By on March 31, 2008

smog-check.jpgCalifornia state Senator Dean Florez has introduced a bill to repeal the the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District's exemption from state emissions tests for vehicles made before 1976. The District includes eight counties in California's Central Valley, which are home to a number of now highly pissed-off tuners, hot-rodders and retro gearheads who are mobilizing to fight the new restriction. The usually apolitical Hot Rod magazine blog has posted an action alert by aftermarket industry association SEMA, urging fans of malaisemobiles and other oldtimers  to contact their representatives and protest this proposed law. Asserting that "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," the SEMA bulletin warns that should this measure go through, the whole state could go on to force newly registered pre-'76 cars to undergo smog checks which they would be unlikely to pass. This should make for some interesting protests.

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22 Comments on “California To Repeal Pre-’76 Smog Exemption?...”

  • avatar

    The automotive industry is always the scapegoat for pollution. It’ll never end.

  • avatar

    I don’t know about you, but the last time I checked the emissions from a car’s exhaust (and they’re not nearly as bad as they used to be) will kill you if you inhale enough of them.

  • avatar

    Senator Dean Florez obviously has too much time on his hands – considering the State of California’s current budget deficit. Look’s like the motor heads will be voting Replublican in the Fall.

    If you live in his district, send him an email.

  • avatar

    The irony is that all those veedub bugs and buses will be kicked off the road as a result. Both pistonheads and San Fran hippys could team up to protest this one.

    How about we green some frickin houses first? Is it astonishing how much energy is wasted and pollution made from supporting inefficient housing.

  • avatar
    Sid Vicious

    How long has the current pre-76 exemption been in place?

    I’ve told this story before here – In the early 90’s I was a Customer Service engineer at Ford. One of the things I did was respond to customer requests regarding the emissions content that their cars were originally equipped with.

    Almost all these requests came from California. It seemed to me that the Nazis were trying to do everything they could to get old cars off the road. The typical scenario went 1) At smog check time the testing authority told the owner that their car was missing an emissions component 2) Customer requested that Ford verify the stuff the car came with 3) I wrote a letter to CARB verifying that the car indeed never had a XXXXX.

    I was always honest except for once. A presumably elderly woman called in tears. CARB was telling her that her car needed to have an air pump and that it was missing. She contended that she had owned the Mustang since new and that she had never removed anything – why would she. Research showed that her car indeed was originally equipped with an air pump. I figured that some mechanic over the years had stolen it, given it’s value to keeping a car smog legal. I wrote the letter indicating that her car never had an air pump. Score one for the good guys.

    I’m currently hiding from the CARB Nazis somewhere in the Great Black Swamp of Ohio…..

  • avatar

    # Orian :
    March 31st, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    “I don’t know about you, but the last time I checked the emissions from a car’s exhaust (and they’re not nearly as bad as they used to be) will kill you if you inhale enough of them.”

    yeah, so will water.

  • avatar

    Dean Florez should be condemned to driving a Trabant for the rest of his life. And to write on the blackboard 10,000 times, “I will try in the future always to look at the big picture.”

    Sid Vicious: kudos for making some poor old lady’s life a bit easier.

  • avatar

    Do pre-1976 vehicles really make up a substantial portion of the total vehicles on CA roads? Somehow I doubt it.

  • avatar

    It’s just amazing how narrow-minded our “leaders” are.

    I think SEMA needs to start holding bake sales at car shows and other pistonhead functions so they can raise the scratch to start wining and dining state legislators to the extent that energy companies, chemical companies, the airlines and other big polluters already do.

    I mean, it’s not like our politicians are into actual numbers, facts or common sense…that’s crazy talk up in $acramento!

  • avatar

    The major problem:

    California lawmakers have their heads way up their ass. In fact most would agree (non Californians) that California in general has their heads way way way up their asses.. I know first hand because I live here.

    California is a socialist state…. Those of you disagree need simply to understand the procedural mechanisms to which lawmakers get their laws passed.

  • avatar

    Sid, you keep acting that way and you’ll have to change your moniker to Sid Notsovicious. Even if you are on the lam from CARB’s vigilantes.

  • avatar

    So how do we get rid of all these old, stinky clunkers around?
    Collectors items, fine. Special purpose race vehicles, fine. Those might have special permits.

    But in general, please get that junk off the road!

  • avatar

    ….and just what percentage of cars being referred to as junk are a 1975 or earlier model? Of that 1% or less slice of the entire pie, how many are daily drivers?

  • avatar

    Are you friggin kidding me? California (or north Mexico, take your pick) has hospitals going under monthly, schools in the same boat because of illegals who dont even bother to hide anymore, (illegal supposedly meaning against the law, like robbery)Gangs killing each other and this is what he picks to thump his chest? Being “green” wont get him elected again, if thats what he is thinking. Maybe he should look around. The Beach Boys, drive ins, surfers, drag strips, and surfer girls are gone, the latter all probably raped and murdered. It is no longer a place to write lyrics about, or jump in the van and drive there for the summer. It is a place to RUN FROM! I am glad he feels the state is so buttoned down that this is all that is left to worry about.

  • avatar

    As a person who regularly supports environmental causes, I think this is ludicrous. The amount of emissions from these early cars probably rounds to near zero relative to all vehicular traffic. If the goal is really for clean air and not for money, post 1985 cars should be emission tested in all states. Being concerned with pre ’76 emissions is like saying that you pet canary is eating you out of house and home.

  • avatar

    Truly Sid, You are going to have to change that moniker if you keep it up. Good work though.


  • avatar
    John Williams

    This is what I like about the Great State of Alabama: no emissions testing whatsoever to worry about.

    Someday, the CARB shenanigans will end. At least, I hope.

  • avatar

    I own a 58 Chevy and love classic cars of all types. I tend to notice a pre-72 car going down the road (and I doubt there are many more ’73, ’74, and ’75 cars) This time of the year is when the classics come out of the wood work and I doubt that I see more than four or five in a day. I can also tell you that most companies in the business of insuring classics limit you to 2,000 miles per year, which makes daily drivers rare, as you wouldn’t be able to get insurance that would cover the true value of the car. There is no way that the classics account for any significant pollution.

  • avatar

    Originally there was going to be a rolling date of smog exemption, something like every 5 years we moved the exempt year up one year. This was in exchange for passing stricter emmisions standards. We passed the standards and they cancelled the rolling date! Love that. So if you have a pre 1975 car that has been modified you will soon be unable to register it, this happened to me in the 80’s. Fortunately there were other avenues back then. Test the tail pipe for every car on the road. If it passes it passes…

    • 0 avatar

      Obviously this is another attempt to gather more revenue and obviously control what we do.  I am also sick off all of the environmental bullXXXX.  The green movement is all about money and control as well.  There is no global warming.  Hell, we cant even predict the weather patterns correctly.  But we think we are smart enough to predict global warming.  Give me a break, no common sense and people are like sheep.  They need a good buz word to get involved in something.  What will be the next new buzzword to get people to buy into some new b.s.  Maybe ill come up with something.  People dont critically think about ideas or new concepts very carefully, only if its given to them through the TV.

  • avatar

    First, I would like to see the Rolling-30 year rule reinstated–even reduced to 20, which seems to be about when the manufacturers quit offering parts. That being said, I would like see the details for the new proposal and the old (the current Post-1976 rule that Arnold the Governator sold us out on)….Just exactly how many cars are affected and what are “smog” savings for taking mostly hobby cars off the road? Plus, were those “savings” accurately calculated. The devil is often in the details. Also, you don’t have to live in Dean Florez’s district to send his political opponent a campaign contribution

  • avatar

    That dumbass Dean Florez is just trying to gather eco votes- all he is doing is pissing off classic car owners and making plenty of enemies. He is foolish if he thinks we will sit idly while he creates legislation intended to make us sell our cars- we will never sell our cars, or tolerate any legislation to take them away from us.

    I got news for you Florez- if we know how to double and even triple the power output of our cars, we also know to swap in smog-legal V-8’s and increase their output as well. Keep it up Florez- you make us look for a new engine, we classic car owners and hot rodders can make sure you’ll be looking for a new job too.

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