Enthusiasts played a vital role in altering federal scrappage legislation in 2009 when an amendment was worked into the Cash for Clunkers program to spare vehicles 25 years and older from the scrappage heap and expand parts recycling opportunities. Cash for Clunkers operated through voluntary consumer participation, allowing car owners to receive a voucher to help buy a new car in exchange for scrapping a less fuel efficient vehicle. Vehicle hobbyists eased the program's effects by convincing lawmakers to include a requirement that the trade-in vehicle be a model year 1984 or newer vehicle. This provision helped safeguard older vehicles, which are irreplaceable to hobbyists as a source of restoration parts.
Imagine not being able to finish your rear end swap before it's time to quit for the day.
What happens when you come home one afternoon only to find a ticket on your project vehicle that's parked on your property? Sounds like a nightmare scenario, doesn't it? But in some areas of the country, it's all too real. State and local laws-some on the books now, others pending-can or will dictate where you can work to restore or modify your project vehicle. Believe it or not, that project car or truck you've stashed behind your house until the new crate engine arrives, or the cherished Mopar you've hung onto since high school to pass down to your kids, could very easily be towed right out of your yard depending on the zoning laws in your area.
Some overzealous government officials are waging war against what they consider eyesores. To a non-enthusiast lawmaker, your diamond-in-the-rough just looks like a junker ready for the salvage yard. If you're not careful, that's exactly where it will wind up.
Hobbyists are becoming increasingly concerned about the many states and localities currently enforcing or attempting to legislate strict-property or zoning laws that include restrictions on visible, inoperable automobile bodies and parts. Often, removal of these vehicles from private property is enforced through local nuisance laws with minimal or no notice to the owner. Jurisdictions enforce or seek to enact these laws for a variety of reasons, most particularly because they believe: 1) inoperative vehicles are eyesores that adversely affect property values or 2) inoperative vehicles pose a health risk associated with leaking fluids and chemicals. Many such laws are drafted broadly, allowing for the confiscation of vehicles being repaired or restored.
For the purposes of these laws, inoperable vehicles are most often defined as those on which the engine, wheels, or other parts have been removed, altered, damaged, or allowed to deteriorate so that the vehicle cannot be driven. The following are some common conditions that cause vehicles to be in violation of these laws:
Vehicle on blocks
Front windshield missing
Steering wheel missing
License plate with expired registration date
No license tag