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

Newsletter  October 1998

 Table of Contents
TID BITS by Ted Jeffery - SVAO

BRUCE'S MUSINGS by Bruce Stewart - SVAO
LICENCE FEES by Ray Spencer - SVAO

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

Note: The SVAO is actively pursuing methods of having car clubs do safety checks on their vehicles and, while we have had input from some clubs on their views, we would most certainly like to hear from other clubs on their views of how such a process could work, should work, or if they feel it is not workable - what do you see as the barriers to such a program.

by Ted Jeffery - SVAO

The car hobby is coming to an end for driving our cars. Most of us start preparing our cars in the Fall to be stored during the Winter months.

This is also a good time to check our vehicles to see if any repairs have to be done to keep our cars in top running condition. This means checking all safety and pollution controls. Most of you attend car club meetings during the winter months. This is a prime time to discuss with other members the importance of contimuing to write to your local MP's. Your should inform your MP why it is important to have them support your car hobby. They should also be made aware of the amount of money you put into the economy through the restoration, maintenance and enjoyment of your car. The gas (taxes) you use to run the car, the support of local recycled auto parts and your regular retail auto supply stores. The money you spend going on tours with your car for motels, meals and gifts. The many times you use your car to support fund raising charities and even by the politicians for various parades and election campaigns. to table of contents


We met with the MTO again on September 5, 1998. The meeting was very encouraging and their responses to our suggestions very satisfying. We discussed the use and abuse of Historical plates and the proposal for specialty vehicle plates or stickers for modified or specialty vehicles. Another topic was on "year of manufacture" plates to determine if they could be re-registered and put to use on our vehicles. to table of contents


News from the grape vine and the media is the
Drive Clean Emissions Testing Program is probably delayed for about another year. Do not get the false impression that this testing is not going to happen because it will come eventually. The Ministry is just making sure they have everything properly in place and are verifying this with other Provinces and States to ensure they are on the right track.
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We need you to step in to help replace some of the directors who would like to step aside for a while. They have given a lot of their time and energy since 1994. Also we would appreciate your input on topics you feel we should be addressing. Remember you can contact us by telephone, fax or email. to table of contents

by Bruce Stewart - SVAO

We met in September with representatives of the enforcement and licensing policy branches of the Ontario Ministry of Transport. A number of topics were discussed including, naturally, licensing and testing for both safety and emissions.

While faulty automobiles are the cause of very few accidents (about 1.3%) many people feel that annual safety inspections are probably inevitable for older (whether restored or not) and modified vehicles. The coroner's jury at the McDonnell inquest recommended regular testing of "specialty vehicles" and the recommendation is on file with legal and transport officials in all Canadian jurisdictions. Those of you who attended our AGM in April heard the "official" position from Andy Soutar of MTO.

If clubs become qualified and conduct tests such as those done by ACCCC, HASC, the CSRA and others we will all be spared the expense of taking our toys to the local garage. At least one club is vehemently opposed to self testing and is recommending that their members take their vehicles to a Class A mechanic for an annual test. We have no problem with this suggestion but it will cost more than having the club test its own vehicles and modern "automotive technicians" may not always have adequate knowledge of older technologies that were made for mechanics. These people have a full time job keeping up with the new stuff.

With respect to licensing, we have asked for modifications to the regulations governing historic plates and for the establishment of a "collector plate" like that issued in British Columbia. It is doubtful that we will obtain a different plate and discussions are centered around a "collector vehicle identifier". A collector plate would have fewer restrictions than an historic plate but would be more restricted than regular plates. It would also be less expensive and would form the basis for special insurance coverage.

We have been in contact with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators in Arlington, Virginia to ascertain the existing regulations in the other provinces and states. If any of our readers or your club members are in contact
with car people in other jurisdictions could you please arrange to provide the SVAO with any available information regarding licensing in those areas. We need this data for our discussions with MTO. Please help us - let all your members know that we need help.

We recently spoke with MOE regarding the institution of emission testing. Apparently, negotiations with the prospective contractor failed and the ministry is "going it alone". MOE officials are still aiming at and committed to the program's launch in April of next year. The great unwashed are still getting ripped off so tell everyone not to have their vehicles tested until MTO says that they have to on their license renewal and tell all of your mechanic friends not to buy any test equipment before checking with the environment minister's office.

The UAP deal is still in place and we're looking at further discounts with other vendors - particularly body shop supplies.

For those new clubs that may not be familiar with the account. the details are as follows. Patrick Traycheff, the manager of UAP's Toronto East location (400 Eastern Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4M 1B9 - T(416) 461-5889 - F(416) 461-7994) has issued Account # 9877-03 to the SVAO. Discounts in effect are those for shops with UAP volumes in excess of $100,000 and are substantial. If you need parts for any of your vehicles give Pat a call. to table of contents

by J.P. Matte, Ontario Z Car / SVAO

From the very beginning I noticed cars and had an intense interest in them. Specifically, the way they looked. Ultimately the way a car looks is what draws people to a particular car. Old, uniquely styled (or not), Mopars with interesting power plants being one of the major exceptions. When I was a young kid growing up in the late sixties and the early seventies, popular notion was that Japanese cars were an interesting novelty. I remember ads in the National Geographic magazine for $900 Toyotas. Cameras and transistor radios were fine, cars were met with a giggle. I even remember a rumour?? - said Japanese cars were made from recycled coffee cans.

In early 1975 I spied myself a sharp looking two
seater…. Later identified as a Datsun 240 Z. I was smitten, the lines of this car were striking to say the least. In terms of styling, the 240 is standing up so well that Nissan (Datsun) is actually selling meticulously reconditioned 240's as new vehicles for $20,000+. While it may not be a truly original design, it borrows heavily from many classic designs, notably the E type Jaguar, it stands on its own as a dynamic and timeless piece.

In addition to its enduringly appealing styling, the 240Z has also earned itself a significant place in automotive history. It was the first affordable, true two seater "sportscar" ….at just over $3,000. It offered performance and technology at a price millions could afford, and did. Where Japanese cars were the laughing stock of the North American auto industry, the 240 at once gave notice to the world that the Japanese car makers may some day be a force to be reckoned with.

All this talk of historic significance requires backing up this notion with some hard data. The Z came equipped with an aluminium head, single overhead cam, 150 bhp, 2400cc in-line 6 cylinder engine, dual carburettors, 4 speed transmission, disc brakes on front, drums on rear. Lightweight, unibody construction, 4 wheel independent suspension, a world class dash layout and gauge cluster were also featured. Relining, high back bucket seats rounded
out the package.

Performance was a standout as well. Stock 0 - 60 mph times of 8 seconds are to this day respectable but even more so in the context of the early 70's. Stock quarter mile times of 17 seconds were also quite good, especially when considering the cars stellar handling. The Z and its many incarnations dominated road racing for close to 20 years and are still competitive tot this day.

Back to the here and now if you will, at least partly. I eventually did get a 1971 240Z, towing it home from out of a farmer's field (sound familiar?) in 1984. My lust for it was fuelled by its looks and the potential for modification. To some, restoration is the ultimate goal and I respect that, but for me, the fun has been in recreating this car according to my own twisted wants and desires). After all, there's still no governing body that says I can't do this, is there?

Currently the car has a 2800cc 0.30 over '83 ZX block, a ported and polished N42 head, hotter cam, triple dual throat Weber carburettors fitted with Velocity stacks and individual K&N air filters. Air is fed by a home crafted Ram Air system. The engine is fired by an Allison Optical Electronic system, exhaust dumping into headers and down a 2.5" straight pipe ending in a 5.5" diameter stainless steel Supertrapp muffler. Power is transmitted by an aluminium flywheel to a Centerforce 2 clutch, cycled through an '83 ZX 5 speed and into an R200 3.90 truck differential. A 90%

full roll cage with shock tower and firewall bracing ties the chassis together. Up front sits a full complement of auxiliary candle power for those night time excursions. Modular racing wheels, wider rubber and full fender flaring, an enhanced headlight system, a high grade driving seat and the installation of a recently purchased 4 point harness are yet to come. The car has a wing, a real adjustable wing, not one of those fibreglass clothes hangers so popular nowadays. Ever since I was a kid I wanted a (racing) car with a wing.…. explains a lot doesn't it! As far as the '85 paint scheme goes, it's my way of having the '65 GT Mustang 350R I have always wanted, but couldn't afford.

Performance is a pre-Weber x 3 figure of a 15.25 quarter mile ET. With the triple Webers the times should be in the 14.5 to 14.9 range. Acceleration is brisk, fuel economy is…. Not so good, but still much
better than a Hemi.

I am not alone. There are 180 more of us and counting, modified to meticulously restored. I helped co-found the Ontario Z-Car in 1993, and across Ontario we are out there. On any given summer day, if you listen closely, you may just hear an extremely modified oriental coffee can wailing through all five gears, not so much on the road to glory, as in search of 94 octane! to table of contents

by Ray Spencer - SVAO

I wrote earlier this year about a way to get a reduced cost licence renewal and, after trying the method myself, found out that it did not work.

In order to resolve the actual way to do this it took me five trips to my local Registration Office and three telephone call to the Ministry of Transportation.

Following is the correct method to change your permit end date. The purpose of doing this is to reduce the fee you pay for a seasonally used vehicle by changing the renewal date (end date) to a date other than your birth date. Of course this only should apply to persons born at the wrong time (like me). What you should be after is an end date that agrees with the time of year that you take your vehicle off the road - for me, I chose November 1. When I renew in the spring I will only have to pay for six or seven months plate costs.

First of all, be patient, as the issuing offices do not do this on a regular basis and may, in fact, not be aware how to do it. You need to have your "PERMIT - PLATE PORTION" changed to a joint registration. The "PERMIT - VEHICLE PORTION" will remain the same as it is currently. There are some forms to completed (as usual) and you will need your spouse's signature as well. So either go together or pick up the forms ahead of time and complete them at your leisure. If the issuing office has no idea what you are talking about ask them to call their HOTLINE and have them determine what they need to do to change the end date. You will not need to complete the Safety Inspection Certificate (SSC) and the Sales Tax (PST) as you are not changing the "VEHICLE PORTION" only the "PLATE PORTION". After all the forms are completed and the issuing office understands what you require the rest is history.

A word of caution on doing this change. If you had chosen an end date of November 1 and, due to circumstances beyond your control, you did not got to the office to renew until August 2 (less than three months left in your renewal year) you will have to pay for the next year's fee as well.

The need for this clumsy method of getting a lower cost renewal fee will hopefully be eliminated should we be successful in getting the Specialty Vehicle Licence Fee.
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 SVAO MEMBERSHIP - 1997-1998

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