from "Automotive Booster" magazine Nov 2002
A new California law will make it easier for
customers who make kit cars and replicas to register their vehicles.
Under the new law, a smog test referee compares the vehicle to those of
the era that most closely resembles to determine the model year of a
specially constructed vehicle.
The vehicle's owner can choose whether the inspector will certify the
vehicle model year or the engine model year. If there is no close match,
it is classified as a 1960 vehicle.
Only those emission controls applicable to the model year and that can be
reasonably accommodated by the vehicle are required. The Department of
Motor Vehicles (DMV) registration program is limited to the first 500
specially constructed vehicles per year that meet the criteria.
Under the former system, kit cars would be assigned the model year that
the car was completed, making it very difficult in some cases to pass
emissions requirements. Replica cars in the 1920's model style were being
required to add catalytic converters and similar "non-period"
"In the years past, California kit cars and replica vehicles were
assigned the current model-year for smog inspection purposes" said
Steve McDonald, SEMA director of government and technical affairs.
"This policy unfairly subjected kit cars and other specially
constructed vehicles to more stringent smog inspection requirements.
Thanks to this measure, engines and vehicles will be held to the standards
of the model year they represent rather than the more sophisticated
vehicles of today. In addition, car owners won't be penalized for having
previously registered their specially constructed vehicle."
SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, supported the bill
sponsored in the legislature by Senator Maurice Johannessen.
California exempts pre-1974 vehicles from the biennial and change of
ownership smog check requirements. Under the new law, specially
constructed vehicles designated with a pre-1974 model year will be
exempted from the test. Beginning in the year 2003, all vehicles 30 years
old and older will be exempted.