Normally I'm not a fan of writing stories about online petitions to the White House. They're often as frivolous as the petitions themselves and rarely go anywhere. But a new one has popped up that I just can't pass on, and I think maybe the Jalopnik community could make an impact here.
As it currently stands in the U.S., it is generally not legal to import a car from another country unless that car is more than 25 years old. There are a few exceptions to this, like the show and display rule, but generally this law has kept a lot of great machines out of the hands of American enthusiasts.
The stated reasons for this are to keep cars not certified by U.S. safety standards and emissions laws off our roads, but it's really to protect the interests of automakers who don't want you buying the cars they sell abroad when you can buy the cars they have in U.S. showrooms instead.
We don't agree with this because if you have the means, you should be allowed to drive an R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R, an Audi RS2 Avant or a BMW M5 wagon. That's what this new White House petition from our friends at Petrolicious is all about.
I am pushing for a change in the law from the twenty-five year limit to fifteen. Meaning that right now, the newest car you could import would be a 1999 instead of a 1989. I realize the number of people who truly care about this is minimal, but if we generate enough buzz it should be possible. Many people may never personally import a car, but at least they would have the ability to do it. The worst that could happen would be that a few handfuls of car nuts would be driving around in some weird cars from the '90s. And that would be a beautiful thing.
I think a change from 25 years to 15 years is perfectly reasonable, don't you?
People have tried this before, and it's never led to changes in the law. But it's worth a shot. If it gets more than 100,000 signatures within 30 days, the White House is required to respond to it.
Will that lead to change we can believe in overnight? Probably not, but it's a start, and it may even lead to the conversation changing a little bit. It's better than doing nothing at all.
Click here to sign the petition. It's only got 98,465 signatures to go as of this writing. I bet we can knock that out in a week.