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

Newsletter Winter 2005

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 - Editor


"As noted this edition is being put together by your chairman who is not the most computer savvy retiree in the world so any mistakes, screw-ups, etc are mine." Little did I know how quickly these words from our last newsletter would come back to haunt me. My apologies to any of you who were stuck for the incorrect postage on the last issue. Back when we had more volunteers, another executive took care of the mailing and I sailed along in life not realizing that if you mail things in a larger envelope, the postage doubled. The same warning about errors still applies but hopefully I've learned that postage lesson!

Welcome to Jim Cowan who has stepped up to help the SVAO. Jim has a long history in our hobby and with the CSRA. His recent retirement from the Ministry of Transportation has allowed him to become more involved and with us and he will be representing the SVAO on the Ministry of Environment's Advisory Council.


For those of you who wish to contact the Ministry of Transportation in regards to problems or questions regarding YOM, we have been provide with new information to pass on to you. Here is the new contact info;

Ministry of Transportation

Licensing Service Program

1355 John Counter Blvd., PO Box 9200

Kingston, Ontario,

K7I 5A3

Further more, the number to determine the availalbility of a YOM plate, the Ministry's Enquiry line is 416-235-2999 or 1-800-387-3445, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM Monday to Friday, holidays excluded, of course.

The website is


This seems to be a constant call but the SVAO cannot exist without a core of people to monitor the various government agencies and levels (provincial and municipal). Many of the executive have been here since the beginning nine years ago and would like some relief. They are for the most part people who are already on the executive of their clubs and so are very involved in the hobby. This does not mean that they won't be around for advice and guidance but there is plenty of room for new blood.

The tasks at hand are, for the moment, mainly ones of keeping in touch with various officials at the different government offices and making sure that these officials remember that the SVAO is out here available for consultation before rules and regulations are developed into law. Officials are often transferred, promoted or not re-elected and so just keeping in touch can take some effort.These tasks can usually be done by e-mail or telephone. The executive meets as needed in the Toronto area but not everyone can do this, so some report in by phone or computer.

The SVAO is in need of concerned individuals who will take the time to let us know of situations which they hear about that are not helping our hobby. A call to one of the executive would be appreciated if you have an area of concern because often that is how the SVAO first hears about trouble spots. The more eyes and ears that are out there, the sooner the SVAO can try to help out.

Dues Holiday

As mentioned in the last newsletter, your executive has had some long and hard decisions to make in light of the fact that there does not seem to be a reasonable number of people who will help out in the running of this group. Coupled with the fact that a number of long term executive members have asked to be relieved of their duties due to business and personal matters, the SVAO has decided to go into a monitoring mode. This means that the existing executive will try to continue to respond to issues as it can and maintain existing government contacts. No new initiatives will be put forth UNLESS someone is willing to head up that initiative. If you have something that is really eating at you, please contact the SVAO and we will do all that we can to help but you or your group will have to be willing to work at that issue too.

In light of the above, the executive has decided not to issue a dues notice for this year as we have money in the bank to sustain the SVAO. Now if something dramatic takes place, there may be a call for dues but we will cross that bridge if it happens. So for now, NO DUES NEEDED FOR 2005.

Emissions Review

As many of you will have noticed, the news media has stated that there is an review in place as to the future of the Drive Clean program as well as all aspects of how it will be run. The SVAO is monitoring this process through its seat on the Ministry of Environment's advisory committee. While the process is confidential and ongoing, I think that I can say that the Ministry is very aware of our concerns and with our past involvement over this issue.

California has repealed their thirty year rolling exemption and hobbyists there await further developments. Now this is a state that has certainly flip-flopped back and forth on a number of issues in the past and I think that this might turn out to be one such issue. However many times other states mimic California so we'll all have to watch developments there.

Appraisal Needed with Vehicle Transfer

Recently many of our members may have found that a regular, signed sales receipt from a private seller doesn't work when they go to transfer a twenty year or older vehicle's ownership. At first the SVAO thought that this was something new but thanks to directors Ken Kroeker and Jim Cowan who put us straight, as this has been on the books since 1998. It appears that since most of the licensing offices are privately run, there has been a lack of consistency in the application of this regulation. I suspect that in the last six months or so an edict has gone out to the various offices to start collecting the money. This doesn't apply to a sale through a dealership as tax is collected and remitted to the government by the dealer. A dealer or someone with a Ministry of Finance number may do a separate appraisal on the appropriate MTO form for a private buyer if requested but this usually means an additional fee.

The document that backs up this request is Sales Tax Guide 209. It can be obtained at a government licensing office or pulled off the internet in PDF or HTML format at the following address
It's 5 pages in length, and falls under the Used Vehicle Information Program.
Here's the most applicable paragraph;

"For motor vehicles that are 20 years or older at the time of registration, RST is payable on the GREATER of the purchase price, the replacement value for insurance purposes or the appraised value of the vehicle. A copy of the bill of sale, and, either a copy of the appraisal document, or a copy of an insurance policy showing the insured value of the vehicle is to be given to the licensing office."

The current form to get filled in and take to a licensing bureau is entitled MOTOR VEHICLE APPRAISAL RECORD (Used Vehicle Information Program) and numbered 1159E (01-02).

Easy Reading

The SVAO has been in existence now for over 10 years. New and proposed Legislations concerning our hobby have kept us very busy in the past. Some we have been successful in changing as they were too harsh, and some we have not. We do not realize sometimes what unique and rare vehicles are owned by people and are still being driven. This is about one of them, an original 1929 Model A Ford, used by Police in that era.

The car is shown parked in front of a covered bridge, I can only assume somewhere in Wyoming. The owner is standing alongside in what appears to be a period Sheriff's uniform, complete with a wide-brimmed white Stetson hat. Listed below is the standard original equipment that came with the car. The photo of the car and bridge shows a beautiful setting. The background has a lake on the right and a river on the left. The bridge is well cared for and has a sign on the front stating that there was a $10.00 fine for crossing the bridge faster than a walk. Looking at the car you can see the Trippe light at the roof, red spot lights on both sides, the gas and water cans at the bottom of the radiator, moto meter, siren on the front fender and the white painted door with a huge star and “Sheriff Dept” in bold letters. As with all Law Enforcement vehicles, there are no white sidewall tires on this Ford.

This car was used for many years in northern Wisconsin. The Squad is registered with the Police Car Owners of America and it is one of the oldest known original “Squads” in North America, P.C.O.O.A. number 253. The owner also belongs to the S.O.S (the Secrets of Speed Society). He also owns a '28 Leatherback, a '28 Roadster pickup and an AA Dump truck.

Listed now are Law enforcement items that are with the old “Squad”:

1] Original “Trippe' Speedlights [the large red lights by the windshield].

2] 1897 Winchester pump 12 gauge shotgun.

3] Original 1920's Unity “Sportlight” through the roof.

4] An original Fraternal Order of Police radiator badge on the radiator.

5] 1924 Colt 38 Cal. six shot revolver, “New Army” model for Police.

6] 1923 “Eveready” “C” cell flashlight

7] Original headlight bar “Sheriff”

8] Late 20's S.D.siren on left front fender

9] Original 1924 Kodak crime scene camera and wood tri-pod

10] 1926 Fishing rod and reel and case. [For slow days]

11] Original trailer hitch and 11\2 trailer ball

12] Dual spare tire with chains [440x450-21

13] Original belly chains and lock.

14] Original cast iron ankle weight , approx. 8 pounds.

15] Original running board box with kerosene pots for accident scenes.

16] Original 1929 bulletproof suit vest with labels [dark blue]

17] Horse bit and bridles and rope.

18] Original: Red can-gasoline, Blue can-oil, White can-water. These are behind the front bumper and in front of the radiator. Used as extra fuels or to assist other motorists.

19] Original metal box for tools, and needed items.

20] Original 1929 blue striped suit, once belonged to an Officer of the Langlade Company S.D. in Wisconsin.

21] An original 1924 “Warner Auto Trailer” fold up camper. This was towed behind the “Squad” and used as a mobile office and also was used as a “Court” for rural hearings. This camper also contains period camping equipment and law items. Tires on this camper are 3.5 x 30. Body of the camper still has the original stencils from the Warner Company of Beloit Wisconsin.

When was the last time you saw a Model A as interesting as this one?

In reading the story several times and studying the photo, several questions arose about the car and I ended up sending a second letter to Toby looking for the answers. He sent a letter back to me and here now are my questions and his answers.

What is the original Law Enforcement engine?

Answer: As we know, Henry Ford did not build a Law Enforcement engine. The engine in our squad is an original and was modified by the original officer as he worked for the Sheriff's Department. The engine now runs a recast eight sparkplug, Hi-compression head by Charlie Yapp of “Secrets of Speed Society” at 3860 Cain Run Rd., Batavia, Ohio, 45103. This organization is dedicated to the Speed secrets for the Model A and the Model T.

How long have you owned the car?

Answer: We have owned this old Squad for about twenty years.

Where was the photo taken?

Answer: The photo sent to you was taken in Waupaca Wisconsin, USA where our only son Clint Thobaben and his wife Julie are Deputy Sheriffs on the Waupaca County Sheriff's Department.

Toby, is that you in the photo and is that a modern uniform or one of the older ones?

Answer: Yes, that is yours truly in the photo. The uniform is one that I made up as a retirement uniform to be worn at special events. I do have an original 1929 double breasted suit that was worn by a late Officer on the Langslade County Sheriff's Department, Clayton Hull. Also with this suit is an original 1929 [Dec] bulletproof vest with full labels, the vest looks like a dark blue suit vest but weighs approx. 25 pounds.

How big is the Police Car Owners of America and how can I contact them? There is nothing like that in Canada and I would like to join.

Answer: P.C.O.O.A. [Police Car Owners of America] is a world wide club dedicated to the Law Enforcement Squad Cars. Retired Sgt. James Post founded the organization and it can be joined at the following: P.C.O.O.A., 172 Cr. 136, Eureka Springs, Arkansas 72631.

How often and how far do you drive the “Squad”?

Answer : Due to the loaded shotgun and Colt revolver and the other equipment the old Squad Car is limited in travel on its own. The Squad is used throughout the area for parades, special events, shows, etc. After being in a very serious accident about four years ago and the other driver [the cause] not having an insurance, driver's license or registration, I hate to say it, but the old Deputy has its own, 30 foot Haulmark, enclosed, custom-built trailer. We do drive the old timer and people just stare as we go past on patrol. I have had the Squad to 85 MPH, but that was pushing it and Lady Luck, the Good Lord and my Guardian Angel all got out on the way and told me that “I was on my own.” Only once at that speed.

Hope this added info helps. You folks to the North are doing a fantastic job… Thank You.

Drive Safely in your Model A.

Just me:

Toby and Sue Thobaben Big Horn Wyoming

The Specialty Vehicle Association of Ontario was started in the mid 90's when plans were being made by Government to start emission testing all vehicles on the road in Ontario. The SVAO was very busy at that time meeting with officials to try and lessen the blow to motorists, and to try and have the Legislation stopped. While they were not successful at that, they did achieve a major victory with the 20 year rolling exemption, and our hobby cars are not subjected to regular testing. As years went by and the SVAO continued watching, monitoring and asking questions and gathering facts and information, the interest from the public waned. Car club members, and interested public have stopped coming on the meeting nights. The hard core SVAO members kept going but with little going on recently in Government and no real interest from the clubs, it was decided at the last meeting to suspend the meetings and keep in touch via email. Should problems surface, we can easily gather again.

The day after this decision, I received an email from a U.S. watchdog concerning a possible problem coming to California. They have a rolling 30 year exemption. At the moment, California Legislators are working to stop this rolling exemption and freeze it at 1976. With that in place cars would no longer drop out from 1976 on and would need testing on a regular basis. With that in place, what is to stop changing it to 1975, 1970, 1960 or what-ever they want. They are waiting to see if the Governor will accept it or veto it. (He signed the bill.) They have a huge smog problem and so does Ontario.

I present this article to you to give you something to think about. There are thousands of collector and antique cars out there and all can be threatened and harmed by well-meaning but wrong Legislation. The last couple of years has seen a slowdown in support for the S.V.A.O. Not much happening in Government involvement and as a result people let down their guard. California has a rolling 30 year emission exemption for antique cars like our 20 year exemption. As I write this they are in the process of repealing it, all cars from 1976 will need yearly testing. No more dropping out after 30 years. What is next, 1960's, 1950's? The Governor may sign it, or veto it, time will tell. Don't think it couldn't happen here? Keep advised, keep alert and keep informed.

Remember, Legislation is not a hard core, firm law as it can be changed in the legislature at any time.

(Submitted by Ross McDowell)


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