California has recently proposeda new legislation. While that might not mean all that much to us, it should. Legislation A.B. 550 would allow for the owner of a motor vehicle subjected to the rigorous California smog check program to pay a $200 smog abatement fee instead of having to go to the trouble of smogging the car.
This bill would require the payment to go to the Air Quality Improvement Fund. The measure will be considered by the Assembly Transportation Committee.
Currently, the smog check program requires an inspection of all motor vehicles when the car is initially registered, then biennially upon registration renewal, transfer of ownership, and various other circumstances. You can find all of that on the DMV’s website.
The law currently exempts all cars manufactured prior to 1976, and certain other vehicles.
What’s so special about A.B. 550 is that it would allow the owner(s) of a motor vehicle that is required to take a smog test to pay a 200 dollar smog abatement fee IF the car meets the following criteria:
- The motor vehicle is 30 model years or older
- The motor vehicle was manufactured during or after the 1976 model year
- The motor vehicle fails a smog test
- The motor vehicle fails a subsequent smog test after necessary repairs were performed
This could mean a lot to hot rodding. Newer cars are easier and cheaper to insure, parts are more plentiful and cheaper, and, since newer cars have the necessary smog equipment, hot rodders can start to build killer smog-legal street cars.
It’s extremely important to me and many others in the automotive industry that we (as in auto enthusiasts) contact the California Assembly Transportation Committee to voice your opinion of A.B. 550.
Here’s how to do it. Email Steve McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org a copy of your letter. Also, send this to your automotive enthusiast friends! The more people who voice their opinions, the more likely the bill is to pass.
Here is a (very) long list of the committee members’ contact information:
Assemblymember Jim Frazier (Chair)
Phone: (916) 319-2011
Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian (Vice Chair)
Phone: (916) 319-2035
Assemblymember Catharine B. Baker
Phone: (916) 319-2016
Assemblymember Richard Bloom
Phone: (916) 319-2050
Assemblymember Nora Campos
Phone: (916) 319-2027
Assemblymember Kansen Chu
Phone: (916) 319-2025
Assemblymember Tom Daly
Phone: (916) 319-2069
Assemblymember Bill Dodd
Phone: (916) 319-2004
Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia
Phone: (916) 319-2056
Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez
Phone: (916) 319-2051
Assemblymember Young O. Kim
Phone: (916) 319-2065
Assemblymember Eric Linder
Phone: (916) 319-2060
Assemblymember Jose Medina
Phone: (916) 319-2061
Assemblymember Melissa A. Melendez
Phone: (916) 319-2067
Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian
Phone: (916) 319-2046
Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell
Phone: (916) 319-2070
Thanks for listening to my rambling about how this could turn the hot rodding hobby around. If the bill passes, there will be people who abuse the system, but they already do that. I wouldn’t worry that much about it.
I think these cars that are only slightly customized could greatly benefit from A.B. 550:
This bone-stock 1976 Camaro could benefit from an LS-motor swap. Chevy Performance even offers an LS3 E-Rod engine that is smog-legal in all 50 states. You just install the engine and slap on a couple of stickers that let the smog guys know. These second-generation Camaros are popular among hot rodders, and one could throw on aftermarket suspension pieces and nobody would notice.
This is a simply tasteful C-10 stepside. The wheels go well with the dark blue/black paint on the truck. The big visor over the windshield is a cool touch from the 1950s. It would be even better if the owner could put a thundering big-block with EFI on it.
This 1985 Fox-Body Mustang is an early Saleen Mustang. It looks better than the flashier late-model Saleens. It was a performer in the day, but my Mazda3 could beat it to 60, through the quarter mile, and in just about everything but looks. If somebody bought a Fox-Body, got a body kit (Saleen rip-off body kits are common in drifting), put in an EcoBoost V-6 found in the Taurus SHO, this would look amazing, and go like stink. If there was an aftermarket suspension kit on it, even better. This would be a holy terror at autocross and track day events. Plus, it would be a fun daily driver. OK, I’m going to rein myself in now…
The last car on this little list is one I really want. It’s a Chevy C3 Corvette. Let me explain. It has stunning good looks, and would be quite the performer with a modern LS engine under the hood. It’s already been done, and that’s the car in the picture. It’s got an LS3 E-Rod under the hood, and even though it’s a 1972, one could very easily do the same thing to a 1976 or later model.