Again, according to the office of the attorney general from the State of California, Department of Justice, "To date, the ongoing investigation has identified at least five other out-of-state companies that have provided fraudulent vehicle purchase agreements and titles to California vehicle owners. The companies are in Alabama, Nevada, New York, and Florida. The attorney general's office believes as many as 70,000 vehicles have been illegally registered in California through these scam operations.

The California DMV is in the process of canceling registrations that involve documents obtained from Titles Unlimited. (Titles Unlimited is believed to have provided false documents to Californians that cost the state more than $1 million in tax revenues and license fees over the past two years, and as much as $14 million since 1975, when the company began operating.) The attorney general's office also has notified law enforcement officials in more than 20 counties regarding residents who titled their cars through the company for possible prosecution.

At the time Attorney General Bill Lockyer of the State of California tells us that an Alabama man was convicted on felony charges for issuing false vehicle titles in a scam that has cost California millions of dollars in lost tax revenues and license fees.

We know from SEMA as well as from the State of California officials that the attorney general's office has gone so far as to attend rod runs looking for "suspicious" hot rods; cars that may have been fraudulently registered.

According to SEMA Legal Counsel Russ Dean, "SEMA began dealing with these circumstances by working with the attorney general and suggested it would be easier to resolve the issues if the enforcement that had started were postponed for a while;" albeit a small victory but a victory nonetheless. "SEMA then began the effort to encourage legislation that would provide amnesty for car owners who sought to re-register their cars legally." In the meantime, SEMA also began working with the Air Resources Board, Bureau of Automotive Repair, and the DMV to find reasonable and attainable emissions requirements for re-registered cars.

In future stories we are going to take our '10 AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tour roadster pickup through the registration process under the direction of SB-100. Under California law, these 500 exemptions for specially constructed vehicles are available each year on a first-come, first-served basis. [Our appointment to apply for an SB-100 exemption for our '10 Road Tour roadster pickup occurred on Jan. 4, 2010, more on this next month. In 2009 the last SB-100 exemption was handed out on July 3; yet earlier in 2006 these numbers were gone by Jan. 3. These numbers can go quickly or not so quickly but our guess after the current fire storm is these numbers will be even harder to come by.] I will follow SR Publisher Tim Foss as he navigates the DMV registration waters for an exempt SCV.

For vehicles with an exemption, a smog-test referee compares the vehicle to production cars of the era that the specially constructed vehicle most closely resembles to determine the model year. The vehicle owner can then choose whether the inspector will certify the vehicle model year by body type or by the engine model year. Only those emissions controls applicable to the chosen model year are required.

Another test will be the registration of a hot rod that may have been registered improperly. When the time comes we will find a suitable street rodder reader to give it a go. We will find out if the registration was originally handled incorrectly and if so apply for amnesty and then in turn register the street rod. We will also take a look at what may need to be done to the engine to make it compliant as well.

According to GMPP Product Marketing Manager Dr. Jamie Meyer, "We developed this system because it's the right thing to do, but our engineers did not sacrifice the performance that stirs hot rodders in the first place. It is a compromise-free package that delivers great power and efficiency, with the emissions of a modern vehicle."

The core of the E-ROD package (PN 19244805) is the LS3 6.2L V-8 engine that is rated at 430 hp. Emissions equipment included with the package includes catalytic converters, a fuel tank evaporative emissions canister, and more. The GMPP package was developed with the assistance of CARB and SEMA officials and is intended to meet California emissions compliance requirements. No other OEM or aftermarket manufacturer yet offers a comparable, CARB-approved system.

In subsequent stories there will be a complete step-by-step installation of a 100 percent emission controlled engine in a '32 highboy roadster-and it fit neatly with no outlandish modifications. The end result is a hot rod that has loads of power, driveability, and is as "green" as any new car sold. Tree huggers should be very happy.

The problem is real, especially for California hot rodders. Rodders from other states should be aware that while legislation may be in place to register your hot rod the day may not be too far out there when emission standards will be mandated. This article may raise more questions than it has answers but by the time we get through the series, all of us should be better equipped to deal with the registering of our hot rods.

Ironically while all this mayhem is ongoing we have Dave Schaub of California driving his '32 Ford highboy roadster through 49 states raising money for the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford, California (see page 56). Isn't it about time someone in a seat of authority stood up from behind a desk and saw the good that is brought to the state and the county via hot rodders in the form of charitable efforts and the economy of business?