Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsNews & Views
SEMA Action Network Legislation Battles - Web Exclusive!
Ford the full story, see the November 2010 of Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords!
In the November issue we're covering some of the legislative issues involving the car hobby. Because of space limitations we couldn't include everything. So, here is more information about those issues and what you can do to get involved.
You come home one afternoon only to find a ticket on your project vehicle that's parked on your property. Sounds like a nightmare scenario, doesn't it? But in some areas of the country, it's all too real. State and local laws - some on the books now, others pending - can or will dictate where you can work to restore or modify your project vehicle. Believe it or not, that project car or truck you've stashed behind your house until the new crate engine arrives or the cherished collectible you've hung onto since high school to pass down to your kids could very easily be towed right out of your yard depending on the zoning laws in your area.
Why is the long arm of the law reaching into your backyard? Some zealous government officials are waging war against what they consider "eyesores." To us, of course, these are valuable on-going restoration projects. But to a non-enthusiast lawmaker, your diamond-in-the-rough looks like a junker ready for the salvage yard. If you're not careful, that's exactly where it will wind up.
Hobbyists are becoming increasingly concerned about the many states and localities currently enforcing or attempting to legislate strict property or zoning laws that include restrictions on visible inoperable automobile bodies and parts. Often, removal of these vehicles from private property is enforced through local nuisance laws with minimal or no notice to the owner. Jurisdictions enforce or seek to enact these laws for a variety of reasons, most particularly because they believe: 1) inoperative vehicles are eyesores that adversely affect property values or 2) inoperative vehicles pose a health risk associated with leaking fluids and chemicals. Many such laws are drafted broadly, allowing for the confiscation of vehicles being repaired or restored.
For the purposes of these laws, "inoperable vehicles" are most often defined as those on which the engine, wheels or other parts have been removed, altered, damaged or allowed to deteriorate so that the vehicle cannot be driven. The following are some common conditions that cause vehicles to be in violation of these laws:
- Missing tires
- Vehicle on blocks
- Front windshield missing
- No engine
- Steering wheel missing
- License plate with expired registration date
- No license tag
In the 2009-2010 legislative session, hobbyists defeated bills in Hawaii, Kansas, Nebraska, Virginia and West Virginia that would have established unreasonable restrictions on backyard restoration projects. In response to these and other anti-hobbyist efforts, SEMA has drafted its own inoperable vehicle bill that's fair to restorers while still considerate of neighbors who don't want a junkyard operating next door. The SEMA model bill simply states that project vehicles and their parts must be maintained or stored outside of "ordinary public view." States can adopt this model legislation as their own; in 2005, Kentucky did just that. This past session, Vermont also chose to protect hobbyists from a bill that was targeted at salvage yards. The new law increases the regulation of salvage yards and automobile graveyards in the state, but includes a provision stipulating that hobbyists are not to be confused with the owners of automobile graveyards. The new law defines an "automobile hobbyist" as a person not primarily engaged in the sale of vehicles and parts or dismantling junk vehicles. Further, the definition of "automobile graveyard" does not include an area used by an automobile hobbyist for storage and restoration purposes, provided their activities comply with federal, state and municipal law.
A model inoperative vehicle bill should contain the following elements:
- An explicit provision prohibiting a local area from adopting or implementing an ordinance or land use regulation that prohibits a person from engaging in the activities of an automobile collector in an area zoned by the municipality.
- A definition of collector vehicles that includes parts cars.
- A provision allowing an automobile collector to conduct mechanical repairs and modifications to a vehicle on private property.
- A provision mandating that government authorities provide actual notice to the vehicle's last registered owner and provide an opportunity for voluntary compliance prior to confiscation.
- A provision mandating due process of the law (adequate notice, right to hearing, etc.) prior to the removal of a vehicle from private property.
- Language to permit the outdoor storage of a motor vehicle if the vehicle is maintained in such a manner as not to constitute a health hazard.
- The condition that parts vehicles be located away from public view, or screened by means of a suitable fence, trees, shrubbery, opaque covering or other appropriate means.
Experience indicates that it will be helpful to make a few preparations when you are working in your state or locality to modify damaging proposed inoperable vehicle language:
- Develop a specialty vehicle definition (e.g. vehicle is 25 years old or older; limited production vehicle; special interest vehicle, etc.).
- Build a coalition of interested clubs and organizations.
- Propose fair alternative language that benefits both the hobbyist and the community (e.g. screened from ordinary public view by means of a suitable fence, trees, shrubbery, etc.)
- Garner support from local media.
- Be persistent in your efforts.
Emissions, Smog Check Programs
Many states operate their own I/M programs in areas that the EPA has designated as a "nonattainment area," meaning that the area has not attained the EPA's required air quality. The EPA checks for carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter and sulfur dioxide when designating these areas and when an area does not meet the standard for any individual pollutant, or any combination of the pollutants, then it is placed on the list of nonattainment areas.
To meet the EPA's emissions reduction requirements, many states are implementing more stringent emission inspection and maintenance (I/M) programs. An I/M program may be currently operating in your state, or could be soon.
Many states have incorporated the OBD testing method as part of the vehicle emissions inspection for 1996 and newer vehicles. These OBD tests replace tailpipe tests by identifying emissions problems through information stored in the vehicle's on-board computer system. Some states have even proposed only testing vehicles with the OBD test, limiting the vehicles that need to be tested to those manufactured in 1996 and later. The I/M 240 is an enhanced emissions testing program, with "240" representing the number of seconds that the tailpipe portion of the test lasts. I/M 240 tests require visual inspection of emissions control devices, an evaporative emissions test and a transient drive-cycle exhaust emissions test, performed while the vehicle is running on rollers. Many state programs mistakenly fail vehicles in the visual test based on the presence of aftermarket engine products or force older collector vehicles to undergo some type of testing.
Policy makers must properly focus inspection procedures and not confuse legitimate aftermarket parts with emission defeat devices and tampering violations. The hobby must also pursue proactive legislative initiatives to establish exemptions from inspections for low-mileage vehicles, classic vehicles (defined as 25-years old and older) and newer vehicles. It is useful to remind legislators that the emissions from this small portion of the vehicle fleet are negligible. This is especially true when you consider the low miles typically driven by hobby vehicles and the excellent condition in which these vehicles are maintained.
New Car Emissions Inspection Exemptions
It is not an effective use of resources to perform emissions tests on newer vehicles. The results of these tests predominately demonstrate no significant threats to air quality from these vehicles. New vehicles are regulated by the EPA, which provides strict emissions standards, which these vehicles have already met. The idea behind exempting all classes of new vehicles is to reduce costs while not losing appreciable emission reductions. This strategy builds support for emission inspection programs, but also directs finite resources to where they will be most valuable in cleaning the air. Even California, the toughest state on vehicle emissions, recognized the benefits of exempting new vehicles and does not require smog checks to be performed on vehicles 6 model years old or newer.
Equipment Standards & Inspections
Understanding how vehicles and car parts are regulated can be a bit confusing. Here is a quick overview.
The Federal government, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has the right to set, enforce and investigate safety standards for new motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment. These "Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards" (FMVSS) are performance-based. They do not dictate design elements. For example, the federal lighting standard prescribes the photometric requirements for a headlamp but does not dictate shape or size.
The FMVSS covers basic types of equipment (e.g. tires, rims, headlamps/tail lamps, brake hoses, etc.) and establishes vehicle crashworthiness requirements (front and side impact, roof crush resistance, fuel system integrity, etc.).
Emissions and emissions-related parts are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and various state agencies, primary of which is the California Air Resources Board (CARB). For products sold in California (and states that have adopted the California standards), manufacturers must conform to standards issued by the CARB.
Federal law prohibits states from issuing motor vehicle safety regulations that conflict with federal standards. This is called federal preemption. However, states are free to enact and enforce safety and equipment regulations which are identical to the FMVSS or, in the absence of a federal rule, establish their own laws and regulations. The most frequent examples of individual state rules cover parts like "optional" or "accessory" lighting equipment, noise levels for exhaust and stereo systems, suspension height and window-tinting. States also establish rules on how a vehicle is titled and registered. State and local jurisdictions have authority to regulate inoperable vehicles or determine whether an enthusiast is engaged in a business vs. private activity. State and local law enforcement officials issue tickets and inspect cars.
State laws have evolved over many generations and they continue to change. Some laws are better than others, and there is a constant need to remind state policy makers not to be biased in favor of the vehicle's original equipment, such as lighting, tires and wheels, suspension components, and bumper/frame height. For example, some state laws allow motorists to be ticketed when an officer has made a subjective noise level determination that the exhaust system is "louder than what came with the car." To cite another example, bills have been introduced in state legislatures to ban spinners even though they are legal at the federal level. Opposing arbitrary and unnecessarily restrictive equipment and inspection laws is a constant challenge.
Racing is a dangerous activity that should take place at a track. Many states have increased the penalties for involvement in street racing, such as Florida with the Luis Ortega Street Racing Act, in an effort to cut down on street racing related deaths and injuries. The Racers Against Street Racing (RASR) is a coalition of auto manufacturers, aftermarket parts companies, professional drag racers, sanctioning bodies, race tracks and automotive magazines devoted to promoting safe and legal alternatives to illegal street racing on a national level. The goal of RASR is to provide a professional controlled environment in which today's sport compact enthusiasts can safely participate in automotive-related events throughout the United States.
"Gas Guzzler" Laws
Gas Guzzler laws primarily come out of state legislatures in misguided attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A bill in New York, for example, seeks to establish a progressive purchase or lease surcharge for some new motor vehicles based on calculations of carbon emissions. Depending on the vehicle purchased, this surcharge could require owners to pay up to $2,500 more for a vehicle. Another bill in New York proposes to create a task force that would recommend higher toll and registration fees for vehicles based on the vehicle's weight, emissions and fuel-efficiency ratings. In California, a similar measure was recently defeated that would have added a surcharge to some vehicles based on state calculations of carbon emissions. If such an effort was successful, the effects on a consumer's ability to purchase their vehicle of choice, not to mention vehicle safety, would be dramatic. These measures would also make popular performance and luxury cars, as well as SUVs, light trucks and minivans, substantially more expensive to own without necessarily curtailing greenhouse gas emissions, since greenhouse gas emissions have more to do with overall basic vehicle maintenance than with owning and operating any particular class of vehicle.
CAFE and CO2 Standards
Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards strive to achieve reduced greenhouse gas emissions through a reduction in the amount of fuel new vehicles burn. Manufacturers are given a fuel economy rating, measured in miles per gallon, that their fleet as a whole must average in a given model year. Congress passed a law in 1973 directing the EPA to set CAFE standards, making these standards a tool exclusively wielded by the federal government. The federal government finalized new fuel-economy standards as well as a national carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions tailpipe standard in April this past year. The two issues are related since CO2 is released in direct proportion to the amount of carbon-based fuel that is burned. Under the new rules, NHTSA has set CAFE standards for model year (MY) 2012-2016 vehicles and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established corresponding CO2 emissions standards. The combined action would match CO2 emission standards previously adopted by California and 13 other states.
The average CAFE rating will be 35.5 mpg in 2016 based on a combined 39 mpg rating for passenger cars and 30 mpg for light trucks. The EPA's CO2 emissions standard is 250 grams per mile for vehicles sold in 2016, roughly the equivalent of 35.5 mpg. The automakers support, and participated in formulating, the rules since they provide a reasonable national approach to regulating CO2 emissions rather than a patchwork of state rules.
NHTSA will use an attribute-based system which sets CAFE standards for individual fleets of vehicles based on size, taking into account the differences between cars and light trucks (SUVs, pickups and vans). Individual car companies will have flexibility on how to achieve the rules, whether placing more emphasis on hybrids or reducing vehicle size and weight. Nevertheless, a standard based on each vehicle's footprint should force automakers to increase the efficiency of every vehicle rather than downsizing some vehicles in order to offset the sale of bigger cars. Automakers will likely rely on more fuel-efficient tires, turbochargers, low-friction lubricants, six-speed automatic transmissions and similar technological means to achieve the standards.
While the new CAFE and CO2 standards for 2016 are reasonable, the Obama Administration announced plans to put in place stronger rules for 2017 and beyond. In May, President Obama directed the EPA to also reduce emissions of conventional pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides. The president also instructed regulators to establish fuel economy and CO2 standards for medium-and heavy-duty trucks for the first time beginning in MY 2014. Since the government is to regulate CO2 emissions from automobiles, it should do so through the CAFE standards and not allow any individual state to set overly harsh standards.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is also pursuing CO2 standards for MY 2017-25 cars and trucks. CARB intends to coordinate its action with the EPA and NHTSA, along with the automakers and other stakeholders, with the goal of setting a single national standard. Federal regulators intend to issue a "game plan" for MY 2017-25 light-duty vehicles by September 2010 and adopt a final rule by mid-2012, while CARB officials want to complete action on the CO2 standards by the end of 2010.
Drastically increased CAFE potentially limits consumer choice if manufacturers are forced to make smaller, less powerful and less useful cars and light duty vehicles in order to meet government fuel economy demands. Market-based solutions must be employed which allow the consumer to participate in and respond to national energy policies.
Tire Fuel Efficiency
A lot rides on your tires. That will soon include greenhouse gases, namely carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Both California and the federal government are pursuing regulations to rate replacement tires for "fuel efficiency" in an effort to influence consumer choice. In theory, if a tire is more fuel-efficient, less gas is burned and therefore less CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere. Some state lawmakers want to go one step further and mandate emissions limits...within their state boundaries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is drafting a "consumer information system" to rate the fuel economy, safety and durability characteristics of most replacement tires. NHTSA has established test procedures to be used by tire manufacturers in determining tire ratings but is still considering options on how to convey the information to consumers at the point of sale and on the Internet. Companies that only produce 15,000 units or less in a tire line (or 35,000 tires in total brand name production) - mostly tires for classic and antique vehicles or off-highway vehicles - are exempted since fuel efficiency for these types is not a primary consumer concern. Tire manufacturers are considering new rubber compounds, tire designs and other methods to boost efficiency without negatively impacting traction and strength.
The premise for the new program is to allow consumers to compare ratings for different replacement tires and determine the effect of tire choices on fuel economy or the potential tradeoffs between tire fuel efficiency (rolling resistance), safety (wet traction), and durability (treadwear life). The information may be conveyed in the form of a 1-5 star rating system for each category, a 0-100 rating system, or some similar approach. The tire ratings would be included on a label affixed to each tire.
California is pursuing a variation on the federal program whereby state regulators could assign a "fuel efficient tire" ranking to the top 15 percent of tires with the lowest rolling resistance within their size and load class. All other tested tires would be ranked as "tires that are not fuel efficient." If enacted, the testing program could take effect in mid-2011. The California program also contains the exemption for tires produced in units less than 15,000.
California was the first to pursue the issue, passing a law in 2003 to require a consumer information program. Congress followed suit with a federal program in 2007 and pre-empted any other states from establishing consumer information initiatives that differed from the national or California programs.
But some state lawmakers still insist on going one step further. For example, a bill has been introduced in New York to mandate that replacement tires be as energy efficient as tires sold as original equipment. To date, the bill has been rejected since it would essentially set a 50-state standard; potentially impose substantial redesign costs on tire manufacturers, and conflict with the federal/California programs.
When it comes to consumer information, the big question is whether the focus of attention is misplaced. Will consumers be dissuaded from buying tires that may have improved performance, handling or appearance features, based solely on a rolling resistance rating? In addition, the program may easily distract consumers from focusing on more important safety issues such as tire inflation and overloading of vehicles.
On that topic, the most inefficient tires are the ones that are under-inflated. A motorist can easily lose 3 or 4 percent in gas mileage when tires are under-inflated. Moreover, a tire that is not properly inflated compromises handling and braking.
Severe limits on window film light transmission and reflectance percentages continue to surface in a number of states. It is important to constantly remind state legislators to advance the industry standard of not less than 35% light transmittance on all windows other than the windshield, and oppose measures that would unreasonably limit the use of window tint materials.
However, not every bill aims to limit the use of window tint. A bill directing the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a reduction in motor vehicle cabin temperature is currently moving through the California legislature. The cabin temperature of a vehicle can be lowered through the use of window tinting materials. Such a directive by the legislature would signal to regulators that tinting should be considered as a solution to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions created when drivers must idle their cars in California while waiting for them to cool down. Other states have introduced measures to provide exceptions to the limits on vehicle window tinting for drivers with sensitivity to light.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the federal agency that regulates original and aftermarket motor vehicle lighting products, including newer technologies coming into the marketplace. Attention has been focused on non-compliant High Intensity Discharge (HID) conversion kits that may produce glare and restyled combination lamps that are missing required functions existing on the original equipment lamps. Certain clear taillamp covers, marker lamps, certain "blue" headlamp bulbs and other equipment has also been subject to scrutiny.
Optional lighting equipment (non-federally required) is not prohibited by federal law, but is sometimes regulated by the states. Many states establish optional lighting restrictions through the authority of the state police or the state transportation agency.
State-level enforcement of federally required lighting equipment can not deviate from what is prescribed by the federal government. This is called federal preemption. However, states are free to enact and enforce safety and equipment regulations which are identical to the federal safety standards. States also have jurisdiction to enact and enforce vehicle equipment and safety regulations covering equipment not regulated at the federal level, such as "optional" or "accessory" lighting equipment. Some states prohibit a vehicle from being equipped with a lamp or lighting device unless such lamp or lighting device is expressly required or permitted by law or regulation. Other states may regulate optional lighting equipment for maximum candlepower, location and placement, aim of light beam and the times, places and conditions under which the lamps or lights may be used. They may prohibit the use of flashing, oscillating, modulating or rotating lights of any color while the vehicle is being operated on a public highway.
Still other states only allow optional lighting equipment that was developed and installed by the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). This OEM lighting equipment meets no standards except those established by the manufacturers themselves. These lamps are often of the same or greater intensity than those developed and installed by the aftermarket and frequently aimed and positioned similarly. In this way, these states unfairly discriminate against the installation and use of aftermarket lamps.
My Engine Is Not Vegetarian - It Wants Gas.
There is a battle raging in Washington that may force you to put ethanol in your car, whether you want to or not. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently allows gasoline to include up to 10 percent ethanol (E-10), a fuel additive made from corn or other biomass sources. The ethanol industry wants the EPA to increase the amount to 15 percent.
Who would object? Millions of owners of high-performance engines and older cars who fear corrosion and other nasty side-effects. Ethanol attracts water. In turn, the resulting condensation can corrode the fuel lines, fixtures and tank components (steel, rubber, aluminum, etc). We're talking rust, clogging and deterioration. For modern cars, the oxygen atom in the ethanol molecule may confuse the exhaust sensor when measuring the fuel/air mixture going into the cylinders. The mixture may be too lean, producing a hot exhaust capable of damaging the catalytic converter. The end result may also be more nitrogen oxides, a building block for smog.
Many newer engines and parts have been designed to be more compatible with alcohol fuels, and E-15 will not be an issue. But E-10 has been a problem for some current and older models, and E-15 may be worse. Many in the auto industry have cautioned the EPA to do more science before it rules on the request.
Why does it matter? The fact is gasoline without ethanol may eventually become scarce or non-existent when you pull up to the pump. We also face an education curve. For many people who already ignore the "contains 10% ethanol" sign will not understand that 15% may cost them a pretty penny in repair bills.
Engine Swaps Made Easier
Hobbyists frequently ask us about the rules governing engine switching in project vehicles. First of all, those engaged in engine switching activities are bound by specific state laws that may vary from state to state. Having said that, there are some general guidelines one may consider. This article will cover the rules for switching the engine in production-type vehicles (but not specially constructed vehicles, street rods, kit cars and the like). The basic rule of engine switching (as opposed to installing a "replacement" engine) is that the change must do no harm. This means that the engine being installed must theoretically be at least as "clean" as the one taken out. Several requirements may define "clean" for the purposes of engine switching:
Model Year: The engine to be installed must be the same age or newer than the one being replaced. Crate engines can be used if they are configured to resemble an engine that was certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and/or the California Air Resources Board. This essentially means that the required emissions parts must be present on the engine.
Certification Level: The engine to be installed must come from a vehicle certified to meet the same or more stringent emissions standards than the one replaced.
Vehicle Class: An engine from a vehicle class such as a motor home, medium-duty truck or marine application must not be used since these engines were certified to different types of emissions standards, using different tests.
System/Equipment: When swapping in a newer engine from a later-model vehicle, all of the relevant emissions control equipment must be transferred as well. This includes the carbon canister, the catalytic converter(s) and even parts of the on-board diagnostic (OBD) system. Some states have exceptions to this requirement, but the general rule is that as much of the donor vehicle's emissions system as possible should be transferred. The vehicle will likely run more efficiently with a full transfer of the system and shouldn't cause any undue heartache.
Of course, engine switching can be much more complex than described here, but these are good general rules to follow and should keep engine switchers out of trouble in most cases.
The U.S. EPA and many states have enforceable policies and guidelines on how to perform legal engine changes. For further information, please consult the EPA and California Bureau of Automotive Repair at:
How Loud Is Too Loud
Imagine driving down the road and getting stopped for the modified muffler on your painstakingly-restored Mustang. Now imagine sitting on the shoulder, receiving a citation from local law enforcement, while a stock Ferrari overtakes your car and drives on. This is the scene being played on state highways across the country, the result of poorly drafted or ineffective state laws and regulations. The laws on the books in these states frequently cite the manufacturer's specifications or a factory installed muffler as the basis on which vehicle exhaust noise is measured.
On this topic, states can generally be divided into two major categories: states with noise standards and states without noise standards. Of the states with a test standard on the books, many ignore guidelines when handing out citations. Most states that have chosen to go the route of setting specifications choose to measure a vehicle's noise by decibels. States that have quantifiable noise standards on the books are shaded red in the map above. These standards often go unenforced. One reason these regulations are not enforced is that they are based on an in-use standard - exhaust noise is measured while a vehicle is in motion on the highway. The states that employ these operating standards typically divide vehicles into classes and then set separate standards: one for vehicles while driving on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or less and a second standard for vehicles driving on roadways with a speed limit greater than 35 mph. The measurements are to be taken while the vehicle is in motion on the road, usually from a distance of 50 feet from the center lane of travel.
Other states choose not to specify a quantifiable noise standard. These states are shown in yellow in the map above. Typical language in these states' statutes includes prohibitions on "excessive or unusual noise" from a vehicle's exhaust system. While most motorists believe that exhaust systems should not be used in a way that causes overly loud or objectionable noise, these vague provisions fail to provide a clear and objective standard for those seeking more durable exhaust systems that enhance a vehicle's appearance and increase performance.
Language that effectively limits the use of aftermarket exhausts can be found amongst both yellow and red states. Such language includes sentences such as "no person shall modify the exhaust system of a motor vehicle in any manner which will amplify or increase the noise or sound emitted louder than that emitted by the muffler originally installed on the vehicle." While such language does not specifically prohibit all modification, it does not provide any means of measuring whether a vehicle has been acceptably modified. Such language also negatively affects the aftermarket industry by placing the noise limit authority in the hands of the OEMs and ignores the fact that aftermarket exhaust systems are designed to make vehicles run more efficiently without increasing emissions.
Green on the map identifies the three states that have enacted SEMA model legislation to provide enthusiasts and law enforcement officials with a fair and enforceable alternative. The model legislation establishes a 95-decibel exhaust noise limit based on an industry standard adopted by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Under this standard (SAE J1169), a sound meter is placed 20 inches from the exhaust outlet at a 45-degree angle and the engine is revved to three quarters of maximum rated horsepower. The highest decibel reading is then recorded.
Previous California law allowed modifications so long as the noise levels did not exceed the 95 decibel limit. However, the roadside enforcement of this limit was chaotic, leading to subjective, selective and improper enforcement.
Enforcement of the previous law and regulations in California, for example, resulted in many drivers being pulled over by state and local police and cited for improper modified exhaust systems despite having what they believed to be legal aftermarket exhausts. To prove our point (and educate ourselves) about the widespread improper enforcement of the previous California exhaust law, SEMA conducted a series of exhaust noise tests in early April of 2001. First, we contacted California SEMA Action Network members to see how many folks had received citations for excessive or modified exhaust. We were surprised and dismayed to learn how many fit the category! We then invited them to have their cars tested to see if they actually complied with California law. Finally, we hired a board-certified acoustical engineer and did the testing according to the standards set out in California law. Long story short, of the cars we tested only one exceeded the 95db legal level.
To remedy this problem, in 2002 SEMA helped enact a new enforcement procedure in California through its model bill. The new law forces compliance with an objectively measured standard in a fair and predictable test. Through this procedure, motorists who drive vehicles legally equipped with modified exhaust systems can confirm that they comply with California's exhaust noise standard. The California Bureau of Automotive Repair began operation of the motor vehicle exhaust noise-testing program in 2003. The law also allows courts to dismiss citations for exhaust systems that have been tested and for which a certificate of compliance has been issued. Under the program, the 40 Smog Check stations statewide that provide referee functions are performing the test. These referee stations are issuing certificates of compliance for vehicles when tests of their exhaust systems demonstrate that they emit no more than 95-decibels, under the SAE test procedure. However, only those vehicles that have received a citation for an exhaust noise violation are permitted to submit their vehicle for the test. A similar standard was enacted in Maine in 2003 and Montana in 2007.
Lobby for the Hobby
"We the people of the United States" are not just words from the first line of an old document. We are the people who love muscle cars, hot rods, street rods, tuners, replicas, off road trucks, and many other varieties of automotive pursuits that are as diverse as the country in which we live. We are also the people who have to work to protect our automotive passions from unnecessary, unfair, or well intentioned but poorly written laws and regulations. Fortunately, we the people live in a country where we can still make a difference in how we are governed.
Our greatest tool in making that difference is our voice. By speaking out on issues that concern the automotive hobby, contacting our representatives, and working constructively with government officials, we have the power to protect our passion and keep it safe for future generations of auto hobbyists and enthusiasts. When legislatures are out of session, representatives are in their home districts and typically have more time to meet casually with their constituents. They are also planning for the next legislative session and deciding which bills to introduce. Contacting them can have a tremendous impact by raising their awareness of issues that could impact our hobby during the next session. That is what makes right now the perfect time to get involved and build relationships with your legislators, so hit the gas and keep your foot down!
To get you started, we have prepared 10 tips you can use when contacting your representatives:
- Develop and Maintain Relationships with Your Legislators and Their Staff
Make contact and develop productive relationships with individual legislators. It is the most effective form of grassroots lobbying. It's also important to develop a relationship with their staff who monitor ongoing legislative and community initiatives.
- Educate Legislators About Our Hobby and Our Issues
Educate your legislator about the hobby and emphasize the positive impact it has on the community.
- Maintain a Positive Attitude
Develop a positive relationship with your legislator. The next time an enthusiast-related issue comes up, that same legislator may be needed to support your cause.
- Stay Informed
Keep up-to-date on the legislative issues that affect the hobby in your state. Share this information with fellow enthusiasts.
- Get Involved in the Community
Join with other community groups to build positive exposure. Holding charity runs and fundraisers provide a great opportunity to show local residents and politicians that auto clubs are a positive community force.
- Build Relationships with the Local Media
Contact local newspapers and radio/TV stations to publicize car shows, charity events, etc.
- Invite Officials to Participate in Your Events
Give legislators a platform to reach an audience of constituents.
- Build an Automotive Coalition
Create coalitions to add strength in numbers and ensure that the rights of all vehicle enthusiasts are represented. Actively participating in regional and statewide councils will develop a unified message to lawmakers. These types of pro-hobbyist groups can be an influential political force.
- Spread the Word
Take this information to your next club meeting, cruise night or post it on your online forums. Share this information with other enthusiasts who are willing to help lobby for the hobby.
- Register to Vote
Exercise your right to support pro-hobby candidates. Constituents are an elected official's number-one priority. Without you and your vote of support, they would not be in office, so make sure you're registered and get out and vote.
Congressional Legislators - Quotes
Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL)
"It started when I was just a child. We lived in California, and my Dad took me to races at a track in Encino. I loved it, and we had a great time together. I became involved in midget races at around the age of five. We would go to a track in Culver City and other places around Los Angeles. I started racing motorcycles at about the age of 13 or 14. By this time I knew I was a guy who really loved racing--it was in my blood. I bought my first car in 1962. It was a 1951 Ford flathead. Back then, you had to be 16 to race. I was only 15 and would sneak in and go a few laps before they stopped me. I have owned 20 or 30 race cars over the years. I'd get them, fix them up, and race them.
Sen. John Tester (D-MT)
"Whether it's fixing the clutch on my tractor or working to improve local schools or going to the Senate to help repair the energy deregulation that hurt Montana consumers, workers and businesses, I do my best work with a little grease and dirt under my fingernails."
"Car guys have every bit as much of a right to make their voices heard as the special interests and their lobbyists."
Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL)
"I have had a personal interest in sports cars, especially in my younger days. The interest in cars runs in the family. My brother is a member of the SEMA Action Network (SAN) and a street-rod enthusiast who helped secure passage of SEMA's street rod/custom vehicle legislation."
Rep. John Campbell (R-CA)
"...older cars are not transportation. They are pieces of history. We don't make historic buildings meet all current building codes. Neither should we make historic cars meet current vehicle regulations. I am in favor of further reducing smog. But the extremely small amount of additional pollution from historic cars is more than offset by the addition to our culture and history by leaving them in their original form."
"I have gasoline in my veins. My dad raised me around his cars, which included a '57 T-bird, a supercharged Corvair and a '67 Porsche 911. I have two sons aged 19 and 17 who have attended Skip Barber Racing School and love cars as much as I do. They are constantly putting aftermarket performance items on their cars and doing it themselves."
"My main driver in California is a new 2005 red Corvette convertible. I have three-piece HRE wheels on it that are plus-oned. I have a set of Michelin Pilot Sport PS2s, Brembo brakes all around (14 inches in the front) and a Corsa exhaust--all aftermarket. In Washington, I drive a new 2006 Audi A3 with TSW 18-inch wheels and PZero Nero for the snow back east. I also have a 2005 Mini Cooper S as an extra car. I am also starting the process of restoring a 1941 Chevrolet pickup, which has been in my wife's family for almost 50 years."
"My dream car is an Aston Martin DB9 Convertible. I love sports cars. And, to me, it's not a real sports car if the top doesn't go down. Aston Martins are beautiful and a great brand."
Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN)
"I call federal legislating "a full-body-contact sport." What I mean is that you must be face to face with decision makers and, to put it in SEMA terms, "the squeaky wheel gets the grease." You must be active and aggressive and turn people into a resource. Everyone loves cars, so make sure the Congress knows what you stand for and what you would like to have happen. If you demonstrate that a lot of people agree with your positions, Congress will respond."
"I believe that the entire automotive industry is one of those things in our culture -- like horses and baseball -- that just fascinate people. I have always loved cars, and I've had dozens of them. When I was young, I saved enough money to go buy a Triumph TR 4-A before I even turned 16 years old. I worked on it constantly, and I put chrome wire wheels on it. And then I had an MG-BGT. Later, I had this chocolate brown 1974 GTO that would flat scream. I have always loved cars. I had a TransAm when that was the thing to do, and it was all souped up and loaded with a Hurst four-speed, and that's about as much specialty equipment as you can have on the road without getting in trouble. I've always put specialty products on automobiles as I grew up."
"Even today, I drive a Chrysler 300M. It's a four-door business car, but it's also a sport vehicle and a lot of fun to drive. I still really love cars, and I love accessories and performance products. It's a lot of fun to drive."
Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN)
"I grew up in a wonderful small town in Tennessee. You had to drive to get anywhere. Since we lived about an hour outside of Nashville, some of my earliest memories center around car trips into Nashville. And, our family took car vacations to 48 states. Of course, as I got older, it wasn't just the excitement of the trip I enjoyed. I discovered I loved cars."
"My favorite car was my 1963 Chevrolet Impala convertible. I learned how to drive in that car. And it took me off to college when I headed to the University of North Carolina in the 1970s. It was tobacco brown, had a huge V8 engine and more than 150,000 miles on it by the time I gave it to my younger brother. I've had some great cars since then--a Ford F-150 Lariat, a BMW, several Ford Tauruses--but never one that I enjoyed more than that Impala convertible."
"My dream car is a 1954 MG. It's a beautiful machine--and the year I was born. Of course, I couldn't afford one or to keep it up. My father had a 1958 Cadillac convertible that I wish we'd never sold, but we did. It had red leather seats."
"What a thrill to see the huge crowd and the infinite variety of customized pickups, muscle cars, midget cars, hot rods and vintage machines on the Hot Rod Power Tour. There were even motorized bar stools! The wheels, paint jobs and custom features were just the most visible add-ons. I think every significant manufacturer was represented."
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI)
"I had two jobs in the plants. My first was drilling front supports for roofs, and my second was installing front windows."
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)
"Americans see their cars as an expression of their self-image, and carmakers, aftermarket suppliers and consumers all benefit when competition is encouraged. One only needs to look at the cars built by the former Communist states in Europe and the Soviet Union to see what happens when innovation and competition are stifled."
Rep. John Duncan (R-TN)
"I've always been a big fan of cars, but recently I purchased my youngest son, Zane, a racing go-cart and have become more interested in NASCAR and other types of automobile racing. I've taken Zane racing all over east Tennessee to places like Asheway Speedway, Dumplin Valley and others. I've also taken Zane and my oldest son, John, to many NASCAR events throughout the South."
Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA)
"I currently own a 1999 Chrysler 300 and a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport. My dream car is a 1931 Packard Roadster, 100-point restoration."
Rep. Mike Burgess (R-TX)
"I've always had an affinity for automotive innovation. Growing up in what was rural North Texas in the 1960s, the roads were flat and a car was a necessity. As I grew older, the necessity of a car was overtaken by my general enthusiasm for driving great cars."
"My first car was a 1968 BMW 2002. I had it for many years until I was intrigued by the RX4 station wagon. When I entered my residency program, finances and common sense drove me to a Ford Escort."
"Later in life, I decided to purchase a car that felt as young as I did, and I bought a 1991, 35th Anniversary Thunderbird Super Coupe. She was beautiful. About nine years later, I went on to purchase an RX-7."
"With Texas Motor Speedway in my district, I'm a motorsports fan. I enjoy the fast-paced atmosphere and the true devotion of physical and mental strength the drivers must maintain. The crowds may be rambunctious, but they are loyal and knowledgeable about the sport. Truly American in scope, motorsports, be it drag racing or stock cars, are a part of our everyday culture. All it takes is driving with your family down to the local Dairy Queen with the top down on your convertible to feel you are part of an American tradition."
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA)
"I wouldn't call myself the most talented at working on cars, but I enjoy a nice ride. I do drive a fully loaded Ford Expedition. I also want to tell you about my first car. My senior year of high school, a local car dealer, Wilkins Chevrolet, gave me a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle to drive as a "Safety Ambassador." This was a Chevelle SS 396 two-door, dual carburetor, 400-plus horsepower, four-speed manual transmission. It was silver with black rally stripes and a black hardtop with a cowl-induction hood. The interior had black vinyl bucket seats and console. The dealership wanted people to know that a teenager could drive a nice car and still drive safely, so Wilkins Chevrolet painted its logo, my name and my high-school's name on the car. They paid for my gas and allowed me to drive the car that year."
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC)
"I am a big fan of NASCAR, and I am thrilled to represent Mooresville, North Carolina, which hosts various NASCAR events. Motorsports are really a big part of American culture, and I am honored to serve so many fans in western North Carolina."
Rep. Dennis Moore (D-KS)
"I'm proud my district includes the Kansas Speedway, a NASCAR track that is one of the state's top attractions. On a personal note, a love for fast cars runs in the family. My wife belongs to the Corvette Club of Kansas City. One of my sons is a SEMA member and is rebuilding the motor in his '98 Camaro. Another son drives his '95 Trans Am daily."
Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL)
"I've always been an automobile enthusiast. I grew up at the end of the muscle car era and have been a fan of NASCAR for some time now. In the Florida legislature, I sponsored the bill that kept the autopsy photos of Dale Earnhardt, Sr. sealed from those who wanted to profit from the publishing of those private photos."
"I'm a former stock car racer. I used to race a '65 Mustang on dirt tracks when I was growing up. I currently drive a GMC extended-cab pickup. But I also own a Model A that is currently going through a complete frame-off restoration. It'll be mostly stock with a few upgrades to update its look."
"I've always liked American musclecars--1960s and '70s Mustangs, Corvettes, GTOs, Firebirds and the like. I got to ride in a bright red Olds 442 convertible last Fourth of July. I looked at those cars on Ebay for a month after that experience. I would love to have one of those in my garage."
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)
"I gained an interest in classic cars and motorsports while refurbishing my vintage truck, and a good friend of mine, Jack Chisenhall of Vintage Air--who helped me install my air conditioning unit and has also done work for stars like ZZ Top--urged me to get more involved. Automobiles and the open road are a unique part of our nation's history and heritage. They remain treasured symbols of the freedoms we enjoy in America. Anything I can do to help preserve them for the future is important to me."
"I have a 1949 Chevrolet pickup truck that my grandfather gave me just before he passed away. It is my most prized possession. I spent several years restoring it, taking it completely down to the frame and rebuilding it. I tried to keep it as historically accurate as possible, but with our hot summers in Texas, air conditioning was a must! My house only has a one-car garage, so my wife's car and mine usually get the driveway. That's not to say we don't get a lot of use out if it--I think my truck has appeared in as many parades as I have."
"Automobiles and the open road are a unique part of our nation's history and heritage. They remain treasured symbols of the freedoms we enjoy in America. Anything I can do to help preserve them for the future is important to me."
Representative Ken Calvert (R-CA)
"I love cars! Being born and raised in California, I grew up around cars--how could you not? In high school, I developed an appreciation of driving down the road behind the wheel of my Chevy Nova 396. Now that was a beautiful car--a four-speed and all cherried out. That car cooked. Of course I spent all my extra money to restyle the body and would spend the weekends tooling around with the headers, mags all around and all that good stuff."
Representative Sander Levin (R-MI)
"Americans--Michiganians in particular--have a powerful affinity for automobiles. We've loved cars since the first production Model T was assembled at the Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit in 1908. Ninety years later, America's love affair with cars has not waned. The evidence is indisputable. The history of the automotive industry in Michigan profoundly influenced and defined the development of the state."
"Carl [Levin's brother, Senator Carl Levin] and I like to say we have the auto industry in our blood. As kids, we used to go to the Motor City Speedway. It was a small racetrack so we always sat close to the action. The driver that I remember best from those days is Izzy Katona. The August unveiling of the new cars also made a lasting impression on me. All of these memories as a kid intensified when I worked a summer at the Dodge Main plant."
Representative Gary Miller (R-CA)
"I enjoy motorsports and high-performance vehicles. I want to do what I can to support the growing automotive performance and motorsports industry, which has many members in my district."
Representative Joe Barton (R-TX)
"I try to get out to the races at the Motorplex at least once a year and know there is a good deal of interest in automotive and motorsport issues in my district. Like many Americans I do enjoy high-performance vehicles."
"The first car I ever bought--and the best car I ever owned--was a 1967 Mustang. It had the high-performance package with a 289 V8 engine and a double-barrel carburetor. That was a great car to drive, and I had a lot of fun with it."
"When I was growing up, I always wanted a Corvette, and I guess if I was 10 years younger than I am now, I'd want a Viper. It's a high-performance vehicle and would be great fun to drive, especially on the winding country roads near my hometown."
Representative Todd Tiahrt (R-KS)
"My dream car--if I had to pick just one--would be a '69 Shelby Mustang, but this comes just in front of a '67 convertible Corvette."
"I am very enthusiastic about cars. I own four, and I enjoy thinking of all the others I've owned over the years. Anyone who loves the thrill of driving or restoring automobiles understands that being in touch with others who share that passion is a must."
"I drive a supercharged Mercury Cougar most of the time, but nothing compares to my '69 Cutlass convertible. I currently do have aftermarket products on my cars, and if I had my preference, all my cars would have the aftermarket touch."
Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL)
"I recognize the importance of the automotive performance and motorsports industry to our economy and to our culture."
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ)
My idea of a dream ride is a nitro-burning, double-engine Harley Davidson Super Glide with twin blowers. Not a machine for extensive touring, but most other feelings would be superseded by complete exhilaration and absolute terror."
Rep. Jean Schmitt (R-OH)
"My father was Gus Hoffman, known by friends and associates as Old Timer. My dad loved racing. He loved the thrill; he loved the challenge; and he had a great competitive spirit. He founded Hoffman Auto Racing in 1929. Many drivers have come and gone from our team. Some are now famous. Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Kenny Irwin, J.J. Yeley, Johnny Parsons Jr, and others have raced for Hoffman. It now competes on the USAC Sprint Car and Silver Crown Series racing circuits. Hoffman Auto Racing is currently the winningest team in USAC sprint car history. My dad raced midgets in the 1950s and began with sprint cars in the 1960s. It wasn't until the 1970s that Hoffman Auto Racing competed at Indianapolis. Their first year at Indy was in 1973. Our team is still based at our family farm in Southern Ohio, and my brothers, nephews and now their children continue to carry the tradition that my dad, Old Timer, began."
Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH)
"I'm fortunate that for my 40th birthday, my wife bought me my dream car--a 1964 Cadillac DeVille two-door convertible. Now my dream car is a new Cadillac XLR convertible. So, I guess my dream would be to have antique and new Caddy convertibles."
Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA)
"Automotive recreation has always been something I have enjoyed. Growing up in a small town near the mountains, there is always plenty of fun to be had in a truck off-road. I would love a Jeep Wrangler and the time to drive it around the ranch."
Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-CA)
"My first car was a 1940 Ford 4-door sedan that was 14 years old at the time. I wasn't able to afford any aftermarket equipment. Next I had a 1955 Ford pickup that I owned with my dad and brother. We put some special tail lights on it, and a custom tarp on the bed."
State Legislators - Quotes
State Senator John Brueggeman (R-MT)
"I've been interested in everything mechanical since I was a kid. The things I imagined became reality with Legos and I couldn't get enough motors, gears or pneumatics. I started riding at a young age and earned a motorcycle endorsement for my driver's license by 15. I remember sitting in the coffee shop with my dad hearing stories from his biker buddies about putting blower belt assemblies on bikes before anyone had heard of an open primary drive. In college I worked for a CNC machine shop while studying engineering, which gave me a great understanding of manufacturing and boosted my CAD/CAM skills. I also took the time to get my 6G certification for TIG welding stainless tubing as 304's my metal of choice."
"There is nothing I enjoy more than going to shows and talking with the owners and builders, as they're still the embodiment of what makes America great."
"When it comes to cars, my favorites are the '65 GTO and the '65 Shelby Cobra. The lines on the '65 GTO have the same straight, square profile as the previous years, but Pontiac started using stacked headlights that year and it was a one-year car. I'm still looking for a GTO project, and a Cobra kit is probably in my future, but motorcycles command most of my attention right now."
"Threats are everywhere. I've seen bad legislation attempted every session and some of it had more traction than deserved. Any constituent can come up with an idea, no matter how off the wall, and some legislators will run with it to pacify their base. I've had folks ask me to carry mandatory mud flap legislation for every vehicle on the road because they got a rock chip in their paint or window. This person's perspective had no understanding of custom or classic cars, and though I told them no, another legislator submitted the bill and we had to fight it."
State Assemblyman Bill Reilich (R-NY)
"My love of automobiles was inherited from my father. Although he never worked on cars, especially to the extent I always have, he would always end up at the car dealership looking at the newest models and almost every year ended up with the latest model. Cars and my love of them goes way back to my early days of my pedal car. I think nearly every car enthusiast can remember that first day they were hooked."
"I can remember approaching the legal age to drive when I would spend much of my time imagining what my first car would be. That first car was actually a gift from my brother. It was a '64 Plymouth Valiant that required a great deal of work due to the rust and age of the vehicle. That car, however, inspired me and also provided me the opportunity to learn both mechanical repairs and body work. I not only worked with fiberglass as I placed a huge hood scoop on the hood, I also learned how to paint a car. I finished the Valiant using a technique popular at the time called "spider webbing" which involved layering silver over the black paint."
"I believe that car enthusiasts realize that modifying newer vehicles and restoring older ones is a hobby that can be enjoyed by both the young and the old. This not only allows us to express out personalities through our vehicles, but allows us to regain our past, just as I was able to do by obtaining a '73 Mustang Mach 1. The Mustang was a car I used to dream about while in high school, but at that time was well beyond what I could afford. Protecting the rights of hobbyists to restore or enhance their vehicles will ensure that future generations will be able to fulfill their own car dreams."
"America's love affair with the automobile started long, long ago and will continue as each young child dreams of their first car. America's appetite for obtaining a vehicle is as significant as the desire to own a home. It is a slice of the American Dream and the automobile is deeply embedded in our American culture. My advice would be for hobbyists to stay informed and engage their lawmakers on the issues that matter most to them. From state laws to city ordinances, it is important that individuals get involved so they can educate elected officials on the impact these laws may have on this great hobby of ours."
State Representative Tony Mendoza (D-CA)
"We need to work to legitimize nonprofessional racing through programs and events sponsored by auto manufacturers, by the Society of Automotive Engineers and by creating statewide racing tournaments at public race courses. SEMA's RASR program is a great example of how we can try to engage youth and channel their passion for racing to safe and legal track alternatives."
State Legislators Who Support the Hobby
In its efforts to promote and protect the specialty equipment industry and the automotive hobby in the states, SEMA partners with state lawmakers from across the country through the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus. Formed in 2005 to supplement the work of our grassroots hobbyist network (SAN), the Caucus is a bi-partisan group of state lawmakers whose common thread is a love and appreciation for automobiles. Supported by SEMA's Government Affairs office in Washington, D.C., the Caucus is serving to raise the motor vehicle hobby's profile in the state legislatures and in the eyes of the public. Working in state capitals, many of these legislators have sought to preserve and protect the hobby by improving existing motor vehicle statutes and creating new programs to safeguard and expand the hobby.
Over the past several years, the work of these lawmakers has brought a series of significant legislative accomplishments for the vehicle enthusiast community and specialty equipment industry on issues ranging from equipment standards to registration and titling classifications, and from emissions test exemptions to the rights of hobbyists to engage in backyard restorations.
"The automobile is part of our culture and history," said New York Assemblyman Bill Reilich, the current Caucus Chairman. "I am extremely pleased at how the membership numbers have increased, however, our work is not done. I will continue to work with the SEMA Government Affairs staff to help educate and encourage participation by our state governmental leaders and work toward our goal of having at least 500 members actively participating in the Caucus."
The work of caucus members has brought a series of significant legislative accomplishments for the vehicle enthusiast community. By joining the Caucus, these legislators have demonstrated their commitment to upholding the rights of vehicle enthusiasts. In addition, hobbyists are able to quickly identify which state legislators have chosen to be recognized for their support of this great American hobby. Approximately 450 state legislators from all 50 states are involved in the Caucus. Here is a comprehensive list of current caucus members.
Assemblymember Bill Reilich (New York)
- Senator Roger Bedford
- Representative Mike Ball
- Representative Victor Gaston
- Representative H. Mac Gipson
- Representative Laura Hall
- Representative Johnny Morrow
- Representative William E. Thigpen
- Representative Randy Wood
- Senator Fred Dyson
- Representative David Guttenberg
- Senator Robert Burns
- Senator Ron Gould
- Senator Linda Lopez
- Representative Tom Boone
- Representative David Bradley
- Representative Jack Harper
- Representative Bill Konopnicki
- Representative Nancy McLain
- Representative Lynne Pancrazi
- Representative Jerry Weiers
- Representative Vic Williams
- Senator Denny Altes
- Senator Shane Broadway
- Senator Gene Jeffress
- Senator Johnny Key
- Representative Allen Kerr
- Representative Mark Martin
- Representative Barbara Nix
- Senator Ron Calderon
- Senator Dave Cogdill
- Senator Jeff Denham
- Senator Dennis Hollingsworth
- Senator Bob Huff
- Senator Gloria Negrete-McLeod
- Senator George Runner
- Assemblymember Joel Anderson
- Assemblymember Jim Beall
- Assemblymember Bill Emmerson
- Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes
- Assemblymember Ted Gaines
- Assemblymember Martin Garrick
- Assemblymember Kevin Jeffries
- Assemblymember Tony Mendoza
- Assemblymember Roger Niello
- Assemblymember Alberto Torrico
- Assemblymember Michael Villines
- Senator Ken Kester
- Representative Debbie Benefield
- Representative Larry Liston
- Representative Nancy Todd
- Representative Edward Vigil
- Senator Scott Frantz
- Senator Robert Kane
- Representative Penny Bacchiochi
- Representative Toni Walker
- Representative Zeke Zalaski
- Representative William Oberle Jr.
- Representative Eddy Gonzalez
- Representative Bill Heller
- Representative Ed Hooper
- Representative Dave Murzin
- Representative Pat Patterson
- Senator Bill Heath
- Senator Chip Rogers
- Representative Bob Hanner
- Representative Calvin Hill
- Representative Mike Keown
- Representative Howard Mosby
- Representative Alan Powell
- Representative Nikki Randall
- Representative Bobby Reese
- Representative Tony Sellier
- Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland
- Representative Henry Aquino
- Representative Karen Awana
- Representative Jerry Chang
- Senator Jim Hammond
- Senator Mike Jorgenson
- Representative Marv Hagedorn
- Representative Bill Killen
- Representative Janice McGeachin
- Representative Rich Wills
- Senator Brad Burzynski
- Representative Annazette Collins
- Representative Kay Hatcher
- Representative Brandon Phelps
- Representative Robert Pritchard
- Representative Harry R. Ramey
- Representative Al Riley
- Representative Jim Sacia
- Senator Brandt Hershman
- Senator Travis Holdman
- Senator Dennis Kruse
- Senator Sue Landske
- Representative Bill Friend
- Representative Wes Culver
- Representative Tom Knollman
- Representative Nancy Michael
- Representative P. Eric Turner
- Senator Staci Appel
- Senator Jeff Danielson
- Senator Wally Horn
- Representative Dwayne Alons
- Representative Dave Deyoe
- Representative Cecil Dolecheck
- Representative Jim Lykam
- Senator Mike Petersen
- Senator Chris Steineger
- Representative Bob Bethell
- Representative Elaine Bowers
- Representative Doug Gatewood
- Representative Mario Goico
- Representative Carl Holmes
- Representative Deena Horst
- Representative Harold Lane
- Representative Judith Loganbill
- Representative Peggy Mast
- Representative Ray Merrick
- Representative Melvin Neufeld
- Representative Shirley Palmer
- Representative Michael Peterson
- Representative Don Schroeder
- Representative Joe Seiwert
- Representative Dale Swenson
- Representative Bill Wolf
- Senator Tom Buford
- Senator Joey Pendleton
- Senator Dorsey Ridley
- Senator Robin Webb
- Representative Thomas Burch
- Representative Tim Couch
- Representative Ted Edmonds
- Representative Danny Ford
- Representative Keith Hall
- Representative Charlie Hoffman
- Representative Richard Henderson
- Representative Mary Lou Marzian
- Representative Reginald Meeks
- Representative Ruth Ann Palumbo
- Representative Don Pasley
- Representative Jody Richards
- Representative Tom Riner
- Representative Brent Yonts
- Senator A.G. Crowe
- Senator Ben Nevers
- Senator Francis Thompson
- Senator Mike Walsworth
- Representative Jeffery Arnold
- Representative Damon Baldone
- Representative Girod Jackson III
- Representative John LaBruzzo
- Representative Anthony Ligi
- Representative Nickie Monica
- Representative M.J. Smiley
- Senator Douglas Smith
- Representative Richard Cebra
- Representative Dale Crafts
- Representative Gary Knight
- Representative Everett McLeod, Sr.
- Representative Ann Peoples
- Representative Michael Shaw
- Representative Linda Sanborn
- Representative Nancy Smith
- Senator Barry Glassman
- Senator Katherine Klausmeier
- Delegate Don Dwyer, Jr.
- Delegate Barbara Frush
- Delegate Cheryl Glenn
- Delegate Benjamin Kramer
- Delegate Warren Miller
- Delegate Wayne Norman
- Delegate Jay Walker
- Representative Fred Barrows
- Representative Robert Hargraves
- Senator Glenn Anderson
- Senator Nancy Cassis
- Senator Ron Jelinek
- Representative David Agema
- Representative Bill Caul
- Representative Larry DeShazor
- Representative Douglas Geiss
- Representative Martin Griffin
- Representative Ken Horn
- Representative Rick Jones
- Representative Eileen Kowall
- Representative Richard LeBlanc
- Representative Chuck Moss
- Representative Tom Pearce
- Representative John Proos
- Representative Bettie Cook Scott
- Representative Joel Sheltrown
- Representative John Walsh
- Senator Michael Jungbauer
- Senator David Tomassoni
- Representative Jim Abeler
- Representative Pat Garofalo
- Representative Steve Gottwalt
- Representative Rick Hansen
- Representative Melissa Hortman
- Representative Margaret Anderson Kelliher
- Representative Carol McFarlane
- Representative Ron Shimanski
- Representative Phil Sterner
- Senator Hillman Frazier
- Representative Scott Delano
- Representative Ken Morgan
- Representative Dannie Reed
- Representative Walter Robinson Jr.
- Representative Curt Dougherty
- Representative Joe Fallert
- Representative Tim Jones
- Representative Gayle Kingery
- Representative Don Wells
- Representative Patricia Yaeger
- Senator John Brueggeman
- Senator Jeff Essmann
- Senator Ryan Zinke
- Representative Jill Cohenour
- Representative Gordon Hendrick
- Representative Mike Miller
- Representative Penny Morgan
- Representative Bill Nooney
- Representative Josh Peck
- Representative Wayne Stahl
- Senator Colby Coash
- Senator Heath Mello
- Senator Jeremy Nordquist
- Senator Bob Coffin
- Senator David Parks
- Assemblymember Bernie Anderson
- Assemblymember Chad Christensen
- Assemblymember Moises (Mo) Denis
- Assemblymember Ellen Marie Koivisto
- Assemblymember Mark Manendo
- Assemblymember John Oceguera
- Assemblymember Lynn Stewart
- Representative Ronald Boisvert
- Representative Gene Charron
- Representative Daniel Eaton
- Representative Philip Harvey
- Representative John Henson
- Representative Timothy Horrigan
- Representative Paul Ingersoll
- Representative Russell Ingram
- Representative Robert Introne
- Representative Michael McCarthy
- Representative Carol McGuire
- Representative Sherman Packard
- Representative Lawrence Perkins
- Representative Ken Weyler
- Assemblymember Gary Chiusano
- Assemblymember Upenda Chivukula
- Assemblymember Alison Littell McHose
- Assemblymember Charlotte Vandervalk
- Senator Clinton Harden
- Representative Jose Campos
- Representative Nathan Cote
- Representative Rudy Martinez
- Representative Bill Rehm
- Senator Jeff Klein
- Senator Thomas Libous
- Assemblymember Jim Bacalles
- Assemblymember Greg Ball
- Assemblymember William Barclay
- Assemblymember Philip Boyle
- Assemblymember Daniel Burling
- Assemblymember Marc Butler
- Assemblymember Nancy Calhoun
- Assemblymember Robert Castelli
- Assemblymember James Conte
- Assemblymember Clifford Crouch
- Assemblymember RoAnn Destito
- Assemblymember Janet Duprey
- Assemblymember Steve Englebright
- Assemblymember Joseph Errigo
- Assemblymember Ginny Fields
- Assemblymember Gary Finch
- Assemblymember Mike Fitzpatrick
- Assemblymember Dennis Gabryszak
- Assemblymember Joseph Giglio
- Assemblymember Steve Hawley
- Assemblymember Janele Hyer-Spencer
- Assemblymember Brian Kolb
- Assemblymember Peter Lopez
- Assemblymember Donna Lupardo
- Assemblymember David McDonough
- Assemblymember Marcus Molinaro
- Assemblymember Bob Oaks
- Assemblymember Thomas O'Mara
- Assemblymember Jack Quinn
- Assemblymember Andrew Raia
- Assemblymember Bill Reilich
- Assemblymember Joseph Saladino
- Assemblymember Teresa Sayward
- Assemblymember Mark Schroeder
- Assemblymember Dede Scozzafava
- Assemblymember James Tedisco
- Assemblymember David Townsend, Jr.
- Senator Julia Boseman
- Representative Marilyn Avila
- Representative John Blust
- Representative Larry Brown
- Representative George Cleveland
- Representative Nelson Cole
- Representative Tricia Ann Cotham
- Representative William Current
- Representative Bill Faison
- Representative Phillip Frye
- Representative Rosa Gill
- Representative Bruce Goforth
- Representative Hugh Holliman
- Representative Julia Howard
- Representative Frank Iler
- Representative Tim Moore
- Representative Wil Neumann
- Representative Shirley B. Randleman
- Representative Mitchell Setzer
- Representative Fred Steen, II
- Representative Laura Wiley
- Representative Arthur Williams
- Senator Dick Dever
- Senator Tom Fischer
- Senator Judy Lee
- Senator Elroy Lindaas
- Representative Chuck Damschen
- Representative Jerry Kelsh
- Representative David Monson
- Representative Darrell Nottestad
- Representative Louis Pinkerton
- Representative Robin Weisz
- Representative Alon Wieland
- Representative Michael DeBose
- Representative Mark Schneider
- Representative Lynn Wachtmann
- Representative Kenny Yuko
- Senator Davie Myers
- Representative Wallace Collins
- Representative Scott Inman
- Representative Danny Morgan
- Representative Jeff Barker
- Representative Brian Clem
- Senator Daylin Leach
- Senator J. Barry Stout
- Senator Michael Waugh
- Representative Scott Conklin
- Representative Dom Costa
- Representative Brian Cutler
- Representative John Evans
- Representative Rick Geist
- Representative Gary Haluska
- Representative Patrick Harkins
- Representative Dick Hess
- Representative Tom Houghton
- Representative Mark Longietti
- Representative John Pallone
- Representative Eddie Day Pashinski
- Representative John Payne
- Representative Tony Payton, Jr.
- Representative Scott Perry
- Representative John Siptroth
- Representative Tim Solobay
- Representative Curt Sonney
- Senator William Walaska
- Representative John J. Loughlin II
- Senator Larry Martin
- Representative Dan Hamilton
- Representative J. Gary Simrill
- Representative Tommy Stringer
- Senator Jim Hundstad
- Representative Thomas Brunner
- Representative Elaine M. Elliot
- Representative Richard Engels
- Representative Charles Hoffman
- Representative Mark Kirkeby
- Senator Tim Burchett
- Representative Vince Dean
- Representative JoAnne Favors
- Representative Craig Fitzhugh
- Representative Jim Hackworth
- Representative Sherry Jones
- Representative Gary Moore
- Representative John Tidwell
- Representative Joe Towns
- Representative Mark White
- Representative Les Winningham
- Representative Eddie Yokley
- Representative Wayne Christian
- Representative Ellen Cohen
- Representative Garnet Coleman
- Representative Patricia Harless
- Representative Mark Homer
- Representative Charlie Howard
- Representative Edmund Kuempel
- Representative Solomon Ortiz, Jr.
- Representative Joe Pickett
- Representative Allen Vaught
- Senator Gene Davis
- Senator Brent Goodfellow
- Senator Howard Stephenson
- Representative Ron Bigelow
- Representative Tim Cosgrove
- Representative Gage Froerer
- Representative Neal Hendrickson
- Representative Gregory Hughes
- Representative Fred Hunsaker
- Representative Curtis Oda
- Representative Patrick Painter
- Representative Stephen Sandstrom
- Representative Kenneth Sumsion
- Senator Kevin Mullin
- Representative Joseph Baker
- Senator John Edwards
- Senator Emmett Hanger
- Senator L. Louise Lucas
- Delegate Morgan Griffith
- Delegate Daniel Marshall
- Delegate Mark L Keam
- Delegate Sam Nixon
- Delegate Dave Nutter
- Delegate G. Glenn Oder
- Delegate Kenneth Plum
- Delegate Tom Rust
- Delegate Mark Sickles
- Delegate Ron A. Villanueva
- Delegate Onzlee Ware
- Senator Mike Carrell
- Senator Jerome Delvin
- Senator Jim Honeyford
- Representative Mike Armstrong
- Representative Jan Angel
- Representative Tom Campbell
- Representative Cary Condotta
- Representative Bob Hasegawa
- Representative Ed Orcutt
- Representative Deb Wallace
- Representative Marcie Maxwell
- Senator Dave Sypolt
- Delegate Robert Beach
- Delegate Ron Fragale
- Delegate Virginia Mahan
- Delegate Cliff Moore
- Delegate Thomas Mike Porter
- Delegate Harry Keith White
- Senator Mary Lazich
- Representative Ed Brooks
- Representative Steve Kestell
- Representative Phil Montgomery
- Representative John Nygren
- Representative Stan Blake
- Representative Pat Childers
- Representative Mike Gilmore
- Representative Sue Wallis
The Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus
You might be surprised at the number of car guys (and gals) in Washington, D.C. working on behalf of hobbyists like yourself. These are senators and congressional representatives who, as enthusiasts, are interested in protecting and expanding our hobby.
The Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus is now nearing 100 members and pays tribute to America's ever growing love affair with the car and motorsports.
In Washington, SEMA works in partnership with Caucus members to amplify the message among national policy-makers that the automotive performance industry is a vital engine in today's economy, employing more than a million Americans and generating $32 billion in sales annually.
The legislators listed below have publicly shown their appreciation for our hobby by joining the Caucus.
- Sam Brownback (R-KS)
- Richard Burr (R-NC)
- Michael Crapo (R-ID)
- Jim DeMint (R-SC)
- Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)
- John Ensign (R-NV)
- John Kerry (D-MA)
- Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
- Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
- Carl Levin (D-MI)
- Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
- Jon Tester (D-MT)
- Rodney Alexander (R-LA)
- Brian Baird (D-WA)
- Joe Barton (R-TX)
- Shelley Berkley (D-NV)
- Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)
- Sanford Bishop (D-GA)
- Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
- John Boozman (R-AR)
- Leonard Boswell (D-IA)
- Rick Boucher (D-VA)
- Allen Boyd (D-FL)
- Kevin Brady (R-TX)
- Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL)
- Michael Burgess (R-TX)
- Dan Burton (R-IN)
- Ken Calvert (R-CA)
- John Campbell (R-CA)
- Andre Carson (D-IN)
- Howard Coble (R-NC)
- Jim Cooper (D-TN)
- Jerry Costello (D-IL)
- Lincoln Davis (D-TN)
- Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
- Mike Doyle (D-PA)
- John J. Duncan (R-TN)
- Bob Etheridge (D-NC)
- Randy Forbes (R-VA)
- Trent Franks (R-AZ)
- Elton Gallegly (R-CA)
- Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
- Bart Gordon (D-TN)
- Gene Green (D-TX)
- Ralph Hall (R-TX)
- Doc Hastings (R-WA)
- Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)
- Bob Inglis (R-SC)
- Darrell Issa (R-CA)
- Walter Jones (R-NC)
- Paul Kanjorski (D-PA)
- Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)
- Dale E. Kildee (D-MI)
- Jack Kingston (R-GA)
- Steve LaTourette (R-OH)
- Sander Levin (D-MI)
- John Linder (R-GA)
- Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ)
- Donald Manzullo (R-IL)
- Patrick McHenry (R-NC)
- Mike McIntyre (D-NC)
- Howard McKeon (R-CA)
- Gary Miller (R-CA)
- Jeff Miller (R-FL)
- Dennis Moore (D-KS)
- Sue Myrick (R-NC)
- Tom Petri (R-WI)
- Todd Platts (R-PA)
- Bill Posey (R-FL)
- Adam Putnam (R-FL)
- George Radanovich (R-CA)
- Nick Rahall (D-WV)
- Silvestre Reyes (D-TX)
- Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)
- Mike Rogers (R-MI)
- Steven R. Rothman (D-NJ)
- Edward Royce (R-CA)
- Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)
- Adam Schiff (D-CA)
- Jean Schmidt (R-OH)
- Pete Sessions (R-TX)
- Joe Sestak (D-PA)
- Brad Sherman (D-CA)
- Adam Smith (D-WA)
- Vic Snyder (D-AR)
- Mark Souder (R-IN)
- John Spratt (D-SC)
- Cliff Stearns (R-FL)
- Bart Stupak (D-MI)
- Todd Tiahrt (R-KS)
- Patrick J. Tiberi (R-OH)
- Michael Turner (R-OH)
- Fred Upton (R- MI)
- Zach Wamp (R-TN)
- Joe Wilson (R-SC