Monday, December 14, 2015



Guess what's for Christmas dinner. That's right, Spam! And plenty of it. But this is the good kind.

This year's Christmas Spam comes courtesy of your friends at the SEMA Action Network, who also bring these good tidings:

Big news last week on the Federal-level legislative front! SAN is supporting a new federal law that could effect you and your fellow hobbyists. Beginning in 2017, "low volume manufacturers" (shops which produce less than 5,000 automobiles per year, globally) may opt to sell up to 325 "replica vehicles" ("a vehicle that resembles the body of a motor vehicles produced at least 25 years ago, such as '32 Ford or '65 Cobra") a year in the U.S.

"Previously, companies were unable to sell turnkey cars, since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulated these vehicles as if they were current model year vehicles, not vintage cars."

"The new law treats these vehicles the same as Kit Cars, subject to certain equipment standards (lighting, tires, windshields, brake hoses, etc), recalls and remedies, but not vehicle standards, such as roof crush, side impact, etc."

The alert then turns confusingly cryptic, stating, "replica vehicles" produced by "low volume manufacturers" will be required to have "a current model year engine package, certified by the EPA or California Air Resources Board, and are exempt from emissions testing. Enthusiasts building kits will still have the option of installing engines of their choice." Alrighty then. I'm glad SEMA speaks Bureaucrat on our behalf, I guess. This last bit smells a little contradictory to my uneducated senses, but what do I know?

Bottom line: What does this legislation mean (if anything) to Joe Toolbox - the bluecollar wrencher, building one car (or less) a year for him or herself? Will Dr. Lockjaw have to sell off his J-2 Olds-powered Cobra gasser, and build a Viper-engined Tesla instead? Can I build 4,999 blown hemi Vespas before the Feds come knocking? More will be revealed by 2017, I'm sure.

For enlightenment on how your state regulates home building, go to SEMA Action Network (SAN) TAG_TITLE_TOOLBOX. Good luck.


And now, on with our annual Christmas Spam Gala! Thank heavens, it only comes once a year!

Freaking out over last minute Christmas gift conundrums? Who isn't? Cover your butt with a discounted pre-order of Lost Drag Strips II at! The receipt folds up, allowing perfect fitment into the tiniest of stockings.

While pushing your cart through the Amazon, keep an eye out for used copies of this out-of-print classic (the book, not the car). Regular SGE readers are well aware that the car is still going strong.

For our carnivorous friends who prefer rat to spam, we offer this roadkill delicacy.

Step up your reading game with some mind expansion, as practiced by Roth, Barris, Starbird, and contemporaries.

Can't relate to big buck show cars? We have you covered with Show Rods you can pay for with pocket change, and build at the kitchen table. Glue not included.

For the more adventurous, here's a dozen ribald tales of global high velocity to entertain and inspire.

Set the mood for speed reading with all original surfabilly background ambiance via this rare soundtrack to the (as yet unreleased) book of the same name, and turn your library into a rocking party with the flip of a switch!

BREAKING NEWS! The second SGC album (recorded in stark black & white) is in the final mix stage and will be spamming up bandwidth soon! Special thanks to Jimmy Smith at Jimmy's Hot Rod Design and Christy Collins at White Cloud for making this badass artwork happen! The music doesn't suck too bad either (in my biased opinion). 

END OF SPAM  (I'm so sorry)                                                  



This week's spare-time project is proofing the manuscript of Lost Drag Strips II for CarTech Inc. Don't be fooled by the black & white mimeographed copy - the finished product will be shiny and colorful. Look for it in April. Will this prove to be my last book? Will I ever do another magazine feature? Should I have quit writing ten years ago? We'll all find out soon enough.

The labyrinth hallways of the Rogue Regency Medical Center have been my playground as of late. One of several daily stops on my plant care route, this and other indoor horticultural locales will have to get along without me now, as the job didn't pan out. But the parting was amiable, and the adventure was a very interesting education.

My quest to splash ink in Steve Coonan's Rodders Journal bookazine remains unrequited, but my Show Rods book made this year's Christmas catalog, which is nice.  (Scotty shots)


How the NHTSA sees hot rodders.

How hot rodders see the NHTSA.

Whether OSHA approved or not, tis the season to twirl those wrenches! (Image courtesy of David Chestnutt)


Focus on this: The new Eddie Haskel Editions are out, and they look sleeker than ever! Is it just us, or have they lost some weight, too? Say, that chrome license plate frame really brings out the silver in that grey paint. (Scotty cellphone shot)