Actually, it has little to do with race cars.
Every few years, the ability for someone to work on their own cars becomes a hot political talking point. Since the RPM Act was introduced a few years ago, it was presented as a way to get around EPA Clear Air Act regulations that would essentially bring the aftermarket industry to its knees.
However, if you actually read the act, it's not seeking protection for consumer cars, it's seeking protection of full-blown track cars, which does the average car owner little good. Which had me wondering, why aren't the 'normal' car collectors more shook up over the EPA? And that led me to believe that the non-race car owning person might not understand what's going on.
While the RPM Act could stand to be more inclusive, it seeks to stop the FDA from bullying aftermarket car manufacturers who do make a fair amount of money on the backs of motorsports. The Environmental Protection Agency is on a witch hunt to find emissions violations occurring due to the manufacturing, selling, and installing aftermarket parts.
"Illegally modified vehicles and engines contribute substantial excess pollution that harms public health and impedes efforts by the EPA, tribes, states, and local agencies to plan for and attain air quality standards," the EPA has put it.
However, it's their new interruption of laws already on the books that has enabled them to apply the 40-year-old laws in a new way to become a targeted piece of legislation. This new push is seriously impacting the availability of any aftermarket parts. Imagine trying to source an OEM Bel Air cam, when you get a better version of one, easily available, from a number of cam brands.
In a recent interview with Sen. Jim Lankford, he advocated for the classic car industry to the Washington Examiner.
"It's even classic cars. The guys that aren't even racing. Just classic car collectors. Guys that take a car from the 1950s and '60s and wanted to be able to fix it up. They do a great paint job on it, drive it on weekends, and go to car shows,"
Those folks are having a hard time getting access to parts."
A lot of their manufacturers don't make that part anymore because not enough of them are on the road, and so, they use the secondary market. And for the EPA to make it very hard to be able to do that, it's basically pushing everyone that's a collector of classic cars, or that just drives an older vehicle, to not have the availability of the parts that they need."