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Hagerty Employee

Out of gas? What green regulations could mean for classics | Hagerty Media

Curtailing tailpipe emissions is a centerpiece of the Biden administration's clean-air strategy, and some lawmakers have pushed for a phase-out of gasoline and diesel vehicles within the next couple decades. It's nearly impossible to find industry experts or environmentalists who think such a ban would spell the end for classic cars, but growing sentiment against the internal combustion engine could cause collectors headaches in years to come.

I'm not a constitutional lawyer but it seems to me that these regulations could negatively affect the value of vintage cars and potentially fall under the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment, requiring compensation for that lost value.

I like the way you think, but courts tend to shrug-off ruling on things with minor financial impacts. For the most part, cars are depreciating assets. They might rule on a piece of real property, like your home or a vacant lot which typically increases. If diminishing the value of something with an expected lifespan through regulation were actionable, many would like compensation for the thousands of dollars spent for a top-of-the-line home entertainment system made obsolete by digital mandates of 2009. Instead you got a $40 coupon for a barely functional convertor box. Maybe they'll send your tax money back as a $200 stimulus check/hush money to never hear about your stinky old car again.

Forget classic cars, keeping the ICE infrastructure is a National Security issue. Imagine an all-EV California after a major earthquake.

If there's no electricity, the gas pumps aren't working either. That happens far more often than major earthquakes.

Elections have consequences. If you think these regulations are all about the environment you are mistaken. It is about control. Those in the political class will still have the freedom to exempt themselves if they want but will definitely not suffer.

But I'm sure they'll never come after classic cars. /sarcasm
Advanced Driver

Gary--come on-- Anyone whos' paid the slightest attention to what's going on Knows dam well that things Have to change-- This Is about the environment-- I love my classic car & am sure that I'll be allowed to continue using it on a limited basis-- But I am willing to sacrifice a little (like higher gas prices ) to save my grandchildren a lot of suffering-- Climate Change (now Climate crises ) is Real-- These new regulations are not Political-- Don't Pretend they are-
Pit Crew

You’re an absolute FOOL if you think any of this is about the environment. Period. Like stated, it’s ALL about CONTROL. Politicians don’t give two hoots about the environment.
Intermediate Driver

janedon, don't you mean, "Come on, MAN?" lol
Pit Crew

None of these new policies is well thought out.  California talking about banning the sale of gasoline powered cars is a step in a direction that feels good to the people who live in cities, many of whom do not even own a car or have a driver's license.  However, all the electric cars that Californians are supposed to be driving still need fuel to charge them.  In California, most of that fuel is natural gas.  Some power plants still burn coal.  Some are "biomass" which is a fancy way of saying "burns garbage and waste". 


The bigger problem is the distribution of that electricity once it's made.  California's electrical grid isn't known for its reliability or capacity.  In fact, it is known for its unreliability, lack of proper maintenance, poor implementation, and for purposely being shut down for days (sometimes weeks) at a time during high fire danger.  So, how do the brainiacs plan to charge their electric cars when the power is off?  Get this- They are pushing for more home solar installations.  That's well and good, except the systems that back-feed the grid also go down when the grid is down.  If the power is out, the solar systems shut down so they don't backfeed the grid and kill someone who is trying to repair a downed wire. 


Meanwhile, many classic cars, especially prewar and antique cars, are what people today call "flex fuel" vehicles.  Meaning, if it came down to it, you can dump alcohol into your Ford Model A and drive it to the store to buy alcohol (the 18th Amendment kind).  I ask the kids who are being brainwashed- What is more environmentally friendly than a flex fuel vehicle?  Well, maybe one that gets its power from thin air.


Here is what I have been warning people of when it comes to the EV invasion.

The truth is EV products are coming. No it is not going to be an overnight transition but over the next 20-30 years. It is clear cost and charging times are coming down while ranges will be as good or better than a tank of fuel. The increased investment into this field has made it a deal of not if but when and now they have a good idea.

Many hobbies and enthusiast still to down play this but denial is no longer an option.

What this means is we need to move now to protect this hobby. If we do not start now it may be too late and those who care less about us or our numbers will do what they like and cancel us.

It has already happened where the EPA under a previous but similar administration to what we hav3 now tried to reinterpret standing law the way they wanted it. Their move was to make it illegal to remove or modify any emission items from a new car even if it is for racing and off road use only. This would kill the armature racing and drag racing.

Some of our friends in Washington have been working the RPM act to prevent this improper reinterpreted federal law from taking place.

If they are willing to try this they will at some point go for our cars.. Odds are they will not go for our cars directly but for the fuels, oils and parts we need.

We all need to band together to fight this as it is coming.

I work in the performance industry. We have acknowledged that the EV products are coming as we are now making plans for performance parts for EV products. We also have led the fight with SEMA to protect racing and ICE performance. I have written to and even been visited by House and Senate members who are willing to stand for our hobby.

We should really be aware those we vote for on where they stand on things like this.

Some work is being done on synthetic fuels and other things to protect our hobby.

The harsh reality is the auto industry is no longer going to fight the move to EV. They see lower cost to build cars and much lower development with them in the future. ICE cost will only increase to meet tougher emissions. It is pure economics now.

Much like the horse is much like how ICE will give way to EV. The first ICE cars were short ranged, unreliable, unsupported and expensive. It took 20 years to really become the norm.

So fight, keep informed and read on what is going on. These changes will be tried and you will not see them on the front page.

Hagerty Fan
Not applicable

The government giveth and the government taketh away.

Mostly taketh away.


The government giveth, then taxes you to payeth for your gift.

Call me a conspiracy nut, but two years ago you would have used the same label if I told you people in western nations would be jailed for being greater than 5km from their home, operating a restaurant while the marijuana store across the street is open, using a motorboat on lake Michigan while those in row-boats got a green light or posting a thought objecting to such mandates on social media platforms.

Like hyperV6, I am also in the industry and agree that OEMs are not going to be an ally in any fight to keep your ICE vehicle. The cost advantages are too beneficial and mandates insure that some smartass won't wreck the party by offering an alternative that may better fit certain circumstances. Try to purchase a new washing machine with a mechanical timer if you don't believe me. The people who come up with these mandates aren't elected and they aren't interested in your opinions. They'll be collecting a retirement check by the time you could affect their employment if every court ruling went your way for 20 years. Which won't happen.

The real game-changer will be connected and/or autonomous vehicles. Whatever can be shut off with a no-go signal from a central authority and electrification makes that magnitudes easier than an ICE vehicle. You want to sneak out at 4 AM for a workout at the gym operating clandestinely against the orders of the health bureaucrats? No. Want to drive up to the state capitol and protest in-person? No. How about some travel-free weekends to get "our" carbon numbers down to some arbitrary number? Yes.

I wouldn't deny the genius of the American Constitution for a moment. But it was written by men, not Gods. We may have reached a point where tech-tyranny is in a form they never could have imagined.

I am not a conspiracy guy but I agree. Much of what is going on is to destabilize our country to better position us to a more global government. A strong America stands in the way. This is why they are pushing things like the Paris accord. 

The deal is economics and regulations will be the undoing of our freedoms. They have added the cancel culture now. 

I have been wary of autonomous from the first push as they can dictate in the name of traffic control where you go, when you go, how fast you go or slow.


Your life as to what the vehicle chooses to do is the programmers choice not yours. if given a choice of hitting a kid on a bike or going over a cliff will be dictated by a programmer that is not on the scene. What he chooses is what you will have to live or die with and if there is an option he did not program you can not make that move. 

I always look at technology in two ways. The great things it can do but also how can it be used against me should control fall to those not inline with my view. 


Since we both mentioned it, I feel compelled to say that I've never felt compelled to believe a conspiracy was necessary. Man's natural state will do the work. A broad view of history will show freedom to be the rare exception rather than the rule. 


No matter what we willnot be able to save the planet any problem can only be solved if you find the root Cause and deal with it the ever increasing World Population and the increasing demands of that population and the increasing demands of all the people way behind our standards of livingare way more then this planet can deliver and electric cars etc are not going to solve the problems for instance plastics are made out of carbon and so is almost everything look around and see whats happening to the seas and the forests in the wake of ourdemands and theway we must make and sell more stuff every tomorrow

What increasing population? In order for a group of people to stay at a fixed size (i.e. - not grow) the birthrate has to be 2.2 children per family. In the US the birthrate is 2.3, and in Europe it is 1.8. Even China is now saying that families can have up to 3 children, as they are concerned about a declining population in the future. The only country in the world with a significant growth rate is India. The apparent growth in population is a mirage, caused by two factors: people moving from rural areas to cities, and immigration. American cities have increased tremendously in size over the last 70 years or so, but in the midwest there are vast tracts of forest and prairie that used to be farmland, and many nearly abandoned small towns.
Intermediate Driver

I have to admit that I feel some pangs of guilt when I take my Pontiac out of the garage. She is beautiful but she does pollute! I am (hopefully) offsetting that a bit by regularly taking the (natural gas) city bus to work. As well, I plan to purchase an electric car as a daily driver... why not? I do appreciate clean air to breathe. 😁
Intermediate Driver

Intermediate Driver

To "PHASE OUT" gasoline and diesel is something that the left have been planning for years. The idea here is to deny the working class, us, everything that we hold dear. It's all about control folks. It's all about control. There's a bumper sticker I would see on the back of the Clinton supporters vehicles. It was one world in protest of the Trump administration. "RESIST!" I think it is time "We the People" turn that around.
Pit Crew

"low-income folks running a small landscaping company out of someone’s house and using a beat-up F-150" We can't have that! What do they think this is? The Land of Opportunity?
New Driver

A long, long time ago, in a land far away - one of the major car magazines (Car and Driver or Road and Track) had an Editor article about the future of automobiles. It covered the conversion to unleaded fuel and how the collectors would has to distill their own fuel for classic cars and such fantasies. It may have been authored by Patrick Bedard.
I would appreciate any help locating such an article describing the dismal future for classics and their owners.

anyone looking at a classic vehicle and can only comment about pollution, is begging for, and deserves, a vulgar 2 word response which relates to sex and travel. at my age, my tolerance for the self entitled and arrogant among us has diminished to a negative number.
i had a 1981 dodge "miser" pickup, 318, 4 on the floor, tall geared rear end that was rated for 29 mpg, no stupid computer. what do trucks today get?

First off it is clear that cars alone are not killing the planet. 

Second many like to guilt you into their thinking. I have seen more than enough evidence to know that the earth goes through cycles of warm and cold no matter what man does. 

Third the earth is more resilient than man. The planet has seen meteors, earth quakes and super volcano’s yet life goes on as it adapts. Any recall St Helena was claimed to be a dead sight for decades by science? Look today it started to re over the say after the blast and it is thriving. 

I can show you places abandon by man in the mountains of WV that were claimed to be damaged beyond repair but yet today nature has reclaimed these sights to where little of the trace of man is left. 

The fact is science gets things wrong more than they do right as this is how they learn. Today many will not admit failure so they can keep their funding. 

Add to this man has built in places he should not build. Be it the low coast line where storms have ravaged for years or dry hills of California that burn regularly over hundreds of years. 

While man has done some damage often those who try to steer our future use lies to gain an advantage in power or financial gain. 

When it comes to environmentalism follow the money and too often it will lead to corruption and lies.


We should be good stewards but we should not hinder the future of our children’s country. There is an honest balance we should seek and not give up our sovereignty. 


Thank you for this and in comments, thank you Gary and Paul. This is about control and ignorance.
Politicians are ignorant and refuse to listen to the Hobbyists who make up a substantial and enthusiastic part of the market place. Let me put it this way: If my cars are legislated off the street I'll drive them anyway. Technology is destroying us. And it's too late for the Planet. Why do you think Musk and Bezos are looking at other Planets?

I agree but disagree in part. 

Politicians (not all but many who linger in office) are not ignorant, they are corrupt. 

The ignorance is more on the part of the public that many just believe what is on Yahoo. They have no information on both sides of the argument and generally seek none. Also the public as a whole don’t know who they have in office by name representing them let alone what their actions are. 

These tech people have destroyed California with their rules for emissions and political correctness. They have made many of the cities like SF, Minneapolis, Chicago, Portland and NY unlivable.  Now look where the tech names are escaping, they are moving to Montana where the law is enforced and crime is not tolerated.   

I spoke to a Genius Bar rep from the Portland store. He said he is a self professed liberal but even he said these Folks are nuts. He face danger as these folks shattered Windows at the store and burned buildings. 

These folks are out to destroy our law and order, our sovereignty and our financial strength to get our country to submit to global will. This has included buying and controlling people in office here in both parties. 

Technology is not destroying us it is the people grasping* control of it. We as Americans need to take it back. We should be governed buy all of us not the selected few gaining control. 

Pit Crew

Hyperv6's Second and Third points have been my own long-term views and are dead on. I consider it ultra-arrogant to think man has the power to significanly and forever alter major climate systems and nature (remember those who thought they could create rain?). Nature always wins and will be here when we are long gone.

On the other hand, like the native Americans, I have great reverence for our beautiful and ancient natural systems. Therefore I recycle everything I can and leave no footprints when I venture into the wild.

If CO2 is the enemy, and plants-trees live on CO2 to be able to produce oxygen, I'm taking the "natural route" and planting all the trees my property can support. If we all did that, we could support nature's own natural healing properties without oppressive government mandates for bogus programs that have no significant effect.

They'll have to pry my cold, dead fingers off the steering wheel of one of my 32-57 V8 Fords!
Intermediate Driver

"a gathering of tens of thousands of motorists driving classics down the Motor City’s main drag. Her conclusion: The event has a carbon footprint of roughly 400 metric tons of C02, nearly equivalent to the annual footprint of eight U.S. households."

They are concerned about EIGHT households worth of CO2 from one of the biggest car events in the country?? Hell, we have about 130 MILLION households in the US, adding almost 4 MILLION a year. Yeah, we should totally put a stop to living life and having fun ~ y'know, in the name of saving the planet.

Excuse me if I'm not at all concerned with the pollution equivalent of EIGHT households.

I don't care what people say about our government, I still think that we have the best politicians that money can buy.

Unfortunately, there's no place to turn them in for a refund when you've purchased a defective one.
New Driver

I'd sure like to know the formula on a how a ton of Co2 emissions is measured. That's never been posted. I think we are being led down the garden path on that one. Any one says to me my old car pollutes, well I tell them it burns the same gasoline as your modern Lexus or what ever modern vehicle your driving. It shuts them up very quick. Today's gasolines burn very clean compared to 40-50 years ago when it was leaded. You can also burn premium unleaded gas in your camp stove, a lot cheaper than buy the stuff at your hardware store.
New Driver

Many classic and continuation car owners swap in a newer more powerful, yet far cleaner burning engine. It makes maintenance of the engine simpler and is better for the environment. The problem is agencies like CARB make it difficult to obtain new crate motors to improve said fuel efficiency and emissions.
Advanced Driver

I have a 1939 Dodge truck that was converted to run on propane years ago. Morgan ran their cars on propane at the start of the smog test era to maintain performance without sacrificing drive ability. Why other companies never did the same thing is strange to me. My truck burns cleanly, propane is everywhere, it runs powerfully, and is adaptable to other fuels including methane from sewer gas.
I believe the real battle lies with politicians versus our old car imaginative population who refuse to accept on high edicts that stand in the way of dialing in an old engine to like new condition.
This struggle dates back to closing down “cruising” and all kinds of laws and restrictions which made hot rodding such an outlaw item.
And another thing, electric cars use energy too and long power lines to transfer that energy are subject to line loss which seems to be forgotten by all the advocates not to mention an overworked grid causing maintenance issues.

First off as classic car owners we need to do several things. 

#1 Accept the fact EV cars are coming and will play a major role in the future. Playing the game of denial is not going to change the Future. 

#2 Being honest and being informed. We have people being dishonest over EV tech and also not keeping up with what is really going on. For us to be dishonest about EV is not any better than the environmental people being dishonest over ICE. 

#3 We need to fight for our hobby and we need to be proactive now. Why do I say this?


We’ll go to The Shop magazine July issue. Read about the RPM act page 4.

This is the big battle being fought in Racing  since 2015. This is a really big deal. 
This has been a really dirty deal by the EPA and their next targets will be performance and classic cars. 

So be honest, informed and learn EV is not the end of the world. But fight now to preserve our cars of history and our hobby as a whole. 

I hope more companies will get involved like Hagerty and others who hold power in the collectors market. They need to rally owners and use their power to make it known we will fight for our collector cars. 

Think it won’t happen? Some countries already raise the tax on cars as they age to where people can’t afford their old cars. Just like that they can make many of us unable to afford the cars. 

I have been a part of the fight since 2015 since I am part of the racing community. I make my living there. I have written Senate and House Rep. I have had Senate, House and even the Governor. One in and talk to us at work. 

We need to take this serious. 

FYI. Not only have the major mfgs committed to the EV products in the future but the performance industry has now taken on the challenge of performance products for EV vehicles. This is a strong warning the change is real. Companies are investing in development of new products. The NHRA also has started classes for EV vehicles. 

When major players begin to make moves like this we should pay attention. 

just to clarify I am not a environmentalist, I am not a EV car lover, I despise Elon Musk.


But I get what is going on and why. Grid issues will be resolved, range now is good, charging times will fall, cost will decline and this will all take place over 20-30 years not next year. The cost of ICE will get more expensive to develop and meet higher regs. With most people today viewing cars as appliances many will go to what is most affordable. 

I may not be the first guy to go EV but I also stopped being in denial. You don’t have to like it but you need to accept the reality. 



I would think Hagerty and other companies who’s main source of income are old cars would being amassing an army of lobbiests to send to Washington DC.