allow registered historic motor vehicles (more than 25 years old) unlimited use as “exhibition” vehicles the entire month of August each year. Sponsored in the legislature by Senator Mike Kowall, the bill was signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder. The new law providesMichigan historic vehicle owners the opportunity to enjoy recreational driving in the month of August in addition to the other sanctioned uses. By implication, the law also acknowledges the immeasurable time and money automotive hobbyists, especially historic vehicle owners, invest in their cars.
While, in recent times, some states have sought to restrict the usage of “historic” vehicles, toughen eligibility criteria and target old cars as a revenue source, Senator Kowall has stood up for them with this and other legislation. Kowall is a dyed-in-the-wool gearhead. Born into a family of automotive enthusiasts, he became disheartened by citations being issued to drivers of “historic” vehicles in his area. To combat this activity and help ensure another spectacular Dream Cruise, S.B. 1146 was introduced. Major groundwork for this bill had been laid by Senate Resolution No. 159 which commemorates August 2012 as Automotive Heritage Month in the state of Michigan, of which Kowall was also a sponsor.
Automotive enthusiasts everywhere can look to this law as another example of an informed state government working effectively on our behalf. Upon being introduced, S.B. 1146 moved through the Michigan state legislature with a speed akin to a racing vehicle hitting its top end. In one month’s time, the Senate Committee on Transportation (of which Kowall is vice chair) quickly passed the bill to the entire Senate, then the House Transportation Committee and full House of Representatives before reaching the governor’s desk.
Not only is Kowall a long-time member of the SAN-supported State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus, a bipartisan group comprised of state lawmakers whose common thread is a love and appreciation for automobiles, but his wife Eileen who serves in the Michigan House of Representatives is a member as well. Although she is not nearly the automotive aficionado that her husband is, Eileen helps maintain the couple’s own classic car collection. However, they are not the only partners to share membership in the caucus. Others include Senator Ted Gaines and Assemblymember Beth Gaines, both in the California legislature, as well as New Hampshire Senator Andy Sanborn and Representative Laurie Sanborn.
Credit for the victory of S.B. 1146 is owed in no small part to the passionate Michigan hobbyists who answered the call and participated in letting lawmakers know their feelings about this issue. We encourage SAN members to continue to make in-roads with legislators in their state so that the network can report more successes like this. “Spend eight hours getting to know your legislators, and follow their progress,” Kowall advises. “Offer your special car to them for a parade appearance. This small investment could pay off 10-fold!” Hobby-friendly lawmakers in your state, members of the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus, can be found on the SAN website at www.semasan.com.
For those who havent experienced it, the Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour is like going on a road trip with your extended family, only this family is comprised of thousands of fellow automotive enthusiasts. Although many participants may not have previously known one another or even share the same vehicle interests, the kinship that is created among the group by the Tours end is inspiring. Throughout the journey, there are many opportunities to bond with others, both planned and unplanned: lunch detours, performance competitions and highway troubleshooting. In fact, Long Haulers (those who complete the entire route) make up only a part of the spectacle; many of the rides will join the Tour for only a portion of it. Even the local residents along the way turn up in great numbers to witness the Tours eye candy.
Events like the Power Tour embody the same spirit we encourage at the SEMA Action Network (SAN): gathering enthusiasts together, regardless of style preferences, to unite and enhance the camaraderie inherent in our all-American hobby. Throughout the weeks adventure, the SAN staff will once again meet a great number of the Networks supporters, and gain many more. Thousands of new members have become involved with the SANs cause based on participation in this event over the years.
The journey this year will stop at in the following cities: Detroit, Michigan (June 2); Muskegon, Michigan (June 3); Champaign, Illinois (June 4); Madison, Illinois (June 5); Miami, Oklahoma (June 6); Stillwater, Oklahoma (June 7); Arlington, Texas (June 8). Please visit us in front of the official Power Tour bus if youre able to make any of the stops. See you on the road!
For information about the event, visit www.hotrod.com
Connecticut Bill to Restrict Access to Antique Vehicle Registration and Increase Fees Again Dies as Session Ends
Legislation (H.B. 5405) that threatened to increase the age requirement for vehicles eligible for registration as antique, rare or special interest motor vehicles died when the Connecticut Legislature adjourned for the year, suffering the same fate as an identical bill last year. The bill had been approved by the Joint Committee on Planning and Development by a narrow 10-9 vote. Under the measure, vehicles seeking registration as antique, rare or special interest motor vehicles would have been required to be at least 30 years old. Currently, vehicles 20 years old or older are eligible for this status and special license plates. For the purpose of property taxes, the bill also increased the maximum assessment of these vehicles to $2,500. Antique, rare or special interest motor vehicles are currently assessed at a rate of $500 and owners pay personal property taxes on that amount.
Thank you and congratulations to all who participated in opposing this bill.
Summer is around the corner and that means Collector Car Appreciation Day is quickly approaching! Events ranging from informal garage gatherings and barbeques to highly organized events like last years Lowes Cruisin in Abingdon, Maryland (pictured above) will be held in support of this annual celebration. Is your local event on our list? As always, the SEMA Action Network welcomes any level of participation in honor of this occasion.
Individuals, car clubs and business owners interested in publicizing events of any size should contact SAN Director Colby Martin at 909/978-6721 or email@example.com. The official logo and flyer are available for download from the homepage to help promote this special day. If you are unable to celebrate on Friday, July 13th, the SAN encourages events to be scheduled throughout the month of July.
As many of you are aware, this is the third year in a row the SAN is seeking the support of a U.S. Senate resolution to helped launch national Collector Car Appreciation Day. By taking part in these events around the country, automotive enthusiasts and related businesses are coming together to ensure that their passion continues to be honored and recognized.
A Sunday Drive
The work week is over. The weather is perfect. The gas tank is full. For historic vehicle owners, there isnt an experience quite as rewarding as a weekend cruise in the machine of your dreams with your best guy or gal at your side. After all, youve put countless amounts of time, money and effort into every detail of the vehicle. Its commonly said that what matters is the journey, not the destination, and few days are brighter than while enjoying your rolling creation in the great outdoors. How would it feel if that experience with your collector vehicle was compromised or even removed?
A story that began with Maryland legislation that sought to severely curtail hobbyist rights, ended with an army of angry state hobbyists taking steps to protect enjoyment of vintage vehicles. As introduced, Maryland House Bill 550 and Senate Bill 846 aimed to further limit the use of historic motor vehicles, beyond what is currently provided for in the law. According to bill sponsors, these bills sought to address abuses of the historic vehicle designation by certain historic vehicle owners. Under the introduced bills, the age requirement would have been raised from 20 to at least 25 years old, historic cars would have been prohibited from being used for occasional transportation and an historic vehicle, show vehicle or antique insurance policy would have been required. While the SEMA Action Network (SAN) does not approve of the misuse of reasonable collector car laws, imposing new, unfair limitations became grounds for debate. So, the SAN went to work. In partnership with the hobbyist community in the state, the SAN worked with Delegate Kirill Reznik to propose amendments to H.B. 550 to protect legitimate historic vehicle owners. These amendments were also offered to S.B. 846 for Senate committee consideration.
Under the amendments, which have not yet been formally approved, vehicles would continue to be eligible for the historic class upon their 20th year; there would be no collector insurance requirement and the occasional use provision would be restored. Further, permissible use would now include for the purposes of obtaining repairs and routine maintenance. The SAN also helped increase the classes of vehicles among those eligible for historic status to include taxi cabs, funeral vehicles, ambulances and limousines. The American Truck Historical Society successfully negotiated separate legislation to address historic trucks over 10,000 lbs.
To address abusers of the current law who may be using the historic status to operate daily drivers without constraints, the proposed amendments to H.B. 550 and S.B. 846 require that an historic vehicle owner must have use of a regularly registered vehicle to be used for primary transportation. The bill would also clearly stipulate that the historic vehicle not be an individuals or a familys primary method or transportation. Further, the amended bills enhance law enforcement authority to target violators of the historic vehicle laws without inconveniencing legitimate hobbyists.
The amended versions of these bills demonstrate a real effort by the primary bill sponsors, especially Delegate Reznik, to enact reasonable and fair compromise legislation that recognizes the unique place these vehicles play in our nations heritage, while adequately addressing the abuses of the rights and freedoms granted these cars, said SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald. If enacted into law, this legislation will also aid in facilitating law enforcement efforts to crack down on abusers.
The SAN would especially like to thank the dedicated hobbyists of Maryland for helping to ensure that historic vehicle owners can continue to create fond memories using their cars. Stay posted on these bills and others around the nation at www.semasan.com.
Rules Committee Approves Washington State Pro-Hobbyist Inoperable Vehicle Bill; Moves Next to Senate Floor
SEMA model legislation (S.B. 5586) to protect backyard hobbyist restoration and collection was approved by the Washington State Senate Rules Committee, clearing its way for a vote by all members on the Senate floor. The bill must be voted on before Wednesday, Feb. 15 if it is to have any chance to be considered this year in the Washington House of Representatives! S.B. 5586 would prohibit cities or towns from enforcing an ordinance, development regulation, zoning regulation, or administrative practice that prevents automobile collectors from pursuing their hobby. Six or fewer junked, wrecked or inoperable vehicles, including parts cars, stored on private property would only require screening from public view if required by local law.
We Urge You to Contact All Senate Members (List Attached) Immediately To Request Their Support for S.B. 5586
DONT DELAY! Please contact all members of the Washington State Senate immediately to request their support for S.B. 5586. Thank you for your assistance. Please e-mail a copy of your letters to Steve McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please forward this Alert to your fellow car enthusiasts.
Washington State Senate
To e-mail all members of the Washington State Senate, copy and paste the email address block below:
email@example.com; Randi.Becker@leg.wa.gov; Don.Benton@leg.wa.gov; Lisa.Brown@leg.wa.gov; firstname.lastname@example.org; Maralyn.Chase@leg.wa.gov; Steve.Conway@leg.wa.gov; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Tracey.Eide@leg.wa.gov; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Karen.Fraser@leg.wa.gov; David.Frockt@leg.wa.gov; David.Frockt@leg.wa.gov; Jim.Hargrove@leg.wa.gov; Nick.Harper@leg.wa.gov; Brian.Hatfield@leg.wa.gov; MaryMargaret.Haugen@leg.wa.gov; Hewitt.Mike@leg.wa.gov; email@example.com; Steve.Hobbs@leg.wa.gov; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Jim.Kastama@leg.wa.gov; Karen.Keiser@leg.wa.gov; Derek.Kilmer@leg.wa.gov; Curtis.King@leg.wa.gov; Adam.Kline@leg.wa.gov; Jeanne.Kohl-Welles@leg.wa.gov; Steve.Litzow@leg.wa.gov; Rosemary.McAuliffe@leg.wa.gov; firstname.lastname@example.org; Edward.Murray@leg.wa.gov; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; LindaEvans.Parlette@leg.wa.gov; email@example.com; Margarita.Prentice@leg.wa.gov; firstname.lastname@example.org; Kevin.Ranker@leg.wa.gov; Debbie.Regala@leg.wa.gov; email@example.com; Christine.Rolfes@leg.wa.gov; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Timothy.Sheldon@leg.wa.gov; firstname.lastname@example.org; Val.Stevens@leg.wa.gov; email@example.com; Rodney.Tom@leg.wa.gov; firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Michael Baumgartner
Phone: (360) 786-7610
Senator Randi Becker
Phone: (360) 786-7602
DREAM IT. BUILD IT. DRIVE IT.
SEMA Action Network Braces for New Challenges. Are You In?
After several years serving my apprenticeship in the SEMA headquarters in California, Ive just been handed the keys to the SEMA Action Network (SAN), a slick 15-year-old machine with a history of producing wide-ranging results. Its string of legislative victories makes the SAN the premier organization defending the rights of vehicle enthusiasts. So, how did I, Colby Martin, get so lucky?
A little bit about me first. For many of us, a passion developed from early exposure to the auto hobby. As a toddler, I was a regular at the drag races at Pomona, sprint races at Ascot and sand races on the dunes of Pismo Beach. As a California kid born and raised, these and other automotive experiences permanently etched an admiration for the hobby inside me. This automotive passion eventually propels involvement into one or many vehicle purchases. After witnessing the hot-rod antics in the film American Graffiti, classic cars have commanded my attention. I decided early on that obtaining the right chopped coupe would become one of my
lifes quests. The parts collection that would become my 31 Ford Model A coupe began at age 18 with an original Ford axle that features dropped ends formed by hand. Each subsequent piece was acquired one-by-one to create a complete car. Countless hours of planning, buying, restoring, modifying and assembling have been spent on the coupe over the last decade. Although refinishing and final assembly are yet to come, it now resembles a functional vehicle.
The process of building a cohesive, effective network is much like the process of building a vehicle from scratch. First, dream it. Then build it. Finally, drive it.
In 1997, the SAN was created as a nationwide partnership between enthusiasts, vehicle clubs and members of the automotive specialty parts industry who have joined forces to promote hobby-friendly legislation and oppose unfair laws. Folks into building, rebuilding and/or modifying vehicles are not always understood by the masses. Many government officials have shared the publics misunderstanding and have reacted to the hobby accordingly. Such challenges are why groups such as the SAN are formed and continue to thrive. The goal, the dream really, was protect every niche of the automotive hobby against unfair laws and regulations.
Over the years, each member of the SAN leadership has contributed to the growth of this formidable network. We now have more than 60,000 North American members, car clubs, associations and media outlets with an estimated reach of 36 million enthusiasts. Victories have included new laws to enable street-rod and custom vehicle registration and titling, laws to protect inoperable vehicles awaiting restoration, laws to provide objective noise standards for aftermarket exhaust systems, laws to create responsible off-road recreation opportunities on public lands and laws to allow a range of vehicle equipment modifications.
Where are we going to take this network now? First, we still need to gather more voices and continue to form a united message. A number of key states would benefit from a larger representation in our network. Our Canadian members need reinforcements also. Regardless of the automotive niche youre into, every SAN member is counting on your voice. Help your fellow members out by responding to all legislation in your state. We can all pass along this great pastime to the generations that will follow us. You can also teach younger enthusiasts the importance of being aware and involved in the legislative process. Encourage them to join the SAN as it will ultimately help impact their hobby.
Based on the current economic and legislative environment, the road ahead will continue to be challenging. It is clear that our hobby needs the SAN now more than ever. All car clubs, automotive associations, media, museums, event promoters, businesses and other groups should contact us to help continue fighting the good fight. We can arm you with legislative updates, brochures, decals, articles and other deliverables for your mailings, website and other applications. Lets drive this
This page will be dedicated to information I receive from SEMA about all sorts of Car Stuff.