USA Illegal Cars

Discussion in 'Regional' started by vr_citizen_s, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. vr_citizen_s

    vr_citizen_s New Member

    Sep 16, 2014
    Lexington, SC
    I realize most here are from Canada but I am curious about folks thoughts on this. I know that illegally importing cars younger than 25 years to the states is no new game. But there seems to be a surge in S15's and R33/4's, even a few Aristos on the east coast. I'm a member of several sale sites via facebook and its just like one after another, most with Florida titles and all they state is 'clean FL title' via a small handful of sellers. I know that there are some exceptions to the 25yr rule, however rare, including kit car, race car (offroad), and show or display. None of these are mentioned in the ads I have seen so I can only assume they've been smuggled in somehow. They've generated quite a lot of skeptical interest with very long threads.

    So I guess I'm just curious what can be done about this, as much as I love and want these cars, its not good business and gives legit importers bad names. There's no sense in arguing with the sellers via facebook (as some have taken to) or others posting questions. Just afraid someone is going to get duped into spending 20-25k for one of these and get it seized.

    Or am I missing something?
    Derek likes this.
  2. PurgedTT

    PurgedTT New Member

    Jun 21, 2013
    I've been a long time member on a site called honda-tech and there are people in a particular state of new york where many have civic type r's that are right hand drive which are well above the 25 year old rule.

    Basically I believe they can do this illegally if you know the right person, however they said if a police officer or someone with authority has a bad day and wants to make a fuss they can basically impound your vehicle and crush it or destroy it without any real reason since it's not a legal registered vehicle.

    Long story short, not worth the hassle or the insecurity of having some money wrapped up in such a cause where it can be taken without any means forever and lost.
  3. Derek

    Derek Derek Weldon

    Jun 20, 2013
    Yokohama Japan
    Importing a car into the US which is not 25 years old is not that difficult. There are a few ways that people do it. As you mentioned, cut vehicles, but also containers with customs documents stating that the cars inside are different cars than what is in there.

    These dealers are the scum of the import business because they know that the customers who buy from them are likely going to have problems with the cars. They just don't care about anyone but themselves.

    It confuses people because they get these cars titled in Florida (a State very friendly with getting your way if you know someone). People think that they are legally imported if they have titles in the US. What people don't understand is that they are paying huge markups (due to lack of competition) for cars that are essentially illegal. If the cars stay in the State, there are usually no problems with having them taken unless (as stated above) the police officer has a bad day... That is if he even cares about it. I am sure they have other things to focus on.

    Where the poo poo hits the fan is when an owner goes to sell the car over state lines. There are some states that are hardcore about finding these cars. This is particularly the case when the car name is Skyline, or Land Rover. I am sure Silvi will be added to that list shortly.

    As an exporter, we are invested in learning the ins and outs of the system. If there is a way to import legally into the US, it can be a cash cow. There are SOOOOO many customers there and there is a lot of money. The fact that no exporters ship newer cars to the US should be indication that it is not possible you you to do it.

    Yes, there are exceptions but I generally don't go into much details because it tends to get people's hopes up and then squash them. For the most part, exceptions to the 25 year rule do not apply to the car you are wanting to import. You can check out my other thread about it if you like. I would like to update it when I have time as there are a few more notes I would like to add still.

    So, what can you do? I am not sure. It certainly disrupts the market for legitimate importers. Though these bad guys know that they are doing wrong. They know that when someone catches up to them, they can get out of it and just change their business name. I thin that Florida is a hotbed because there is little to no punishment. Is it worth it to call out these shops to the authorities? I am not sure.
    IMPUL likes this.
  4. silent112

    silent112 Ryan

    Jun 28, 2013
    The next 5-10 years are going to be the best years for the US to import a RHD legally, all the popular cars are between 1990-2000. I have a feeling that some states may be stricter then others with registration and insuring.
    I used to know a friend that brought 1 or 2 down to florida (or to someone closer to bring to florida) to sell, I know that he smartened up and stopped now, but it also makes the border guards more cautious when I try to go down for some cheap gas and amazon parcels. It seems like every 4th or 5th time I go down they ask for my regi or if I'm selling my car.
    It's a high risk to own a illegal import since they car easily crush your car.
  5. kingsoup

    kingsoup New Member

    Sep 17, 2013
    If you get caught, they crush it as its techincally not legal in most places.
    I can't see how it would be worth driving an older skyline that could be crushed if you get caught, that costs a fortune.

    Awesome LHD sports cars are so cheap in the USA and parts and tires, RHD would really be one of the last things on my mind if I lived there. I guess its a status thing to have one eh?