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Old 02-01-2013, 07:34 AM
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Virginia - Antique plates vs. regular registration

I just moved to Virginia and I have a 1975 GMC pickup I need to register. In Texas I had it registered as a standard vehicle (not antique), but only drove it to work enough to make sure it was still working right. It passed inspection every year with no problem.

The truck has a GM crate 350 of the proper year, and most of the engine is near stock. The Quadrajet is from an '86 truck and I have an Edelbrock intake and a mild cam from Summit. Tires and brakes are good and all the other inspectable items work.

I went to get the truck inspected in Virginia today and ended up with more questions than I expected.
- Virginia requires the inspector to pull one wheel from each axle and inspect brakes. I have a Full Floating 14 bolt axle, so pulling the drum (which the guy usually does) is a big job. He also mentioned he would have to inspect ball joints, and that is a common failure item on trucks.
- The truck is emissions exempt, but he has to do a visual inspection. The only item missing is the tube to the heat stove and the vacuum line to the thermostatic valve in the air intake, but he implied that he might find more.

I'd like to keep regular plates on the truck because I plan to use it on weekends to pick up lumber and other items. However, antique plates would be the easiest choice for now because I would not need to get a Virginia inspection.

My question: Anyone have suggestions for a place in the Alexandria, VA area that would know how to inspect a classic truck and not go overboard on unnecessary items that are more applicable to new cars? Or should I just get antique plates for now?


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