The Future Of Motor Sports & The Collector Car Hobby

Greg Zyla
One of the many car questions I receive concerning the collector car hobby and motor racing is about our future. Specifically, will the “green movement” eliminate our enterprise or kill the endeavors we enjoy the most.
I’ve heard everything from car enthusiasts worried that the government will take our collector cars from us and crush them to the elimination of auto racing as an unnecessary and hurtful to the carbon footprint endeavor.
Shaun Smith has covered this subject very well in his “Publisher’s Desk” column in Auto Round-Up Issue 1044 about why he feels we’re all pretty safe when it comes to the future, especially the fact that infrastructure to handle the charging of total electric cars by 2035 is “time-frame impossible.” (We’re talking both urban and rural.)
Further, consider the fact that the time it takes to charge all-electric vehicles away from home isn’t like filling a gas tank in a few minutes. If it takes 20 to 30 minutes at an electric charge station 50 miles from home, and there’s three cars in front of you, this all-electric recharging gets way more serious, especially to an American public that is more impatient than not.
That’s why I’m a hybrid car fan, where a small 3- or 4-cylinder engine that mates with electric technology to insure you can drive your hybrid car home regardless of battery capability and then plug in at home. Apartments and Townhouses? These landlords will also have to step-up to the infrastructure plate to allow charging for those that don’t have plug-in garage access.
And because Shaun covers nearly all of the collector car aspects, I’ll concentrate on his SEMA reference, which is perhaps the most powerful lobby group in Washington fighting for our rights with politicians and powerful groups. In conjunction with Performance Racing Industry (PRI) that SEMA owns, (and where I was Senior Editor and spent 34 years with the company), I can assure everyone we are in good hands on the collector car, hot rod, race car and street car business occupations. Our SEMA and PRI trade shows in Las Vegas and Indianapolis, respectively, are yearly attractions for show goers from around the world. Further, PRI is not open to the public yet still attracts 75,000 hardcore race attendees every year in over 1-million square feet at Lucas Oil Stadium and Indy Convention Center.
To think our government would pull-the-plug on a multi-trillion dollar business and sporting enterprise is not only ignorant, it would nearly be an impossible politically motivated attempt. There are clearly too many millions of employees out there that would be in the unemployment line due to politicians that just don’t understand our huge business. I agree there are some ill-informed politicians out there, but I put my faith in our SEMA and PRI reps in Washington to make sure they understand the importance of looking at our collector cars for the works of art they are, regardless of powertrain.
Thanks to my involvement with PRI, I’m fortunate to have had many discussions with the real movers and doers of the sport, and recall what one prominent individual told me at a recent PRI Show, namely Paul "Scooter" Brothers he a member of the SEMA Hall of Fame and co-founder of Competition Cams back in the 1970s.
Brothers told me that SEMA and PRI had strong representation in Washington, and that all the money generated to assist in endeavors are well spent for the benefit of our hobby, industry and motor racing sporting aspects. SEMA explains that it “keeps close tabs on legislators in Washington, DC, and also in each state within the United States, so SEMA members and anyone who loves cars and trucks can protest pending legislation that might harm our hobby/business, as well as endorse legislation that’s good for car lovers and motorsports events.”
SEMA has a proven legislative and regulatory program led by a professional staff based in Washington, DC that continually monitors and shapes legislation and regulations to benefit SEMA members, the specialty-equipment industry, and auto enthusiasts. Get involved and stay up-to-date on important bills in Congress and your state legislature by going to and signing up which is totally free, and you’ll be a member of the SEMA Action Network (SAN).
In summary, the weekly Roman Chariot races more than 2000 years ago attracted tens of thousands to the coliseums, so I would think our history and future is secure. And regardless of the political powers that think we’ll be able to run our stoves, toaster, microwave, refrigerator, and washer and dryer on windmills and solar panels, well, they will all undergo a shocking reality when they plug in to a 120 or 240 outlet at home and try to run off our electric grid trying to run solely on solar or windmills. I personally feel our electric will still be a combination of fossil fuels, windmills, water dams and solar in years to come, and one day, hopefully, run on solar and new technologies alone.
Rest easy, and leave it to SEMA, PRI and our motoring media of which Auto Round-Up Publications is part of the answer.
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