Morgan Motorcars Joins DeLorean on the US Comeback Trail
F.A.S.T. Act targets nation’s crumbling infrastructure, opens door to new replica vehicles from low-volume manufacturers
President Obama signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act into law on December 4, 2015. The text of the FAST Act, as it’s known, is the same as many other laws in being lengthy and filled with asides – there are sections on “Milk Products” and “Collectible Coin Production.” Section 24405, however, deals with updates to the “Treatment of Low-Volume Manufacturers,” a digression we endorse because it gives consent for the return of Ye Olde Worlde British manufacturers like Morgan to the US.
The small print exempts “not more than 325 replica motor vehicles per year that are manufactured or imported by a low-volume manufacturer” from most US federal vehicle standards. That means a carbuilder that produces no more than 5,000 cars worldwide is permitted to build or import replicas of cars made at least 25 years ago, so long as they meet federal emissions standards. The text opens the door to all but the Aero 8 among Morgan’s lineup; the Plus 4, the 4/4, the Plus 8, and the Roadster—which use modern Ford Mustang engines—will be welcome to strut their hand-beaten aluminum panels down Fifth Avenue once the nitty-gritty regulatory details are taken care of.
This is the same legal language that kickstarted the return of DeLorean. It will be about a year before four-wheeled Morgans start joining the 3 Wheeler Morgans already on dealer lots, because vehicle safety watchdog the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration needs to publish the final rules on the matter. Those are expected sometime later this year, giving you plenty of time to source a tailored Barbour Tweed Sapper Jacket, an English bulldog, and a satchel full of haughty, tea-scented disdain.