importing a Cerbera to the USA - Sept/Oct 2022

importing a Cerbera to the USA - Sept/Oct 2022

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goo-goo-gjoob

Original Poster:

783 posts

237 months

Saturday 13th August
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About 23 years ago, back when I was a kid in high school, I became completely enamored by the TVR Cerbera. I found it playing Gran Turismo 2 on the original PlayStation and after looking it up online I spent countless hours watching car reviews about it and reading articles and reading the forums. It’s what really started my craziness over sports cars. When I was a freshman in high school, my bedroom wall was covered in posters of it that I had printed out from online. I drew doodles of it on my math notes in Algebra class. But I could never buy one since they were not made for the USA market and don’t meet our regulations. So, I ended up buying other cars that were very similar, competitors even, but never my favorite one, the one I really wanted…

Well, at long last, due to the “25 year rule”, which allows foreign cars to be imported after they’re 25 years old, I am crazy excited (and still not quite able to believe that it has been this long) because I purchased a 1997 TVR Cerbera!!!!!! I now own a TVR!

Actually, I bought the car waaaaaaay back in December 2021, but the car had not quite hit its 25 year birthday yet, so it has been sitting in safe keeping at the dealership in the UK since then. I wanted to get that particular one, even though I would have to wait for almost a year to import it, because it has had services to all the major components and seemed in good shape, and there are only a few of the year or two that are eligible for import, so decided to jump on it rather than wait for a different car to show up for sale. The car is now currently with Dom, at TVR Power, getting a list of things done to make sure it’s ready to come to the USA, since we don’t have TVR specialists here.

From what I have seen and read online, to the best of my knowledge this will be the third or fourth Cerbera imported into the USA.

The car is probably going to get here in early October!


porterpainter

373 posts

19 months

Saturday 13th August
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Looks like a beautiful example. I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait smile

Granturadriver

413 posts

243 months

Sunday 14th August
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Looks great, fabulous color, congratulations!

The car has been updated to the later spec with the Tuscan style front lights and the 18‘ Spider wheels?!

Is it a V8 or a Speed Six engine?

MikeE

1,739 posts

266 months

Monday 15th August
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Granturadriver said:
Looks great, fabulous color, congratulations!

The car has been updated to the later spec with the Tuscan style front lights and the 18‘ Spider wheels?!

Is it a V8 or a Speed Six engine?
It's a 1997 so must be a V8



goo-goo-gjoob

Original Poster:

783 posts

237 months

Tuesday 16th August
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Granturadriver said:
Looks great, fabulous color, congratulations!

The car has been updated to the later spec with the Tuscan style front lights and the 18‘ Spider wheels?!

Is it a V8 or a Speed Six engine?
Yes, it has been updated to the later style front end and the spider wheels. I think the wheels look great with the revised front end, but I also really like the original thicker-spoke wheels with the large single headlights. I wasn't too picky with options, though. I was most concerned with finding a car that was mechanically taken care of.

The color might look silver, but it's actually more of a greenish silver; like 60% green, 40% silver. I have not seen the car in person yet, haha, but in the photos in natural light it looks a lot more greenish.

It has the 4.2L V8.

Big g

87 posts

240 months

Tuesday 16th August
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Looks a lovely car , hope the shipping goes well .

I have a Chimaera and a Griffith here in CT and plan adding a Cerbera soon although I got a bit distracted ordering an Emira.

I had a Cerb back in the UK for several years they area stunning car and still my favorite - would love to see more pictures when it arrives.

Enjoy!

QuiteQuietCerb

978 posts

205 months

Sunday 11th September
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Your story is almost identical to the guy that’s buying my car. He’s been waiting for years to import. Only difference is that mine is a 98 4.5 so I am keeping the car for him and will ship next April. He may reach out to you for advice on shipping

Panamax

1,683 posts

16 months

Sunday 11th September
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The car being more than 25 years old you will be able to import it BUT will you actually be able to register it for use on the road?

This may vary from State to State.

QuiteQuietCerb

978 posts

205 months

Monday 12th September
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I am not sure but I believe he will, it’s going to VA

FourFiveCerb

1 posts

1 month

Monday 12th September
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Panamax said:
The car being more than 25 years old you will be able to import it BUT will you actually be able to register it for use on the road?

This may vary from State to State.
Hey! I sent you a PM

On the topic of registration, in VA we have a few different options for registering antique and classic vehicles. It'll be fine registering it! :-D

goo-goo-gjoob

Original Poster:

783 posts

237 months

Saturday 17th September
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Panamax said:
The car being more than 25 years old you will be able to import it BUT will you actually be able to register it for use on the road?

This may vary from State to State.
Good point. Yes, importing a car and registering it are two totally separate things. Safety and/or emissions testing requirements do vary from state to state, so yes, people importing the cars need to be sure they can get them registered by checking the rules for their regularly required inspections per that state's Department of Public Safety.

One important thing to note is that these TVRs don't have OBDII system, so if inspection places are required to hook that up to their computer then you will have an issue (and this is a common way of performing the emissions test, basically making sure all systems are functioning).

In Texas, as long as it passes emissions test and safety inspection then it's good to be registered.
But here's the thing...because these cars are 25 years old (they have to be in order to even import) they are old enough that they are exempt from emissions testing. So, you could say that they will pass the emissions test by being exempt from the emissions test. So, there you go.

I have already looked into it in detail and I believe I will be good to go.

Edited by goo-goo-gjoob on Saturday 17th September 01:21

SIXSIXES

29 posts

17 months

Saturday 17th September
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Federal laws allow the cars in at 25 years old, state laws are a different kettle of fish and vary wildly. Bizarrely California, arguably the car Mecca of the U.S, has some of the most restrictive emissions laws in the country which make registering classic cars very difficult. They are currently working on state laws to raise the difficulty bar even higher.

If you are determined however, there’s always a way.



Edited by SIXSIXES on Saturday 17th September 10:18

GTRene

13,646 posts

206 months

Saturday 17th September
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I just read on bring a trailer, that shipping cost are well, high...
a few years ago I remember seeing prices of around 1.500,- today I read there prices are 5.000,- and higher?

dalecan

301 posts

233 months

Saturday 17th September
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I imported a Chimera to WA state at the start of this year. I had no issues whatsoever, with importation or registration.

The shipping cost from Southampton was around 1000 pounds (just under if I remember correctly). Your car will be loved when you get it imported!


SIXSIXES

29 posts

17 months

Saturday 17th September
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Prices have gone up.

Panamax

1,683 posts

16 months

Sunday 18th September
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FourFiveCerb said:
Hey! I sent you a PM
Nothing received here...

goo-goo-gjoob

Original Poster:

783 posts

237 months

Friday 23rd September
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Good news and bad news...The car just turned 25! Today was it's birthday. And the shop just finished the maintenance on it! Now I'm awaiting final word from the dealership for when it will be ready to go! But a very unfortunate issue has just popped up. The ports are overloaded with roll-on-roll-off (RORO) cars and they just announced they are not taking any bookings until further notice! So, I can't even schedule the car to get onto a ship. Right now I'm awaiting some quotes for container shipping, which is still an option, just one I wasn't planning to do. This means the car might go to a different port and then be transported via truck straight to my place, instead of me picking it up at the port. The cost for this will be higher than RORO, so I'm not even 100% sure if this is going to happen. We will see what happens after I get the quotes...

porterpainter

373 posts

19 months

Friday 23rd September
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goo-goo-gjoob said:
Good news and bad news...The car just turned 25! Today was it's birthday. And the shop just finished the maintenance on it! Now I'm awaiting final word from the dealership for when it will be ready to go! But a very unfortunate issue has just popped up. The ports are overloaded with roll-on-roll-off (RORO) cars and they just announced they are not taking any bookings until further notice! So, I can't even schedule the car to get onto a ship. Right now I'm awaiting some quotes for container shipping, which is still an option, just one I wasn't planning to do. This means the car might go to a different port and then be transported via truck straight to my place, instead of me picking it up at the port. The cost for this will be higher than RORO, so I'm not even 100% sure if this is going to happen. We will see what happens after I get the quotes...
There are some dockworkers striking in the UK at the moment unfortunately, so that has probably put a squeeze on capacity.

I would suggest waiting a few weeks and you may find RORO services are available again.

goo-goo-gjoob

Original Poster:

783 posts

237 months

Just a quick update...After going through a few shipping options including different ports and shared container vs dedicated container, plus some ports would have to truck the car all the way to my house vs me going to the port, etc, and the fact that RORO is not an option right now...I am now planning to go with a 20 ft dedicated container to Houston, TX. Now, I am just waiting for the dealership to pick up the car from the shop and for the dealership to do their final check and report that it's all good and ready to go! So, I'm still waiting in limbo, but it's almost ready to go...

goo-goo-gjoob

Original Poster:

783 posts

237 months

Just FYI, for those of you asking about shipping cost...

Depending on if you use a 40 ft shared container or a 20 ft dedicated container, and depending on which port you go into, shipping costs vary from GBP4,500 - 5,900. I was looking at the gulf coast and the east coast, but depending on what port and how close you live, you might have to add truck transport cost, and with fuel prices right now, that's anywhere from USD2,400 to 3,000 for a half-way across the USA trip. It is actually cheaper for me to do the dedicated container all the way to the port nearest me, rather than a shared container to a farther away port.

All I can say is that the price/value of the small number of late-model TVRs in the USA just went up, that's for sure.