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Old car friendly states?

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#1 Tom Burtch

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 07:43 PM

I've been living overseas for about 8 years now but expect to return to the USA in a couple of years, hopefully to retire and take up my old car hobby once again. I look forward to getting my 1932 Chev and many parts out of storage and bringing it back to life. Seems like new legislation is quite tough in many area and I don't want a constant hassle with bylaws and codes just to work on an old car or two on my own property.

I'd prefer to be within an hour or so of a city and since I don't own property now, I'd consider most anywhere but prefer a warmer state than Michigan (where I last lived) as cold weather is not fun for me anymore.

I'd appreciate any comments on friendly states or counties for the old car hobby and maybe tips on getting along with current regulations without being miles from any neighbors.

#2 poci1957


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Posted 24 June 2010 - 07:36 PM

Well, Illinois where I am is not bad for old cars, but the climate would be similar to Michigan. If you like country living at relatively low cost south central Illinois offers:

3% State income tax (for now, at least)
6.25% State sales tax
No emissions or annual inspection (except in some Chicago area counties)
Very low cost Antique license plates and no annual tax or fees on cars

#3 sonny h.

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 10:57 PM

Albuquerque,N.M. Here last 26 yrs. it is VERY old car and old "body" friendly. Have my '32 Chevrolet out almost every day here.

#4 MCHinson


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Posted 25 June 2010 - 03:47 AM

I guess I should suggest North Carolina. Very active AACA Regions and Chapters, some nice old car friendly state laws, and you can avoid snow if you choose the right area. To totally avoid the snow, you might have to experience some humidity.
Matthew C. Hinson
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#5 rocketraider


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Posted 27 June 2010 - 06:03 AM

Virginia has historically been old-car-friendly (as long as we can keep a certain state legislator engaged doing other things:rolleyes:). One-time antique license plate fee which car qualifies for at 25 years old, exemptions for property tax and safety/emissions inspections, and like NC, plenty of old car related things to do. Plus the people are for the most part very friendly and welcoming. Plenty of open undeveloped land still available if you're a country or small-town type, and there are enough mid-size and large cities that you can find about anything you'd want.

Central, Southern and Tidewater Virginia have very mild climates without a lot of harsh winter. It has been plenty hot (98) here the last few days, but low-90s are usually the extent of hot.

Most localities are pretty reasonable on their real estate assessments and tax values too. Northern VA would be the exception there. It is ungodly expensive to live in that part of the state.
Glenn Williamson
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#6 critterpainter


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Posted 27 June 2010 - 11:04 PM

Don't even think of taxyafornia. Annual registration on my 28A which I have kept registered yearly since 1973 is now over $57 a year and so is my T. Also little things like painting or priming your car yourself is about impossible thanks to Air Quality control board :(


#7 toddjg


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Posted 27 June 2010 - 11:46 PM

florida, no state income tax. no smog laws no vehicle inspection.

#8 Kingoftheroad


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Posted 28 June 2010 - 04:42 AM

Arizona is good, cheap tags & insurance for the oldies, no emission testing on '66 & older cars. You can work on & paint cars here without trouble. Cars last forever here....

#9 Richard Lichtfel

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 04:34 PM

Wisconsin is a good state for older cars. All of our back roads are paved with very little, if any traffic and good scenery. License is $75 , one fee as long as you own the vehicle. We take many one day picnic trips in our 1916 Peerless.
We do have winter though but we don't have to worry about mosquito's and bugs then. I also restore ice boats, we put the cars away in winter and sail our ice boats, 100 mph on ice with no brakes is a real thrill.

#10 prof pat

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 11:15 PM

I agree with ARIZONA. Never had the slightest problem here (outside of Phoenix) with antique or classic cars. Hundreds of collectors in and around Prescott. I know of over 10,000
classics and hotrods in Yavapai county. They allow and encourage large garages.

#11 Airy Cat

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 01:19 AM

California will tax you to death. $67.00 for the one year registration on my '62 Buick.
They need all of the money they can get for all of the moochers and looters in this state.
BCA #6827
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#12 mrspeedyt


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Posted 24 July 2010 - 04:41 AM

az is my choice too... emissions testing is in phoenix and tucson areas only and applies to 1967 and newer (but, i've been told, if 1967 and newer vehicle has historical plates it is exempt from emissions test). standard tags for older cars are about $31.00 for two years. UPDATE: tags are now available for 5 years/$65. (for standard plate) and i've heard that if a 1967 and newer car with a standard plate (or personalized) has collector car insurance it is exempt from emissions testing.

Edited by mrspeedyt, 02 May 2011 - 11:42 AM.
clarification / update

'23 buick (23-4-35), '52 buick and a few brand x's ('26 db sedan being one) Posted using HAL2000.

#13 Ovalrace25


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Posted 02 September 2010 - 02:29 AM

I agree about TAXIFORNIA... Just paid registration for one of my cars.. 108.00 for the 66 Mustang. It was about the same for my 64 Cad last month.. I have more than 20 cas active and insured... BIG BUCKS! AND if I want to take them out of active service I must STILL pay a fee for non-operation. If I dont pay the non-op, they fine me when i put it back on active status..

Oh, and if I park any cars on my driveway (private property) they must be registered... If on non-op they must be out of sight... However, they are not allowed to be sotred in your back yard if it is in a residential area....

#14 61-63


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Posted 06 September 2010 - 11:08 AM

Texas is friendly but it can get pretty hot down here. October through April are actually our nicest months in SE Texas (Houston and surrounding). Austin and surrounding is probably the nicest part of the state overall. No state income tax no inspections on old cars under one or two registration options.

But with the above said were I to move I would look seriously at the Nashville Tennessee area. Weather isn't bad and Nashville is within a day's drive of all manner of car events in the South and Midwest.

#15 Steve9


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Posted 11 September 2010 - 03:31 PM

Washington state isn't bad, if you don't mind a little rain. Put antique plates of the year of your car on, $30 permanent registration.

#16 Tom Burtch

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 06:55 PM

Thanks for the comments on car friendly (and unfriendly) states.
I'll soon be back in the USA for three weeks and plan side tours of a few days each in Albuquerque, Charlotte and Atlanta to check out these areas. Hope to find one that feels right and affordable.

#17 rocketraider


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Posted 19 October 2010 - 12:46 AM

Just remember that living 20-30 miles outside the major metro area can often cut home prices by 25% or more. Not to mention you can often also find ACREAGE! for a garage, mini-farm, or other hobby.

After living 30 feet away from the adjoining houses for 24 years, I can attest to the country luxury of being able to pee off one's back porch if one so desires.
Glenn Williamson
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Member of all major Olds clubs

#18 Marty Roth

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 05:01 AM

Louisiana is very old-car friendly. Permanent Antique tag is $25 - No required inspection if 40 or more years old (car, not driver), 8 local AACA Chapters of Louisiana Region, with local and state-wide activities almost every month. Home and insurance is cheaper, as is acreage north of I-10/I-12, with less potential damage from hurricane threat (but I still live south of there). We get to drive our old cars all year long.

Great food, great music, great history, museums, music, food (I really like music and food), a festival every weekend somewhere in Louisiana.



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#19 AlK


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Posted 11 February 2011 - 12:36 AM

You might also try Alabama. A year or so ago The USA Today ran an article on the besy places to live with regard to climate, expense, freakish weather events etc. Nevada ranked first Alabama ranked 2nd. Alabama in my opinion is the friendliest old car state in the union. I would suggest some small towns outside Birmingham or Montgomery. $30 registration fee for a car 30 years or older, no ad-valorum tax on them, and antique car insurance is cheap for them. Best of all you can still find old farms or acreage to build your own. Come on down.

1965 Dodge Dart Gt ragtop - PALE RIDER,
1964 Dodge Dart Gt Ragtop custom - THE COPPERHEAD,
1955 Packard Patrician - BLACK DUKE,
1955 Packard Patrician - DUKE JUNIOR,
1956 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer - THE PINK LADY,
1956 Packard Clipper - THE CLIPPEROD
1962 Dodge Dart 440 4dr sdn - ROOT BEER FLOAT

#20 Jim_Edwards


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Posted 12 February 2011 - 05:47 PM

Albuquerque,N.M. Here last 26 yrs. it is VERY old car and old "body" friendly. Have my '32 Chevrolet out almost every day here.

I think that is mainly because the car clubs, even including low rider and street rodder clubs, in New Mexico have banded together in a coalition that has apparently developed considerable political clout. The coalition has been wise to create a serious associations with Historical preservation societies, increasing the political clout of both. If I recall correctly the car clubs in Arizona also have a coalition.

Car clubs everywhere would be wise to organize into state level coalitions as well as doing some serious shoulder rubbing with historical preservation societies.

1956 Cadillac Eldorado Seville
1957 Cadillac Eldorado Seville
1958 Mercury Montclair 4dr
1962 Oldsmobile Starfire (2)
1976 Lincoln Mark IV (2)
1978 Lincoln Continental Town Car
1987 Lincoln Mark VII LSC
1990 Ford F-150
1995 Ford E-150 custom high top
2003 Lincoln Town Car

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