50th Anniversary Shelby Cobra Daytona CoupeEnlarge Photo
The five-year, $305 billion highway bill signed into law by President Barack Obama last week is chock full of rules and updates relating to the automotive transport industry, including, finally, some provisions for key infrastructure funding.
One of the more interesting sections is the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015, which allows low-volume manufacturers to produce turnkey replicas whereas previously they could only sell rolling chassis and the end customer had to deal with much of the certification process depending on the state they lived in.
The new provision allows small manufacturers (less than 5,000 cars annually) to construct up to 325 replicas of a car that’s at least 25 years old. The replicas still require certification from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Environmental Protection Agency, including passing current federal emissions rules, but they don’t have to meet crash safety standards or individual state pollution tests. Of course, the replicas are also subject to a license agreement for the intellectual property rights, so don’t expect to see a flood of them hit the market in the coming years.
One of the top replica builders is Superformance, which now plans to offer turnkey replicas of some highly sought-after models such as the Shelby Cobra, Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] GT40 and the original Corvette Grand Sport.
“After years of building the best continuation and replica cars in the world we are thrilled to finally offer our customers the option to buy a turnkey car right off the showroom floors of our dealers,” Superformance CEO Lance Stander said in a statement. “Now that we will be recognized by the government as a low volume manufacturer, customers can walk in, buy a car and drive away just like any other new vehicle purchase, which will also streamline financing, registration and insurance options."