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

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn
feds pass low volume law turn key fun for everyone

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 ( 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]

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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....

  • MaintenanceCosts We hear endlessly from the usual suspects about the scenarios where EVs don't work as well as gas cars. We never hear the opposite side of the coin. From an EV owner (since 2019) who has a second EV reserved, here are a few points the "I road trip 1000 miles every day" crowd won't tell you about:[list][*]When you have a convenient charging situation, EV fueling is more convenient than a gas car. There is no stopping at gas stations and you start every day with a full tank.[/*][*]Where there are no-idling rules (school pickup/dropoff, lines for ferries or services, city loading, whatever else) you can keep warm or cool to your heart's content in your EV.[/*][*]In the cold, EVs will give you heat from the second you turn them on.[/*][*]EVs don't care one bit if you use them for tons of very short trips. Their mechanicals don't need to boil off condensation. (Just tonight, I used my EV to drive six blocks, because it was 31 degrees and raining, and walking would have been unpleasant.)[/*][*]EVs don't stink and don't make you breathe carcinogens on cold start.[/*][*]EV maintenance is much less frequent and much cheaper, eliminating almost all items having to do with engine, transmission, or brakes in a gas car. In most EVs the maintenance schedule consists of battery coolant changes and tire maintenance.[/*][*]You can accelerate fast in EVs without noisily attracting the attention of the cops and every passerby on the street.[/*][/list]
  • MaintenanceCosts Still can't get a RAV4 Prime for love or money. Availability of normal hybrid RAV4s and Highlanders is only slightly better. At least around here I think Toyota could sell twice the number of vehicles that they are actually bringing in at the moment.
  • Tree Trunk Been in the market for a new Highlander Hybrid, it is sold out with order time of 6 months plus. Probably would have bit the bullet if it was not for the dealers the refuse to take an order but instead want to sell from allotment whether it fits or not and at thousands over MRSP.
  • AKHusky The expense argument is nonsense. My mach e was $42k after tax credit. Basically the same as similarly equipped edge. And it completely ignores that the best selling vehicles are Rams, F150s, and Silverados, all more expensive that a bolt, MAch e or ID4. As an owner, I'd say they are still in second car territory for most places in the country.
  • Johnster I live in a red state and I see quite a few EVs being purchased by conservative, upper-class Republicans (many of them Trump-supporters). I suspect that it is a way for them to flaunt their wealth and that, over time, the preference for EVs will trickle down to less well-off Republicans.