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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Manufacturers Like Sector 111 and Superformance Get A Break Through New Laws


Shelby Daytona 1

Low volume automakers have had a real problem in the U.S. Namely, many states considered them illegal, and thus many enthusiasts weren’t allowed to buy them or drive them within their respective states. To make matters worse, the laws that did regulate this industry were over 50 years old, and designed for automakers that built millions of cars, rather than just a small handful.

Over time, many small manufacturers banded together, attempting to push new legislation through congress in an effort to reevaluate those old laws governing their businesses. Finally, that hard work has come to fruition.


Last week, Congress passed the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015. This bill establishes “a program allowing low volume motor vehicle manufacturers to produce a limited number of vehicles annually within a regulatory system that addresses the unique safety and financial issues associated with limited production, and to direct the Environmental Protection Agency to allow low volume motor vehicle manufacturers to install engines from vehicles that have been issued certificates of conformity.”

What though, does all this mean? Well, for importers and small boutique manufacturers, their cars now have an established process of gaining legality in all 50 states. Cars such as Superformance’s Shelby Daytona Coupe, which we recently drove for an upcoming review, the Drakan Spyder, and Hennessey’s Venom GT don’t have to go through the meaningless hoops they were driven to jump through any longer.

Shelby Daytona 3

There are however provisions included that low volume manufacturers are required to comply with in order to meet these newly formed regulations. One such provision is the requirement of EPA homologated engines. These “crate engines” have passed EPA testing, and come direct from a larger manufacturer complete with the agency’s stamp of approval. Engines like the brilliant General Motors LS3 E-Rod that Sector 111 uses in the Drakan Spyder, Ford’s Coyote 5.0-liter V8, and a number of other engines are allowed under the new regulations.

This new law permits replica or low volume manufacturers to have enough space to innovate and do business without having government interdiction that forces them to shutter their businesses due to ridiculous laws penned in the ‘50s. It brings manufacturing and innovation back to the United States, and allows these businesses to bring vehicles into compliance so owners don’t have to register them either in Canada or Florida. Who knew the government could actually be effective?