Be Prepared!

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Since Motor Sport covers most aspects of motoring, from Formula One to veteran and classic cars, we need make no excuse for returning to the subject of the effect regulations issued by the EEC in Brussels might have on our future freedom to use the older motor vehicles on European roads.

Already, slipped in under the Drivers’ Hours Requirement applying to vehicles of all ages, there is a restriction on running a preserved bus on any but a predetermined rally route. This is but one example. France and Italy already have heavy restrictions on old-vehicle usage; Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands lesser restrictions.

So far, there is virtual freedom to run aged motors in Scandinavia and the United Kingdom. But the Historic Vehicles Clubs Committee, which has so ably protected the users of old vehicles from possibly unintended restrictions since its formation in 1966, warns that Harmonisation Rules which become effective in 1992 might impose unwanted and unnecessary curbs on the old cars which the public so enjoys seeing out and about – curbs such as prohibition after dark, new lighting requirements, two-wheel braking permitted only at approved events, and a complete motorway ban.

The HVCC has an excellent relationship with the Ministry of Transport, and has secured valuable concessions for all kinds of vehicles over twenty years old. Threatened by fresh EEC laws, it is calling an Open General Meeting to represent 150,000 members of the RAC on July 23, when it will set up a European Action Group and will hope to merge with the Classic VCC which has been representing the younger car clubs.

This represents an important bid to safeguard freedom of use for old vehicles on the roads of Europe, without unnecessary restriction. As the HVCC’s chairman Derek Grossmark so rightly says, “this is a fight the movement must win”.

Historic vehicle clubs are urged to send a representative to the meeting, which starts at 2.30pm at the Mountbatten Room at the RAC. The secretary can be contacted at the new Aston Martin Owners Club headquarters, or in the evenings on 0945-870716. Don’t wait until 1992 is upon you!