Lifelife

Fri Mar 22, 2019, 11:10 AM

Has anyone ever imported a car to the US under the 25 year classic rule?

I'm looking into importing a classic Suzuki Cappuccino. It's like a Mazda Miata, but a little more than half the size.

What were any snags in paperwork or licensing did you encounter? How about insurance?

Here's what they look like:


When I say small I mean REALLY small:



They are apparently a blast to drive, though. One of the last true roadsters.

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Reply Has anyone ever imported a car to the US under the 25 year classic rule? (Original post)
Currentsitguy Mar 22 OP
WhiskeyMakesMeHappy Mar 22 #1
akaConcernedCanuk Mar 22 #2
Currentsitguy Mar 22 #3
akaConcernedCanuk Mar 22 #4
Currentsitguy Mar 22 #5
762Justice Mar 22 #6
Currentsitguy Mar 22 #7
akaConcernedCanuk Mar 22 #8
Currentsitguy Mar 22 #9

Response to Currentsitguy (Original post)

Fri Mar 22, 2019, 11:53 AM

1. I've seen some stuff on youtube about them, and importing them.

If you haven't already, it may be worth looking there.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Original post)

Fri Mar 22, 2019, 12:36 PM

2. maybe this will help . . .

/snip/

A motor vehicle that is at least 25 years old can be lawfully imported into the U.S. without regard to whether it complies with all applicable DOT Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). Such a vehicle would be entered under Box 1 on the HS-7 Declaration form to be given to Customs at the time of importation. If you wish to see that form, you may download a copy from our website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import.

/snip/

more at link

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/278/~/importing-classic-or-antique-vehicles-%2F-cars-for-personal-use



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Response to akaConcernedCanuk (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 22, 2019, 12:38 PM

3. Yeah, I've done all the reading. I was wondering if anyone had any real word experience.

Sometimes what seems straightforward on paper turns into a real pain in the ass in practical terms.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 22, 2019, 12:48 PM

4. I had a friend who bought classics in the US and drove them back to Canada

back in the 70s

He made sure he never washed the car b4 bringing it across the border, and in some cases ship/mail a hubcap or two, a few other decorative parts to friends back here - anything to devalue the car at bordertime - yeah - he was sneaky . . . . .

but never had a problem at the border

Just try to avoid importing anything that even smells of the likes of China, Iran or Russia for now . .

ok?



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Response to akaConcernedCanuk (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 22, 2019, 01:04 PM

5. Thanks.

Don't worry. Everything I am looking at will come directly from Japan.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Original post)

Fri Mar 22, 2019, 01:34 PM

6. Are there some already imported and for sale?

A guy I have done some work with picked up a fairlady z from an importer up in Virginia and took it back to NC. He was able to get it registered, and street drives it regularly now. It might be less hassle than locating a car in Japan, and having it shipped. Not sure what the price differential is though.

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Response to 762Justice (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 22, 2019, 01:41 PM

7. There is quite a price difference

My research seems to show the price easily doubles. There is a place in Virginia that I have looked at. What he gets is spotless and low mileage but it seems the price jumps from the $6k range to closer to $12k. I'm not sure I want to spend that much on an impractical summer weekend toy. This thing is so small that with the hard top stashed in the trunk I don't think you could fit so much as an overnight bag. Hell, I think a leftover container from a meal on the road may be pushing it.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Original post)

Fri Mar 22, 2019, 04:21 PM

8. hmm - just noticed that in the pic with th F150 - they are both from Ontario

my home province!

sumwhere it snows alot - the F150 has been bacing into snow banks ( snow packed into the the hitch frame/receiver )

OH - and here's a site worth checking . . .

https://carfromjapan.com/cheap-used-suzuki-cappuccino-for-sale-usa_baltimore-port-with-insurance?sort=totalPriceUSD

click in the last column (any vehicle) to select destination(port) and you can select the country of delivery and which port - selection will change the data for EVERY vehicle listed on that page . . . .

Q. - are they ALL right hand drive?

anyhoo

happy hunting



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Response to akaConcernedCanuk (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 22, 2019, 04:34 PM

9. They are a JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) only car, so yes, they are all RHD.

That doesn't really bother me. I drove RHD rentals both times I've been to the UK. The only thing I find a bit odd and hard to get used to at first is shifting. Shifting with the left isn't exactly difficult. What is odd is transmissions tend to be oriented to a left had drive vehicle and so the pattern is actually just ever so slightly canted toward you. When you drive on the right what happens is the shifter is angled slightly away from you. It makes it really easy to shift from 1st to 4th or 3rd to REVERSE if you're not careful since you are habitually trained to pull slightly toward you when you shift. Other than that you need to relearn how to judge your position in the lane since you are sitting on the "wrong" side of the car. I took my rental to France and found myself hugging the center line unless I was very careful.

Oh, and lastly unlike cars for the UK, Ireland, Australia, etc, Japanese cars flip the turn signal and wiper controls. So until you unlearn that you end up turning the wipers on every time you signal a turn.

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