CA Residents - CARB Rules Have Changed Again.....

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nicholastanguma
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Re: CA Residents - CARB Rules Have Changed Again.....

Post by nicholastanguma » Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:17 am

Do we have any idea why California decided a 71-72 year Pinz is acceptable, but anything after that is not? Officially California doesn't have any emissions or safety equipment restrictions on any automobile 1975 or earlier, so why do they even care at all? Scott's original 2015 blog post states that Expedition Imports had already won the legal battle with CARB concerning this in the early 2000's, but then suddenly CARB decided to overturn the decision in 2015. Is it because the Pinzgauer is a former military vehicle, perhaps?

I now live in Downtown Los Angeles, and can positively tell everyone that despite the state's insanely corrupt and incompetent leadership, insanely leftist ideology, insanely high taxes, insanely high cost of living, and insanely irrational hatred for internal combustion engines supposedly withering away Mother Gaia, for an enthusiast of vintage autos and motos this place is a paradise. By some outrageously paradoxical twist of circumstances, there are virtually no restrictions on pre-76 automobiles, and even fewer on motorcycles, and the vintage hot rod scenes here, whether of the Japanese dirtbike crowd, the 4x4 crowd, the American chopper crowd, the European cafe racer crowd, or the sportscar crowd, are enthusiastically embraced by practitioners from all across the socioeconomic spectrum, including police. People bring in and register out-of-state vintage vehicles all the time for restoration and restomodding, it's an enormously lucrative industry in California. And thousands of people use the state's many registration businesses every year to bypass the snags and incompetence of the state DMV, these businesses are totally legal and out in the open.

It really seems to me CARB must be arbitrarily deciding to target Pinzgauers because of their status as former military vehicles.

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ExpeditionImports
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Re: CA Residents - CARB Rules Have Changed Again.....

Post by ExpeditionImports » Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:03 pm

nicholastanguma wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:17 am
Do we have any idea why California decided a 71-72 year Pinz is acceptable, but anything after that is not? Officially California doesn't have any emissions or safety equipment restrictions on any automobile 1975 or earlier, so why do they even care at all? It really seems to me CARB must be arbitrarily deciding to target Pinzgauers because of their status as former military vehicles.
You are making the assumption that everyone else does.......that the laws applied to a Certified Manufacturer, are the same laws that apply to the Pinzgauer. In CA, the laws that apply to a "USED DIRECT IMPORT VEHICLE" are different than the laws that apply to the local Chevy, Ford, or Mercedes that were originally certified and sold in the US/CA. Direct Imports are governed by laws buried in the Health and Safety Code in CA. And obviously open to interpretation as we have seen over the years.

No great Pinz conspiracy, simply an ongoing preference by the regulators to throw up as many roadblocks as possible to keep older vehicles off the road.....
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ChickenPinz
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Re: CA Residents - CARB Rules Have Changed Again.....

Post by ChickenPinz » Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:51 pm

AB220 has been drafted, exempting vehicles pre-1983 from SMOG testing requirements. Anyone have a learned opinion on if it might affect Pinzgauer licensing in the state, keeping in mind the up-thread discussion on how a Pinz is different than a Ford/Chevy?

Video about the bill here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?fbclid=Iw ... e=youtu.be
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nicholastanguma
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Re: CA Residents - CARB Rules Have Changed Again.....

Post by nicholastanguma » Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:59 pm

ChickenPinz wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:51 pm
AB220 has been drafted, exempting vehicles pre-1983 from SMOG testing requirements. Anyone have a learned opinion on if it might affect Pinzgauer licensing in the state, keeping in mind the up-thread discussion on how a Pinz is different than a Ford/Chevy?

Video about the bill here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?fbclid=Iw ... e=youtu.be

Thanks so much for this vid, I didn't have any idea about this bill. California vintage enthusiasts have been praying years and years for such a bill as this to pass, by the grace of God and Jeebus and the Holly Spirit this might be the year. Before Arnold became governor all those years ago CA allowed automobiles plated with "historic plates" or "collector plates" to be exempt from emissions nonsense, and if I recall correctly any auto 30 years or older could be recognized as "historic" or "collector." But the supposedly Republican senor Conan Barbarian Terminator quickly showed his true stripes by nullifying that law. Maybe, maybe, puh-leeze Jeebus, we'll finally see a return to some good sense with AB220.

As for how the passing of AB220 could affect Pinzgauer registration? I daren't venture a guess, as Scott's extensive experience has shown that CARB rules can sometimes be open for interpretation. :?
Last edited by nicholastanguma on Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

nicholastanguma
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Re: CA Residents - CARB Rules Have Changed Again.....

Post by nicholastanguma » Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:04 pm

ExpeditionImports wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:03 pm
In CA, the laws that apply to a "USED DIRECT IMPORT VEHICLE" are different than the laws that apply to the local Chevy, Ford, or Mercedes that were originally certified and sold in the US/CA. Direct Imports are governed by laws buried in the Health and Safety Code in CA.

Thanks for the clarification, Scott. I wasn't aware CA had a category for vehicles titled Direct Imports, much less that such vehicles fall under the Health and Safety Code rather than DoT or DMV. I had always been under the impression that any pre-76 vehicle was simply imported as easily as any pre-76 vehicle being shipped to CA from FL, for instance.

After doing some light research on the subject I see there are numerous California based vehicle importers that specialize in legally taking care of the paperwork and hardware compliance hassles for their clients specifically because of the bureaucracy that people with money don't want to waste time or energy wading through. Makes sense, of course, as a huge portion of the vintage enthusiasts in California have tons of money to spend on hobbies.

The average enthusiast has to save and scrape to afford such services, I suppose, but that's just a real life issue rather than a CA specific issue, so I can't necessarily put all the blame on CA's leftist bureaucrats and lobbyists, as easy as that is to do.

California, man, freakin' California. :roll:

nicholastanguma
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Re: CA Residents - CARB Rules Have Changed Again.....

Post by nicholastanguma » Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:32 pm

BTW, for anyone that's wondering about California's specifics for Direct Imports, aka Gray Imports, here's the relevant info I've found.

Long post, not for the faint of heart. Extremely useful info for some folks in here, nonetheless.

I live in Downtown Los Angeles, and can positively tell everyone that despite CA state's insanely corrupt and incompetent leadership, insanely leftist ideology, insanely high taxes, insanely high cost of living, and insanely irrational hatred for internal combustion engines supposedly withering away Mother Gaia, for an enthusiast of vintage autos and motos this place is a paradise.

By some outrageously paradoxical twist of circumstances, there are virtually no restrictions on pre-76 automobiles, and even fewer on motorcycles, and the vintage hot rod scenes here, whether of the Japanese dirtbike crowd, the 4x4 crowd, the American chopper crowd, the European cafe racer crowd, or the sportscar crowd, are enthusiastically embraced by practitioners from all across the socioeconomic spectrum, including police. People bring in and register out-of-state vintage vehicles all the time for restoration and restomodding, it's an enormously lucrative industry in California.

And thousands of people use the state's many registration businesses every year to bypass the snags and incompetence of the state DMV, these businesses are totally legal and out in the open. I daresay the CA DMV might even prefer that people pay these businesses for their services, as it will thin out the crowds of plebes that DMV drones have to deal with on a daily basis.

But as with all things wonderful, there are details which must be carefully noted or the wonderful things will no longer be wonderful.


Here's how this stuff works.

1) The NHTSA says 25 year old vehicles are legal to import into the USA, but the EPA says 21. Nonsensical, but the left and right hands do not want to talk, and that's just the way bureaucracy is sometimes.

2) Along with the NHTSA and EPA, California is regulated by the California Air Resources Board, aka CARB. Direct Import vehicles are vehicles that were manufactured outside the United States for which the original manufacturer did not obtain California or Federal certification. The EPA normally covers direct import vehicles under the ICI (Independent Commercial Importer) program, but if a vehicle is going to be registered in California it needs to meet California's Direct Import requirements.

3) Despite the EPA waiver for vehicles 21 years or older, any vehicle from 1968 or newer needs to meet California CARB for registration, and any vehicle from 1975 or newer needs to meet CA Direct Import standards, as well. 1968 to 1974 needs to meet United States EPA requirements that were in effect on the date of 11/15/1972. 1967 and older, no smog and no modifications or testing are required to register the vehicle in California. A vehicle model year 1975 or older does not need a smog (in use test) in California. So there is actually a 1 year gap between the two rules. 1975 would need to meet direct import requirements (FTP testing with a certified lab), but then would not need to be smogged after the initial direct import requirements are met.

4) Meeting California Direct Import requirements means more than just passing smog. FTP testing must be done at a certified lab, an expensive proposition.

- 1976 or newer, needs to be smogged in California every 2 years.

- 1975 or newer, must meet Direct Import requirements (FTP testing).

- 1968 to 1974, exempt from smog but still needs to meet USEPA requirements in effect on the specific date of 11/15/1972.

- 1967 and older, no smog and no modifications or testing are required to register the vehicle in California.


5) In summary!

- Technically for the entire USA: vehicle over 25 years old = NHTSA- FMVSS exempt.

- Also technically for the entire USA: vehicle over 21 years old = EPA exempt in original OEM configuration.

- California specifically: vehicle 1968 or newer, registration in California = you are screwed unless you have the time and patience and money to wade through the CA bureaucracy yourself, or you've got enough expendable income to pay one of California's vintage vehicle import companies to handle all the bureaucratic hassle on your behalf.


From what I can tell according to my research, all of the above equally applies to both automobiles and motorcycles, although as far as I've been able to find no US state smog tests motorcycles of any year manufacture, vintage or not.

Important sidenote: I stress that importation and registration are two completely different things. The EPA and the DOT are not friends, and CARB barely even talks to either of them; just like individual bureaucrats, bureaucratic institutions want to be the only chief in the tribe, none of them want to rule by senate, they all want to be king. Just because you were successful in getting registration through the DMV does not mean the car or motorbike was legally imported, and just because you legally imported a car also does not mean that you are able to register a car where you live.

Given all of the above, you may be wondering how restomodding can be such an unstoppable culture and thus lucrative industry in California if any modifications away from original OEM specs are technically illegal. Well, those technicalities apply at the time of importation and registration. Remember that, presently, any pre-76 automobile legally registered in California is exempt from smog testing (motorcycles of any year are presently smog exempt). So after registration with CA DMV what you do with your vehicle is not going to be tested by any govt agency.

Ergo, even though it's technically illegal to IMPORT and/or REGISTER a modified old vehicle in California (or any US state), it's also technically legal to OWN such a vehicle. Essentially, after the fact of legal import into the USA and legal registration into a US state, what you do to your own vehicle is left unchecked provided the vehicle is sufficiently old enough to be exempt from yearly emissions and/or equipment testing.

The above is how regular joes are able to participate in the vintage restomodding scene in otherwise cost prohibitive California--they stick to purchasing vehicles that are already legally CA registered. Generally it's the wealthy enthusiasts that are paying for importations. For instance, according to Sean Morris of importavehicle.com, getting the legendary Nissan R34 legal for California is a heroic task of near impossibility. Near impossibility, mind you, not actual impossibility. OBD II is a requirement, for example, so expect to pay about 75k USD for California compliance on an OBD II car. R32 GT-R compliance costs about 10k USD, and other cars cost anywhere from 5k and upward.


The bottom line in the People's Republik of Kalifornia currently is that there are no smog or equipment checks for any Kalifornia registered vehicles of pre-1976 vintage, but if you want to import a vehicle into Kalifornia from another country or even from another US State the only way to completely avoid being subject to Kalifornia's smog and equipment standards is to bring in an auto or moto that is pre-1968.

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