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New Smog laws threaten your pre'76 vehicle!!!

Required Smog Tests for your classic car or truck?!?!
Posted March 20 2008 03:45 PM by gpeterson 
Filed under: Editorials

Think you are driving down easy street in your pre-1976 classic truck or car in sunny ol’ California? Think again as a dark cloud of proposed new emissions laws threatens what you hold dear.

This is straight from this weeks SEMA eNews email:

SEMA eNews, Vol. 11, No. 12 - Mar 20, 2008


Legislation (S.B. 1549) has been introduced in the California State Senate to repeal the state’s current emissions-test exemption for pre-'76 vehicles registered by new owners in the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District. The District includes eight counties in State’s Central Valley: San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and the valley portion of Kern


Under the bill, after January 1, 2009, new owners seeking to register a pre-'76 vehicle in these eight counties would be subject to emissions tests for the life of the vehicle. S.B. 1549 is scheduled to be considered by the California Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on April 1, 2008. 


If this sounds scary, but you think you’re safe because you don’t live here you could be next! The areas in affected in the proposition are fairly rural which are areas usually not targeted by this kind of action and usually are home to more older vehicles than major metropolitan cities. If the bill passes none of us in the country will be safe…more from SEMA’s website


Old Car Emissions Exemption Threatened in 8 California Counties; Hearing Scheduled for April 1

Legislation (S.B. 1549) has been introduced in the California State Senate by Senator Dean Florez ( to repeal the state’s current emissions test exemption for pre-1976 vehicles registered by new owners in the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District.  The District includes eight counties in California’s Central Valley:  San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced,
We Urge You to Call, E-Mail or Fax Senator Florez and Members of the Senate Transportation Committee (List Attached) Immediately to Oppose S.B. 1549

Existing law in California exempts all pre-1976 vehicles from emissions testing.

California’s current emissions testing exemption recognizes the minimal impact of pre-1976 motor vehicles on emissions and air quality

Pre-1976 vehicles constitute a small and shrinking portion of the overall vehicle population in California and are a poor source from which to look for further emissions reductions.

Pre-1976 antique and classic vehicles are overwhelmingly well-maintained.

Repeal of the exemption in the San JoaquinValley could lead the Legislature to target other areas in the state in the future.

Legislators and regulators are again feeling the heat from a failed effort to meet air quality goals and are looking for a convenient scapegoat.  The old car hobby should not carry the burden of their mistakes, as it has in previous amendments to the old car exemption!  

Please phone, fax or e-mail Senator Florez to express your opposition to S.B. 1549.  Senator Florez can be reached at:

Phone:   (916) 651-4016
Fax:       (916) 327-5989

Please phone, fax or e-mail members of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee to express your opposition to S.B. 1549

California Senate Transportation & Housing Committee

(Click here to email all Committee members)

Senator Alan Lowenthal – Chair
Phone: 916/651-4027
Fax: 916/327-9113

Senator Tom McClintock
Phone: 916/651-4019
Fax: 916/324-7544

Senator Roy Ashburn
Phone: 916/651-4018
Fax: 916/322-3304

Senator Gilbert Cedillo
Phone: 916/651-4022
Fax: 916/327-8817

Senator Ellen Corbett
Phone: 916/651-4010
Fax: 916/327-2433

Senator Bob Dutton
Phone: 916/651-4031
Fax: 916/327-2272

Senator Tom Harman
Phone: 916/651-4035
Fax: 916/445-9263

Senator Christine Kehoe
Phone: 916/651-4039
Fax: 916/327-2188

Senator Jenny Oropeza
Phone: 916/651-4028
Fax: 916/323-6056

Senator Joe Simitian
Phone: 916/651-4011
Fax: 916/323-4529

Senator Tom Torlakson
Phone: 916/651-4007
Fax: 916/445-2527

Senator Leland Yee
Phone: 916/651-4008
Fax: 916/327-2186

Please e-mail a copy of your letters to Steve McDonald at 


Let us all get off our duff’s no matter where you live and write, call, email or all of the above these senators and let them know how we feel so this bill doesn’t pass and threaten each and everyone of us!


-Grant Peterson

Associate Editor

Classic Trucks Magazine


Requiring older vehicles that were not subject to today's emissions standards is preposterous. It is like re-writing history to show the French won WWII. There are precious few of these pre-emissions vehicles left as an historic legacy. The majority of the ones still in existance are in overhauled, well tuned and clean-running condition compared with the legions poorly tuned newer vehicles around. How about devoting your legislative time to education, crime, housing, medical care and good treatment of the elderly (to name a few) instead of pecking at people who are safely and efficiently preserving our history?

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