The reality of importing a car to the USA

The reality of importing a car to the USA

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Discussion

RJDM3

1,441 posts

164 months

Friday 21st December 2012
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V8 GRF said:
Why is he separating the Sagaris and T350 from the Tuscan Speed Six? All three are effectively the same car for these purposes as the drive train is (to all intents and purposes) the same?

Edited by V8 GRF on Friday 21st December 09:54
Due to being badly informed by his RI??

fatbutt

1,885 posts

223 months

Saturday 22nd December 2012
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RJDM3 said:
Thats been on offer for ages and all sorted by ex tvr engineers. And not a single US potential ever bought one. All rollers was fitted with fmvss/dot compliant items, had current year mso, was registered with SAE etc etc and was designed to take LS series engines and tremec trans. But despite all the talk, all the i would buys from many many people, not one single person ever bought...
Bugger. Seriously... bugger. I got so pissed off about not having a TVR and nothing over here being in the least bit interesting, I decided to build something I wanted which has led to me converting my old rolls with an LS3. If I'd have known...

Captain Cadillac

Original Poster:

2,974 posts

146 months

Sunday 23rd December 2012
quotequote all
RJDM3 said:
V8 GRF said:
Why is he separating the Sagaris and T350 from the Tuscan Speed Six? All three are effectively the same car for these purposes as the drive train is (to all intents and purposes) the same?

Edited by V8 GRF on Friday 21st December 09:54
Due to being badly informed by his RI??
Minor differences can make a car approved by NHTSA, look at the MG TF and Skyline R34. The skyline in particular is very much on the government's radar, yet some limited edition of 500 early cars got approved for show and display somehow and two were just imported. The MG TF is ok if it's an LE but the Ultimate Edition Beetles and the final 50 minis weren't allowed.

Captain Cadillac

Original Poster:

2,974 posts

146 months

Sunday 23rd December 2012
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RJDM3 said:
PiB said:
It would seem to me it would be okay? Caterham, Ultima, Roission, Superformance, etc all use chassis that are not conforming but these are totally legal when constructed here - with a pre-build chassis (frame only). At times I've even people use the term "rollers" for partially built cars without engine transmission.
All the chassis and rollers sold by the above companies are built with applicable FMVSS items that are required for a CHASSIS/ROLLER and meet DOT/FMVSS requirements for a roller/chassis. So following the letter of the law they are COMPLETELY LEGAL in every way that the NHTSA/DOT/FMVSS advise for a chassis/roller.

A roller requires very little to be compliant, but does require certain items to be DOT certified as per the FMVSS.

Also just to address your comment on "(Frame only)", most cars are supplied complete minus engine and trans and are pretty much fully built smile
Exactly. The trick is to sell it as a kit car, and brand new as a kit car. This is how you can own a Noble here.

Had TVR done this from day one, I suspect that they would have had a rather healthy market here.

Captain Cadillac

Original Poster:

2,974 posts

146 months

Sunday 23rd December 2012
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fatbutt said:
RJDM3 said:
Thats been on offer for ages and all sorted by ex tvr engineers. And not a single US potential ever bought one. All rollers was fitted with fmvss/dot compliant items, had current year mso, was registered with SAE etc etc and was designed to take LS series engines and tremec trans. But despite all the talk, all the i would buys from many many people, not one single person ever bought...
Bugger. Seriously... bugger. I got so pissed off about not having a TVR and nothing over here being in the least bit interesting, I decided to build something I wanted which has led to me converting my old rolls with an LS3. If I'd have known...
Oh, and of one was available and could be done legally I'd buy one. I never recall seeing any marketing done for one though?

fatbutt

1,885 posts

223 months

Sunday 23rd December 2012
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Captain Cadillac said:
Oh, and of one was available and could be done legally I'd buy one. I never recall seeing any marketing done for one though?
Me neither. And someone should tell Tony at HHC in Hexham as he's been looking for a way into the US market for ages. I'm $40K into my conversion so its not an option for me anymore, well, not for a year or two.

dvs_dave

5,963 posts

184 months

Thursday 17th January 2013
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Seems like the naysayers are finally coming round to understanding that it is possible to legally import a TVR into the US. The crux of it being that it won't necessarily be a TVR on the paperwork and it won't legally be able to have a non-EPA compliant engine fitted.

Now, with regards non EPA engine compliance; are there not any loop holes that can be taken advantage of by converting it to run on LPG or some other alternative low emission fuel? EPA regs on alternative fuel vehicles seem to be a bit vague which in this instance is a good thing.

Loach1

430 posts

100 months

Thursday 17th January 2013
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Interesting idea on LPG. I have been reading about Griffith/Chimaera owners doing conversions and loving it. I believe (although I haven't researched it), that the DOT will still insist of the 25yr old rule for a vehicle, even if the EPA are cool with it. Perhaps there is an exception though?

If you we're considering a self-built TVR-esq car with an LPG engine, maybe with an LPG Speed Six, that would be interesting. I've always considered the best answer to be to use an LS engine, or if on a tight budget, the Land Rover engine.

Let us know if you find out more!

PiB

1,184 posts

229 months

Friday 25th January 2013
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Light hearted article in Car and Driver on this issue but no real new info I don't think.

http://www.caranddriver.com/columns/you-can-import...

I was getting pangs AGAIN for an old Ginetta overseas and I just want to see how I can get it California CARB approved. I think anything before 1970 should not be too difficult (the emissions devices were pretty basic) but the whole import etc to the garage is probably a massive pita.

okinchi

38 posts

102 months

Tuesday 9th July 2013
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For all 25 and older - no issue with importing.
Read this:
[Old Discussion] Importing 1978 TVR Taimar to USA

OKinChi

Captain Cadillac

Original Poster:

2,974 posts

146 months

Wednesday 4th September 2013
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FYI,

This might be worth a gander. And yes, I'd love to see the smug grin wiped off of his face, but it is reality frown

http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2013/08/28/us-custo...

Before someone else comes on here and posts about how they can get a modern TVR in without federalizing it.

Terminator

2,420 posts

243 months

Wednesday 4th September 2013
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Damn, I was going to advertise a 1973 Sagaris in Hemmings next week.... wink

dvs_dave

5,963 posts

184 months

Friday 6th September 2013
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Captain Cadillac said:
FYI,

This might be worth a gander. And yes, I'd love to see the smug grin wiped off of his face, but it is reality frown

http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2013/08/28/us-custo...

Before someone else comes on here and posts about how they can get a modern TVR in without federalizing it.
Deliberately misrepresenting and falsifying the identity of a mass produced vehicle is quite a bit different to the kit car/specially constructed vehicle rules though isn't it?

PiB

1,184 posts

229 months

Friday 6th September 2013
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The devils work that. Shocks your conscience what the Feds did there.


Captain Cadillac

Original Poster:

2,974 posts

146 months

Saturday 7th September 2013
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dvs_dave said:
Deliberately misrepresenting and falsifying the identity of a mass produced vehicle is quite a bit different to the kit car/specially constructed vehicle rules though isn't it?
Trouble is, TVR doesn't sell new kit cars. In fact, I don't believe they have ever sold a kit car, not in the modern era anyhow.

fatbutt

1,885 posts

223 months

Saturday 7th September 2013
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Captain Cadillac said:
Trouble is, TVR doesn't sell new kit cars. In fact, I don't believe they have ever sold a kit car, not in the modern era anyhow.
This is the crux of the argument that I keep hearing and I don't understand why its not sinking in. To import as a 'kit car' the supplier needs to be a kit car supplier and that needs to be provable to the EPA & customs. Simply stripping the car down and importing 'as a kit' isn't allowed under the rules.

Captain Cadillac

Original Poster:

2,974 posts

146 months

Saturday 7th September 2013
quotequote all
fatbutt said:
Captain Cadillac said:
Trouble is, TVR doesn't sell new kit cars. In fact, I don't believe they have ever sold a kit car, not in the modern era anyhow.
This is the crux of the argument that I keep hearing and I don't understand why its not sinking in. To import as a 'kit car' the supplier needs to be a kit car supplier and that needs to be provable to the EPA & customs. Simply stripping the car down and importing 'as a kit' isn't allowed under the rules.
Exactly.

What I posted is a great example of why you shouldn't illegally import a car and what can happen if you do.

On the bright side, Griffiths will be importable in 3 years and Chimaeras in 4 years.

dvs_dave

5,963 posts

184 months

Sunday 8th September 2013
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Nothing to stop you importing a roller, then putting an engine from another type approved car that you've purchased in the US and then using that vehicles title. That then falls into the kit car/specially constructed vehicle. Difficulties arise if you want to use the original Speed 6 engine.

Take your pick, something with an LS, or to keep it British, Jag have a couple of solid power trains that could be dropped in.

As an FYI all the later cars have DOT approved glass (my Tuscan does) so that's that particular difficulty handily solved. smile

fatbutt

1,885 posts

223 months

Monday 9th September 2013
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dvs_dave said:
Nothing to stop you importing a roller, then putting an engine from another type approved car that you've purchased in the US and then using that vehicles title. That then falls into the kit car/specially constructed vehicle. Difficulties arise if you want to use the original Speed 6 engine.

Take your pick, something with an LS, or to keep it British, Jag have a couple of solid power trains that could be dropped in.

As an FYI all the later cars have DOT approved glass (my Tuscan does) so that's that particular difficulty handily solved. smile
Have you done this? Is your Tuscan in the US?

dvs_dave

5,963 posts

184 months

Monday 9th September 2013
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fatbutt said:
Have you done this? Is your Tuscan in the US?
whistle
http://youtu.be/pTvcB-1dRUw