Work in political committees
The VDA recognized very early that it is essential to have direct contact with the political legislative for the politically marginal subject of classic cars. The “Parliamentary Group for Automotive Heritage” was formed in Germany in 2009. This group meets at least twice a year to discuss current political topics. The establishment of this interface to the German Parliament helps the mutual exchange of information, brings together as many interest groups as possible and performs a type of earlywarning function.
This group came up with the idea that automotive heritage should be registered as UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. Classic car groups in the Netherlands are planning a similar move together with the national UNESCO Commission. InFrance, the Ministry of Culture has submitted an application to UNESCO entitled “Carrosserie Française” to register vehicle bodies manufactured from 1920 to 1970 as intangible cultural world heritage. In Italy, the Italian automobile association ASI has a project entitled “Turin: World capital of classic cars and design.” In this respect, UNESCO recognized the city of Turin as a “Creative City” in the design category on December 1, 2014. The Parliamentary Group for Automotive Heritage working party believes that its application to register the conventional automobile as intangible world heritage against a backdrop of a possible paradigm shift in automotive engineering, in other words the move towards electric mobility and networking, is well founded. All these initiatives would help to create a broad basis for regarding classic cars as heritage among the general public.
Another working party is looking at the subject of modern-era classic cars. This term has been adopted in recent times for older vehicles that are regarded as classics but have not reached the minimum age of 30 to actually become a classic car. The working party discusses proposals for an age definition and possible protection through legislation. The aim is to ensure that as many different models as possible reach the minimum age of 30 since automotive heritage should be maintained on a wide basis.
In a similar move to what is happening in Germany, the EU also has an interest group of parliamentarians and representatives from the classic car movements. This European Parliament Historic Vehicle Group (EP-HVG) was reconstituted after the parliamentary elections. In the new legislature period it plans to redouble its efforts to work with the Commission for Education and Culture. Here, too, the aim is to achieve recognition of classic cars as automotive heritage.
In October 2014, FIVA (Fédération Internationale de Véhicules Anciens) was given an opportunity to present the results of their classic car study in a public event with parliament to the members of the EP-HVG. The leader of the EP-HVG confirmed that the results of this Europe-wide survey could provide additional backing to these topics.
One result of the group’s activities has been the adoption of a standard definition of classic cars in relation to the new version of the Vehicle Testing Regulation in Germany. The formulation, which is essentially identical to the German definition, was adopted unchanged in the final text of the regulation. The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure confirmed that there will be no changes from the current situation for classic cars, either for the main testing processes or for the special test under § 23 of the Road Traffic Licensing Regulation for vehicles with an H registration plate.