What I’d like to know is, how did goobermint get so all-fired high and mighty that it arrogates unto itself the authority to seize your car and destroy it, without your having done a damned thing wrong?
The thought of crushing a freshly restored 1959 Corvette is heartbreaking. Then, add in that the reason for doing so centers on the condition of two very specific rivets. Luckily for Richard Martinez, Kansas lawmakers have finally come through and passed a law that frees his beloved hardtop from the clutches of the impound lot.
Say, Richard, don’t you think it’s high time you seriously considered getting yourself a safe, economical, dependable electric car, hmmm? For your family, for the climate, for The Future™?
The center of this debate has been the VIN plate on Martinez’s Corvette. He bought the car in 2016, a beloved ride that got a full restoration some years ago and as part of the repainting process had the VIN plate removed. Upon presenting it for routine state inspection, the Kansas Highway Patrol seized the Corvette. Unknown to the Martinez, the car ran afoul of a Kansas law which stated any vehicle with a “destroyed, removed, altered, or defaced” VIN plate must be crushed. That’s a harsh reality for a historic car that wasn’t party to any nefarious intent. Early on, authorities declared Martinez innocent of any wrongdoing, but the car was still being targeted for destruction.
With the car sitting in an impound lot, a push developed revise the Kansas law, largely thanks to the non-profit Kansas Justice Institute. The revision that resulted from this advocacy (House Bill 2594) aims to exempt classic vehicles undergoing repair or restoration and would additionally exempt classic car owners who didn’t know or had no reason to believe their car was involved in a crime. This is a big step forward and removes a significant bit of hesitation from owners in Kansas who feared their vehicles might get them in legal hot water when they went to register it.
A “big step forward”? If so, it’s a step away from a dark, dismal place we never should have allowed ourselves to be led into in the first place. Hats off to those Kansas lawmakers for doing the right thing in the end; a big Bronx cheer for the Kansas lawmakers for the original “We Will We Will ROB YOU!” Act from whence all the hassle sprang. Question: who does Mr Marinez see to get those lost years of angst and anxiety back?