NHTSA Rule Offers Hope, Caveats For Replica Vehicle Makers

By Anne Marie Ellis and Taylor Brown (March 10, 2021, 4:21 PM EST) -- On Jan. 15, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a new regulation permitting low-volume automakers to begin selling a limited number of replica cars each year that resemble historic vehicles.

A replica car is a motor vehicle that resembles other cars produced 25 years ago or more — think 1930s hot rods, 1950s street rods, 1960s cobras and the 1983 DeLorean. The final rule will take effect once it is officially published.

For nearly five decades preceding the new regulation, federal law prevented a person from selling new motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment in the U.S. unless it complied...

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