Parents passed classic car and truck restoration skills down to their children for generations. And for good reason: to restore a classic car can be a bonding experience that teaches both vision and tenacity. But with proposed burning bans in several countries, many are worried about the future of the hobby.
Will old combustion engines be banned?
Several countries, including EU members, have proposed banning the construction of new internal combustion Particular Cars. But no country has proposed banning classic internal combustion cars and trucks.
The folks at Hagerty Insurance are invested in the classic car business. It’s no surprise that Insider Hagerty asked an unnamed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official about the future of car collection.
The official clarified that the APE wants to limit pollution by creating guidelines for new cars. It is not concerned with the relatively low amount of emissions from classic cars.
“Public policy is focused on the future fleet.”
Unnamed EPA official
Will internal combustion cars be allowed on the roads?
As federal regulators drop classic cars, states, cities, and even insurance companies can make life harder for collectors. Some municipalities already designate “zero emission zones” in business districts.
A number of cities, both in the United States and abroad, have proposed zero-emission zones. Currently, these laws are primarily aimed at idling delivery trucks in commercial areas. UK rules actually make an exception for classic cars. But zero-emission zones could become much stricter one day.
State anti-smog rules and insurance company limitations can create more hurdles for classic car owners. California subjects all pre-1975 cars to its infamous smog emissions checks. Nevada smog controls apply to all cars over 20 years old without classic car license plates. The only problem is that classic car plates require antique car insurance which comes with an annual limit of 5,000 miles.
What is the future of gasoline-powered classic cars?
In the decades to come, collecting and restoring vintage vehicles will become an even more communal pastime. Classic car and truck clubs will play a key role in ensuring a supply of parts, a cooperative to buy fuel and a way to stand up to local regulators.
The Pacific Locomotive Association is a club of steam train enthusiasts. The club has restored a series of steam engines and a fleet of vintage railway carriages. In addition, this club rebuilt a section of the first transcontinental railroad: the Niles Canyon Railway in California.
Every weekend, passengers flock to a vintage train station in Fremont, California to board one of the Niles Canyon Railway trains. A Pacific Locomotive Association volunteer, trained as an engineer, guides the locomotive through the California countryside for an afternoon.
Steam travel enthusiasts at the Pacific Locomotive Association have found a way, through passion and ingenuity, to preserve steam travel in the 21st century. There’s no reason internal combustion shouldn’t remain a popular hobby for generations to come.