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Hot Rods Hot Rodders vs. California laws

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by diggertodd, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. diggertodd
    Joined: Jan 14, 2010
    Posts: 2


    Hi Everyone, big fan here
    • I am a rodder and hot rodding/racing journalist for many publications. I am interested in creating a story about the laws in Cali as they pertain to repairing your own cars and hot rods (specifically Sacramento County,) statewide dismantling laws and if anyone has been fined as a "dismantler" who is really just a hot rodder.
    • I have also seen where many on the sister site here (Garage Journal) have been harassed just because if they own a car lift in their personal garage, so they must be an illegal repair canter.
      I would like to chat with a few of you who might have direct experience as a hot rodder who has dealt with the laws/ordinances.
      - Todd Silvey
  2. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 5,294


    Best of luck, but why wait ten years to ask?
  3. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 6,073

    scrap metal 48

    You want to trade your great weather for more relaxed laws here in Ohio.. Guess you can't have everything....
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  4. Funny my uncles buddie and fellow Thunderbolt - had a lift in his back yard right of of Folsom in Sac town....I first saw it maybe 20 yrs ago and - and it was so cool...multiplied because it was a small typical house on a small typical lot. Miss them both...........
    lothiandon1940 likes this.

  5. I live in California, own an auto repair business and am a hot rodder. I have NEVER heard of anyone having the sort of problems you are describing. You do have to be licensed by the Bureau of Automotive Repair if you are repairing vehicles as a business and I suppose there may be cases where someone was doing a for profit business out of their home garage and got busted for operating without a license. Now that would be a proper application of the law.
  6. klawockvet
    Joined: May 1, 2012
    Posts: 408


  7. chrisp
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 848


    When I was there, the only time I heard about people being "harassed" by the law were people grinding away at 9/10pm with the piston air compressor running non stop and the music blaring with the garage door wide open in residential areas. Or those with piles of parts (cars?) around the garage door in front of the house.
    stillrunners and Nitroholic like this.
  8. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 1,712

    oldiron 440

    You've been to my house?
  9. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,121

    from So Cal

  10. Makes perfect sense to me. I don't do motor overhauls in my driveway and I'd be pissed at my neighbor if he were doing it, especially for hire. Unfortunately, there are those of us who do and they think it's OK to do that. So now we have yet another law.
    lurker mick and Special Ed like this.
  11. low down A
    Joined: Feb 6, 2009
    Posts: 319

    low down A

    back in the 70's and 80's that scene would have described my place and at least a couple houses on every block, it truly was when this country was great sadly that scene is replaced by 20 to 40 something year olds riding there little sister's bike from meth lab to meth lab
    Muttley and TA DAD like this.
  12. spook498
    Joined: Sep 26, 2009
    Posts: 184


    I moved out of California in 2018. The only problems I had as a car guy was the city cruising by to make sure nothing was out front and visible as an eyesore to the community. A couple of vinyl fence panels solved that problem.
    Special Ed likes this.
  13. Wow, I stand corrected. I certainly understand keeping your house from looking like a junk yard but not being able to have a clean and neat hobby shop on your property would piss me off. Luckily I am out of the Sacto area.
  14. no55mad
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 1,865


    Some communities have CCR's (not govt regulated) that are rules for those only living in that community. If you would leave the garage door open you would get chewed out, couldn't work on your car etc.
  15. As with most new laws, ordinances and restrictions that are passed, the responsible 80% have the irresponsible 20% who think that the earth is in orbit around them to thank for it.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
  16. I have lived in such a community for over 10 years and I work on my jalopies all the time with the garage doors open, but I do my work in a responsible manner that doesn't annoy my neighbors and I have, consequently, never had a problem.
  17. ^^^^^^
    As usual, common sense prevails. It does seem odd that common sense, is not so common.
  18. Any city or county government can cite you for their 'violations' and your only recourses are to pay it or fight it in court. A Home Owners Association can only send you a nasty letter for that paint can in your driveway. Minor and temporary infractions are too costly for them to pursue by legal means because only a bought and paid for court order is enforceable. Neighbors who put the finger on other neighbors get little satisfaction in most cases. The HOA is a 12-pound monkey in a gorilla suit. You won't be nominated for Mr. Popularity, however. So how thick is your skin?
    I suppose if you are a truly hardcore scofflaw and impacting property values, the HOA will hire the lawyer and you will experience the Hammer Of Justice, no doubt.
  19. Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
  20. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,121

    from So Cal

    If you want to live in such a community than you can move to one with others that agree with you., form your HOA and make whatever rules you all want to live by. But to force this on everyone else who do not agree just plain sucks. You're a fine example of totalitarianism. You probably couldn't be further apart from the entire spirit of hot rodding.
    low down A, Muttley and dirty old man like this.
  21. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 7,976

    jimmy six

    HOA's are a problem near where I live and I don't live in one. After living 30 years across the street from me, the owner came over after I had run my LSR GMC roadster in my side yard behind a fence.and asked me not to do it any more. I only started my engine once a year at home or after a rebuild. I said OK since I really didn't want to see a constable standing at my doorway or in my side yard asking questions. I still do the start ups but have 2 mufflers on the single header and can actually hear the engine better so it ended up a win-win for me. I've painted the body twice in the same outside fenced area and never had a complaint but I'm a real careful guy when I comes to stuff like that. I've rebuilt 10 engines in my garage and never had a complaint because I keep the door down as much as possible. Being a good neighbor is just common sense as we live in a very nice tract of homes. Only one is bad and it's my next door family who has 2 cars in his driveway with flat tires, no license, not covered etc.....and keeps an $80,000 Tesla in the garage....
    stillrunners and Nitroholic like this.

  22. HOA or no HOA, WTF does the "entire spirit of hot rodding" have to do with being considerate towards your neighbors who may or may not share your enthusiasm for the "entire spirit of hot rodding". If you want to be the self-centered pain in the ass that all of your neighbors love to hate, go for it. I'm just glad I'm not one of them.
  23. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,805


    Don't underestimate the power of an HOA, they can and have forced people into foreclosure. Hence, I have decided to never, under any circumstances, live in a community where they operate.
  24. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,121

    from So Cal

    Because the spirit of hot rodding has a bit of "screw the man" in it, that's why. You're a damn dictator. Being considerate of your neighbor is one thing, respecting property rights and the right of a man to do what he wishes on his own damn property is another. Historically hot rodders have built entire cars in the driveway, in the side yard, hell out in the street. You're "my way is the only way" attitude sucks.
  25. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,925

    from norcal

    As far as hoa’s go, you kind of know the rules when you sign the contract. I don’t think I would buy in an hoa community, or they probably wouldn’t have my kind
  26. Well then I guess that would give your neighbor the right to rent out his garage as an all night rehearsal venue for heavy metal rock bands. He's just doing what he wishes on his own damn property and screw you and everybody else if you don't like it.
    Special Ed likes this.
  27. 55 Ford Gasser
    Joined: Jul 7, 2011
    Posts: 555

    55 Ford Gasser

    May have posted this before.
    Back in '95 when we were looking for a house, we didn't look at anything with a HOA. My wife found a house for me to look at, so I went by on my way to work. When I turned down the street, the first house was a mess, little further down there was a pick-up truck bed cap sitting in the ditch and a corner house on the next street over had a Barracuda sitting in the driveway missing a fender. I thought to myself, "I can live here."

    The house I was looking at had a 28' wide x 41' deep garage. The sellers had already moved so I was able to look in the garage windows, but I couldn't see in the house because of blinds.
    I called my wife and said "You will like the house."

    The first house on the street looks good now, the pick-up cap wasn't there long and the Barracuda is long gone. And about 6-7 years ago, I built another garage in the back yard. It is 40' wide x 28' deep, 12' ceiling, with heat and air conditioning and floored upstairs. I'm considerate of my neighbors and the garages are for my use, although I occasionally work on friends cars.

    No one complained when I started building my garage although 2 others in the neighborhood had problems with people complaining when they started building their garages. Some people are just jealous because someone has something they don't have. There was nothing they could do and the garages got built.
  28. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,144

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

  29. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,984

    from California

    a buddy of mine bought a house in a subdivision with an HOA. the house he bought had nothing behind the attached garage so be built a 60 foot deep room with 12 foot ceilings like a giant game room that just happened to be at the same level as the garage floor. after all the paperwork was done he took out the back wall in the regular garage and had a huge illegal garage. it was a great shop, then he got divorced, sold the place and bought another with no garage at all. not sure what he was thinking other than getting out of California
    stillrunners likes this.
  30. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,925

    from norcal

    A few of my friends are building rods in their garages in town with no issues, they probably respect their neighbors. But we live in a bit of a blue collar town though. I don’t make much noise in my garage after 9pm and don’t start making noise until after 7am. Got to get along when living within city limits.

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