There’s a rumor going around that California law-makers will consider banning engine swaps partly because of press from Kevin Hart’s crash and that’s far from the truth.

Earlier this month actor Kevin Hart got into a gnarly crash riding as a passenger in his Hellcat-swapped Plymouth Barracuda. With reports from TMZ and other news outlets that new laws would be put into place to protect classic car owners, rumors also started flying around that California lawmakers, with the CHP, would also start looking into banning engine swaps, too.

Embed from Getty Images

That’s not true. First, here’s the TMZ article, linked here with their quotes from California lawmakers and local police.

” Our law enforcement sources say … the end result may be a recommendation by the CHP to the state legislature to require that car companies that customize and restore classic cars must install safety harnesses, even if it deviates from the original vehicle. In Kevin’s case, the Barracuda is a 1970, when harnesses were not required. “

”  We’re told Kevin’s crash, along with other similar crashes involving classic cars, may mean in the future … every one of these cars must be outfitted with a harness that could prevent major injury and death.”

Kevin Hart’s car, a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, had a 707 HP swap from a Dodge Challenger/Charger Hellcat. With all that power, I’m sure whoever built this classic car up outfitted this car with the right brakes, too.

What Hart’s Barracuda restorer, like so many other restorers do, is keep safety period-correct. For 1970, as mentioned in TMZ’s article, that means lap belts only.

Kevin Hart suffered major back injuries he’s just now getting over.

CHP and others contend that if proper aftermarket harness belts were installed, it reduces the likelihood of a more serious crash.

That’s why the CHP will spend several weeks investigating the crash, noting areas of weaknesses to use as evidence that modern safety should be part of classic car restoration.

That’s the issue at hand, proper safety restraints in classic car restoration.

So, no, California lawmakers don’t give a care, up to a certain extent, what kind of engine swap you’re planning under the hood of your classic car.

Lawmakers are getting concerned for your wellbeing and safety knowing that older classic car owners are more vulnerable to injury and death with decades old safety tech protecting them.

More safety and demanding it is always a good thing.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here