Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Nissan Figaro : Autoweek : Perfect Example of Import vs Registration

1991 Nissan Fiagaro
When it comes to vehicle import and registration, it seems like it is a tough concept for a lot of people to grasp. They assume that having something, possessing something means that item is legal. However in the real world, you can often get by/go around the laws. Often inadvertently, sometimes purposefully. This article in Autoweek points out some interesting points.

In this case a 1991 Nissan Fiagro that is legal in Canada, because it is over 15 years old, was purchased by a man in Massachusetts.

Costello spotted this Figaro on eBay a year ago, having been brought in from Canada. He was searching for antique cars on eBay at the time, but the Figaro popped up through a fluke in the listing system.
“So before I bought the car I brought them [Massachusets DOT] a photo of the car and an 8x11 copy of the title. So they did a dry run and told me that I could, in fact, buy the car 'cause it was a kit. And I said 'No it's not a kit. It's a car.' We went back and forth, and they said 'Well, you can register that car 'cause it's titled.' So I went and bought the car.”

Read more:
Follow us: @AutoweekUSA on Twitter | AutoweekUSA on Facebook

The Massachusets DOT is not the FEDERAL DOT. It is a local agency that handles vehicle registration, not vehicle importation.

The NHTSA - DOT are the ones that handle vehicle import. In this case, since the car was in Canada, it was likely just driven though the border. Vehicle import is not a huge issue from Canada to the US, but Canadian cars still need to meet US standards to be legally imported.  Driving though the border, is not a legal importation.   To legally import this car, the importer would have had to fill out a:

HS7 - NHTSA import form

and a 3520-1 - EPA import form

It would have likely been stopped at the border, because currently the laws do not allow this car. Show or Display - this car is on the list of vehicles not approved for import.  More than 500 of them made, and it is not of any historical or technological significance. It may have retro styling, but styling alone isn't enough to qualify for Show or Display. However, this car is nearly 25 years old, and will be eligible for importation in 2015-2016.

Even though the registration went smoothly, the inspection did not, and it was at that point that Costello was told that he couldn't register the car for road use.
“Kits in Massachusetts have to go to what they call a MAAC center, where they inspect your car for safety features, brakes, seatbelts, and other things you need to stay alive in a crash. So it was then that I was told by the registration that, 'No, you cannot have this car.' So by then I had spent a pile of money, and they already said I could register it, so through the help of the officer at the MAAC center who was very kind, and listened to all I had to say, went on our behalf to the higher-ups, and got the attention of the director. They made a special exemption and classified it as an antique.”
Needless to say, Costello's experience is probably unrepeatable in Massachusetts or almost anywhere else in the U.S. for that matter, so don't try this at home, even with adult supervision. This could have easily ended with Costello being unable to register the car for a few years till it turned 25, and that would have been a best-case scenario given some other alternatives.

Read more:
Follow us: @AutoweekUSA on Twitter | AutoweekUSA on Facebook
So as far as registration went, he got an exemption. Still doesn't change the fact that it wasn't imported correctly.   This is always something to look out for. Illegally imported vehicles are like hot potatoes. The last one holding it, is the one that gets BURNED. It has happened numerous times over the years. Don't give anyone in the government a reason to seize your car, that you worked hard to buy. Import it correctly. Follow the rules. If you don't want to follow the rules, then know the risks.

US Customs Crushes a Land Rover Defender

Seized Nissan Skyline GT-R R33 For Sale on ebay

Sentence Handed Down Over Illegal Cars from Canada


Source: Autoweek

Monday, August 5, 2013

New Vehicles on the Approved and Not Approved List for Show or Display.

Anyone that checked the Approved/Disapproved List for Show or Display prior to May 2013, would have noticed that it hadn't been updated since March, 2011. So back in May, the new list came out with several new vehicles on each list.  Lots of Skyline GT-R's added to the list under the NOT side, but the NISMO added on the approved side. Check out all the cars  below. More info on each to come later.


2011 Aston Martin One-77 -YES

2012 BMW M3 CRT -YES

1995 Land Rover Vogue 25th Anniversary Final Edition -YES

1991 Maserati Shamal -YES

1990 Mercedes Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II -YES

1990 Nissan Nismo R32 Skyline GT-R (BNR32-100000 to BNR32-100562) -YES

Two 1990 Nissan Skyline GT-R NISMO's

2004 Porsche 911 GT3 RS -YES

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Japanese Classic Car Show in Long Beach September 28 from 9 am to 3 pm

The JCCS is coming up 28th of September at the Queen Mary in Long Beach. The ShoworDisplay Nismo R32 GT-R will be at the show, and we will be there answering any questions you have about importing vehicles that are over 25 years old, Show or Display, and any other importing or exporting questions you have. 

The show takes place next to the Queen Mary, opposite this spot

9th Annual Japanese Classic Car Show
Date: Sep.28th, Saturday 2013
Time:9 to 3pm
Event Address: Queen Mary Events Park (Harry Bridges Memorial Park)
1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90802
The 9th Annual Japanese Classic Car Show will be held 9am-3pm on Saturday, September 28, 2013, along side the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA.
In Japan, the number nine is pronounced "Ku"; the number is linked to hardships, or "kurou". The truth is, JCCS could not exist without tales of hardship. Anyone who has worked to put an old car together will know it's not easy. Finding cars. Finding parts. Making those parts fit. Getting everything running, on budget and on time. Even making it to the event--people come from far and wide, traveling hundreds of miles (and even across an ocean) to share in the annual kyu-sha celebration that is JCCS. Sacrifices must be made, always. Yet at the same time, the tougher the struggle, the sweeter the celebration. Our goal is to make the 9th JCCS the sweetest event yet for all who attend.
Also, the number 9 has a degree of finality to it--it means "the last." But it does not mean the end ... the number 9 is seen as the final stage to achieve before moving on to the next step, the next level. (Witness the Datsun Maxima, known as the Bluebird 910 ... it was the Bluebird generation used as a stepping stone to the ultra-luxury Maxima--a name and a concept of sporting luxury that continues even today. Or the Honda Coupe 9, which never made it Stateside but was a final evolution of its automotive vision at home, before Honda decided to export cars to America.) Next year will be JCCS' 10th anniversary--a milestone--but this year we're going to party like it's JCCS Number Nine. We remain grateful for the opportunity to show the world that Japanese cars and classic cars need not be mutually exclusive; with dedication and perseverance, the idea has taken hold.
We are very happy to welcome our newest auto manufacturer sponsor, American Honda. This is significant for several reasons. First, the popularity of Honda cars has been increasing rapidly in the last couple of years at JCCS. More owners are bringing out their restored or original Honda cars for the crowd to enjoy, and with Honda's participation, we can only expect this enthusiasm to increase. Second, and just as importantly, Honda is the only company that manufactures and imports both cars and motorcycles; indeed, Honda started as a bike company, and moved into cars in the early 1960s. The first Honda cars officially came to the US in 1970. Though they are relative newcomers compared to some other manufacturers, their cars quickly became the vehicles of a generation, leaving a deep and lasting impact on their owners--and the young passengers in back, many of whom have warm memories. We look forward to collaborating with American Honda, in order to show their rich and continuing history in the American market, on both two wheels and four. They join Toyota's and Mazda's continuing manufacturer-level support of JCCS.
Everyone here at JCCS looks forward to seeing you at the Queen Merry.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

1999-2000 Aston Martin Vantage LeMans Approved

1999-2000 Aston Martin Vantage LeMans

1999-2000 Aston Martin Vantage LeMans was approved for the Show or Display exemption. There were a total of 40 cars made to commemorate 40 years since Aston Martin's LeMans victory.  With just 40 made, special engine and features to replicate the DBR-1, this is another vehicle that fits into Show or Display, and was approved for the NHTSA exemption.

This car was presented in Geneva in 1999, the 40th anniversary of Aston Martin's victory at that race. It was decided that only a limited series of 40 Vantage Le Mans would be built, one for each year since the Le Mans victory. These cars were the only Aston Martin ever sold with the Le Mans name, and are different and better than any of the previous Aston Martin V8.
The engine delivers 612 PS (450 kW; 604 hp) and 820 N·m (600 lb·ft) of torque, whilst the suspension was also reinforced with special Koni shock-absorbers and stiffer anti-roll bars. The bodywork featured a blanked-out front grille and modified side vents – replicating the side vents of the Le Mans winning DBR-1 – as well as a bigger front spoiler and rear skirt. The interior was reworked with a gigantic rev-meter, a special Titanium finish on some parts, and all possible options such as heated windshield, parking radars, traction control, heated electric seats, and full Connolly leather upholstery with matching Wilton pure wool carpets. Wheels were the same Dymag magnesium units as seen on most V600s. Performance was high, with a claimed top speed of 200 mph (or 320 km/h) and zero to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds. The keyholder was in sterling silver and a map from Newport-Pagnell to the legendary Le Mans track was provided in the delivery documents, for owners who would like to do the pilgrimage. Each "Le Mans" was made upon special commission and fitted with a number plate indicating also the name of the first owner.

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. Email me if you need help importing vehicles.

Monday, June 24, 2013

1997-2000 Honda Civic Type-R - Not Approved For Show or Display

1997-2000 Honda Civic Type-R
The 1997-2000 Honda Civic Type-R was not approved for the Show or Display exemption. To meet the requirements of the exemption, there should be less than 500 cars sold, and the car should be historically or technologically significant.  A high output engine, and weight reduction measures alone are not enough to qualify this Honda Civic as meeting those requirements.

The first Civic to receive the Type R badge was introduced in August 1997, as the EK9. The EK9 shared many characteristics with the Integra Type R DC2/ JDM DB8 such as omission of sound deadening and other weight-reduction measures, a hand-ported B16B engine, front helical limited-slip differential and close ratio gearbox etc.. The B16B engine boasted one of the highest power output per litre of all time for a naturally-aspirated engine with 185 PS (136 kW; 182 hp) from 1.6L of engine displacement. For the first time, a strategically seam welded monocoque chassis was used to improve chassis rigidity. The interior featured red Recaro seats, Red door cards and red Type R floor mats, a titanium shift knob and a Momo leather-wrapped steering wheel.

1997-2000 Honda Civic Type-R