Dale Amy
October 7, 2010

Evil can take many forms, and is dictionary-defined as "a force causing harmful effects." Some forms of evil are obvious and grotesque, yet others can be far more insidious as they creep along, masked behind a charade of good intentions. About now, you're probably wondering why the heck we're rambling on about evil in a classic-Ford enthusiast magazine. Well, it's because there are forces at work out there which would, intentionally or not, cause harmful effects on our automotive hobbies and/or livelihoods, and would therefore fall perfectly within the definition of evil. Getting a little serious and deep here? Well, maybe it's time.

Did you know that there are lawmakers (translation: politicians) proposing legislation that could promote the indiscriminate scrapping and destruction of older vehicles just like yours? Legislation that would allow authorities to callously tow your unfinished classic Ford project right off your property, or that would give you no choice but to burn fuels that could be harmful to your classic car's fuel system and other components. Indeed, legislation that would completely ban nitrous oxide, even on-track, and laws that could effectively tell you what mufflers, or even tires, you may or may not install on your ride. Sound scary, like Big Brother on a power binge? You bet it does.

As the following information details, such misguided and intrusive laws are routinely being proposed all around the United States and Canada, whether at the federal, state, provincial, or municipal level. Luckily, just because such legislation is proposed doesn't necessarily mean it will become law, but keep-ing such draconian legislation from enactment, and from intruding upon and chipping away at our freedoms, requires vigilance from all of us. Here are some examples of the types of proposals that might be of specific interest to Modified Mustangs & Fords readers:

Scrappage
In recent years, state and federal officials have attempted to implement emissions reduction programs that target older vehicles. Most scrappage programs allow "smokestack" industries to avoid reducing their own emissions by buying pollution credits generated through destroying these vehicles. These programs accelerate the normal retirement of vehicles through the purchase of older cars, which are then typically crushed into blocks of scrap metal. Hobbyists then suffer from this indiscriminate destruction of older cars, trucks, and parts, which any one undergoing a restoration project can attest. America safeguards its artistic and architectural heritage against indiscriminate destruction, and our automotive and industrial heritage deserves the same protection.

While some legislation designed to spur sales of new and used automobiles is positive, such as vouchers toward the purchase of new or used cars, or tax credits to help upgrade, repair, or maintain older vehicles, scrappage provisions are not. Scrappage programs focus on vehicle age, rather than actual emissions produced. This approach is based on the erroneous assumption that all "old cars are dirty cars." However, the true culprits are "gross polluters," or more accurately, vehicles of any model year that are poorly maintained. Scrappage programs ignore better options such as vehicle maintenance, repair, and upgrade programs that maximize the emissions systems of existing vehicles.