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

Newsletter August 2000

 Table of Contents

Annual General Meeting Bob Patterson - SVAO
UAP - NAPA Di$count
Year of Manufacture Plates Ross McDowell - SVAO
Transport Canada "Kit Car" Information Provided by Harry Baergen - Transport Canada

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Speeches to the 2000Annual General Meeting by:
The Honourable Dan Newman Minister of the Environment Andy Soutar Senior Enforcement Policy Advisor Carrier Safety Policy Office Ministry of Transportation

Annual General Meeting
Bob Patterson - SVAO

Following are the edited minutes from our AGM at the Ford Headquarters in Oakville, Saturday April 15, 2000.

The meeting began at 1:00pm with over 100 people in attendance. Guest speakers were The Minister of Environment, Dan Newman, Director, Drive Clean Program, David Crump, MOT Carrier Safety and Enforcement, Andy Soutar, Transport Canada Road Safety and Regulation, Harry Baergen. Speaker from the SVAO were Ray Spencer, Bruce Stewart and Keith Corby.

Ray Spencer welcomed all in attendance and introduced the Directors of SVAO mentioning that we always need help in our endeavors, the rules to question guests and a trick lottery for the beautiful Lincoln in the display area. He then turned it over for musings from Bruce. Bruce mentioned the Toronto Star Wheels article by Paul Coninx about faulty test centres on the front page and the answering letter from David Crump buried within the section. He requested that letters be sent to the Star editor about these exaggerated and misleading articles. Bruce then introduced Dan Newman and asked that we go easy on him as he had only been in the position for 6 weeks.

Dan thanked us for the invite and told us that this was his first speaking engagement as the Minister and of his interest with old cars. A little history starting as Parliamentary Assistant with Native Affairs and then with the Minister of Health. Jobs doing research, preparing speeches, and planning, which has helped him step into this new position. Also his work with Crime Busters (a branch of Crime Stoppers) which is a common thread with safe streets, clean water and Drive Clean. Now about Drive Clean. Twenty years and older are not to be tested. These older vehicles are only 3% of the whole car fleet. The stinkers are to be targeted by highway patrols. Well maintained vehicles would not be taken by this. He has always admired these older vehicles as seen in parades and displays and knows through friends how much work and expense is involved in their care. With the newer vehicles 1.3 million have been tested and of these some 80% have passed. A good accounting for such a new program. Pollution figures now show a reduction of 6.7% with an expected 22% when all the centres are working. He feels that the SVAO is an important partner to the government in this endeavor.

Q's and A's

Q - How will the Drive Clean program work with Kit Cars?
A - Now in discussion. Bruce interjected another speaker would cover this.

Q - How do you relate the pollution with cars when 50% comes from the USA?
A - Now working with related states to reduce this problem and to contribute to plans for future reduction.

Q - Why give polluters a two year pass?
A - This is a new plan and it will take some time to correct some situations. There are only 4 areas in North America now testing in which we are now considered the best. Other areas have had to shut down because of problems.

Q - Who looks at airport pollution? Where does it go?
A - This is a Federal jurisdiction and you can't tell them anything.

Q - What is being done to reduce the sulfur content at 250 ppm?
A - This is a Federal matter and they are committed to bringing it down by 2004.

Q - What will happen with emissions testing of farm equipment, lawnmowers, tractors, etc?
A - Dan said he is aware of the problem as he looks at his own lawn mower. David Crump stepped in to say they have not lost site of this problem but that it would be very hard to control as they are not licensed.

Q - What happened to the pollution credits?
A - David Crump said this was a pilot project and was not working and there is no such law in place.

Q - Clean Air is this Phase One? Will there be a Phase Two?
A - Not clear at this point but there could be a possible safety program.

Q - A CSRA member asked about recycling of write-offs. A division of Ford? (Greenleaf LLP) bought into Plazec Auto recycling in West Lincoln. Can these write-off parts be parted out to warranted cars at dealerships?
A - This will have to be discussed with Trevor Petrick. SVAO will look for the answer in the future.

Bruce thanked Dan for his involvement and his courage. Dan then thanked us all for our dedication and the need for such a group and that he would try to help us in the future.

Bruce then introduced David Crump.

He then apologized about the Star Wheels article and told of his ultimate responsibility for Drive Clean and hoped that no problems should ever have to bypass him to those higher up. They are a small group with much to do in controlling standard procedures, seven year contracts for centres, good service and to calm public concerns. Data and training is handled by outside contractors. They believe it to be a good program, over a year now without too much chaos. Others are amazed with our success in startup with so few glitches. SVAO is not the biggest thorn in his side. He feels the competence of our local technicians has been so much improved over the year and are just great.

There was a protest from the floor from a fellow who thought we were only about old cars. This was settled and David was asked to continue. David mentioned that training must keep up and will now discuss standards.

Q - What standards are there relating to older vehicles and the VIN and how do they reflect in licensing as to replacing a small engine with a larger one?
A - At the test centre when they lift the hood they will know and test accordingly. There used to be forms at the licence office for these changes but not any more. Bruce mentioned Mike Young (a developer of Clear Air, Clean Air and Drive Clean) has acknowledged there is such a low percentage of these vehicles with very low mileage and these should be made exempt.

Q - How are fibreglass cars ('34 Fords, etc.) now being built to be tested? As to 1980 standards or as Kit Cars?
A - This is in advisement. There are so few with so much cost to set up standards.

Q - Why is a Drive Clean test required when transferring personal plates seasonally from daily driver to winter beater?
A - They understand this problem and are working to fix it.

Q - Emissions testing is not profitable and brings on abuses for repair costs.
A - There are over 600 test centres in Toronto and Hamilton. Some will fail and some are making money. Many have learned that they have a very valuable tool on site. A Dynamometer can prove invaluable for other diagnostic uses such as road testing without leaving the shop.

Q - Some test centres are over eager. They stop vehicles because of leaky exhaust or assumed bad tires, etc.
A - Minor exhaust leaks are usually allowed, but bigger leaks will alter the test diagnostics and bad tires or wheel alignment could create a dangerous situation on the dynamometer.

Q - Is testing in SW Ontario on target for January 2001?
A - Yes and they are now looking elsewhere.

Q - How do you test an all wheel drive (AWD) vehicle?
A - It would be tested using the two speed idle test as they do with other different vehicles.

Q - Why must the vehicle be taken to an accredited dealer for the conditional pass repairs? Why can it not be taken to any fully licensed mechanic?
A - David requested the need for more information on this situation.

Bruce thanked David for his efforts and we had a break to allow Dan Newman to leave and for Bruce to go for a smoke.

Bruce introduced Andy Soutar.

Andy said this was his third time addressing us and thanked us for our newsletter for publishing the concerns on safety. He is looking to us to take the lead in this. We should show the government how we can self-govern ourselves and manage safe practices. This would be a big step with the ministry, a common interest to keep the roads safe and happy. When there are more accidents there is more pressure for safety measures. Our rates for insurance are low because of the things we have been doing. The McDonald inquest was a real eye opener. Do not sit on your hands on this - support your SVAO. He would like to see hard data on this. If you do not like your club or its procedures go to another club. Promote safety with decals, word of mouth, newsletters, etc. Look to others for information and input from insurance companies. Have a safety committee and director. Safety standards for older vehicles were very lax. Now in use the Highway Traffic Act Schedule 611 1 and 2 would be a good start. Common goals are great and we need comments to encourage us.

Q - Is referencing "Safety" rather than "Touring Inspection" a liability to the club?
A - using "Touring Inspection" rather than "Safety" would mean little in court as lawyers would see right through it. The truckers use a pre-trip inspection for safety used with insurance and liability as part of it (this came from the audience). He then recommended that we should get together as a group, standardize this form and procedure so that it would be more admissible in court. Stakeholder groups should each have their own, ie. trucks, buses, motorcycles, etc.

Q - Is there a difference between Certification and Safety? Which is more of a visual thing?
A - A picture in time, safe today, tomorrow ??? Minimum standards with no guarantee down the road. Q - Nate Salter of the Thornhill Cruisers have a safety lane at all their cruises. A - Great idea and acceptable. This working of a stakeholder group with future plans, a standard criteria is just what is needed.

Q - Would the stakeholder group accept one of us on the MTO Safety Committee to work with and have input to future standards?
A - Yes, definitely.

Andy then spoke of motorcycles with straight through exhaust as not acceptable and the coming program to stop this problem. Cars with boom boxes that crack their own paint jobs. You cannot talk to the owners as they are deaf. Earthquake contests (California) where the cars shake the ground and set off a vibration meter. We must push safety yearly and never drop it. There will be tests for cars just like trucks but not right now. There is a loophole because there is no legislation now for safety and this may change.

Bruce thanked Andy and then introduced Harry Baergen of Transport Canada.

Harry spoke o mainly import regulations regarding kit cars and the problems involved, outlining the reasoning for these regulations and safety concerns. They are not out to hit the hobbyist making a safer situation. The kit products that do not meet USA standards will not be allowed into Canada. They have established pre-clearance standards for those manufacturing for Canadian use, to comply with Canadian rules and do not exploit the system. He brought a document that is at the end of this newsletter.

Q - What vehicles are allowed to be brought in from the USA through Free trade?
A - Anything 15 years and older as of April 1995.

Bruce then thanked Harry and Ray took over to shut down the meeting. The Treasurer's report had been overlooked but there were many copies at the door.

Ray thanked all for attending and Ford for the use of their facility.

Footnote: I believe Dan Newman, thrown into the water to see if he could swim, came out a whale of a guy.

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UAP - NAPA Di$count

As many of you know, UAP closed our favorite store and we lost our discount. The good news is that the account is now re-established and that all of the people were moved to other locations. The bad news is that those of us in the east end of the city will have to brave the Gardiner or 401 to get there.

UAP/NAPA's Etobicoke store is located at 112 Jutland Road. Jutland runs west off Islington Avenue and is the first traffic signal north of the Queensway. Contact is Paddy Traycheff, although anyone at the store can help, and the account number is 9877-03. Cash or credit cards only. Phone numbers are:
voice - 416-252-5736
fax - 416-252-5039

The discount is the same as the trade gets for sales averaging about $10,000 per month and is substantial.

I also found NAPA's web site - There are quite a few how to do it articles and listings of available parts. It's geared more to the US market but at least acknowledges that things such as provinces exist.

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Year of Manufacture Plates
Ross McDowell - SVAO

During the past many years that we have been involved in the old car hobby there have been many attempts by a lot of people to legalize the use of Year of Manufacture (YOM) licence plates on our hobby cars. The interest from the Ministry has been lukewarm at best, and most attempts have gone nowhere. The MOT and various Ministers have turned down our requests for many reasons, lack of money, lack of personnel, or just lack of interest. I don't think we will ever see it happen until they are prodded into action and we may now have the opportunity to do just that.

On June 20, 2000, John O'Toole, MPP for Durham, introduced a bill into Parliament that would allow the use of YOM plates. The bill is 99 and calls for amendment of the Highway Traffic Act to allow use of these plates. The bill passed first reading and will need a second and third reading in the House later this year. If it passed third reading it would be law and the MOT would then have to make it work and we would have it for our antique vehicles, 30 years and older.

Bill 99 is a private members bill, meaning that is does not have the backing of a major party to ensure that it passes. Private members bills do not have a good track record of being successful for that reason. You and I are the support that Mr O'Toole will be looking for and will need if this bill is going to pass the next two readings.

We do this by contacting our own local MPP's. Keep in mind that on the day of first reading they may have not been in attendance, may have not been listening, or have no interest in it and do not care. Unless that MPP has an antique vehicle, or belongs to one of our clubs, or is aware of our hobby, I see little chance of support.

Now is the time for you to get busy. We need pressure applied before the next reading in the Fall.

Contact your local MPP and quote the Bill 99, the Member, John O'Toole who introduced it, and the date of first reading, Tuesday June 20, 2000. As your MPP may not know what a Year of Manufacture plate is , and why we want it, take time to explain how it works, a 1955 plate for a 1955 vehicle, supplied by the applicant and registered with the MTO when they are satisfied that these numbers do not duplicate the number of any other existing permit.

Alberta now allows them on a vehicle that is licensed as Historical and the Yukon allows them in place of any other plate.
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Transport Canada "Kit Car"
Information Provided by Harry Baergen - Transport Canada

The purpose of this document is to help you understand your responsibilities under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (Canada) if you plan to manufacture replicars, reproduction Vehicles or kit cars for the purpose of sale in Canada, or, if you plan to import such motor vehicles into Canada, or, if you plan to home build a kit car in Canada. The letter also portrays Transport Canada's account of the industry.

Over the years, most companies that have set out to manufacture or import kit cars. For the purpose of sale in Canada, have not included certification in their design, as federal law requires. Most companies do not appear to be interested in federal standards, nor do they seem to be interested in the related SAE Recommended Practices for automotive manufacturing. To avoid federal jurisdiction, companies that are presently doing business in Canada are selling vehicles outside of Canada and, in some form, within provincial boundaries. Although, by selling non-complying vehicles within their province, they may be infringing on provincial law.

In general, there seems to be a belief in the industry that applying modern standards to a replicar is not only financially impossible, but that it will interfere with the authenticity of the vehicle, and that it will intrude on the hobbyist nature of the industry. Actually, it is financially and aesthetically possible to certify a kit car to federal standards. Because kit cars are replicas of previously manufactured vehicles, and their configurations do not change, the cost of certification can be amortized over the years. A company's ability to certify, or a company's attitude towards certification, does not depend so much on cost as it does on the company's level of technical and engineering expertise. And, as it stands to reason that a higher level of such expertise can only result in a better, safer product for the kit car hobbyist. Examining the federal standards in relation to a kit car will show that certification will not necessarily change the vehicles authentic appearance.

Currently the industry still operates by skirting the law rather than applying engineering practices, which would inherently include federal certification. Therefore, kit cars typically do not comply with the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, and they can not be legally sold in Canada. Transport Canada (TC) monitors the industry to deter companies and individuals who are considering the manufacture or importation of kit cars without taking into account the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS), or the compatible FMVSS in the USA.

While TC focuses on manufacturers and importers of motor vehicles, which includes kit cars, TC has no jurisdiction with the home builders who are gathering parts from various sources to build their own car for their own use. The home builder can also buy parts in kit form (which usually need a donor car) as long as the kit supplier is not selling a disassembled motor vehicle. The way to differentiate between parts and motor vehicles is to determine whether it is possible, based on the assemblage of the parts in the kit, for the kit manufacturer to certify the vehicle; or, conversely, whether it is impossible because of the many pertinent parts that may be missing in the kit. In other words, is the kit certifiable as a vehicle or not? Canada Customs has a more basic guideline; if the kit only contains a bare frame and body shell, for example and it contains no mechanical parts, they will turn the importation over to Transport Canada. Parts kits will usually be missing most of the suspension, most of the fuel system, most of the brake system and most of the drive train - these parts will likely be supplied from a donor vehicle.

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