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Couple of questions for the California members

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Posted · Report post

I'm doing the finishing touches on a '37 Ford coupe and have a couple of questions. One concerning license plates. Would a front license plate be required on a '37? And second, would no windshield wipers be illegal on the street? I'm sure there have to be some rods running around California without them. But, is legal? TIA

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Modern yes, front & back are required.

Historical, front and back have been required practically from the beginning, but a single tag was used very early on.

This may also be useful to you if you are talking about a current 1937.

http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/1937-california-license-plates-159921.html

Not sure about the windshield wipers, haven't run across that.

Edited by Aaronw

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Posted · Report post

Gotta have a front plate and wipers in California. Know from experience, got tickets for both issues.

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Posted · Report post

I can't say that I know for sure... but I think it's highly unlikely that a car would be street-legal in any state without wipers. It's a basic safety feature, like lights and brakes.

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Posted · Report post

O.K. in California your 37 Ford would have to be inspected by the DMV to see if it road ready. This means front and rear plates and wipers turn signals if they came with the car. Once you have pass at the DMV, people do remove the front plate and the wipers. it's up to the CHP or Local Police to in force these laws. But most don't, if it a old Hot Rod or Custom they let it go. But now you can order the old black plates from the DMV which look cooler .

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Posted · Report post

This is one of those things that really depends on the day you go to register the car and who's working the desk the day you go in. We lived in San Diego when we built our hot rod and really had a tough time getting it registered, mostly because the dunces working at the DMV didn't even know their own regulations.

But before I got that far I had to have the car inspected by the Highway Patrol and they would have to assign it a VIIN. The first guy I talked to, just to get some information, told me that my flathead powered '28 Ford would need a catalytic converter. Again in complete ignorance of the state's regs.

Several weeks later, once the car was finished and drivable, I took it down to the CHP office. Now here's the fun part; the car had no wipers, no turn signals, no front license plate, no horn, and no fenders, all of which were required according to the vehicle code.

I took the paperwork inside and the officer came out to "inspect" the car. His first reaction was; "Wow, this thing is cool! What kind of engine does it have? Did you build it? Fire it up, let's hear it! Hang on, I'll go inside and get your sticker." That was the "inspection"!

He came back out with three buddies and we went through that all over again. They all dug the car, wished me well and I was down the road with CHP approval. :D

I now live in Tennessee and the vehicle code is similar but I had no issues registering it and have been driving the car around here for 6-1/2 years now and never been stopped for anything. (The key is I don't drive like an idiot.)

The bottom line to all this, and to bring it back to models, is that pretty much anything goes. You want to leave off things like wipers and front plates, go ahead. In most states, even though that stuff is required, unless a driver is stopped for something else, like speeding or running a red light, there will be no problem.

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Posted · Report post

Thanx for the info guys! Drew, I kinda figured that what happened with you probably happened a lot at the DMV. For now, I'm going to leave the front plate off because the only place I could mount it would be on the end of the frame horn. I'm definitely going to leave off the wipers.

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Posted · Report post

If you're talking about building a model to satisfy yourself, you're good to go!

If you're talking about building a model to conform to the rules of contests, you're best to check the rules of each specific contest.

Some don't require a model to replicate a 'street legal' vehicle. Others do.

For those that require a model to appear 'street legal' your model generally has to comport with the motor vehicle statutes and regulations of the state in which the contest takes place.

Some contests are lax and don't worry too much about it, but some are stricter.

As examples, there are two major critically-judged contests in the Phoenix area. Both have 'street legal' requirements for some of their classes. At both, the absence of wipers would make your model unqualified for consideration. In Arizona, classic/street rod/antique vehicles are not required to have front plates, so a rear-plate-only would not disqualify your model. Absence of wipers, rear license plates, mufflers and treaded tires (no drag slicks, etc.) are the primary issues that disqualify models in classes requiring 'street legal' appearance.

B)

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Posted · Report post

If you're talking about building a model to satisfy yourself, you're good to go!

If you're talking about building a model to conform to the rules of contests, you're best to check the rules of each specific contest.

Some don't require a model to replicate a 'street legal' vehicle. Others do.

For those that require a model to appear 'street legal' your model generally has to comport with the motor vehicle statutes and regulations of the state in which the contest takes place.

Some contests are lax and don't worry too much about it, but some are stricter.

As examples, there are two major critically-judged contests in the Phoenix area. Both have 'street legal' requirements for some of their classes. At both, the absence of wipers would make your model unqualified for consideration. In Arizona, classic/street rod/antique vehicles are not required to have front plates, so a rear-plate-only would not disqualify your model. Absence of wipers, rear license plates, mufflers and treaded tires (no drag slicks, etc.) are the primary issues that disqualify models in classes requiring 'street legal' appearance.

B)

Does this mean I can't drive my fire truck in the next parade in Phoenix ???

az-vi.jpg

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.

.

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Posted · Report post

To be legal in 1937, the car would need to have one wiper (in front of the driver) and front and rear license plates. Also, only one taillight (on the drivers' side) would be required.

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Posted · Report post

Got to agree w/ Danno on this one. Judging criteria needs guidelines, and that would be what is legal in 1:1 scale.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Thanx for the info guys! Drew, I kinda figured that what happened with you probably happened a lot at the DMV. For now, I'm going to leave the front plate off because the only place I could mount it would be on the end of the frame horn. I'm definitely going to leave off the wipers.

You could also put the front plate inside the front windshield. I'm not sure it is 100% legal, but seems to satisfy the police as it is visible from the front. You occasionally see license plates in the front or rear window on beaters that may have lost the license bracket (or whole bumper :o ) . You are not allowed to have those clear plastic covers over the plates, so I don't think it is technically legal, but it seems to meet the intent of the law at least in regard to enforcement.

Edited by Aaronw

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Posted · Report post

Does this mean I can't drive my fire truck in the next parade in Phoenix ???

az-vi.jpg

.

.

.

If you can get in it, Jimbo, you can drive that in any parade in Phoenix! :lol:

B)

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Posted · Report post

I spent over 30 years of my life in both southern and northern California. Trust me when I say that the California Highway Patrol will give ypu a ticket for what ever and when ever they can. I have been cited for everything from "jaywalking" in Santa Monica, too no front license plate (twice) in Sacramento. If you have a bright colored or loud car it just makes it worse. Back when they had spot checks on the road side for safety and smog, I got a $100.00 fine because the lid on the air cleaner of my new '74 Chevrolet pickup was flipped upside down. They do a lot of good, but they are like nit picking Nazis. Just my experience, I'm sure others have had better. Sorry for venting.

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