Replica Car Manufacturers, Customers and Suppliers Praise New Law

Replica-Car-Bill-ReleaseWashington, DC (December 7, 2015) – It’s a new era for the kit car industry.  President Obama signed into law legislation that will permit low volume car manufacturers to produce turn-key replica vehicles for customers nationwide.  The SEMA-supported provision is part of a larger highway construction bill.  Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) introduced the “Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015” in June, legislation that SEMA has pursued since 2011.  It received strong bi-partisan support and was inserted into the highway bill.

“With this new law, Congress has demonstrated that it understands the importance of enabling U.S. companies to produce classic-themed vehicles that are virtually impossible to build under the current one-size-fits-all regulatory framework,” said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting.  “This program will create auto sector jobs and meet consumer demand for cars that help preserve our American heritage.”

The low volume provision allows small automakers to construct up to 325 such replica cars a year subject to federal regulatory oversight.  Replica cars resemble production vehicles manufactured at least 25 years ago.  The U.S. currently has just one system for regulating automobiles, which was established in the 1960s and designed for companies that mass-produce millions of vehicles.  The law recognizes the unique challenges faced by companies that produce a small number of custom cars.

The measure establishes a separate regulatory structure within the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for replica car manufacturers.  The companies are required to register with NHTSA and EPA and submit annual reports on the vehicles they produce.  The vehicles are required to meet current model year emissions standards, although companies are permitted to install engines from other EPA-certified vehicles to help achieve that requirement.

“This law gives enthusiasts the opportunity to buy turn-key replica cars while preserving their option to build one from a kit,” said SEMA Chairman of the Board Doug Evans.  “It recognizes the unique circumstances associated with limited production replica vehicles, such as the ’32 Roadster and ’65 Cobra, which are primarily used in exhibitions, parades and occasional transportation.  With enactment of this new law, kit car companies and SEMA member companies that supply equipment and components can take advantage of this unique opportunity.”

Shiney’s Triumph

Such a classic. I have had the opportunity to meet Mike “Shiney” Grawunder on a couple of occasions. He is an expert metal polisher.


Photos: Mitzi Valenzuela, Models: Dinah DeRosa, Rio Lund. Story: Tony Colombini

His craft certainly shows through on this incredible time machine. The bike is a survivor. Mike and his buddies bought a garage full of Triumphs and parts 13 years ago from a gent who was closing his shop.

This bike was built up in the late 1970’s as a chopper yet had to be completely torn apart. The idea was to keep as much of the original theme of the bike, but add some personal touches. Some of the threads were so jacked up the previous owner bondo’d them up. Week welds were rewelded.

When it came to the finishing touches Shiney opted to forego the stock front end for a ENC Springer which he shortened a bit to keep the nose down. The paint was a bit of a challenge to get the right purple. Three previous attempts came out too blue. Then the M&M Green pinstriping fell hard on critics saying they should be traditional blue lines. Personally I agree with Mike that the green works much better than the blue would have on the ‘99 Mustang purple base.

This scooter is a rider. Finished in a mere 4 months, Shiney rolls his rig througout Southern California including an annual 56 mile trip down to Biltwell in Temecula. He does admit though that his aging body sure feels the bumps in the road on this rigid.

All the right features for a classic chopper are here. Springer front end, check, flamed paint, check, bobbed rear fender, check, hot chicks, double check.

Cadillac Kings of Orange County


Photos of Model Veronica Velvet: Robert at Venerable, Other photos and story: T-Bone

Elephants on Parade

That’s what I think of when I see the members of the Cadillac Kings come cruising into an event. Impressive classic steel and chrome usually rolling slow and low, all in line. The club has a relatively young history starting in the Inland Empire of Southern California in 2005 by Derrick Taylor from an online Cadillac forum. The concept grew throughout Southern California. The name was chosen from a secret ballot of a possible 48 names, held over two additional meetings.

A couple of years pass and the club grew to where it split with a Los Angeles and an Inland Empire chapter being formed. Soon after the Orange County, and San Diego chapters were formed. Today there are many chapters across the country.

There has been quite a bit of momentum in the Orange County Chapter. Recently I had a sit-down with OC Chapter President; English and PR Director Leo to learn more about the Orange County Chapter.

The chapter has 25 members and several prospects. Prospects endure a 5 month review before becoming a member. The chapter is focused on pre-1970 Cadillacs of every model, however there are members who have significant models of later designation. The members are fairly active in the community, attending a variety of events. They host a benefit show for the local Children’s Hospital, which is a big hit. Like their marque, the show was very classy with nicely printed flyers, tickets and banners. For a parking lot show they were able to create quite a healthy contribution to the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC).

Members of the club are gaining attention. Two of their members’ vehicles were featured in National Magazines. Ron Short’s ’57 Coupe DeVille was featured in Old Skool Rodz and Al Escobedo’s much sought after ’49 was featured in Car Kulture Deluxe. Many of the members have received significant awards and trophies such as Leo Gonzalez’ ’54 selected as Best Classic from George Barris.

The club aspires to be recognized with their significant contributions to the community. Each member is expected to present themselves in a professional and respectful manner as the marque suggests. The members are helpful when showcasing their vehicles answering questions of the history of the vehicle and the brand. This designation is further enhanced at their monthly meetings where they offer Cadillac trivia with prizes awarded to those in the know. At one point the club was looking at getting official designation from Cadillac, which after receiving the corporate contract, they found it best to keep their independence. Like many clubs members help each other out in sourcing the rare parts in the restoration of their vehicles.

As the club grows, the leadership is focused on offering activities to support the various needs and desires of its members. Some members appreciate the community and charitable aspects of the club while others are appreciative of the camaraderie of the fellowship and happy just to cruise throughout Southern California. For such a vast membership, the leadership is tasked with developing new ideas and accountability for each member who volunteers to steer a program.

I started this dialog with the term Elephants on Parade, not only as a metaphor of these majestic beasts rolling slowly together, but also as a brotherhood of sorts. Elephants are recognized for their sense of community, helping each other and warning of any dangers. This group certainly looks after each other and considers each member as family. A family you are certainly invited to join. They invite you to visit for more information.

B.A.D. Bike Design and Planning

Now What?

Story: T-Bone

If you are like us and have never built a bike from the ground up it can be a bit daunting. Sure the TV shows show how easy it is, like a snap-together kit. Most of us know those shows are far from “reality”.

This article is a dive into the style and planning for building a bike from scratch from a father/son novice build team.

Recap of the project.
Thanks to our friends at Schapiro and Leventhal and So Cal Cycle Swap Meet we were able to start the project. For four months Billy and I were working on getting a bike. We gave ourselves to the end of the year to find a donor bike. Three days before the New Year and a friend introduced us to his buddy who donated a bike he was going to clean up and flip. So now we have a 1980 Shovelhead that was custom painted down to the frame, ridden hard and left to sit for 23 years and get parts scavenged off it. The engine was at a trusty engine builder friend named Mitch who had in line for a good going-over. When we get a new carb, K&N will be sending us a filter. The clutch was all rusty and falling out of the primary. The kick/electric cow-pie 4-speed will need some new guts. Barnett heard about the project and sent us a Scorpion Clutch. We sure have some great friends out there. The inner primary looks toast where the bearings for the transmission main shaft are housed. The oil tank is in a box with a bunch of rusty parts. It appears to be fine. Needs some cleaning up and all. The gas tanks are hollow and rusty inside. The rear fender is beat. That’s all I need to say. The rusty chrome swingarm is getting a bath in Evapo-Rust then painted with the frame. We had always planned to have a different front end. A springer is our first choice and when we were talking to Ed at Huntington Beach Hogs and Choppers he pointed to a polished DNA Springer with a 5-3/4” grooved headlamp. Dang! We are very grateful to all our friends who surprise us each day! There was no seat on the bike so Billy called on Sherry at Danny Gray and they are going to make us a custom seat. We are getting a bitchen set of wheels and tires from Wheel Works. Thanks Gary and Dave! The controls were scavenged off the bike. Tom Van Allen gave us a forward control set off his old scoot. Hillco Fastener Warehouse is supporting us with any fasteners we may need on the project. Currently we have a bone-dry bare frame sitting in the garage with a bunch of miscellaneous parts in boxes bagged and tagged. We are building a prize package too for the winner of the auction. Butler Motorcycle Maps is starting the package with a Master Collection of their maps.

Where we want to go.
So now we can talk about styling. We have cruising the web pretty hard looking at a ton of bikes. Most of the ones we like were hard-tails. Plain truth right there, a hard-tail bike always look bitchen. However, we want a bike that someone is going to want to ride all day long. Or at least a couple hundred mile day trip. So we are keeping the bike sprung. We have debated about adding a side-car or building a trike. The reason for this build is to help the American Diabetes Association. A trike would be very rideable for a person who’s feet are challenged with the disease. However, we just plain don’t have the room to build a trike or a sidecar’d bike. Also as our first build, the geometry alone is a bit overwhelming.

BADStyleGuide_FIWe have decided on building a vintage inspired bobber. The frame and swingarm will be either powder coated or painted a pearl orange with satin finish. The 3.5gallon tank is black with a blue pearl and red/orange/yellow B.A.D. Bike graphics and pinstripes. The transmission and engine will be blacked out with bead-blasted rockers and timing cover. The outer primary, oil tank, battery cover, headlamp bucket, air cleaner cover and chain guard will be painted like the tins. The handlebar, front end, license bracket, taillamp and turn signal housings will be black powder-coated except the chrome springs and fasteners. The hand controls are bead blasted as well as cat-eye dash and tank caps. The wheels are 19×130’s front and rear with black rims, stainless spokes and spool. The sprockets and rotors are black. The seat will be a solo-saddle with 1” pleates and detailed stitching. We are looking at a custom set of 2 into 1 exhaust coming straight back along the frame.

How we are going to get there.
OK – We know where we are, where we want to go. We know what parts we need, mostly. What’s next? I look back to my planning days in the construction industry. I was a scheduler for a commercial property construction/development firm. The schedules for a high-rise could be 12’ long and 3’ high. Drawn in the Critical Path Method showing each trade to work on the project from street to roof. I thought, maybe we could use something like that for this project. We can add detail to the schedule as we discover more to do. And, I think there will be plenty of that.

“Oh, we got to get a dash.” Sounds simple right? We can go to the swap meet and start gathering all the parts. The dash with lenses, then we need the switches, lights and speedo. “And the wiring harness. And the rubber gaskets. And the mounting hardware. Get it. There is always more than meets the eye of the “reality” camera.

CPM-ScheduleSo here is my attempt to what a bobber building schedule would look like. This is the pre-build side. After the test run, it’s teardown and paint, powdercoat, polish and build schedule. We will rely on a lot of great friends like Carl at Cyclepath, Steve at Motowest and Chris at Los Angeles Harley-Davidson of Anaheim. A big shout too, to the boys at Primer Podcast for sharing the word on the project. We are looking forward to your comments and feedback. Please message us below or comment on Facebook.

What do you think of all of this? E-mail us at Do you want to be a part of something really, really B.A.D.? We could sure use your help. Visit or follow us on Facebook.

B.A.D. to the Bone

“Every act of creation, is first an act of destruction.” – Pablo Picasso


Photos: Billy, Story: T-Bone

I am an artist, writer, chef and I guess now bike builder. I am finding quite a few close resemblances to the art making, writing, cooking and chopper making. As we were pulling what little meat was left on the bones of this hog, thoughts of design flavor, color and stories come to mind.

In art-making we sketch and doodle to bring together the stories we are trying to tell in piece. When I write, I am influenced by my past experiences, stories I’ve heard and organize them into image-building wordforms. When cooking, I dash and splash together flavors from different locales to make a unique flavorful masterpiece. In bike building, we pull together ideas from other influences and bring them together to make a unique yet appropriate scoot.

As a writer, I can’t help but think that if this frame can talk what would the stories be? It sure tries to talk to me. The scrapes, rust and grime begin to tell a story. A long story much like you’d hear from your buddy in a bar. The more I try to listen to my buddy, the more it’s speech becomes slurred, nothing but blurry lines to try and tie together. Things like why there is a standard slot wood screw holding one side of the taillamp and a Phillips machine screw on the other. Or, where the scrapes on the bottom of the frame came from. Why, in the ten years this bike was on the road, the bushings and brackets for the fuel tanks were painted along with the frame?

We are about down to the bare bones now. We have all the bushings and various nuts and bolts removed from the frame. The front end gave up a good fight, but we were victorious in the end. Not that the Haynes book is much help. “Remove the fork stem retaining nut or bolt.” Did that, and removed the top nut on the forks. I thought the forks should drop down with the lower tree and come off the top tree. It wasn’t till we loosened the lower tree from the forks that it slid down the legs and we were able to remove it from the headstock on the frame. Victory!

It’s the swing arm that has us by the nuts now. Everything is now off the frame. I bend up the rusty tabbed washer for the swing-arm nut. Spray the rusty end with a liberal amount of WD-40, and start the big YANK. Nothing. I clean up the end of the bolt and notice a big glob of rusty matter at the end of the bolt and on the nut. Could he have welded the nut on the bolt? Before I get the cut-off wheel out, I will consult my buddy Carl at Cyclepath Cycle. It’s always that last nut, isn’t it? The nut that won’t budge as you grunt and grapple, or when it does you shack your knuckles really good. Blood and grease go well together.

So here we are with a carcass ready to clean up and start test fitting the new parts. The new parts we are anxious to get. Every little bit helps, if you want to be a part of something really, really B.A.D.  visit Thank you.

Garage Tour of Classic Chrome

From Joe Amato’s Team, To Restoring your Dream

Photos/Story: T-Bone

There gets to be a point where you have to go out on your own. No matter what dream job you have, an entrepreneur knows they have to strike out on their own. Such is the story of Johnny Parkinson.

Johnny had his dream job working as a member of Joe Amato’s Hot Rod Garage. The experience, friends, camaraderie and all were just as he would have ever hoped.

He and his wife Dana hosted the Classic Chrome Car Show for several years and when it was time to break out and open a shop of their own, the name already had a great following in the Southern California car culture. They have been open in this location for about 6 months and from the looks of it, the shop will be there for years to come.

Classic Chrome is a great neighborhood shop where friends and newcomers alike appreciate the ‘at-home’ atmosphere of the shop. They work on projects from complete restorations to maintenance. As Dana was showing us around, most of the cars in their shop were customers who have had the cars sitting for a dozen years or more. I joked if they have an ad out asking for barn finds.

While we were there, there was a Buick Special. The old 300 engine had the air cleaner and valve covers painted like a Rainbow Trout. Now that the old motor is out, a new 383 Stroker motor is getting buttoned up. Dana found many “Chip Foose” printed zip lock baggies in the car with various parts and fasteners in them. She digs finding treasures in these cars. Something I like to refer to as Carcheology. In one car there were a bunch of buttons under the rear seat. She said the buttons looked like those from girls’ sweaters back in the day. We’ll let the stories run through your head for a moment. Another treasure was a white envelope with photos of a blonde bikini model photo-shoot in various states of undress. Looking at the style of the bikini and hair, had to be late 1980’s.

A signature car in the shop is a ’77 Trans Am. Getting a full concourse restoration to include a fresh coat of bandit black paint and a nice new engine, the one-owner car will soon be enjoying the cruise, “Bandit” style. Another car was the “Dirty Dart” another one-owner car that is not getting a full resto, but cleaned up. The owner found a beat 4-door Dodge truck with a 440 in it as a donor motor. They ripped and pulled and yanked that motor out. Now it’s getting the once over and will be dropped under a new hood on the Dart.

Their shop is in a great neighborhood of other shops, each one helping one another out for various needs. At one time, Johnny was summoned to the muffler shop next door. Up the street is Hennessey Performance and around the corner is a top Trophy Truck racer, Carl Renezeder, who occasionally runs his 1000hp truck up the street.

We invite you to check out the shop on their Facebook page. They are celebrating the shop with a Grand Opening Party at the end of March 2014.