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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

10 sweet cars you can import in 2022 under the 25-year rule

There's a big wide world of cars out there that, because of federalization laws or market-specific offerings, never make it to dealer lots here in the US of A. Buying a brand-new car from a foreign market and trying to import it on your own is nearly impossible, but it is possible to secure an exemption from certain red tape and regulations that allow you to register a car here.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/buying-and-selling/10-sweet-cars-you-can-import-in-2022-under-the-25-y...
60 REPLIES 60
Truthworldwide
Detailer

That 400R is stunning - make mine a standard V-Spec, or a V-Spec II, in white - but I'm looking forward to next year, when the Evolution V becomes eligible. The Evo VI gets a lot of glory for the Tommi Mak version, but to me the V just has a sinister look to it that neither its predecessor nor successor have.
RallyRaid
Detailer

Agree. More than that, the V is responsible for Mitsubishi’s only WRC Constructor’s title.
It’s the one car I regret selling, regardless of which have appreciated. Explosive acceleration, (probably) the best steering feel of any AWD car and - apart from the turning circle of an ocean liner - practical.
I’m not loyal to any brand - particularly not Mitsubishi(!) - but an achievable goal that I didn’t follow through on was to have a garage containing both the V and a Pajero Evo.
Truthworldwide
Detailer

That is an incredible goal.

I'm at the point where I would straight trade my IX GSR for a white V in good nick. They just are the pinnacle of the insane rally breeding going on at the time and really some of the best Mitsubishi vs Subaru rivalry.
JohninNC
Instructor

I saw a funky wildly painted JDM KEI van the other day, made me smile ear to ear.
KYColonel
Detailer

None of them are especially appealing to me, but I might make room for the Skyline.
tadg47
Intermediate Driver

No question...the Nissan Skyline. Just need the boat load of money.
pitchrollyaw
Pit Crew

I'd love a London Taxi. I remember my job having me in London at least every quarter from '96 through 2002 or so, just when these were becoming the majority, them almost entirety of the fleet. Lots of great memories. Best part of the trips was the occasional jumpseat on the Gulfstream, but that is a different story, ahhh the tech bubble.

Always thought they were so practical and be a good, fun alternative to a minivan or SUV.
SilentBoy741
Instructor

I think I'd get tired of strangers jumping into the back seat at stop lights, yelling "Follow that car!"
Jdpeachey
New Driver

“Subaru WRXs are a favorite among tuners and vape enthusiasts” 👌🏼😂
On a serious note I do love WRXs.. and I don’t even vape lol
MG54
Pit Crew

So there aren't enough foreign companies cars in AMERICA already?
Greg_I
Hagerty Employee

@MG54 we’re probably talking a few hundred to thousand cars coming in. So few in comparison to the rest of the pool of cars on the road to make a difference. So I don’t get the point being made. 

Truthworldwide
Detailer

Sounds like he's saying "get off my lawn", using different prose.
RevolfeSA
New Driver

What about the Aristo V300? It’s a Wangan proven legend: 2JZGTE, holds 5 people, and still relatively affordable.
RedRiley
New Driver

Just take the four door sedans and the Taxi off the list.
trickytrick
Intermediate Driver

Love me some STi. Got a white 05 now but would add that boy in a hot second. Hey Hagerty, any ideas what the real money is for a pristine one? 

smaceng
New Driver

One has to be aware that California is different than the rest of the nation in regards to the 25 year rule of importing. All cars must pass our smog regulations, and I have heard that doing so can cost about $10K.
DavidG
Pit Crew

So I can forget about importing a Trabant? 

Rfuller
Pit Crew

I imported one, directly from Germany and registered it in Massachusetts. Zero problems.

OHCOddball
Advanced Driver

Get whatever you want. What one person wants may not be another's choice. Remember how in high school you used to only want two door muscle cars and since they are now hard to find at a reasonable cost, you now look at 4 door cars and oddballs? Unusual is always good. Who wants to see the same old stuff? Got SO sick of street rods with billet and SB Chevy's under the hoods. London Taxis would be a good regular import since Checker went out of business years ago and old Crown Vic cop cars are getting hard to find. Local taxi companies in my city are using Scion XB's
Ragtop69
Detailer

I have to agree about the two doors vs everything else. When my wife decided she wanted a station wagon, we bought a new '72 Gran Torino wagon in that ever lovely metallic lime green. I'll bet that beast would be worth a lot of money today despite the fact that it was a pain to handle. BTW, we sold her '64 Mercury Comet Caliente coupe for $400 to buy the Torino. Did I know cars, or what?
DT
Advanced Driver

You consider a 72 Gran Torino wagon a "Beast" ?? BTW, Who came up with this new term for cars of any type, BEAST , Really ????? I would think maybe a Hemi Cuda or a ZR1 Corvette might fit that term but all these others ?? SMH
CHARLIEANN55
New Driver

Ikr…we sold our ‘69 AMX DIRT TOO CHEAP AS WELL…what idiots we were!
LOL!
JagManBill
Intermediate Driver

well...if I'm stuck with that list, I'll go with the taxi
MR
Intermediate Driver

I'd like a couple of London Taxi's
What a sweet Uber those would make!
chrisbye
Intermediate Driver

If only they weren't over 15 years old.
Islandtinman59
Pit Crew

Not to rain on the news that you can now import some cool cars But you may find issues with some.
Some wrong side drive cars where not ever made for North American markets so things like headlamps (that point in the right direction) are not available and glass may not have the safety marks that are required at least in some of the Canadian Provinces (may be different for my American Cousins). Sad to see some wrong headlamps hacked in to a Skyline but that's what you have to do if you want you right hand drive to pass inspection and see ware you are going not blinding others.
buellerdan
Instructor

Some of these examples would make a wonderful retirement gift for a USPS worker.
Would remind them of their delivery route every time they drove it.
corv3tte
Intermediate Driver

LOL ! I wish that it would remind them where my house is as they've lost two deliveries in the last two months to me. The former is something that I have no idea of who it's from or what it is. I received a tracking number from the P.O. stating Wooster, Oh......I live in N.C. The last communique I received about this was that they might have delivered it to the wrong address...DUH !!!! Then....crickets. Second was a 2022 flip calendar refill.....last communique ...."Package left the carrier facility. Matteson, IL US"....or...AKA...B F Egypt. as far as I'm concerned. Hope it gets here soon.....I'm SOOOO confused about what day it is !!!! At least the crickets are still keeping me company.


GoinManta
New Driver

As of this year ALL Opel Calibras can come over. I brought this V6 5 speed 1995 model last year, and I am bringing an year 1997 V6 with Automatic. Here is a picture of mine last year at the Opel Museum with the DTM winner from 1995.  Capture.JPG

RichTruett
New Driver

On Dec. 19th, a truck appeared in front of my house just north of Detroit.
On the trailer behind that truck was one of the finest Rover 220 Coupes on the planet. Just in from the U.K.
This was the fastest car of the Honda-Rover era.
A strange choice -- maybe. But I like having cars you don't see everywhere on Woodward Avenue.
I think there is one other 220 in North America.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rover_200_Coup%C3%A9
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

"Subaru WRXs are a favorite among tuners and vape enthusiasts". You crossed out the vape part but it's accurate. I watched the Subaru scene change from import enthusiasts to younger enthusiasts who have fruity vape always on them. It doesn't bother me to say it. That WRX STi Type R is such a great car.

The Nismo 400R is an awesome car that I will never have the chance to own.
Ragtop69
Detailer

I once had the "pleasure" of racing a WRX STi on the freeway. I was driving my 2000 Camaro Z28 at the time and had just entered the freeway on a long, steep uphill section. The guy in the STi actually pulled over a lane to get along side of me and we both nailed the throttles. I was surprised that he was wheel to wheel with my LS1 powered Chevy. The Cammy was a 4 speed automatic with 2.73 gears. I got off the hammer at around 110 mph but I hadn't been able to open a lead on him. Impressive, but still an ugly little sedan with a mail slot in the hood.
Truthworldwide
Detailer

Catfish Camaro owners really shouldn't be calling other cars "ugly"...
Ranger240
Intermediate Driver

Thanks for not mentioning any 1997 model year TVRs that can be imported, or lesser/more affordable JDM stuff like a 180sx Type X.

Actually never mind. Don’t read any of the above. Fewer buyers, less competition.
edand
Pit Crew

25 years? [laughs in Canadian]
Greg_I
Hagerty Employee

Shakes fist in a northerly direction.
Hacksaw
Intermediate Driver

Here we go again, emphasis on foreign cars that will dollar you to death. I don't get it Hagerty.
ThePorscheMan
Detailer

Then why are you here?
SilentBoy741
Instructor

In cars, as in life, sometimes it's more about the love than the money.
Greg_I
Hagerty Employee

@HacksawI can’t say I fully agree with you there. It’s not like they’re talking Ferraris or Lamborghinis whose cost to own are staggering.

I’d still argue that American cars are still represented way more than foreign when it comes to articles. 

Truthworldwide
Detailer

Overwhelmingly so.
Ragtop69
Detailer

I agree. Hagerty has lost the thread somewhere in the Northeast and thinks that everyone is interested in the attractive pricing of Testarosas. Next time I want to buy a Bugatti I'll check in with them.
brb
Instructor

Civic, Commodore, and Pajero, not necessarily in that order. Fun article.
beach77722
New Driver

If you are importing a car that is a 1997 model you have to make sure the month on the foreign title/registration does not arrive at US customs prior to that month shown as the date of first registration, otherwise you could incur large storage fees, or the car could be returned if you were to purchase it in January 2022 and the first registration date was say in November 2022 or earlier
TA76
Detailer

Simply none of them. Waste of money.
mkp20000
Pit Crew

All moot for me. As stated in the article California has all but shut the door on imports, and as the state continue to march forward it’s an all out war on classic car owners here. No surprise every time something like these turns up at a Cars and Coffee it’s registers in Montana, Texas or another less restrictive state. Unfortunately, California has made it illegal to have an out of state register car here for more than 6 months…not that CHP enforces this.
Huntwt
Pit Crew

I was just in London. Those taxis are a real hoot. If you only have two passengers, they’re like miniature limousines. They’ll turn on a dime. A quintessential British car. The black ones look nice, but the white ones are classy as heck. I’d want a dozen and set up a “limo for a night” business.
Buzz
Detailer

The late 90’s was the era I like to refer to as the suppository era because all car bodies looked like, well, you get the image. From Ford Taurus to Dodge Viper, they all looked like something your doctor prescribed. It’s warming to see that Asian, European and Aussie car shoppers were subjected to the same bland butt-pill shapes. I’d not purchase any of them, especially not that Skyline. Six figures will buy a heck of a new Vette, Redeye or Shelby 500KR Mustang. All with technology and looks that surpass the egg-mobile with spoilers. Pretty good tradeoff for looking at a goofy dash with crummy gauges and shifting with your left hand from the passenger seat.
Truthworldwide
Detailer

A Viper looks like something your doctor prescribed.

Riiiiight. Stopped reading there.