I have searched the old discussion archives and really have not come up with a satisfactory answer to what cars can or cannot be imported. I have seen posts that say it is cost prohibitive but that is too vague to me. Is there anyone that has actually tried to recently import a GT5-S into the US? If anyone has facts aboutthis I would love to hear them. General statements that it is too hard/too expensive do not really provide helpful information.


Original Post
As far as I understand it. The car has to be at the level of US import standards.
It must comply with emmissions and safety.
All these items need to have a US DOT number on them.
Ford wasissed an emmissions exemption for things like air pumps, etc, but you weren't.
Many states have statutes that exempt cars 25 model years from emmissions testing.
The GT5's are too new and are not exempt.
If you go to the PI website and look at the black GT5 for sale it will state that the car is not emmissions legal in CA.
Basically that is why.
You need to talk to Kirk Evans of Amerisport, a sometime participant to this board. He knows those regs better than most.
I read an article once where Bill Gates wanted to import his Porsche 959. It took him twenty years and had a few laws changed, but he got it done.
You may check with him to see how he did it. Smiler
Sorry guys, just saw the post.

The Federal rules are.
25 years and older can be brough in EPA & DOT exempt on a Federal level. However, depending on what state it's brought to, EPA regulations may have to be met for the levels of the year the car is for state EPA. Most are exempting 25 year old cars.

Mine was shipped from Italy to New York. Total cost was $3573.00 which included all fee's and insurance. It took 2 weeks to get to New York.
Mine has no US DOT or EPA certifications on it anywhere.

I had it trucked from New York to Florida to a friends house. Picked it up there, got a temporary tag and drove it home. Registered & Titled it in California. It went through a CHP level 1 inspection. This took 20 minutes, got a release from CHP, took this and all documintation to the DMV and was issued a title and registration.

Can you tell me what year vehicle this is, when you did the importing and what company you used to import (contact info) with?


Shoot me an e-mail off the forum.
Cozland at Cox.net

Originally posted by Cloudbaseracer:
Can you tell me what year vehicle this is, when you did the importing and what company you used to import (contact info) with?
Coz knows all about importing a car better than anyone else on the board (with the possible exception of Kirk) and all the steps.

I have shipped my old '72 Pantera from NY to France, and then from France to California (to PI Motorsports, to be exact). I had the car in Europe for three years, but drove around with my US tags. So I cannot tell you what is involved in actually REGISTERING your car, but I can tell you about the process of actually physically shipping the car across the pond.

I will also say that I had heard plenty of vague "it's really expensive" and "it's really hard" comments, but heard of nobody with first hand experience who had done it. My experience with shipping the car over and back was that it was about the easiest thing I have ever done. Keep in mind that my experience stopped short of registering the car, which is a whole different ball game.

My shipping cost was much less than Coz got. My car was sent on a Ro-Ro, a Roll-on, Roll-off boat, which is basically an ocean-going car ferry. It is the method used by the car manufacturers to ship their cars across the ocean. I assume that Coz had his car containerized, so you can see why the car companies simply put them on a ferry.

I shipped my car in 1998, which admittedly is a few years ago. The actual cost for shipping was $550 in 1998, but the shipping companies won't deal with individuals and you are required to go through a broker. I located my broker via an internet search, but when looking to pass on his information a few years later I found that he had retired. The broker fees, taxes, and so forth were an additional $250. My total cost for shipping a '72 Pantera from NY to Le Havre, France was under $800, which seemed like a heck of a deal. 10 days after leaving the car in NY, I picked up the car in France.

In 2000 or 2001, I shipped the same car from Le Havre, France to Long Beach, CA. Total cost including broker fees, tax, title, and license was $1040. Total travel time was 30 days.

The customs procedure was easy. My broker had prepared the paperwork, so I went with the customs guy to look at the car, basically verify that the VIN matched the paperwork, and in less than 10 minutes I was driving in France. Amazing, considering that the French have perfected beaurocracy to standards that have rarely been seen!

I used Wallenius, which is really the biggest player in the business. I had to search to find a broker, which was relatively easy. He's no longer around, unfortunately.

I only answered part of your question... Hope it helped!
There are two areas of law often confused, Federal law which supercedes all State law and State registration requirements. First the Federal law. It has changed since Amerisport was in business. Twenty five year old, not including current year cars may be imported without any issue. All motor vehicles that are newer, must comply with DOT and EPA reqirements for year of manufacture at a minimum. So, a GT5-S made in 1989, must meet 1989 DOT and EPA pollution requirements. You would need an engine built to those standards. Do you want to pay 60k to 80k in Europe for a Cleveland equipped car, to replace the engine? And with what, a smog legal Mustang 302? Next the car would have to achieve the DOT crash and other standards or apply for a waiver from the DOT. Not fun. Last, this process must be performed by a Federally licensed importer, certified Federally to do the conversion. Also, once imported and certified it is illegal to modify the engine for example. Most importers will not take a car like a Pantera because they have NO experience in meeting the Federal standards for this car. So, any car that circumvents these procedures is illegal and may be seized on the spot. You would have to make it comply within thirty days or the car has to be re exported or crushed. There are racing and show and display waivers with limited mileage, certified owners location with the inability to modify in any way the power plant and pre-certification of any future buyer of the car and so forth. If you have an accident and it is discovered you are driving an "illegal" car that does not comply with Federal law you might have a real serious liability problem. States are not required to investigate Federal compliance and may have additional smog requirements or not and may register anything, but this has nothing to do with Federal law. A title and registration by a State does not make the car legal Federally. I heard of a state trooper stopping a GT5 or GT5S in the southwest and he noticed no Federal placards, called the car in and it was seized. I can not say if the story is true or what resulted, but the description is in conformance with Federal law. Crazy huh? If you put non DOT approved brakes on and have an accident?? California through CARB has tougher EPA requirements than the Federal rules. In California for example, smog testing for twenty five year old cars has ceased. That is the smog test law. California HAS NOT dropped the requirements for original equipment on cars. So, if you have dropped a hot engine into your car, or modified it with parts that are non CARB approved you are in violation of California law. Will you get caught? Probably not, but if you do you will be required to return the car to OEM standards for year of manufacture. Now you know all the "whys" it is difficult and expensive and at the end of the day, not done much.
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Originally posted by Deloreans and De Tomasos:
Wow Phill that was Heavy!! Or at least it sounded that way to me

The maze of Federal laws that apply to importing vehicles are plainly designed to severely restrict the activity. Guys are always trying to get around this, some with success. However, that is kind of like describing how you committed a Federal crime. You would still be guilty, caught or not. I think we have a good supply of legal cars, many vastly improved over factory spec that someone could pick from with out risking their position in life to a Federal rap. Hey, but that is just my view.
Only saw this post now and thought I'd add this: Awhile back there was an longish article ( I have tried to find it...but )..in the PI Newsletter about someone from the USA who bought a GT5 here in South Africa. He picked up a rust-free example and enjoyed a quick wildlife safari before he went back. - He would be able to give his own feedback...if someone could find the article and his name....I will look agin in my library, but Dave Adler would know....
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