[ROVERNET - UK] Rover SD1 legal issues

Glen Wilson glenwilson at cavtel.net
Mon Apr 17 20:41:51 BST 2006

On Mon, 2006-04-17 at 10:02 -0700, Geoff Kirkpatrick wrote:
> I think I saw this car on Craigslist.  Looks like a US car, would have had
> EFI originally.  Make sure you know what Oklahoma laws have to say about
> emissions equipment.  California and I think at least some other states
> require all the original emissions equipment, including original carbs or
> EFI, to be in place on a car of this vintage.  Regardless of the actual
> emissions out the tailpipe, if it's had any changes to the fuel system,
> cats removed, air pumps removed, etc., it cannot be registered and could
> conceivably be impounded.  If this is the Craigslist car, it looked nice
> in the photos but would have been impossible to register here in
> California.
> Geoff Kirkpatrick

My experiences in Pennsylvania (not the most progressive state around)
were similar to Geoff's comments. The state inspection procedures ask
whether or not all Federally mandated emissions control equipment is
still in place, since it is technically a violation of Federal law to
remove it. The person inspecting the car can either look the other way
or refuse to pass the car. In PA, that means they still charge you for
the inspection. Most places will not pass a car like this because they
face fines and loss of inspection license, which is a big deal to a
local service station. 

Also, in PA, the SD1 is required to pass two emissions tests. The idle
test is no big deal, but the test on the dynamometer will get you. My
guy fudged this test, somehow, and I had to readjust the carb to drive
the car home.

The problem is compounded by the fact that there is no manufacturer
named "Rover" on the state computer that the inspection equipment is
networked with to. I don't think there were any "Land Rover" vehicles
being sold in the USA in 1980, either. 

Catch 22...

My SD1 had an Edelbrock carb, no cats and nothing much else of the
emissions equipment. Somehow, he was able to put it in as "other" and
told the state computer it had a small block Chevy engine of some sort.
Then he looked the other way and passed it, but it's no fun to go
through that every year. This is all for a normal registration for daily
use. In PA, there is another classification called "special interest
car" or something like that which has less stringent inspection
requirements, but it can't legally be used as a daily driver. Then there
is "antique" which is anything over 25 years old (like an SD1, now)
which has no inspection requirements but also cannot be used as a daily

I suppose it is still technically illegal to operate any SD1 in the USA
which has the EFI and catalytic convertors removed, but the EPA might
have to send federal marshalls after you to enforce the law!

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