Replica Car Sales Ruled Okay

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai

Low-volume manufacturers may now sell replicas of cars made at least 25 years ago. At long last, The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has completed regulations to allow specialty car makers to produce and sell completed, turnkey cars.

A bill to reduce the requirements and red tape for manufacturers of vehicles was enacted by Congress in 2015, but it has taken five long years for the regulations to get written that would allow sales to take place. As such, makers can now produce up to 325 replicas a year, keeping in mind current model year emissions compliance, following Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines.

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) issued the following statement upon completion of the regulations: “SEMA applauds NHTSA’s final rule allowing companies to market classic-themed cars. Regulatory barriers have previously prevented small automakers from producing heritage cars for eager customers. The roadblocks have been eliminated. Companies will be able to hire workers, start making necessary parts and components, and produce and sell cars,” said SEMA President and CEO Christopher J. Kersting.

Until the regulations were enacted, there was only one way to produce cars in the U.S., the same as it was for BMW, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen, and other major automakers. Now, you can buy fully-assembled cars produced by small-volume manufacturers such as Superformance and Factory Five, not only as kit cars. Hooray for the cottage industry car constructors, now let’s see turnkey Cheetahs, Grand Sport Corvettes, and Porsche Speedster replicars.

[Images: Factory Five]

Jason R. Sakurai
Jason R. Sakurai

With a father who owned a dealership, I literally grew up in the business. After college, I worked for GM, Nissan and Mazda, writing articles for automotive enthusiast magazines as a side gig. I discovered you could make a living selling ad space at Four Wheeler magazine, before I moved on to selling TV for the National Hot Rod Association. After that, I started Roadhouse, a marketing, advertising and PR firm dedicated to the automotive, outdoor/apparel, and entertainment industries. Through the years, I continued writing, shooting, and editing. It keep things interesting.

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