Collector program expanding to ‘muscle cars’

Collector plates will be available next year for modified as well as stock cars made between 1958 and 1974

The B.C. government is expanding its collector vehicle licence system to include eligible modified cars made between 1958 and 1974, to capture the popular “muscle car” era of the 1960s.

The ICBC collector plate program gives car enthusiasts a lower-cost licence plate that allows occasional use for parades and classic car shows. ICBC plans to take applications starting in 2017 for eligible modified vehicles up to 1974, and replica cars resembling North American production cars from 1942 and earlier.

With strict rules that the cars must be in “collectible condition,” changes will take in modified popular cars from the Dodge Duster to the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang, as well as replicas of the popular Ford “deuce coupe” from the 1930s.

Premier Christy Clark announced a break for older cars this spring, allowing vehicles from 1940 or earlier and their replicas to run without fenders or mud flaps when the highway is dry and paved.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone said the collector car industry is significant for B.C., with registered collector vehicles having doubled to 26,000 in the past 10 years.

“We want to see this specialty vehicle program remain viable, preserve vehicle history and evolve with the times,” Stone said. “That’s why we are opening up the opportunity to owners of specialty cars within the ‘muscle car’ era.”

Currently, the standard collector plate is available to cars 25 years or older, as well as discontinued or limited production vehicles 15 years or older. It requires a stock engine with no performance enhancements, no rust, dents or “significant wear and tear” of the interior.

Modified vehicles from 1958 or older are currently eligible for collector plates, if they retain the shell of the original body but have parts replaced or modified in the chassis, engine, suspension, steering or brakes.

Owners have to apply for a collector or modified collector plate, with purchase and parts bills, photos and inspection reports.

Applications for collector and modified collector programs are available on ICBC’s website, www.icbc.com, and can be dropped off at Autoplan brokers.