Rodding Around
PHOTO By Ed Justice Jr.
Alex Xydias and his family celebrating his birthday

red gear icon Happy 100th to Alex Xydias

There are some birthdays that just seem to mean more to us than others. But for any of us to reach our 100th, that’s an accomplishment. This is a birthday bash worth sharing with our friends. Such was the case for Alex Xydias of SO-CAL Speed Shop fame, land speed racer, industry notable, and all around hot rodder. His list of accomplishments throughout the years is truly staggering.

Bruce Meyer hosted a “birthday party” of note on Alex’s 100th birthday (March 23) and did so by inviting an impressive list of friends and hot rodders who have made a difference over the decades. These hot rod pioneers included Ed Iskenderian, himself having celebrated his 100th birthday, Ed Pink who is 90, Don Prudhomme who is 80, and many others we recognize from the accompanying photo. It was up to Myer to serve as host and began the day’s activities with great stories of the past, including the restoration of Alex’s SO-CAL Speed Shop belly tank.

Congratulations to Alex on his 100th birthday and thank you for the so many great memories he created that fill our record books in many ways.

red gear icon Good News for Hot Rodders
Removal of a vehicle identification number (VIN) tag (plate) has always been a sketchy proposition for all of us who have restored or refurbished a hot rod’s frame. In many states it is still illegal to remove and replace the original VIN tag. While it isn’t legal in all 50 states, we are as an industry moving in the right direction.

Arizona has introduced SAN-supported legislation (HB 2480) to allow full restoration of pre-’81 vehicles, including temporary removal of the VIN when necessary. This bill changes existing law to allow for the removal and reinstallation of a VIN if the vehicle was manufactured before 1981 and if the removal and reinstallation is reasonably necessary for repair or restoration. Currently, enthusiasts who intentionally remove or alter a VIN, regardless of reason or vehicle model year, are guilty of a felony. The legislature passed the bill, and it now has been sent to Governor Doug Ducey for final approval.

It should also be noted that Kansas lawmakers passed HB 2594, “Exempting certain modifications on antique vehicles from vehicle identification number offense seizures and dispositions,” as a critical step forward in protecting the rights of restorers and owners of classic vehicles in the state.

The catalyst for the legislation came from an automotive enthusiast in Kansas who purchased his dream car in 2017—a ’59 Corvette convertible—from a dealership across state lines in Indiana. When he tried to register the car back home in Kansas, the Kansas Highway Patrol seized it as “contraband.” According to Kansas state law at the time, the Corvette must be crushed and has been sitting in a Topeka impound lot ever since, while the owner pleads his case in the state court system.

We’ve spoken to Christian Robinson, SEMA Director-State Government Affairs, about this type of legislation and he tells us it is gaining traction in other states. “There is a lot of interest around the country in this type of legislation. Just last week a lawmaker from the Midwest contacted us about introducing similar legislation in his state. We will plan to take it national in 2023 as one of our new model bills.”

Corvette being broken down and remodeled
Modern Rodding
VOLUME 3 • ISSUE 21 • 2022