The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association announced on Monday its latest initiative for historic motor racers. According to the organization, the SVRA Gold Medallion program "is designed to provide historic car owners with the recognition and distinction that their car is prepared to an 'as originally raced' standard that reflects the configuration of how the car would have competed when new. This program is designed primarily for vehicles produced from 1940-1980."
Over the last 30 years, various historic racing groups have established rules for preparing cars to compete in "as raced" condition. Over time, however, sanctioning bodies have approved different modifications to cars for reasons of cost, parts availability, safety, etc.. More cars, as a result, have become enhanced beyond what they were capable of in their original day of racing, making competitions unbalanced and in some cases unfair between enhanced vehicles and cars that have been kept "period correct."
Though SVRA acknowledges that the "genie cannot be put back in the bottle" on the issue, their new Gold Medallion program is designed to reward owners who seek to keep their cars in the condition as close to original as possible. According to SVRA:
"The Gold Medallion program will have the most stringent car preparation rules for Vintage racing in the U.S. Cars will go through a special certification inspection by the SVRA Technical team in order to qualify for this status. The car must have period correct interior, body, weight, rims, engine, ride height, transmission, tires and brakes. No modifications to any of these items will be allowed to qualify as a Gold Medallion vehicle. The engine displacement will also checked during this process."
A car that qualifies will receive a gold medallion log book, decal, certificate with copy of signed judging sheets, and placement in a unique class within SVRA run groups.
There is a onetime fee to cover the cost to complete the inspection and rules will apply that allow owners to bring their cars into compliance if they are found to be outside the Gold Medallion qualification.
SVRA anticipates that Gold Medallion applications will be available by May 1, 2013 and that inspection/certification appointments can be made starting at the July 11-14 Vintage Lighting Strikes Thunderbolt event at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
The organization believes that the Gold Medallion status will increase the value of a vehicle while providing closer and safer competition at events.
For more information, see the SVRA website.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Connie Ann Kirk holds a Ph.D. in English and is the author of several published books. With Irish historic racer, John R. T. Monson, M.D., she is writing a book about motor racing and racers.