Thinking about buying a replica car like the ones sold by Factory Five and others?

That used to mean purchasing a replica car kit, putting it all together, and then procuring and installing your own powertrain. But a new federal law will make it possible to buy a complete turn-key replica car from your favorite replica car company. The law, which was part of a broader bill funding highway construction, will allow low-volume manufacturers to sell up to 325 turn-key replica vehicles a year in the United States.

shelby cobra kit car, silver

Under the law, replica vehicles will be treated the same as kit cars so they won’t be subject to current-model vehicle standards for things like side impact and roof crush. A replica is defined as a vehicle that resembles the body of another vehicle produced at least 25 years ago. Popular replicas such as the 1965 Cobra and 1932 Ford Roadster are safely covered under this new law.

So what’s the catch?

The vehicle must include a current model-year engine package certified by the EPA or CARB and meet certain current equipment standards (lighting, tires, etc.).

The law should take effect by early 2017.

Author: David Fuller

David Fuller is OnAllCylinders' managing editor. During his 20-year career in the auto industry, he has covered a variety of races, shows, and industry events and has authored articles for multiple magazines. He has also partnered with mainstream and trade publications on a wide range of editorial projects. In 2012, he helped establish OnAllCylinders, where he enjoys covering all facets of hot rodding and racing.