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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

NHTSA finally releases regulations, opening door to road-legal historic replica cars | Hagerty Media

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has finally completed regulations that permit low-volume motor vehicle manufacturers to begin selling replica cars. The Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act, which then-President Barack Obama signed into law in 2015, allows the manufacture and sale of cars that resemble vehicles produced at least 25 years ago.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/news/nhtsa-finally-releases-regulations-opening-door-to-road-legal-his...
34 REPLIES 34
blown392
Pit Crew

"the vehicles are required to meet current model year emissions standards"
Does that mean that turn-key 66 Cobra will meet 1966 emissions, or 2021 emissions with catalytic converters, and other equipment?
CCBlunt
New Driver

Looks like 2021 emissions. One of the previous stories went into more detail about this issue: "Vehicles produced under the FAST Act will be current model-year clean cars. SEMA says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board have developed guidelines and regulations to confirm that the engine packages to be installed will meet current emissions standards."
Sajeev
Community Manager

Sounds like it's gonna be 2021 emissions. So if you want a Cobra that'll suffocate you in traffic, you gotta build it yourself 🙂 

Vanman
Pit Crew

That right! Toxic batteries are the answer to the world’s problems didnt you know?
OldCarMan
Instructor

Who elected ANYONE at NHTSA?
Useless bureaucrats and swamp denizens hurt the country and the economy.
They answer questions no one ever asked, to preserve their gold-plated jobs and benefits.
Ooomanmax
New Driver

Motor-vehicle fatalities in the US have dropped since the 1970s despite many more car miles each year. That’s a lot of lives saved by NHTSA regulations. 

Maybe here’s is a role for government regulations.

chrlsful
Instructor

& support
TimK
Detailer

The director of the NHTSA is appointed by the president so we elected them by proxy. And many directors seemed to do all they could to thwart the automotive industry. Joan Claybrook comes to mind, my opinion. Another problem with the NHTSA like all other government bureaucracies is their employees, many are activists with their own agenda that doesn't necessarily agree with the current administration so slow walk or even refuse to enact official policy. I just saw a leaked Zoom video meeting of federal bureaucrats bragging among themselves of the power they had to push elected officials around. My guess is some in NHTSA may have been against the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act so slow walked the regulations so it could not be enacted.enactment m

mbseaman
New Driver

That pretty much sums up what happened here. Just a minor example of the DC Swamp in action.

Now apply that same reasoning to some really important agencies like the FBI, IRS, CIA etc and you get the picture of what has happened in this country for the last year.
spoom
Technician

The whole thing's a joke, a pox on all their houses.
Osprey
Pit Crew

And the Cuyahoga river is no longer on fire thanks to the tree huggers, depriving us of a honeymoon destination.
spoom
Technician

And the one has nothing to do with the other, does it? Don't forget the East River in NYC burned, too. Doesn't have anything to do with this story either, though.

JohninNC
Advanced Driver

Wait until the new 'administration' gets their mitts on all this type of stuff. Remember cash for clunkers? It caused a bunch of cool cars to be taken out of circulation.
Osprey
Pit Crew

Yes all those AMC Marlins and Pacers were crushed along with Pintos and Vegas. Western civilization may never recover...
Tim
Instructor

Nobody was forced to turn in a car with "cash for clunkers". If a car had any real value, it would have been sold to someone who would have restored it. Some cars may have been awesome in their day and highly desired if they were in decent shape but just too far gone to be of any use. That's why they were called clunkers.

I'll bet the vast majority of clunkers were 1980s-era Chevy Celebrities and other "prized" possessions.
Geok86
Advanced Driver

There were many decent C4 Corvettes, Fox and New Edge Mustangs, 3rd and 4th gen Fbodies, etc. turned in during cash for clunkers....there was even a very serviceable Grand National that an elderly woman insisted on turning in, because her husband had passed, and she felt it was too old, and shouldn’t be used anymore. All cash for clunkers accomplished, was to remove many low priced used cars from the market, and drove prices sky high on remaining vehicles in the market...so once again, the people who benefited the most, actually needed it the least, and very poor people lost the ability to buy affordable old cars.
stevecobb45
Detailer

Well, if current emission standards are the rule, I see electric conversions for their path. I actually like that idea because 1. we won't drive the cars on long trips, 2. less or no maintenance, 3. no gas tank, fuel line or carburetor with rust & 4. you can enjoy them without worry of them being wrecked or vandalized. That's what insurance is for.
1970_Imperial
New Driver

No thanks. Electric is soulless garbage in my opinion.
SCHNELL
New Driver

Wonder what special status Joe's 67 StingRay will get over time?
Bloody-AL
Pit Crew

So what are the safety regulations for these replica cars? Seat belts required? Air bags? Etc.?
CCBlunt
New Driver

That's a great question, and something I was wondering about as well. I found this summary, from an article published shortly after the law was passed.
"Replica vehicles will be treated as an assemblage of automobile equipment and subject to any current motor vehicle equipment safety standards (lighting, tires, windshields, brake hoses, etc.). They are exempt from safety standards that apply to motor vehicles (roof crush, side impact, bumper standard, etc.). The exemption recognizes that it is impractical to apply current model year standards to vehicles designed decades ago (ex: 1930’s roadster) or crash a vehicle when only a few are being produced."
This seems to imply that seat belts, ABS, air bags, etc would NOT be required if they were not part of the original model being replicated.
Here's the full article: https://www.streetmusclemag.com/news/replica-car-manufacturers-customers-and-suppliers-praise-new-la...
And if you're really feeling ambitious, here's the complete regulatory language: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-01-07/html/2019-27211.htm
I did a search on "seat belt," and it looks like they are not required - but if they are included, the assembly (especially anchoring points, etc) needs to meet current standards.
MrBill-1943
Intermediate Driver

Another well run government program NHTSA (pun intended). Only took 4 years to approve a simple request, can't wait to see how long it will take with all the new regulations coming down the highway for the next 4 years. Limit to 350 cars seems a little extreme on the low side that does not let companies like this grow. Why not a gradual increase year after year.
Vanman
Pit Crew

What would we do without the government looking out for their oops! I mean our best interest.
pinotdude
New Driver

Is it possible that the increased number of some special car models -via replicas- may affect the market value of the originals? I realize that this has not happened with, say, the original Shelby Cobra cars, but could it happen with other replicated cars as, basically, the same car along with its same performance and same looks may be obtained via a far cheaper price tag?
Geok86
Advanced Driver

The short answer....NO!
Maestro1
Instructor

I want to say that it's another example of a stupid and incompetent Government, but you probably won't print my e mail.
I have looked into owning a specialty car and hope to go to Texas when the virus is under control here on the Left Coast. I want to look into a DeLorean. I'm very happy that the industry can move ahead,
It means jobs, a fulfillment for some eager customers, and of income and hopefully profits. I want to thank Hagerty, SEMA, and all those who have put time and money into this aspect of the hobby.
pinotdude
New Driver

Oh boy, if they replicate the '67 Corvette (or other muscle cars) the ones typically advertised with equal number of HP as its number of cubic inches displacement (427/425 or so)... there will be little left from that "great performance car". The replica will have to comply with today's HP test under SAE-net and not SAE-gross method, along with legal ignition advance, fuel, etc. let alone exhaust emissions and unleaded fuel. In the particular case of replicating Muscle Cars era examples it would certainly yield cars that are very far from the originals.
Geok86
Advanced Driver

Yeah....they’ll be MUCH BETTER!!!
Punk
Detailer

I never understood the desire to do a replica of the Delorean when the real thing is not that expensive. I guess just to put a real engine in it? But then is it still a replica? Personally, I'd much rather have a replica that I could afford of a Jaguar XKSS!
ed
Detailer

So....if a replica of a 30 year old car is sold today in California, would it have to meet current CARB requirements?

farna
Advanced Driver

According to the new regulations, yes. It would look like an old car, but have a modern drivetrain and controls (most likely purchased from a big manufacturer -- a crate motor) and would require some safety features. Sort of like my 63 Rambler with 1990 Jeep 4.0L and trans -- computer and all, and a few other additions. Don't know the extent of safety features required, all I installed in that area is three point seat belts. So if you don't want to rebuild a classic with (relatively) modern components, you can buy one. I wonder how true to the original it has to be to be considered a "replica". The old fiberglass kit cars that looked like a 30s Mercedes roadster often were on VW Bug chassis. They bore a resemblance, but not what I'd call a "replica"...
chrlsful
Instructor

not sure what it all means. 5 yrs in the making AFTER passed (plenty wrk B4 that). This is not the nation it once was. Like on many current foreign shores my family would come home from work, eat'n go back to work - at home, for the self'n family. A lill shop in the basement or garage, wood or metal working machinery, etc. Job requirements, pace of life, corrupt systems, all press in such that I see lill of this (at least on the 2 Coasts).
I would like if guaranteeing home grown business (small LLCs or even Larger Corps) but there is no seed $ from big brother to assist (thru SBA, the Chamber, state gov). Love to see some assistance to drive an EV revolution to rival the other countries head start. I see there's an EV 'crate motor' now (too expensive).
TG
Instructor

one of the things that always irked me about the car world is that if there was a car you liked 10, 20, or more years ago, you can't buy anything like it new for any amount of money. Maybe this will bridge the gap and help curb some of the homogonizing and blanding of the new car market. There just isn't much out there now that excites me that isn't a throwback or an exotic
MARK400
Intermediate Driver

I`m sure a 1977 AMC Pacer station wagon is on the replica list.