Congressional Car Guy

This last election was a tense one and nowhere was it more felt than in California where a number of propositions and tight races were in play. However there is some good that came out of the left coast and that is the win for Representative John Campbell from Orange County. John Campbell is a long time car guy who currently owns a 1958 Cadillac Brougham that pops up at Southern California car events from time to time. Before his career in Congress the car nut owned as many as 11 car dealerships at one time, including Nissan, Mazda, Saturn, Ford, and others.

Because of his background as a businessman and a car guy the Congressmen has gotten involved in a number of car related issues. Campbell has sponsored various bills to exempt small, start-up car manufacturers from certain federal regulations.

"One of the proposals I've had for several years would be to allow start-up car companies to not have to deal with a bunch of the regulatory requirements until they reached a certain threshold of sales, say 3,000 a year or something like that. So that we can get some of these people who have some brilliant ideas--whether that's alternative fuel or whether that's a traditional internal-combustion-engine car that may be a unique design or designed for a unique market. Entrepreneurship is where a lot of great things have happened in this country generally and certainly in the automobile industry. We have regulations that stand in the way. If we could get rid of these for these people who are starting up, we might be able to get a lot more start-ups going."

"This doesn't meet crash tests and I can drive it," he said, motioning to the Brougham. "So the people who would buy these cars would have to basically say, 'I understand that this has not been crash-tested,' it meets the safety standards from, I think the bill we drew was 1992 or 1987, and it doesn't meet all this and it doesn't meet all that and that people would understand that when they purchased the car. It would enable some start-up entrepreneurs to maybe get something out there" Campbell told Autoweek.

Campbell has also worked to prevent legislation that would take collector cars off the road. He sees it as more of a way to preserve the art and history of the automobile.

Check out his congressional Web site,, and decide if you agree with him. But isn't it refreshing to have a voice in Washington representing our little sliver of the world?

[Source: Autoweek]