Feds Pass Low Volume Law, Turn-key Fun for Everyone

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn

For decades, enthusiasts came to dread new motor vehicle laws, as they typically conspire against the use of motor vehicles for fun. Post-Nader safety regulations that made cars heavier and less nimble came first. Emissions laws came a few years later, which strangled the previously-unrestricted engines into submission. The death of leaded fuel helped many of those old dinosaurs meet their untimely end.

For once, however, a massive new bill has actually lifted some restrictions. The Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015 ( as we covered in June) was passed last week as part of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015.

Basically, the law allows small-volume replica car builders to offer turn-key cars (rather than kits in roller form) without meeting the most stringent of safety laws. However, there won’t be any coal-rollin’ from the factory as those turn-key cars will still need to be built with EPA-compliant engines.

What this means for us: There could easily be new DeLoreans running about soon. This opens up ICON to build more Broncos, which will please TTAC’s editor greatly. MGB, Mini, and Sprite body shells have been available for years from British Motor Heritage. Perhaps someone Stateside could begin offering something like the luscious Frontline MG LE 50. Of course, there will be even more Cobras.

What obscure relic would the B&B like to see revived? For me, I’d like nothing more than to buy a brand new Citroen DS with a modern powerplant. What say ye?

[Photos: Factory Five Racing, ICON 4×4, Auctionata, Frontline Developments]

Chris Tonn
Chris Tonn

Some enthusiasts say they were born with gasoline in their veins. Chris Tonn, on the other hand, had rust flakes in his eyes nearly since birth. Living in salty Ohio and being hopelessly addicted to vintage British and Japanese steel will do that to you. His work has appeared in eBay Motors, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars, Reader's Digest, AutoGuide, Family Handyman, and Jalopnik. He is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, and he's currently looking for the safety glasses he just set down somewhere.

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  • Wristtwist Wristtwist on Dec 11, 2015

    Oh boy.... An earlier Taco with the re22 in it (or a modern 4, just want a small, light truck) E28 with a modern inline 6 (strip out the tech, i just want reliable transportation) E38 with just better reliability and less running costs `65 Connie with better everything except style (mostly NVH concerns) 22b STI Alfa Romeo GTV-6 with a larger driver position (I just dont fit, sadly. I gave away my resto project because of that) Alfa Romeo Spider - I cant decide if I want a new 66 or 67 long tail, or a 91 with that sweet 1.75 turbo. hmmmmm 1989 Civic SI hatchback with a new K series in it, with better NVH. FD3S with something. I dont even care if it's a rotary, just bring that body back!! A New Hope! First gen (if they ever launch the second gen) NSX. Bring that body back Revenge of the Reliable! `04-06 V70R with GM's Magnaride, someone else's electonics and maybe a coyote 5.0 Return of the Moose!

    • Wristtwist Wristtwist on Dec 12, 2015

      Forgot one! Mercedes-Benz W100 600 Pullman. The 4 door variant, not the 6 door. A fantastically handsome car for the bond villain in your life.

  • 05lgt 05lgt on Dec 11, 2015

    Can't quit this game. Dino Eco-boost 240Z with modern BMW MPower BMW 2002 with same. E type with GT350 flat crank. Yes. Thats the one. Might have to go with a dry sump and a larger cowl, but those looks, that sound, so much shove....

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