Collector Classics: The Fenderless Steering Committee

first_img Lawbreakers Keith Biddlecombe, Jim Winter, Rick Ross and Ivan Moldowan recently got together over lunch, joined by fellow miscreant Dan London.They talked about flying in the face of the British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act for years. Their crime? Driving hot rods without fenders.True hot rods don’t have fenders, they all agreed over sandwiches and sodas. These are not kids flaunting the law while driving their hot rods. Ivan is an 80-year-old retired stockbroker. Rick is a sprightly 77. They don’t take breaking the rules lightly.But this lunch had a celebratory tone about it, as they were celebrating a victory of sorts in a five-year battle. They got the rules changed.For as long as they have been driving hot rods — for Ivan that goes back more than 60 years — it has been illegal in B.C. to drive a car without fenders.Ivan was a 16-year-old Vancouver high schooler when he customized a 1935 Chevy three-window coupe by removing all the fenders and splitting the manifold for dual exhausts to run through motorcycle mufflers.He knew it was illegal to drive without fenders but there were all those hot rods in California featured in custom car books of the day that looked mean and tough with nothing shielding the wheels.Hot rodding got its start in the Forties with young guys in Southern California stripping down coupes and roadsters to lessen their weight, hopping up the engines and racing them on the dry lakes east of Los Angeles — fenderless.The fad spread up the coast like wildfire and enthusiasts in British Columbia bought old cars, formed clubs and, well, took the fenders off their customized cars.A teenaged Rick Ross chopped and channeled a Ford Model A coupe and removed the fenders, but never got the car on the road. Another 60 years would go by before he finished his 1926 Ford Model T coupe hot rod with speed equipment from the 1950’s and began driving it fenderless this year. He too was flaunting the law. Veteran car appraiser Jim Winter has been driving his Model T roadster hot rod fenderless for almost half-a-century.But it bothered him that it was technically against the law. So he started circulating a petition in the hot rod community to have the law changed.Then B.C. Hot Rod Association president Art Brumpton took it to the club membership and they got behind the movement. So did the Specialty Vehicle Association of B.C.Veteran custom car and hot rod enthusiast Dan London brought the five proponents together to form the Fenderless Steering Committee.Art Brumpton took a video of an open-wheel hot rod roadster driving down Interstate 5 in Washington State showing rain spray was thrown straight up by the tires and did not represent a road hazard. The video went viral. Representatives of the B.C. Transportation Ministry Commercial Vehicle Inspection Enforcement team attended a B.C. Hot Rod Association meeting to hear firsthand why the rules should be changed.Tension was mounting as concerns were expressed that hot rodders from all over North America would be driving open wheel hot rods to Victoria for the Northwest Deuce Days event in mid-July which attracted 1,100 cars. They could be ticketed for fenderless infractions.The Fenderless Steering Committee steadfastly addressed areas of safety, licensing and liability by meeting with the authorities.The B.C. Association of Police Chiefs had no objection to a rule change. Meetings with the Insurance Corporation of B.C., which runs the Collector Licensing Program, were crucial because no fenderless cars qualified for collector insurance status.Government ministers Naomi Yamamoto and Peter Fassbender came onside as support grew for a change in the regulations.On July 1st, Premier Christy Clark announced that qualified vehicles 1940 or older would be permitted to operate on dry paved roads without mudguards, mud flaps or fenders.For the first time in their hot rodding history, Moldowan, Ross, Biddlecombe and Winter can drive their fenderless hot rods without the fear of being branded scofflaws.Dan London lifted a glass to the memory of long-time hot rodder Bill Townsend, who helped start the ball rolling that led to this victory.“It feels good,” current BC Hot Rod Association president Keith Biddlecombe said as the Fenderless Steering Committee lunch ended. “It was the right thing to do.”Footnote: Last week, at the request of the Specialty Vehicle Association of B.C., Transportation Minister Todd Stone expanded the ICBC collector modified license and insurance program from vehicles 1958 and earlier to allow owners of vehicles built in 1974 and prior to apply for modified vehicle status.This takes in the muscle car era. In addition, the program will be expanded to include replica (non-original) vehicles resembling North American production built in the 1942 model year or earlier. Owners will be able to register these vehicles as they look such as a 1937 Ford instead of a 2014 Ubult.ICBC will be accepting application in early 2017, allowing pre-approved vehicle owners to obtain their modified collector plates next summer. Trending in Canada Trending Videos COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS See More Videos Buy It! Princess Diana’s humble little 1981 Ford Escort is up for auction An engagement gift from Prince Charles, the car is being sold by a Princess Di “superfan” Alyn Edwards is a classic car enthusiast and partner in Peak Communicators, a Vancouver-based public relations company. [email protected] RELATED TAGSVintage / ClassicClassic CarsClassic Cars & TrucksNew VehiclesVancouverVintage & CollectibleAlyn EdwardsB.C. Association of Police ChiefsB.C. Hot Rod AssociationBC Hot Rod AssociationBill TownsendBritish ColumbiaCaliforniaChristy ClarkDan LondonFenderless Steering CommitteeFord Model AFord Model TFord Motor CompanyInsurance CorporationIvan MoldowanKeith BiddlecombeLos AngelesNaomi YamamotoNorth AmericaPeter FassbenderRick RossSouthern CaliforniaSpecialty Vehicle Association of B.C.Todd StoneUnited StatesVancouverWashington State University Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Hot rodders Jim Winter, Ivan Moldowan, Dan London, Rick Ross and Keith Biddlecombe formed the Fenderless Steering Committee.Alyn Edwards, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Rick Ross put his fenderless 1950’s-style Model T coupe hot rod on the road for the first time this year.Alyn Edwards, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Keith Biddlecombe drives his multi-award winning deuce roadster fenderless — and legally now.Alyn Edwards, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Ivan Moldowan with his fenderless 1932 Ford roadster.Alyn Edwards, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2A youthful Ivan Moldowan with his award-winning customized 1950 Monarch back in the day.Submitted, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Hot rodders Jim Winter, Ivan Moldowan, Rick Ross, Keith Biddlecombe and Dan London formed the Fenderless Steering Committee.Alyn Edwards, Driving We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. advertisement PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? 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