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california smog rules

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california smog rules

Post by flyinjohn on Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:33 pm

Hi there,
I am the newbie here, and looking into buying one of these awesome cars.
I lost a great one last week that was in Texas, title as a 2000 'custom" , engine from 96 Camaro, 1965 Austin Healy body style (Classic Roadster). I was told that since it was titled as a '2000' in Texas it would have to meet the 2000 year California emissions check. In looking at these cars, none of them seem to meet Ca. emissions criteria.
SO wow I'm stumped. I have bought/ built old cars, but they were truly smog exempt. (The "latest"model is my 59 Chevy Pick up).
I have heard that Ca. gives out 500 SB 100 exempt certs per year. OK but how does a 2000 "model year" qualify or for that matter a 1996 engine etc... I just don't want to go to Arizona or Texas or wherever... Bring the car back here and be told it cannot be registered in California.
Any insight greatly appreciated!
thx
John

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Re: california smog rules

Post by Hotrod on Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:19 pm

I'm no expert on California emissions, but your best bet may be to find a car titled as an earlier model.  Some states allow them to be titled as the year they replicate.  That's known as the SEMA law.  The SEMA website may have a list of states that allow this, so you at least have a list of potential sources.  I have seen some for sale that are listed as having 60's era titles, so they are out there.

These cars have been around since the 80's so many are titled much earlier than the 2000 you found.  Mine is an 89 for instance.  You should be able to find one with an earlier title.  This would lower the emission standards by several factors.

I thought in California, you were only required to meet the standards of the year engine you use.  You can't install an engine with lower standards than the title year, but you can use later engines.  I have read this in dealing with street rods that are assembled from parts.  I would think the same rules would apply to kit cars.

In the end though, you may wind up having to swap in a later engine with all the emission controls in place.  A GM LS type engine would be my choice.  They are currently being swapped into everything with wheels and the aftermarket is supporting them with more stuff than you can imagine.  An LS with it's stock fuel injection and cats should pass any test California can throw at you.
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Re: california smog rules

Post by flyinjohn on Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:17 pm

Thx Hotrod.
The problem with finding "that car" with a title pre smog date, is it limits the choices dramatically.
I am hoping that somebody from California might have some insight as to how they might have accomplished getting their car to pass smog or better, exempt it. I am willing to go the exemption route. That being said, if the body style is a 1965 but the car is titled say 2000 in another state, will I be able to "go exempt" by claiming the body style per SB 100? sure miss the "good 'ol days" !

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Re: california smog rules

Post by David V. on Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:26 pm

@flyinjohn- you might want to take a peek on the yahoo group which this site is a spinoff of, many of the members who are not as young or computer savvy have been reluctant to come check this site out. Some of them might be from California. You can check it out here: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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Re: california smog rules

Post by flyinjohn on Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:46 pm

thx David.
I will look at it.
Is there anyone from California on this website? I would love to take a ride in one as well as find out more about the smog stuff. I could come up with a trade I'm sure!!

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Re: california smog rules

Post by flyinjohn on Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:47 pm

thx David.
I will look at it.
Is there anyone from California on this website? I would love to take a ride in one as well as find out more about the smog stuff. I could come up with a trade I'm sure!!

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Re: california smog rules

Post by David V. on Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:18 pm

I'll see what I can dig up!
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Re: california smog rules

Post by RustyNCA on Wed Jan 06, 2016 3:23 pm

John, I'm not sure if you can push a car that you purchase from out of state through the CA Code SB-100, but you should do some reading about it.  Now retired CA senator Maurice Johannessen, who lives here near me and is a car guy managed to push it through.  Anyway, when/if I ever get going on the Sebring I have, that is road I will go down with it.

Check these web sites out, where I am not real clear for you, is that prior title may muck it up for you.

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Re: california smog rules

Post by flyinjohn on Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:24 pm

Hi Rusty,
I am starting the process now. I bought my car in New Jersey and drove it back to California a few weeks ago. (Some Route 66 and even some "top down" time, real fun).
Anyway I'll let you know what shakes down!
thx
John

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