"The Relay" Online Newsletter
October 2017 Issue
This is the monthly online newsletter for the car club council. All car hobbyist events are listed on this site under "Calendar." Just click on the link above to view the list of car shows and other activities.
How important is the calendar on this site - check this email I got:
Thank You so much for helping us promote our car shows and cruise-ins this year, We've raised over $10,000 to date for local charities.
Classic Cruisers Car Club
I recently got a call from a writer for Realtor.com. He asked me some questions about the Richmond area because it is number 4 in car hobbyist homes. He wanted to know why so many car hobbyists live in the Richmond area and why many move here especially from north of Virginia. The answers are easy - we have a lot of car events every year, home prices are lower than in other areas and we have a council and plenty of car clubs along with people who can actually fix old vehicles.
The council also got mentioned in the Chesterfield Observer in an article about senior citizens and their vintage vehicles. You can read the article and see the photos at this link: News/Chesterfields_classic_cars_and_the_seniors_who_lov. The president of the Central Virginia Mopar Club and I were contacted from information for the article.
I have not heard on our proposed bill to the current exhaust law. I will keep you up to date on it as we try to find a sponsor.
We decided to have our next meeting on October 23rd instead of on the 30th. I hope to see you at the meeting.
48th Annual Blackstone Festival
See all the photos
Our next meeting will be Monday, October 23rd at 6:30 PM at River City Diner Southside, 11430 W Huguenot Rd, Midlothian, VA 23113 Phone (804) 897-9518. We will eat and meet in their meeting room.
Get Your Event Noticed
We all know the car club council calendar is the best tool for finding local car shows, cruises and other events but what if you want to attract people that might not go to the council website simply because they aren't car people? I have a couple of websites for you to submit your big event. The first one is the Virginia is For Lovers website ran by the state. You can register and post events for FREE. Go to admin.virginia.org to register so you can submit your event. The second site is Richmond.com owned by the Richmond Times Dispatch. On this site you can also register and post your big event for FREE. Go to www.richmond.com/users/admin/calendar/event/ and sign up to post your event in the automotive category. You can also use these two sites to post events other than car related.
There are two other car event calendars in Virginia where you can post your car related events. Go to 22.214.171.124/nusinsert.php to post your event on the Virginia Peninsula Car Club Council website. You can go to the Capital Cruisin' website at www.capitalcruisin.com/shows.html and send an email to Nick to get your car related event posted.
We need to keep getting noticed by the public and getting more people involved in the car hobby is a great way to make our hobby better ~ Fred
Car Hobbyist News
Be glad you live in the United States. We have our problems but not like other countries. Take France for an example. Recently the newly elected French government has decided to do away with all gasoline and diesel powered vehicles by 2040. The mayor of Paris wants them banned even earlier – by 2020. France's environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, has proposed a new ban on oil and gas drilling, ending coal-powered plants in France by 2022 and reducing nuclear power to half of total output by 2025. Hulot is a longtime environmental activist who supplied no details on how this is going to work.
Keep in mind that not only are auto makers in France, but also in other countries, are planning on building only hybrid and electric vehicles in the near future.
If we had leadership in this country like the leadership in France it would only be a few years until the gas piston powered vehicles (like the 2018 vehicles) would become museum pieces. Imagine the effect on the car hobby and our life style.
Also in France they are working on a plan so that low income people will be able to get rid of the gas and diesel vehicles and get a new electric one. I’m sure they will be able to get a new Tesla X starting at only $79,500 (the lower cost model S is being phased out of production). The Model X might be able to get 289 miles on a charge. On a 110 volt outlet the X takes up to 89 hours to charge. By using a special 440 volt charger that time is reduced to a few minutes over an hour. You could drive say 250 miles in around 4 hours on the interstate and then pull into a charging station and wait only about 90 minutes before you could go another 250 miles. Might add some time to your trip.
I want to ask you what do you think will happen to modified vehicles or even antique vehicles after France goes to hybrids and electrics? Do you think that nothing is going to be done to get rid of them? Let’s look at an email I got from a car hobbyist in Britain recently:
“Hi, I do not know if you would be able to help me, but the government over here are bringing in new laws on modified vehicles next year, and would make my truck an expensive garden ornament, which brings me to my question, my truck ( photo below) which I imported last year to the United Kingdom was in and around your area in the year 2000 as I have a trophy for 1st prize at Olde Salem Days, but they have changed owners and have no info, so what I'm after is any info or photos of it 10 years or older, that's if you recognize it? Many thanks for your time, Paul.”
I sent the email with a photo of his street rod truck to a buddy in the Roanoke area and added to the email “maybe you should move to America with your truck”. He replied back he liked the idea of moving. This is what is happening in Europe and we can be glad we don’t live there.
This shows what can and will happen if we stop being proactive about our rights. This is why the council is pushing for a change in the exhaust law and monitors state and local legislation. As long as we are proactive about our rights the leadership of government will notice.
This is the truck that is mentioned in the hobbyist news above. If you know anything about this vehicle which was in the Salem/Roanoke area in 2000 please email Fred at firstname.lastname@example.org ~ Thanks.
News From SEMA
Click the link for the story on the proposed legislation.
California Bill to Extend New Car Emissions Test Exemption Approved by Legislature; Moves to Governor - 9/14/2017
Delaware Bill to Extend Emissions Test Exemption for New Cars Signed Into Law - 9/22/2017
California Legislation to Extend Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Program Approved by Legislature; Moves to Governor - 9/20/2017
Central Virginia Mustang Club 33rd Annual Mustang and Ford Show
See all the photos
A Michigan Town Is Forcing This Man To Sell 20 Old Cars Off His Property Every Month
From Jalopnik: MSN Autos (has 20 photos)
To Ron Dauzet, it’s a collection of more than 200 cars—some common, some rare, everything from old BMWs and Mercedes-Benzes to MGs and Jeeps and Porsches. But to the Michigan town he lives in, it’s an unlicensed junkyard, an eyesore, and the cars must go. But Ron fears they must go at a quicker rate than he, or anyone else, can possibly manage. Ron, 74, is being forced to sell off his enormous car collection at a rate of 20 cars per month because of a township ordinance banning the storage of unregistered vehicles outdoors. And he is utterly overwhelmed.
I first learned about Ron Dauzet from an internet forum member who drove to Northfield County, Michigan—located between Ann Arbor and Brighton—to buy a Mazda Miata he had spotted on Craigslist. What the prospective buyer ended up finding was much more than just one little Japanese roadster: it was a giant field filled with scores of old, mostly-European, mostly quirky enthusiast cars. He had, at one point in June, 216 cars on his property.
After seeing photos of the cars on the forum, I went to one of the owner’s many, many Craigslist postings, copied his phone number, and dialed. The voice on the other side was that of a cheery, upbeat older gentleman who told me he was a huge car enthusiast who had been buying up cool cars since he was 21, but that he was now being forced to part with them. When asked why, Dauzet said he wasn’t entirely sure. All he knew was that Northfield Township wanted him to get rid of 20 cars from his flock every month—a rate Ron says is “virtually impossible for one man to do.”
Blight Or Collection?
Despite his cheery initial greeting, Ron’s tone became somber as he told me that he, at the age of 74, has been working all day, seven days a week to keep up with the township’s quota—a quota which a a representative from the township checks up on once a month by visiting Ron’s property.
Keen to learn more about why this older gentleman is in such a bind, I asked Ron whom he spoke with from the township. When he told me to get in touch with the township supervisor, Marlene Chockley, I shipped off an email. A few days later, I received a response, which included a link to the township’s code of ordinances, particularly section 36-702 (which relates to zoning). It reads, in part: Operative or inoperative automotive vehicles or trailers of any kind or type which are unlicensed shall not be parked or stored in any recreation-conservation, agriculture, residential, office, or RTM zoning district other than in completely enclosed buildings.
The ordinance prohibits the storage of unlicensed cars outdoors, even on someone’s own property. Explaining the ordinance in her email, Chockley told me it’s all about fighting blight, saying:
The township has an ordinance that deals with unlicensed cars. They often contribute to blight...Most municipalities have such ordinances also. There is no problem if the cars are licensed or housed inside a building...I hope you can help him find new homes for some of the cars. I learned more about the situation after Ron sent me a copy of a court document from the Washtenaw County District Court. That file claims that Ron has a total of 218 inoperable vehicles on his land, and that those cars violate section 10-19 of the township’s code of ordinances. This section of the code of ordinances deals with environmental issues, and describes the environmental, health, and economic concerns that drive the township’s ban on unlicensed cars stored outside. It reads:
...The places in which such motor vehicles are, or in the future may be, stored tend to become overgrown with weeds, littered with rubbish, and infested with rodents and insects. Such conditions tend to attract children and endanger their lives and health, spread disease, invite plundering, create fire hazards or other safety and health hazards, create or extend blight, interfere with the enjoyment or reduce the value of private property, and interfere with the comfort and well-being of the public. Adequate protection of public health, safety, and welfare requires that blight and conditions that cause blight, including, but not limited to, dismantled or inoperable motor vehicles, be regulated and controlled.
It is for these many reasons that the township took Ron to court for storing unlicensed cars on his own property, and it is for these reasons that the court issued a judgement requiring Ron to reduce the number of inoperable vehicles stored outdoors. But can he?
The Pressure Is On
Ron said the township initially wanted him to rid of his cars at a rate of 25 vehicles per month. But selling “damn near one [car] a day,” was impossible, so Ron proposed 15 vehicles a month instead. Ron claims the attorney told him the township would never settle for that, and thus Ron “had to compromise at 20.” He still finds that figure far too high. I asked Chockley if she knew who had come up with that quota, and she told me the township has a “legal consent agreement with Mr. Dauzet.”
So now Ron is facing the daunting task of selling 20 mostly non-running cars a month, and if he can’t meet that quota, there will be consequences. The document says failure to remove cars fast enough means Ron “shall be compelled to immediately bring the property into compliance...by immediately removing all of the remaining vehicles from the property.” In other words, if he can’t hit the 20 cars per month mark, the township could seize all of his vehicles, leaving him out all of the money he could make selling them.
It’s worth noting that they haven’t acted yet, despite Ron failing to meet the quota. And if that pressure isn’t enough, the court makes it clear that it will take no excuses for Ron missing that quota, saying in the court document mailed to Ron: In no event shall any of the following be grounds for relief from this Consent Judgement:
a. difficulty in obtaining buyers for the vehicles,
b. Failure of buyers to pick up vehicles,
c. any other problems in selling the vehicles,
e. difficulty in accessing the vehicles, or
f. difficulty in obtaining title for the vehicles.
Clearly, the Township isn’t playing around. They want these cars gone.
But Is It Really A Blight Issue?
Ron admits that his collection has gotten out of hand over the years. Most of the cars on the lot, he says, got there since he moved to this house 15 years ago. And he’s really not that upset about parting ways with his vehicles. After all, he’s getting older, and doesn’t want to leave his wife all those vehicles with which she’ll have no clue what to do. “I’m gonna have to get rid of them sooner or later...it was getting out of hand,” Ron told me.
But what Ron is upset about is being forced to sell off his cars under terms other than his own, because according to Ron, the vehicles are out of sight. Ron owns the property across the street from him, and his closest neighbor can’t even see his yard through the trees, so Ron is confused that township stepped in. “What the heck, what’s the difference between [my collection] being inside, and it being out of sight?... It wasn’t hurting anybody.”
So I stopped by Ron’s property to have a look, and he’s got a point. Aside from the opening to his driveway (see picture above), it’s difficult to notice Ron’s collection while driving down the rural gravel road he lives on.
Ron also owns the lot across the street. If you look carefully while driving by, you can spot a couple of cars through the fence, but by and large, like his other property on the other side of the road, the vehicles are hidden from view by shrubs. Here’s a bird’s-eye view of his property and that of his closest neighbors:
I don’t live there, so I can’t say for sure that the car collection (which I understand some might not find “aesthetically pleasing”) is completely out of sight of neighbors. But after stopping by the property a few times, I have to say that—considering how remote Ron’s property is—I really didn’t see Ron’s collection as a “blight” concern whatsoever.
Upon entering Ron’s property, I saw cars everywhere. Old BMWs, diesel Volkswagens, Audis, Saabs—tons of quirky European cars, and very little boring stuff. I spotted Ron standing in the back corner near his house negotiation the price of a Cadillac Allante. After some heavy haggling, the two agreed on about two grand (the man never returned, Ron told me), and Ron then showed me around his panoply of automotive wonders. It was incredible.
Ron’s got an incredible assortment of really weird cars. Lots of diesels. Lots of wagons. Lots of manuals. Lots of turbos. All different kinds of engine and drivetrain layouts. The man just loves quirky cars (and can tell you anything you ever wanted to know about them), which is why he’s spent all this time gathering these things.
But while Ron admits that he should probably get rid of his cars (many of which have withered away over the years), he says he just wants more time. The Day And A Half Per Car requirement just isn’t feasible, with Ron telling me over the phone “It takes that long to get the car out of storage,” especially when his fork lift gets stuck anytime it rains.
(It’s worth reiterating that the court document specifically mentions weather and “difficulty in accessing the vehicles” as two unacceptable excuses). He recently had to break the window of one of his cars to get inside, as there wasn’t enough time for him to find or make a new key.
As someone with arthritis, asthma and four previous bouts of cancer—and nobody to help him get the cars out of their spots—Ron says he simply cannot get rid of a car every day and a half. He’s in way over his head with the township’s quota, telling me “I don’t sleep at night,” and saying he’s concerned about a car falling on him, or that he’ll have a heart attack from all the stress.
Ron says he thinks the township came up with the high figure because they think of him as a junkyard. They figure: how hard is it to just get the cars to the scrapyard? But Ron insists he isn’t running a junkyard. Over the phone he made it clear: “I’m a car collector,” he said “All the stuff I have is special.” And that’s one of Ron’s biggest concerns. He says he’s being tasked with dispatching a car collection at the same rate as someone might be expected to scrap a bunch of junkers.
But Ron doesn’t want to scrap some of these priceless gems (he admits that he has scrapped some, but ends up making only a couple of hundred dollars because he has to pay the scrapyard to pick up the cars). Instead, he wants to sell them off to a good home at a reasonable price—and that takes time.
According to Ron, a number of Craigslisters have come over to buy a car, then backed out after Ron’s spent hours fixing the car up. He says many of the buyers are “[Wanting] a $5,000 car for $500,” and that because of the time constraint,“ I haven’t sold one car yet for anywhere near where I paid for them.
”As someone’s who’s working from 10 to 5 every day to sell off 20 cars per month, Ron is worried about his health and his bottom line. Rushing to get rid of so many cars—especially at his age—is stressful, and trying to sell the cars so quickly means he’s forced to offload his collection for far too cheap.
It’s worth noting that, this ordinance isn’t specific to Northfield County, and according to Lemon Law attorney and auto journalist Steve Lehto, there’s a good chance the ordinance is just a standard one that the township adopted at some point as a “uniform” ordinance. Still, the county is actually enforcing it, and that’s putting Ron in a bind.
Ron could go back to the township and ask for a bit of leeway on that lofty quota (which, again, he says he felt pressured into accepting) that keeps him working all day and awake all night. Ron says that, even though he hasn’t formally asked for relief since the court’s judgement (in part, because of the strong words on that court document make asking for help seem pointless), he’s going to give it a try soon. He told me over the phone he needs just a couple of years to thin the heard.
He said: “Just give me a reasonable amount of time, and I’d be happy.” But as Lehto told me, reaching out to the township for relief isn’t exactly a promising option, saying: “The bigger problem here is that [Ron] already conceded he was in violation and entered into some sort of agreement, didn’t he?”
Ron’s best option would have been to ask for the township to grant a variance; he could have done this by making “a case that his case was special (or that his property was out in the middle of nowhere and the violation wasn’t hurting anyone).” A little bit of legal help could have saved Ron a lot of hassle.
I understand the township’s concerns here. But I fall on the side of “let the man live.” For local government to tell Ron he can’t collect cars out of sight on his own property unless he spends possibly tens of thousands of dollars either registering those cars or building garages to house them is absurd.
I mean, hoarding cars is the American dream, one that I myself have been living to the fullest. There’s a decent chance the township won’t grant Ron relief from that quota. In that case, Ron’s only option is to get rid of his cars as quickly as he can. (If you see something in these photos that makes you weak in the knees, hit up Ron via one of his Craigslist listings.)In the meantime, it doesn’t matter if it’s a collection or a junkyard; it has to go, and Ron’s got a lot of work to do.
29th BOPC Show
See all the photos
$10,000 Down Payment for FOIA Request
You may recall that last fall the council sent a Virginia Freedom of Information Act request to the Virginia State Police asking for the number of exhaust tickets the police had written. The State Police issue reports with the number of tickets written over holiday weekends. Those reports include number of speeding, reckless and DUI tickets/arrests but never mention equipment violations. I was told by a person who works at the State Police that exhaust tickets are in an "other" category and cannot be culled from all the other tickets for equipment violations. The FOIA request was denied. After the request was rewritten by an attorney and submitted the State Police responded that the tickets could be researched and found but a $10,000 down payment was needed to begin the process.
When a FOIA request is filed the agency is required to turn over the information within a period of time or give an estimate on the cost to research and deliver the info requested. I've noticed that agencies now wish to charge for any information. This is simply a method used to discourage citizens from getting vital information.
We know the State Police are not enforcing the exhaust law because the law is nearly unenforceable. Unless you are dragging exhaust parts under your vehicle how can they tell your exhaust is louder than original? There are two methods - one - get you to admit that your exhaust is louder than factory (you don't have to answer that question - the police/commonwealth attorney have to prove a case against you) - two - your factory exhaust was single and you admit you converted to dual or you tell the police officer you have aftermarket mufflers such as Flowmaster. In other words the police need your cooperation to convict you. How many people charged with a crime volunteer to make the charges against them stick in a court of law? I'm guessing not many.
Apparently avoiding answering FOIA requests is becoming popular with governments. Look at some parts of an Associated Press story "Intimidation: Governments suing those who request public records":
An Oregon parent wanted details about school employees getting paid to stay home. A retired educator sought data about student performance in Louisiana. And college journalists in Kentucky requested documents about the investigations of employees accused of sexual misconduct.
Instead, they got something else: sued by the agencies they had asked for public records.
Government bodies are increasingly turning the tables on citizens who seek public records that might be embarrassing or legally sensitive. Instead of granting or denying their requests, a growing number of school districts, municipalities and state agencies have filed lawsuits against people making the requests – taxpayers, government watchdogs and journalists who must then pursue the records in court at their own expense.
The lawsuits generally ask judges to rule that the records being sought do not have to be divulged. They name the requesters as defendants but do not seek damage awards. Still, the recent trend has alarmed freedom-of-information advocates, who say it’s becoming a new way for governments to hide information, delay disclosure and intimidate critics.
“This practice essentially says to a records requester, ‘File a request at your peril,'” said University of Kansas journalism professor Jonathan Peters, who wrote about the issue for the Columbia Journalism Review in 2015, before several more cases were filed. “These lawsuits are an absurd practice and noxious to open government.”
Government officials who have employed the tactic insist they are acting in good faith. They say it’s best to have courts determine whether records should be released when legal obligations are unclear – for instance, when the documents may be shielded by an exemption or privacy laws.
The lawsuits have been denounced by some courts and policymakers. A New Jersey judge in 2015 said they were the “antithesis” of open-records policies and dismissed a case filed by a township against a person who requested police department surveillance video footage.
In Michigan, the state House voted 108-0 earlier this year in favor of a bill that would make it illegal for agencies to sue public records requesters. The proposal came in response to a county’s lawsuit against a local newspaper that had sought the personnel files of two employees running for sheriff. A judge dismissed the lawsuit, saying the county had to approve or deny the request.
The Michigan bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Klint Kesto, called the tactic “a backdoor channel to delay and put pressure on the requester” that circumvents the state’s Freedom of Information Act.
“Government shouldn’t file a lawsuit and go on offense. Either approve the request or deny it,” he said. “This shouldn’t be happening anywhere in the country.”
The article with parts printed above was from an ongoing examination of threats to First Amendment freedoms by The Associated Press, the American Society of News Editors and Associated Press Media Editors.
Spencer's Store Cruise In
See all the photos
Pinch Welds and Jacks ~ Tom's Story
A pinch weld seam jutting out of the rocker panel makes it challenging to jack up the vehicle without crushing/scratching metal. Some jacks and jack stands come with U shaped fittings to wrap around pinch welds, but there is not one fitting that works well on every vehicle. The height and width of pinch welds vary. Many newer vehicles have plastic rocker panel covers that leave small openings only at the jacking points.
I personally solved the problem of jacking with pinch welds about a decade ago when I had a new composite (Trex brand) deck built on the back of my house. The carpenters left numerous small scraps of 4X4 inch composite plastic post scattered about. The scraps are thick enough to cover pinch welds and protect painted surfaces without being so tall that they become wobbly.
The composite material is easy to cut and shape. I set the blade on my table saw so it cuts slightly deeper than the height of the pinch weld. To help avoid crushing or splitting the composite block, I make sure the weight of the vehicle is resting on the block's flat surfaces rather than on the sharp edge of a pinch weld.
The composite material is easy to cut and shape
Two or three passes over the table saw blade makes the slot wide enough to slide over the pinch weld. One or two more saw blade widths might be necessary if the pinch weld arrived slightly bent up. Angling the table saw blade lets me cut the edges off composite blocks so they fit the small openings in specific plastic rocker panel covers.
I regularly misplace, find and make new composite weld seam blocks. Over the years, none of my blocks have worn out. Of course, when I jack up a vehicle, I always put multiple jack stands under it to ensure I remain safe if one of my homemade weld seam blocks, a jack stand, a hydraulic jack, etc. ever fails.
47 Ford coupe with BBC under the flag in Blackstone
Support the RPM Act
Sign at this link: www.votervoice.net/SEMA/campaigns/45394/respond
2017 marks a new session of Congress. Bills that did not become law at the end of 2016 must be reintroduced for consideration.
Good news! The RPM Act is off to a fast start in 2017. The bill has been reintroduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. The RPM Act of 2017 protects Americans’ right to modify street cars and motorcycles into dedicated race vehicles, along with industry’s right to sell the parts that enable racers to compete. You may be one of the thousands of supporters who contacted your legislators about the RPM Act in 2016. We appreciate your efforts and are in need of your support once again. Tell Congress to pass the RPM Act and save racing from government threat.
It only takes a minute. Every letter counts!
Protect Your Right to Buy Ethanol Free Fuel
Below is a link to Fuel Testers - a website that is opposed to more ethanol in gasoline and would like to preserve our ability to purchase gasoline free of ethanol.
DeLorean in the parking lot of Extra Billy's
Custom Plymouth and Mustang
DMV Titling Information
As promised I have a document about titling antique vehicles posted below for download. This contains information from the DMV speakers at the August 2015 meeting and some other information that I hope you will find useful. If in doubt about anything email or call the DMV administrators in the document; I have their contact information listed. And for the millionth time be sure to check to see if the VIN matches the VIN on the vehicle before buying it. This can save you a lot of trouble - just ask anyone who has purchased a vehicle without a matching VIN. There is also valuable info on purchasing an older vehicle from a non-title state. If you are thinking about buying a vehicle from a non-title state be sure to read it. Link to the document: Antique Vehicle Titling and Registration. I also have a bill of sale for use in buying or selling an antique vehicle: Bill of Sale; and a bill of sale for use if the signatures need to be notarized: Bill of Sale.
You may also find these links useful. The following link goes to the National Insurance Crime Bureau where you can put in a VIN that will be checked for fraud and theft at no cost. The link is www.nicb.org/theft_and_fraud_awareness/vincheck. You should do some research on the vehicle you are thinking about buying, check the VIN to make sure it matches the vehicle and of course make sure the VIN on the vehicle and title match.
The next link goes to Stolen Car Reports, another free service. At this site you can register a stolen vehicle. You can also search a zip code, city or area for the vehicles that were stolen from that area. The link is www.stolencarreports.com/report/Search.
Antique Plate Info Flyer Online
The council delegates have approved the flyer with information on antique plates and a link to it is online here: flyer opens to a new window. Council members and antique owners may print the flyer for their own reference or distribute it to those who own or are considering registering a vehicle as an antique. It will remain on the site for an undetermined time. Council delegates will review the effectiveness of the flyer at a later date.
66 Chevelle SS
You never know what you will see at a cruise or show
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