Modifying race cars isn’t just a hobby for Pro-Fabrication Founder and President Steve Sousley—it’s his livelihood. With the looming government threat to the industry, he’s doing all he can to ensure that the future of motorsports is strong.
From The Hill
Take everything you think you know about presidential elections and throw it out the window. Conventional wisdom? Trash it. The status quo? Forget about it. The political establishment? It’s a thing of the past. That’s the 2016 presidential election in a nutshell. There are just a few months to go before voters head to the polls, and until now, it’s been a wild ride filled with twists and turns. How did we get here? What does the future hold? We’ll attempt to make sense of it all.
In an effort to counter intellectual property (IP) theft, President Obama signed into law a SEMA-supported bill that enables businesses to protect their trade secrets using federal law. Prior to the enactment of the Defend Trade Secrets Act, the only mechanism for companies to enforce valuable trade secret rights was through civil actions under state law. The absence of a uniform federal standard forced companies to navigate a patchwork of different state laws and courts to bring actions against entities that had stolen or otherwise misappropriated their proprietary trade secret information.
The U.S. Environment Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule to outlaw the conversion of motor vehicles into race cars made waves all across the country. SEMA members, race enthusiasts and members of Congress led the way in opposing the rulemaking, resulting in the EPA’s April 15 announcement that it would remove the provision from the larger rule.
If you ask average Americans what they love about auto racing, you’ll find a striking similarity in the responses: speed, teamwork and passion. Since the invention of the automobile, Americans have been converting their street vehicles into race cars. Powered by this passion, most professional motorsports leagues, including NASCAR, were founded on that concept. More than a century later, the very core of this tradition is under attack.
“The way I see it, if you’re going to build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?” explained Dr. Emmett Brown in the blockbuster film “Back to the Future.” As any movie buff will tell you, the car Doc Brown spoke of was the DeLorean DMC-12. Unfortunately for movie lovers and gearheads alike, the DeLorean hasn’t been in production since 1983. However, thanks to a new SEMA-supported law, that’s about to change.
In Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the country, it’s all about who you know. Strength is often measured by the size of your Rolodex, especially when seeking to advocate on behalf of the American automotive specialty-equipment industry. Through a variety of programs initiated over the years, the industry has connected with some of the most important contacts: politicians.
U.S. Representative Mimi Walters (R-CA) was first elected to Congress in November 2014. While many freshman members of Congress come to Washington, D.C., with much to learn, Walters was ready from day one. Her background in business and experience in the California Legislature prepared her for the rigors of the nation’s capital. For the 50-plus SEMA-member companies in her district, based in Orange County, that’s a winning combination.
SEMA-member companies recently made connections with their elected representatives. As a result of a visit to air-conditioning manufacturer Vintage Air last summer, U.S. Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) agreed to co-sponsor the Low Volume Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015. Vintage Air executives Jack Chisenhall and Rick Love were able to catch up with Rep. Smith in San Antonio to say thank you.
Deteriorating conditions and wet weather at the Bonneville Salt Flats (BSF) forced the Southern California Timing Association/Bonneville Nationals Inc. to cancel Speed Week. The event organizers were unable to identify more than 2¼ miles of salt suitable for a safe course. Speed Week began in 1949 and is the largest annual racing event held at the BSF, with hundreds of teams racing every type of vehicle, from hot rods, roadsters and belly tankers to motorcycles, lakesters and streamliners. The event was also cancelled in 2014 due to rain, which marked the first cancellation since the ’90s.