The SVAO: Dedicated to the protection and preservation of Specialty Vehicles

Newsletter February 2002

Attention: (Car Club recipients) Please ensure that this newsletter is forwarded to your club editor for reprint in your club publication. Any and all content of our newsletter may be reproduced and we encourage you to do so. Text files are available by email in Word format. Call the hotline or email Ray Spencer - Editor

Ray Spencer - Editor

Saturday, April 20th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

The Specialty Vehicle Association of Ontario holds its Annual General Meeting at the Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited Head Office, Oakville, Ontario (at the junction of Highway 403 and QEW).

We work on your behalf to protect you from "misdirected" legislation that could adversely impact the hobby.

Once again, we are not attempting to have a car show by any means, however it shows a great deal of support for the SVAO when we have a strong turnout of collector cars (this includes ALL KINDS!). You Brit car owners can do a test run to see if you can make it to the Ancaster Flea Market run on Sunday. Providing the weather co-operates, show your support and bring your collectible. Come out and support the SVAO. Take the opportunity to blow off the dust bunnies built up from our long winter!

Our special guests attending/presenting are representatives of Provincial Government - MOE and MOT, and Federal Government Transport Canada.

Chris Whilans - Chairman, SVAO

As I sit here plunking away at this old keyboard, I find myself reflecting over the past year and various events that in one way or another tied into the SVAO. The first thing that I would like to do is to thank each and every one of you for your continued support and to also remind you to send in your renewals for 2002.

One comment that I've heard a number of times was that since "we" had made our point during the emissions' battle the organization could now disband and we car nuts could go back to enjoying life and forget about governments that want to interfere in our pursuit of happiness.

Lordy, lordy, if that were only true yours truly would be the first one out the door and gone. Unfortunately I don't foresee the time when there won't be a need for an overall umbrella-type group such as the SVAO to represent us in dealings with governments and other special interest groups that all have their particular pots to boil. If we don't look out for ourselves, you can bet that no one else will until it is too late to do anything. It is just too much work to get an organization like this set up and running to let it go into hibernation until another emergency comes along that has to be dealt with. The owners of specialty vehicles need to have someone out there who will look out for their rights and be a contact for various government agencies and the programs that are being implemented or considered.

Examples of such situations are the current implementation of the "DRIVE CLEAN" emissions program as well as on going consultations with respect to special types of licensing and vehicle inspection programs. Then recent problems with the implementation of Year of Manufacture plates is proof that you can sometimes get laws passed that start out as a plus for old car nuts but don't always operate smoothly. We encourage all of you to work with your local MPP as well as the man who got this bill through, MPP John O'Toole, to get this program smoothed out.

His address is - John R. O'Toole
MPP Durham
75 King Street East
Bowmanville ON L1C 1N4

Please let them know of problems that you encounter trying to validate your plates as well as opinions for possible solutions. It seems strange to me that in this day of super computers that Ontario's system has such little flexibility. IF THERE'S A WILL, THERE SHOULD BE A WAY - enough said.

I would like to encourage each of our clubs to consider creating an official position within their
groups for someone who would relay news on to their members regarding upcoming issues that the they should be aware of. In addition this person could also be the contact person who could send areas of concern to the SVAO. The more hands on board, the better the lines of communication should be. A reminder that all of the executive of the SVAO are actively involved in their own clubs and that they are going above and beyond the call of duty in their extra work here. Many of these folks have been on board since the formation of the group a number of years ago. If you are keen to help out in any manner, please contact us!

During the past year we have been pleased to see the resurgence of the NAAACCC as a national body to cover federal legislation and extend our support to its president John Carlson and his executive as they keep track of Bill C-32 and other issues.

Finally a brief note regarding attempts to come up with an additional, cheaper license plate for specialty vehicles that cannot make use of Historic plates. The issue of misuse of the Historic plates has been raised with the implied concept that another "Collector" plate would show even more potential for abuse. Please see the brief note elsewhere in this issue as to an attempt to deal with those who continue to give our community a poor reputation.

To wrap up, please enjoy your treasures no matter what your special vehicle is but try to find a little time to give something back. Now it's back to dreamin' NASHES!

YOM Plate Process
Ross McDowell - SVAO

As there has been very little information given by the MTO regarding the condition of YOM plates that they will accept, I sent in set of 1955's that I have had for some time. These plates were not pristine, had some rust around the edges and a couple of small nail holes on the side, but the colours were still reasonably good and the numbers were clear. It was not my idea to mount them on any car, but just to see what would happen. I had several positive surprises with this trial.

First, I registered the plates and paid the $6.05 and mailed them on Thursday, December 13. On Wednesday, December 19, the plates were returned to me by registered mail. One week only to send and receive, during the Christmas rush. When I opened the parcal, the accompanying form letter denied their use as the numbers were already in use. However, the young lady who processed my application wrote a letter to me, with a couple of telephone numbers and an offer to help me with any other information I might need.

First, they are not concerned about some minor rusting on the plates, but were surprised that I would consider placing them on a restored vehicle. I asked about restored plates and she said they were acceptable as long as the colours were close. Some restored plates had been rejected as the colours were not even close. I explained to her the problem that vehicle owners were having when buying or paying for the restoration of a set and not knowing if the numbers were acceptable.

Her advise was do not buy or restore plates until you know the numbers are clear. To do this call
416-235-2999. This will put you into the automated system and you will have to listen to the instructions and options but you will get through. If the number is clear get the plates and send them in.

To find out if it was this easy, I found another set of '55's and called in. There are several options on the recorded message and I listened twice. Still not sure, I selected one, listened to a short message and got connected to a live person. This person transferred me to another department and they checked the number. It too was in use, on a snowmobile.

At least now you do not have to send the plates in by registered mail, just call that number. It only took a few minutes.

It is possible to walk the fields at the Barrie flea market on either the Thursday or Friday and call the MTO from a payphone or cell phone and check the plate numbers that you find on vendor's tables. I also know one chap who found the plates he wanted, noted the number and called when he got home. The number was clear and he sent the money to the vendor at his home and received the plates by mail.

I still question if it is worth all the bother. Historic plates at $18 or YOM plates at $78. The choice is yours.

If there were enterprising flea market vendors one would think they would pre-clear the YOM plates they were selling and, of course, put a premium on the price. -Editor

NAAACCC Update - 2002
Dennis Duncan - Director, NAAACCC

The following is from the NAAACCC and serves as an alarm about the potential for serious impact to our hobby from impending Federal legislation. -Editor

Canadian Environmental Protection Act C-32
Potential Impact to Vintage Vehicles:
Bill C-32 is the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). This bill replaced Bill C-74. The enactment of Bill C-32, on Sept 14th 1999, has the effect of repealing and replacing the old Bill C-74 CEPA. Bill C-32 has more than doubled the size of the CEPA to encompass 358 sections. Overall Bill C32 gives extraordinary powers to Federal Regulators to create new regulations covering a wide range of environmental issues including pollution control. The true impact of the legislation will only be fully understood when the various CEPA regulations are drafted. The new Bill significantly broadens the powers of the Federal Minister of Environment. It also promotes harmonization of Provincial and Federal Legislation.

Federal funding directed towards new measures on clean air total $120.2 million. This funding is focused on four major areas: transportation, industrial sector, monitoring and reporting. In the transportation area, initiatives on vehicles, engines and fuels total $48.4 million. They include the development and implementation of regulations for vehicles, off-road equipment and fuels, laboratory testing of vehicles, the expansion of voluntary inspections and maintenance programs and support for high emitting vehicle scrappage programs. The regulatory plan will align Canadian vehicle emission standards with those in the United States by 2004, and introduce new standards for diesel fuel used in trucks, buses and construction and agricultural equipment.

In December 2000, Canada and the United States signed an agreement, The Ozone Annex. It details the commitment of both countries to dramatically reduce smog-causing pollutants, which create health and environmental problems. According to the Federal Government, air pollution causes more than 5000 Canadians to die prematurely each year. Canada's goal is to meet or exceed emissions standards brought in by the US.

With the growing concern in the world with global warming, green house gas, and air quality, additional pressures are being put on all governments to reduce pollution. In a recent Environment Canada, Environment Bulletin, the Federal Government stated, passenger transportation accounts for more than half of all fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions in the transportation sector, and is a major contributor to negative environmental impacts such as climate change, poor urban air quality, and acid rain. The transportation sector, in turn, is the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. Emissions controls are increasingly effective. However, the benefits they provide are being partially offset by several factors: the increase in the number of automobiles, an increase in the total number of kilometers traveled, and the continuing presence of older or poorly maintained vehicles on the road.

We may not be able to dispute that newer vehicles are cleaner but we can identify that vintage vehicles do not pollute to the extent the government claims they do. Various Pollution Advisory Board members have stated, that vintage vehicles are driven an average of 8,000 miles a year. The NAAACCC claims vintage vehicles are driven considerably less then 8,000 miles a year. This can be verified through surveys and data gathering. Accurate mileage figures along with the economic and heritage benefits of vintage vehicles, should allow them to survive and not become innocent casualties of future legislation.

The SVAO Survey established that collector cars are driven less that 800 miles per year - me thinks someone slipped in a digit! - Ed

The good intentions of future legislation, improving air quality, is in the interest of all Canadians but we must insure our vintage vehicle hobby is not consumed by broad based legislation, initiated without accurate and sufficient facts of vintage vehicle usage. The Government states, Public involvement in CEPA-related matters is an integral part of the success of the act. Industry and individuals are continually invited to participate in a wide variety of public consultations through notices published in Canada's official parliamentary journal, the Canada Gazette. Some consultations are also posted on various Environmental Canada Websites. The NAAACCC could participate, when the opportunity is presented, through the Public Involvement Avenue, on any proposed Emissions/Air Quality Environmental Legislation, that could impact the Vintage Car Hobby in Canada.

Kit Car Registration
Eric Barker

The following are the experiences that Eric went through to get his kit car registered.

A short while ago, I received you're the October SVAO newsletter. I had previously let you know Emission testing was no longer needed as of Sept 1, 2001 on Kit Cars.

For licensing of Kit Cars, a special licence and VIN number are issued. The VIN number will start with 'ASD' for assigned. The next 2 digits are the month of registration of the kit with MOT. The next letter is always an 'N'. The next 2 digits are for the year of registration. The next 6 digits are the birth date of the owner and the last 3 digits are picked by the owner.

For example: ASD11N01510704123. The '11' after 'ASD' is the month of registry. The 'N' is a given. The '01' is the year of registration. The '510704' is the birth date of the owner in yymmdd format, and the '123' at the end is the owner's choice. The ownership has the rest of the criteria. The make is the manufacturer of the kit car body. In my case, the make is KUSD for Custom Design (who is now out of business). And here is the real telltale sign! The model of the vehicle is KIT. This is the item required by the MOE. Hope this is helpful.

My registration was done for my kit car as per government rules in 1994. As Bruce Stewart pointed out, most people probably have their kits registered as 1931 Fords, etc. so that fraud is the only issue - not emissions, because of the age of a 1931 (or whatever). KIT must be on the ownership to be a kit car as recognized by the MTO.

Licence Fees
D.R. Truemner

Following are the experiences one of our members had with the issue of Licence Fees and his subsequent Letter to the Editor to Old Autos.

Until May 2000, an Ontario vehicle owner, whose birthday (and licence renewal date) was in October (for example), could ignore the Fall renewal notice from the Ministry of Transport of Ontario (MTO), if the car was to be stored from that Fall renewal date
until the next Spring. Then in the following May, when the vehicle was to be put on the road again, the licence sticker could be renewed from May through to October, at a monthly pro-rated cost for only those months that the car would be driven. In June 2000, a change to the fee structure for vehicle licensing was implemented by MTO. A new policy now dictates that vehicle licence fees are no longer pro-rated on a monthly basis, as detailed above. Instead, the full-year fee must be paid regardless of the period of validation remaining until the next renewal date. Of course, if your renewal date wasn't in one of the Fall months, this scheme wasn't possible anyway. Or so I thought.

I have since learned that if a licence plate is 'detached' from its vehicle, and then re-attached at a later date, the cost of renewing that plate is pro-rated, on a monthly basis. So, if your renewal date is in the Fall, you can ask the licence bureau to detach your plate, after your current sticker has expired, and it will be done at no charge. Then in the Spring, you request that the plate be re-attached, which costs $10, and the sticker renewal costs are pro-rated at $6.16 per month. It is not as cheap as it used to be, but it is better than paying MTO for a whole year.

But what if your birthday (and renewal date) aren't conveniently in October, November, or December?

Well there is solution for this too. If a vehicle is jointly registered to two people (a husband & wife, for example) then the renewal date (MTO calls this a stagger date) can be selected by the registrants. So if you request the licence office to add your spouse's name to the registration, you can then select a Fall renewal (stagger) date. And then you can enjoy the savings to be realized by detaching your plate each Fall, and then re-attaching it again in the Spring.

I have done this for my 1972 Ford, which I drive only in the Summer and Fall. Last year, I had the car registered to my wife and I, and we selected November 30 as our new stagger date. Early last December, shortly after the licence sticker for 2000 had expired, I went to my local Licence Bureau and requested that this plate be detached. As long as the plate sticker is not currently valid, the detaching process is free, and is done immediately. Ensure that the plate is only detached by the licence bureau clerk, and not cancelled. A cancelled plate gets removed from MTO's computer database, and getting a cancelled plate re-registered is much more cumbersome.

This June, I returned to the Licence Bureau, and requested that the plate be attached again to my Ford, which cost $10, and then I paid $37.00 (6 x $6.16 per month) for the remaining 6 months until my November 2001 stagger date. My total bill then was only $47.00 instead of the yearly fee of $74.00. Not a lot of money saved in this example, but if you have several vehicles to be licensed in this manner, the savings would increase accordingly.

It should be noted that the detachment of a plate, as described here, does not require the plate to be actually removed from your vehicle, unless you were going to sell it. The detachment process was intended, of course, to refer to the removal of a plate from a vehicle when it is to be sold. The detachment process ensures that a plate remains registered to its owner, even if it is not associated with (attached to) a vehicle.

If you don't sell the car, then you simply go through an attachment transaction, at the licensing office, in the Spring. Your plate and your vehicle are then associated to one another again.

Misuse of Historic Plates
Chris Whilans - SVAO

If the specialty vehicle community in Ontario as a group is to make any headway in attempts to obtain a "Collector Car" plate which would benefit many of us, then there is a problem that has to be dealt with first. There are amongst us those do not have the ability to afford to pay the proper licensing fees for the correct plate for their vehicles so they perjure themselves by stating on their license forms that their modified vehicles fit the restricted criteria for Historic Vehicle plates. It must really be something to be so short of cash that you can't afford the additional cost of one large tank of "high test" to put in your multi- thousand dollar machine.

Sarcasm aside, these people don't have the brains to realize what that does when someone sits down with the government to try to come up with a better deal for the rest of us. If we are to make progress in the area of licensing, then we as a group will have to show that we can police ourselves. This means that we have to "educate" the ill-informed at cruises, shows, etc. Now, I'm advocating peaceful conversation, not getting in anyone's face. However, life being what it is, not all will want to counsel someone on the issue and, as well, not all will listen to advice.

The SVAO does not want to put itself in the position of being the policeman.

I have decided to put myself forth as the person to contact in regards to misuse of Historic Plates. This is a personal decision and as such has nothing to do with the SVAO. I will accept written correspondence with a description of the vehicle involved, license plate number, date and location when noticed as well as name, address and telephone number of the person reporting the incident. The vehicle information will be passed on to a contact in the Ministry of Transportation while I will keep the remaining information in case validation of facts becomes necessary. Hopefully this venue will not have to see much action but it will be there if needed. Please send all reports to:
Chris Whillans,
RR# 5,
Claremont ON. L1Y 1A2


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