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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone imported a rally car from canada? I'm thinking of bringing in a rabbit depending on how much of a pain this would be.

Since its less than 25 yrs old its got to comply with all DOT and emissions laws. I don't think VW changed much for the canada market but who knows.

Basically I'm looking for someone who has done it to say either yeah it can be done go for it, or forget about it- its too much of a pain in the butt

thanks guys
 

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I have actually brought 2 rally cars from Canada to the U.S. It is a bit of a paper work hastle, but not bad if you really want the car. E-mail me, I will send you my phone # you can call me and I will tell you all about it. jody.olson at navy dot mil...
 

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why do you want to bother with the canadian deal? can't find anyghing similar in the US or is the canadian car special?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
basically the opportunity arose for a car thats in canada. I'm trying to judge if I should look for another car rather than messing with importing it.

Its not really serious at the moment, but if I do decide to import it I will fire you off the email so we can discuss everything in detail
 

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Not a great idea, but if you are bound and determined, the key is the official stickers under the hood.

Perhaps you can get a knowledgable car dealer in St. Catherines or Windsor or Vancouver(depending where you are) to sell it to you on consignment basis and let him worry about the paperwork.
 

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Everyone makes this out to be a big deal. It is not. My rally car I drive has no stickers that customs will look for. You take the VIN # and send it to the EPA, they will verify that the car is up to standards and send you a letter saying it is good to go. (If the car is from Japan then you will run into more problems because the car will not meet DOT standards, ie windshield, emmisions) Then as you cross the border with the car you show it to a customs agent, he/she will inspect the car and clear it into the U.S. then you take all that paper work to the DMV and register the vehicle. It is not hard at all... just takes a little time. I have done this twice... never had a problem...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
one last question:

Do I have to change the speedometer prior to importation? or can I do it after I get it in the country?
 

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Nope... Mine is still in kilometers, took me a week to get used to it.... The DMV may ask you how many miles are on it, when they do don't tell them the kilometers cause that is what they will write down for miles. Just do the math before or make sure they write down kilometers. http://www.epa.gov/otaq/imports/ here is the web site I used to get all my info...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Excellent, thanks guys

I've been all over that link, it just wasn't very specific in the procedures of changing the speedo and headlights- it hinted that it had to be done before importation and the reciepts had to be shown to the customs agent upon entry
 

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Another option, if the car isn't up to US standards and would be too expensive to convert, is to bring it over but not register it. Several of us have done this and run on temporary "trip permits". I did this with a 240Z and rallied it for two years. The Canadian sellers brought it over the border for me. No problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
>Another option, if the car isn't up to US standards and would
>be too expensive to convert, is to bring it over but not
>register it. Several of us have done this and run on
>temporary "trip permits". I did this with a 240Z and rallied
>it for two years. The Canadian sellers brought it over the
>border for me. No problems.


This might be a good solution since its only 1 year away from being 25 years old so there wouldn't be any importation requirements (any car is legal after 25 years no matter what)

But how would it be imported, using these guidelines ( http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import/ ) It wouldn't be allowed to be sold to me when in the country? and how did you keep the car in the US for more than 1 year?
 

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When I brought my second car accross which was wrecked, I told the customs guy at the border it was for parts only. He said have a great day... And away I went... He did not even want to see the bill of sale. They were more interested in what rally was all about. I did use it for parts only. He told me if I was to fix it and make it road worthy again that I would have to get the EPA info and take it to my local customs agent and have it inspected.
 

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..This might be a good solution since its only 1 year away from being 25 years old so there wouldn't be any importation requirements (any car is legal after 25 years no matter what)
...


If you live in California, the 25 year rule on direct imports that most states have does not apply. I have heard of a lot of people having all sorts of troubles with importing Minis directly into California because of emissions problems, even though they are older than the 1975 smog exemption law. If the car gets a title in another state and then comes to California, it can be registered.

rally_x
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
ok so the new developments is that I tried to contact VW for a letter of conformace to US regulations and they would not issue the letter stating that "they do not participate in cross boarder purchases"

has anyone contacted a manufacturer for a letter of conformace before?

I guess I need to reword my strategie with the next person I call to sound like I already own the car ;-)
 

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Sounds like you are having way more problems than I ever had, and you just started... Call the EPA and talk to them, be nice, you may play phone tag until you get to talk to the right person, but it may help
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
haha yeah oh well

The EPA is the easy part, the car is over 21 years old so I don't have to do anything to the emissions

Its the DOT that is causing the problem. To import a canadian car that is less than 25 years old I need to prove that the bumpers are crash worthy, which is in the form of a letter from the manufacturer stating that it complies with Federal Safety Standards

Did you have to deal with the manufacturer when you imported your cars?
 

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Yes I did, I need to run out to the car and find the paper work and see exactly what I have. I called everyone but the Pope, and no one had an answer for me because it was a DSM Eagle Talon. Finally I got a hold of someone at the Chrystler Corp if I remember right and they faxed me a paper to fill out and faxed it back and 3 days later I had what I needed in the mail. That sucks that VW is not working with you. I will get that paper work and read it over again and let you know...
 
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