Importing 25 Years Old Cars into the U.S.
The United States is a great place to call home, but there are downfalls to being an American citizen. One such issue for car enthusiasts is that some of the hottest exotic cars in world are not able to be sold in America. The main reason for this is that there are stringent requirements for vehicles to be sold or imported into the U.S. and one of those is that all cars must pass the Department of Transportation crash test. Unfortunately for car collectors and sports car enthusiasts, some of the fastest, most exciting roadsters are not built to withstand that sort of evaluation. Automakers have no desire to conform to this standard if they are able to easily sell out of limited release models overseas without compromising their bottom line.
There is, however, an exception to this rule, one that as an auto transport company, we are very familiar with. Once a vehicle is 25 years old, it is allowed to be imported into the United States with no regard for traditional compliance rules and regulations. Of course, this may seem absurd if you want to purchase a newer vehicle, but it actually comes in handy for the classic car collector. In fact, come 2018, there are a few models that will finally be able to drive on U.S. soil for the first time. The process will not cheap or easy, but for many, it will be still be well worth it. The following are three of our personal favorites that will celebrate their 25the birthday soon and will at last be allowed to join your collection here in America.
Lamborghini Diablo Strosek
Although there are already plenty of Diablos stateside, the Strosek was an extra special model modified by Vittorio Strosek who found the standard Diablo too tame for his eclectic taste and need for speed. Mr. Strosek took the 485 horsepower, 428 pound-feet of torque, and the 5.7-liter V12 engine from the basic Diablo and made the body more aerodynamic, adding an adjustable wing for even more downforce. This 1993 model will turn 25 years in 2018 and will at last be available for import into the United States... that is, if you can find one for sale first!
Alfa Romeo RZ
Quite a bit less traditional, bordering on strange, the Alfa Romeo RZ (RZ standing for Roadster Zagato) is a sight to behold. It looks more like a kid's toy car, than an ultimate driving machine. It is a two-door convertible based on the SZ coupe of the same era. The Alfa RZ is perhaps best known for their strategically placed five-speed manual rear trans-axle which gives the vehicle near-perfect balance. According to Digital Trends, “The transaxle design even moves the rear disc brakes inward on the axles to reduce unsprung weight.” Most impressive! Although, the price point on this vehicle is by far the lowest on our list, there were less than 300 made in a limited release.
By far, our favorite pick, this fire-breathing machine was based on the XJ13 prototype which was designed for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but never actually raced. The extremely limited edition release actually spanned from 1992 to 1994, so there may be some quarter century beauties available to ship to the U.S. this year, but you'll have better luck finding one manufactured in the later years. The XJ220 even while sporting some outdated technology is still considered one of the fastest cars in the world, and can do a 0-60 sprint in just 3.6 seconds and tops out right about 212 mph. Back in 1993, you could expect to pay $856,000 for the XJ220-S limited release, but now, you can get away with just $350,000, plus shipping and import charges of course. Very much justified for the classic Jaguar collector looking to add this unicorn to his collection come 2018.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.