ksdaddy Posted November 7, 2009 Report Share Posted November 7, 2009 The motor vehicle inspection laws in Maine are ludicrous. If they went by the book (and they do) most vehicles older than a 2007 would flunk. Always some little thing, a tiny rust hole, a slight looseness in a front end part, tires that aren't stock. etc. I've thought for years that the Maine Automobile Dealers Association lobbied to have the inspection laws tightened up. Most poor folks with a $500 car can't afford to put $500 cash into it to get it inspected but they can go to their local used car dealer and make weekly payments on an overpriced market pig with high mileage just because it will pass inspection. My daughter had a '96 Sable that I sunk serious money into this summer. New tires, battery, muffler, fixed all the rust... come inspection time I was told it needed struts, some front end work, the ABS light was on (even though the brakes worked fine) and it would take about $900 in parts, before labor. I dumped it for $400 cash and bought her a '95 Tracer for $600 that was in no better condition but it had a valid sticker and at least she can drive it until next June. My main ride is my father's '88 Blazer with 76K. I took it in for a sticker on Friday and was told it needs a little work, the most serious thing is the rear axle seals, which are oozing oil onto the brake shoes. Okay, maybe $400 or so, that's fine, I haven't put a freakin' nickel in it all year so I'm okay with that. My 'other' ride is an '82 Ford pickup that I bought in '95 for $1200. I've driven it to Hell and back and will continue to do so. In 2005 I put a newer bed on it, rebuilt the floorboards, yadda yadda, and brush painted it International Red. It looks fine across the parking lot. It refuses to die, starts no matter what.... it's just a good old truck. However, there's no way it will pass inspection. The park brake sticks and it needs a tailpipe, neither of which is deadly. The big thing is the frame. We've welded pieces onto it to keep it in one piece. That's a no-no in the eyes of the State of Maine. God forbid you actually try to fix an old car instead of buying a new one. So I registered it as an antique. The law states that an antique vehicle is exempt from an inspection sticker. An antique vehicle is described as one over 25 years old in substantially original condition with either the original engine or one similar (I had to sign a freakin' affadavit to that effect) and it can't be your PRIMARY means of transportation. There is no limit on mileage or time of year. There is a common misconception that these plates are reserved for show vehicles on their way to parades or shows. Not in the statutes! So the inevitable happened today, I got pulled over by a town cop. He pointed out my lack of inspection sticker on the windshield and I then calmly explained the law to him and produced a printed copy of the Maine state statute along with my affadavit. The whole time I was preaching, his grin kept getting a little wider. I'm not sure how well he knew the law but it was apparent to him that I knew it! By the time we got done, we were joking about my refusal to give up a much loved old POS truck. I know it will drop dead one day. I just don't see any sense in jumping ahead ten years to a '92 or '93, I wouldn't be any better off. When it dies, I will either bite the bullet and buy a used 2003 or 2004 or I will buy someone's '76 F150 in Georgia with new brakes and no rust for $2000 and board the bus South with my iPod and a transport plate. I know this has nothing to do with guitars, I just thought it was nice to be stopped by the police and actually be "in the right" for once. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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