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Tom Burtch

Old car friendly states?

42 posts in this topic

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 :(

Bill

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

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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....

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Posted (edited)

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
clarification / update (see edit history)

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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....

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

ALK

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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.

Jim

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Posted (edited)

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.

ALK

yeah my brother lives in birmingham.. Im from CT myself but he always finds these old as hell cars just laying around lol.

The part of ct im in, they only require a bill of sale to register the car.

All kinds of swap meets, rod shops (Dons speed shop berlin tpke and many more) and car shows.

crime rate is alittle high so i garage my cars.

Plainville ct seems to horde the most antique cars imo.

Edited by Trickstar (see edit history)

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My daughter and family just moved to Franklin Tennessee. I'm going there in April and doing some serious checking. Rhode Island roads are not car friendly!:mad:

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all I can say to those living in a permanent ice-box 9 months out of the year is,

C'MON DOWN. True in the summer it is HOT, but that is why God let us invent A/C. I came down from upstate NY 26 years ago and it would take 6 very healthy Clydsdales to haul my fat carcass back north.

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Come to the Grand Canyon state. No rust, no emissions, no problems. The roads in AZ are also some of the best in the country. I don't think i've ever hit a pothole in my life. We may only have two seasons but we have everything except an ocean. In many cases you're only an hour away from something beautiful.

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