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It’s not just new cars that aren’t EeeeeeeeeeeVeeeees they’re banning. They are starting to ban old cars that aren’t EeeeeeeeeeeeVeeeeeees.

It’s being done as it is usually done.

Not via an outright ban but via regulations that have the same effect. This is how they have succeeded in forcing EeeeeeeeVeeeeeees onto the road, as by passing edicts requiring the sale of ever-increasing-numbers of “zero emissions” vehicles. It just happens that only EeeeeeeeeVeeeeees qualify as “zero emissions” vehicles – never mind the fact that an abundance of “emissions” arise from everything peripheral to the manufacture and use of an EeeeeeeeVeeeee.

Everything that’s not EeeeeeeeVeeee gets harder and harder to get through the regulatory gantlet. The outright ban on the sale of new vehicles that aren’t EeeeeeeeVeeeeees – as in CA and most recently NY – thus becomes a kind of mopping up operation.

Similar tactics are being deployed against old cars, as in Nevada – where a bill is afoot that would effectively eliminate classic car registrations – and thereby, the ability to keep a classic car as anything other than a display piece.

Instead of the usual 20-years-old (in some states it is 25 years old) the qualification for “classic” carhood rises to 40 years old. The purpose of that being to make it much more difficult for people to avoid having to register their old car – or truck – the same as a brand-new or recent-vintage car or truck. And be obliged to jump through the same hoops – and pay the same fees.

Including – of course – successful passage of “emissions testing” as a condition of registration.

Traditionally, classic (and “antique”) cars registered as such are exempt from “emissions testing.” This saves their owners the hassle – as well as the money – that attends having to pass “smog check” as a condition of being granted registration (which isn’t granted, actually; rather it is another thing people are forced to pay for in order to be allowed to legally use their vehicles).

It’s a kind of vehicular grandfathering based on the fact that many classic cars were built before there were emissions controls and for that reason, testing them would be like expecting stairs to pass a test designed for elevators.

Unless, of course, the intention is to fail them. And thereby deny them registration. And thereby, effectively ban them from the road.

Now it’s true that many older vehicles that qualify for classic or antique vehicle-hood were made with emissions controls. Even those that are currently 40 years old. The first (very basic) emissions controls were installed – per federal decree – circa 1967, which is more than 50 years ago. These consisted of such things as a positive crankcase ventilation (PVC) system and an air pump (designed to continue the combustion event in the exhaust, to burn off unburned hydrocarbon). Catalytic converters arrived in 1975 – more than 40 years ago.

Some will say that requiring these old cars to pass “smog” as a condition of registration issuance or renewal is reasonable, since other (newer) cars must and why should these older cars be allowed to “pollute”?

How about because it doesn’t matter?

Even if a given 40-year-old car “emits” more than a newer car, there aren’t many 40-year-old cars in regular use as daily drivers.

But, you see, it is not about their “emissions.” It is about using “emissions” as the vehicle for getting these older vehicles off the road.

Even if they do pass the test.

Because the test will be changed – to encompass “emissions” that were never categorized as such 40 years ago or even 20 years ago. These “emissions” being of carbon dioxide – rebranded an “emission” during the reign of Barry the First  (but alas, not the last). This subtle but critical piece of legerdemain has been used ever since to confuse and gull the populace into unconsciously equating an inert, harmless byproduct of combustion that feeds plants and doesn’t pollute the air with reactive compounds that water the eyes choke the breath and foul the air.

It was a brilliant maneuver, a prequel to the equation of a positive test with a “case.”

New cars are having a tough time reducing their C02 “emissions” as the only way to do that is by reducing the size of their engines. Old cars can’t do that. They “emit” what they “emit,” insofar as C02 “emissions.” So the legerdemain will be to enact regulations requiring them to “emit” less, which they can’t.

And be denied registration on account of that.

There’s more to this legerdemain, too. In addition to the “emissions” testing requirement, owner of older vehicles in Nevada will also be required to obtain classic car insurance, which de facto imposes an annual mileage limit since almost all classic car insurance policies are limited use polices. Just in case someone finds a classic car insurer that issues a policy without such a limit the bill provides one.

No more than 5,000 miles per year.

And most issuers of classic car policies will not issue one unless the registered owner of the vehicle also has a “modern” car registered – effectively forcing the classic car owner to have (and pay for) two cars, which many people can’t afford. Since they’re not allowed to drive the classic car regularly and are forced to jump through the same hoops and fees, might as well just get rid of the classic car – or take it off the road.

And there you go.

Nevada residents are by no means the only people threatened by such measures. In fact, it says something that Nevada residents are being threatened by such measures. The sickness radiates inward – from California in the West to New York, in the East. America is caught betwixt the pincers.

And will soon begin to look a lot like Cuba. Where cars more than 50 years-old are commonly in regular use.

But then, Fidel was a lesser tyrant than his inheritors.

. . .

Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in! Or email me at [email protected] if the @!** “ask Eric” button doesn’t work!

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