By Cam Fortems
When Andy Cordonier purchased his uncle’s 1957 International pickup and brought it home to Kamloops from California, he was taking a chance.
Cordonier was confident of his restoration skills, but the whole time he poured money and time into the pickup, it wasn’t registered in his name and its ownership status was unclear.
An announcement on Friday, March 20, by Transportation Minister Todd Stone clears the way for enthusiasts in the future to be able to immediately register vehicles purchased outside B.C. — even if they don’t run.
The move was made at the behest of the Specialty Vehicle Association of B.C., which is pushing for changes to make the hobby easier.
Stone said prior to the change, those wanting to register collector vehicles had to ensure they were running and could pass a road test. That meant owners had to substantially complete restoration before they could register their vehicle.
Cordonier said for those who purchase a vehicle from outside of B.C., the ownership status was held in limbo as they spent thousands of dollars on restoration.
“I couldn’t get it legally registered until it was restored and I needed an inspection,” he said. “You don’t want to spend $25,000 or $30,000 and find out you don’t own it.”
Stone was accompanied at the announcement at Riverside Park by local enthusiasts who brought their vintage cars to the park.
Beginning on April 9, those buying vehicles from out of province that require restoration will be able to register them immediately. To be eligible, the vehicle must be at least 25 years old and be substantially intact, with more than half the vehicle in an assembled state.
Stone said his ministry and ICBC are looking at two more requests: Changing the modified collector-vehicle rules from the 1958- to 1974-model years, as well as the way replica cars are registered.
“That [changing modified collector year] will capture all the muscle car-era vehicles that are currently popular and more British Columbians are collecting them,” he said.
Stone said the province is also looking at allowing replica vehicles to be registered as the actual model year — a 1932 Ford replica, for example, would be registered as such, rather than as a 2015 U-Built if it was manufactured and registered this year.