Saturday, November 24, 2012

2008 Fiat 500 Abarth - Not Approved

2008 Fiat 500 Abarth

There is a lot written about the Fiat 500 on Wikipedia. It seems that every month, Fiat comes out with some new or special version of this little car( counted about 29 different special versions since it was released). The car has been sold since 2007, over 1 million have been sold. The car has been produced for the US market since December 2010, so its really not that important that it wasn't approved for Show or Display.  The car isn't technologically significant, and was made in numbers much greater than 500 cars.

The 500 Abarth is a performance model of Fiat 500. The 1.4 L engine with IHI RHF3-P turbocharger is rated at 135 PS (99 kW; 133 hp) at 5500 rpm and 180 N·m (130 lb·ft) (206 N·m (152 lb·ft) in sport mode) torque at 3000 rpm. It includes a five-speed C510 transmission, low ride suspension, dualdrive electric power steering with SPORT setting, 6.5 x 16” aluminium alloy rim with 195/45 R16 tyres, four-wheel disc brakes (front ventilated). Interior includes turbo pressure gauge, gear shift Indicator, aluminum foot pedals, Blue&Me MAP with Telemetry monitoring and GPS system. The car costs GB£13,600 in the UK.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

1981 Trabant 601-S - Not Approved

 1981 Trabant 601-S was not originally approved for Show or Display.  The Trabant 601 was essentially the same car from 1963-1991, so picking a single year of a very common car is not enough to meet Show or Display requirements. However it is now over 25 years old and NHTSA/DOT exempt, and over 21 years old so its EPA exempt. So if you have to have a Trabant 601-S, then you can import one to the US.

Trabant 601 S. (Sonderwunsch - Special Edition) With optional equipment like fog lamps, rear white light and an odometer.

The Trabant /trəˈbɑːnt/ is a car that was produced by former East German auto maker VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau in Zwickau, Sachsen. It was the most common vehicle inEast Germany, and was also exported to countries both inside and outside the communist bloc. The main selling points were that it had room for four adults and luggage in a compact, light and durable shell; it was fast (when introduced); and it was durable.

With its mediocre performance, outdated and inefficient two-stroke engine (which returned poor fuel economy for the car's size and produced heavy exhaust), and production shortages, the Trabant is often cited as an example of the disadvantages of centralized planning; on the other hand, it is regarded with derisive affection as a symbol of the failed former East Germany and of the fall of communism (in former West Germany, as many East Germans streamed into West Berlin and West Germany in their Trabants after the opening of the Berlin Wall in 1989). It was in production without any significant changes for nearly 30 years with 3,096,099 Trabants produced in total.[3] In 2008, Time magazine rated the Trabant as one of the 50 worst cars ever made.[4]

 The updated P601 was introduced in 1964. This car was essentially a facelift of the P60, with a different front fascia, bonnet, roof, and rear, whilst retaining the original P50 underpinnings. This model stayed practically unchanged up to its production end, with the most major changes being 12v electrics, coil springs for the rear, and a different dash for the latest models.

Source: Wikipedia 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

1984 Audi Sport Quattro - Approved

1984 Audi Sport Quattro
The 1984 Audi Sport Quattro was approved for Show or Display importation, however now the car is over 25 years old and legal to import. Over 21 years old and EPA exempt in its original configuration.

Interesting looking car. Looks like someone took about 2 feet(actually 12.6 inches) of car out of the middle. Purposeful would be the word that would be best to describe the car.  It was a homologation car for Group B rallying. 2.1 liter, turbo, 300 horsepower in the street car, more than 450 in the race car, all wheel drive, carbon-kevlar body components.  224 cars were made, so under the 500 mark for Show or Display.  This is the kind of car that makes sense for Show or Display, however now its old enough to be imported under Box 1 of the HS7.
Audi Sport Quattro

The Audi Sport Quattro S1 was a Quattro programme car developed for homologation for Group B rallying in 1984, and sold as a production car in limited numbers.[1] It featured an all aluminium alloy 2,133 cc (130.2 cu in) (2.1 L) 20v DOHC engine slightly smaller than that of the Audi Quattro (in order to qualify for the 3-litre engine class after the scale factor applied to turbo engines). In road-going form, the engine was capable of producing 225 kW(306 PS; 302 bhp),[1] with the competition cars initially producing around 331 kW (450 PS; 444 bhp).[1]
The vehicle also featured a body shell composed of carbon-kevlar[1] and boasting wider arches, wider wheels (nine inches as compared to the Ur-Quattro's optional 8-inch-wide (200 mm) wheel rim), the steeper windscreen rake of the Audi 80 (requested by the Audi Sport rally team drivers to reduce internal reflections from the dashboard for improved visibility) and, most noticeably, a 320 mm (12.6 in) shorter wheelbase.
In addition to Group B competition in rallying, the Sport Quattro won the 1985 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with Michèle Mouton in the driving seat, setting a record time in the process.[11] 224 cars of this "short version" Sport Quattro were built, and were offered for sale at a heady price of 203,850 German Marks.[1]
Source: Wikipedia

Sunday, November 11, 2012

1987-1988 Porsche 959 - Approved

1987-1988 Porsche 959
The Porsche 959 is Show or Display. It is the reason that this exemption exists in the first place. Back in 1999, when I was working at MotoRex, we spoke with people at the NHTSA about the rule, and heard a bit of insight into what would eventually become Show or Display.

After the rule went into effect, I actually had the chance to check out several Porsche 959's at G &K Automotive Conversion/CEE Lab's in Santa Ana, CA.

I can't say that I am a huge Porsche 911 fan, I have driven a lot of them over the years, and probably some of the fastest cars I have ever driven were modified Porsches. They always felt a little strange. The left hand key, the shifter location and throw. The pedals coming up out of the floor. There is something about them that just doesn't seem to fit me. The run of the mill 911 appeals to me about as much as a beige Toyota Camry. The 959 is a special car. The 959 is a very special car. There are so many very cool, very advanced items on the car, it really goes above and beyond the technologically significant part of Show or Display. 337 total cars were made.

Porsche 959 turbocharger and intercooler

"The powerplant, a twin-turbocharged six-cylinder boxer engine with an air-cooled block and water-cooled heads, displaced 2.85 liters, about half a liter less than a contemporary 911 engine. It was coupled to a unique manual gearbox offering 5 forward speeds plus a "G" off-road gear, as well as reverse. The motor had originally been developed for the "Moby Dick" race car and then been redeveloped slightly for the short-lived Porsche Indy Car and several other projects before being "tweaked" a last time for use in the 961, the 959's racing counterpart.

Water cooled heads on Porsche 959

The water-cooled cylinder heads combined with the air-cooled block, 4-valve heads and sequential turbochargers allowed Porsche to extract 331 kW (444 hp) from the compact, efficient and rugged power unit.[4] The use of sequential twin turbochargers rather than the more usual identical turbochargers for each of the two cylinder banks allowed for smooth seamless delivery of power across the engine RPM band, in contrast to the abrupt on-off power characteristic that distinguished Porsche's other turbocharged engines of the period. The engine was used, virtually unchanged, in the 959 road car as well."

The turbocharger/engine setup was very unique. Parallel sequential turbocharging. Below 4,000 rpms all the exhaust gases were fed to a single turbo, between 4000 and 4200 rpms the second turbo started to be brought into the mix. Above 4200 rpms, the turbos operated in parallel to provide up to 0.9 bar of boost. Fairly complicated, but they got the results they wanted with 1980's turbo technology. They added a lot of area under the curve, eliminating a a lot of the "turbo lag" that gave the Porsche turbo a bad reputation.

Show or Display Porsche 959

"In an attempt to create a rugged, lightweight shell, Porsche adopted an aluminium and Aramid (Kevlar) composite for body use along with a Nomex floor, instead of the steel normally used on their production cars.[5] The vehicle's weight of 3,190 pounds (1,450 kg) helped to achieve its high performance level."

The all wheel drive system in the Porsche 959 was also very special. There have been lots of rumors over the years, that the ATTESA system(all wheel drive) in the Nissan Skyline GT-R was based off the Porsche 959 all wheel drive. Mostly rear wheel drive, combining the best features of all wheel drive, and the best features of rear wheel drive into a single platform. The Nissan Skyline GT-R debuted with ATTESA in 1989.

Flat bottom of the Porsche 959, helping to improve aerodynamics

"The 959 also featured Porsche-Steuer Kupplung (PSK) which was at the time the most advanced all-wheel-drive system in a production car[citation needed]. Capable of dynamically changing the torque distribution between the rear and front wheels in both normal and slip conditions, the PSK system gave the 959 the adaptability it needed both as a race car and as a "super" street car. Under hard acceleration, PSK could send as much as 80% of available power to the rear wheels, helping make the most of the rear-traction bias that occurs at such times.[6] It could also vary the power bias depending on road surface and grip changes, helping maintain traction at all times. The dashboard featured gauges displaying the amount of rear differential slip as well as transmitted power to the front axle"

Magnesium wheels with run flat tires. Run flats in 1987.
3190 lbs, 444 hp, all wheel drive. 0-60 mph in ~3.6 seconds, ~11.9 in the quarter mile, 195 mph top speed. It was "the" supercar for 1986, 1987, 1988. However, the current 911 Turbo makes more power, and is faster, however it did have a couple of years to catch up. Overall the Porsche 959 was a car far advanced for its time, and fit's well into the Show or Display exemption. Now they are 25 years old, or near 25 years old. They are over 21 years old and EPA exempt in their original configuration.

Source: Wikipedia, Boost, and my own photos



Saturday, November 10, 2012

1987 BMW M6 - Not Approved

1987 BMW M6
1987 BMW M6
1987 BMW M6 was very similar to the car sold in the US, with one major difference being its horsepower output. The US version producing 256 bhp, versus the European version producing 286 bhp. By 1988 the M6 was a world car.  

In North America (United States and Canada), the E24 M6 was fitted with the catalyzed S38B35 motor, producing 191 kW (256 bhp) and 329 N·m (243 lbf·ft) of torque. The non-catalyzed version produced 213 kW (286 bhp) and 340 N·m (251 lb·ft) of torque. The non-catalyzed versions were only available in Europe, though there were 538 catalyzed M635csi models sold in Europe in 1988 and 1989. The 1988 and 1989 the M6 was a "world car" with the same bumpers and aerodynamic treatments in all markets.
1987 BMW M6
1987 BMW M6
Bimmerforums says that worldwide there were 1476 cars made. Supposedly 750 of them were for the US.  So for this car, very similar to a US model, more than 500 made, was not approved for Show or Display exemption.  Now this car is over 25 years old for NHTSA, and over 21 years old for the EPA, so its legal to import.

Source: Wikipedia

Saturday, November 3, 2012

1992-1994 Jaguar XJ220 - Approved

Jaguar XJ220

1992-1994 Jaguar XJ220

The Jaguar XJ220 was a pretty controversial car. Originally shown as a concept car with a V12, all wheel drive, and an estimated 220 mph top speed, the actual delivered car varied, and did not meet the speed goal. For Show or Display it meets the under 500 produced goal, and is fairly technologically significant. 

"The production version of the car was first shown to the public in October 1991. JaguarSport was charged with producing the car and had several goals/rules: the car would be rear-wheel drive instead of four-wheel drive to save weight and retain racing car dynamics; would have a turbocharged V6 engine instead of the big V12 to improve weight and distribution; and performance goals of over 200 mph (320 km/h), 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.6 seconds, and the lightest weight possible.
The 6.2-litre V12 had been judged too difficult to get past emissions regulations and there were also some design problems caused by the size of the power plant. In its place was a Tom Walkinshaw-developed 3.5-litre V6 race engine as used in the Group C XJR-10/11 racers, fitted with twin Garrett T3 turbochargers, generating 542 bhp (404 kW; 550 PS) of maximum power at 7000 rpm and 476 lb·ft (645 N·m) of torque at 4500 rpm."
Even though the original goal was 350 cars, a total of 281 were produced, along with six XJ220S

"Some customers were dissatisfied with the increase in delivery price from the original £361,000 to £460,000 as a result of index-linking of their contracts. Another blow was the global recession which took hold between the car's announcement and its eventual release. This caused some 75 speculators to attempt to back out of their commitments, either because they were no longer able to afford them, or because they did not think they could sell the car on for a profit. Further complicating the issue was Tom Walkinshaw's offer of the XJR-15 which was based on the Le Mans winning XJR-9. Some customers either sued Jaguar or threatened to sue; in any case, Jaguar gave customers the option to buy themselves out of the delivery contract. Nonetheless, some buyers challenged Jaguar in court, although presiding Judge Lord Donaldson ruled in Jaguar's favour."
Source: Wikipedia



Your signed application must include, at a minimum:
1. Your name, address, phone number, and FAX number.
2. Vehicle identification – make, model, model year, VIN or chassis number,
engine number, date of manufacture and mileage.
3. Location where you will store the vehicle in the United States.
4. Statement describing use on the public roads, if intended. If on-road use is requested, identify the Independent Commercial Importer (ICI) that will modify the vehicle to bring it into conformity with the requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency.
5. Basis for the application.
6. Attachments:
1. Photographs – ¾ frontal, ¾ rear, interior, odometer reading and special features (if appropriate).
2. Document from manufacturer or recognized historical source, identifying total production (production verification).
3. Proof of insurance conditioned on limited on-road use (not more than 2,500 miles accumulated in any 12-month period).
4. Identification of vehicle’s:
1. Technological significance – You must identify (be specific) the technology, engineering, and construction features of the vehicle that are advanced and of an unusual nature not commonly found in motor vehicles manufactured in the same time period; or
2. Historical significance – You must identify the historical significance of the vehicle. If a person of historical significance owned the vehicle, you must submit proof that this person owned the vehicle. If the vehicle was the first or last vehicle of a particular model, you must establish this through the manufacturer’s documentation or, if this is not available, through a recognized historical source. If the vehicle was "one of a kind," you must establish this also.
Items of significance must be numerically listed followed by the reason why the item is of significance.
You may then mail the application to:

Import and Certification Division
Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance (NVS-223)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Room W45-205
Washington, DC 20590


A vehicle eligible for Show or Display may receive NHTSA approval to be driven on the highway. The odometer must not register more than 2,500 miles in a 12-month period. NHTSA approval of limited on-road use is to allow the vehicle to be driven to and from nearby displays of similar automobiles. Another reason permission is granted is to maintain the vehicle’s engine, braking, lighting, and other dynamic systems in good working order. The vehicle is still required to meet EPA requirements. If the original engine in the vehicle will be replaced with a non-original engine to meet EPA requirements, it must be identified in your application since it may impact on the technological or historical significance of the vehicle.