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I've recently found a promising 164Q4 in Italy. Assuming the car checks out and I decide to purchase it...what need be done to import it to the USA? I've seen a couple running around -- I assume these cars have all the requisite paperwork done properly -- so that suggests it's not impossible.

Any special items I need to worry about if I'm bringing one into the USA? Any importation obstacles specific to the USA?

Thanks!

-Joe in SoFla
1985 GTV-6 Callaway prototype #5
1992 TS Spider
1994 164 LS
 

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There is a process that must be used in order to import a non-historic car into the U.S.A. If the car is already on "the list" of cars already imported into the U.S., then it won't be much trouble, although it won't be cheap either. It is a U.S. government requirement to use a licensed registered importer, as in licensed by the government agency. (The importer must have a legitimate place of business and be able to perform the conversion. No matter how fancy your home garage is, it won't qualify.) I investigated this extensively in 2004, and contacted a legitimate registered importer of modern European vehicles. At that time, the process to import a modern Alfa, not on the list of vehicles previously imported, would have cost between $15k and $20k. (This does not include any expenses for the vehicle itself, or transport of such.) This cost is despite the fact that Alfa's vehicles are already in many ways compliant with U.S. regulations. The registered importer, by the way, no longer provides this service, in part because the process of dealing with DOT, EPA and U.S. regulations regarding conversion was too arduous for him, and while he did experience great satisfaction from some transactions, the majority were anything but fun, in spite of being financially profitable for him. I would suggest that you take a look at the U.S. web site: Vehicle Importation Regulations (It's an extensive site, so take your time perusing through it. Here's the link to the list of vehicles previously imported: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/...LIG010906.html)

A 164 Q4 is essentially the same as a 164 Q, so I can't see why it wouldn't qualify. I too remember a black '95 Q4 from an AROC Florida member. (Being a '95 would also make it easier to import, since regular Qs where imported by Alfa until that year.) The AROC does keep a roster of members and their cars, so you could contact them and see if you could locate the owner. Their web site is Alfa Romeo Owners Club USA | Home.

At a very high level, and this is by no means intended to summarize the many pages of information on the U.S. government web site, here are some points that I investigated, and which you may find useful.
Conversion process:
1) Remove and replace the speedometer
2) Install a warning light with the word "BRAKE" into the speedometer
3) Replace headlight assemblies with DOT certified lights
4) Install a high mounting, third brake light
5) Modify/Replace door locks with US certified door locks
6) Install a tire information label
7) Replace the passenger side mirror to reflect "OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR"
8) Install a seat belt & key warning buzzer
9) Install door beams into the doors to comply with side impact protection regulations (FMVSS-214)
10) Install a rollover valve
11) Install engraved VIN (vehicle identification number) plate
12) Install VIN location label
13) Install a certification label
14) Remove and document bumpers
15) If necessary, modify and reinforce bumpers to comply with US federal bumper standards (FMVSS-581)
16) Determine if there are any outstanding recalls on this vehicle
17) Remedy all outstanding recalls
18) Submit a compliance package to the DOT, documenting with photographs all the modifications performed to bring the vehicle into compliance with all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

The EPA part of the conversion deals mainly with emissions of the vehicle. In general to certify the vehicle with the EPA, the catalytic converters are replaced along with the O2 sensors. Also a massive tune up might be necessary for older vehicles. After all the emission parts have been replaced, the vehicle goes into an EPA Certified Laboratory and gets tested. After the vehicle gets a passing result from the laboratory, the paperwork gets submitted to the EPA and the vehicle awaits a brief hold period, until cleared by the EPA.​
Best regards,
 

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Just a fyi, those $ #'s are low. A friend of mine just imported a non-historic late model car. US got him for north of $45k/50k not including shipping.
 

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The Q4 is heavier then a Q and the performance is not better. I had a chance to drive one in Italy. My Q felt more responsive across the board. They were intended for rouger terrain and harsh weather, rather then a upgrade in performance handling.
From the skid pad results and tests I saw the Q4 actullay ahs worse numbers then the Q. I am guessing that is due to the added weight the car carries.
 

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Yes the Q4 is heaver but it handles way better than anything I have drove in a while.

It would be hard and expensive to convert a regular 164 to AWD. Parts would be costly and a pain to locate epically the gear box and the gas tank is not even the same.
 

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Man oh man... and I thought we here in the middle east had problems with beurocracy. Mind you where I'm from it is forbidden to import a car older than 2 years. It is possible to import a historic vehicle but only from 30 years +.

At least we don't have to deal with EPA conversions.

:(
 

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Man oh man... and I thought we here in the middle east had problems with beurocracy. Mind you where I'm from it is forbidden to import a car older than 2 years. It is possible to import a historic vehicle but only from 30 years +.

At least we don't have to deal with EPA conversions.

:(
God Bless America :rolleyes:

Just think that to convert would cost you as much or MORE. Just bring one in, still cheaper than a new comparable (if there is one) car these days.

Plus with the Dollar taking a dump on us, it would cost twice as much, what a headache.

Be easier to turn a LS into a Q.
 

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DOT/EPA has their "Show or Display" provision for vehicles for non conforming imports. It allows 2500 miles of road use per year and I think this is how the Q4's are on our roads. The cars need historical or technological significance to qualify. I may be over simplifying but that's the gist of the rule.
 

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DOT/EPA has their "Show or Display" provision for vehicles for non conforming imports. It allows 2500 miles of road use per year and I think this is how the Q4's are on our roads. The cars need historical or technological significance to qualify. I may be over simplifying but that's the gist of the rule.

Then it't would be no trouble at all, more hi tech than a Q4 is hard to find. It still beats most of the cars made today.


JK
164 Q4
 

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I think this is how the Q4's are on our roads.
NOPE. Nah, nada. :D

In order to import a certain model under "show and display" rule is that you have to build a case and provide bunch of proof and documentation to prove that this specific model has significan historic value and/or technical significant that showing off this car is befinifial to the general public.
And before you even try this, you have to have a certified letter from manufacture that less than 500 examples were produced. I highly doubt Alfa will even respond to you request.

No body ever done for Q4 as it's not listed in pre-qualified list that US custom maintains. Looking at some of the prequalified models on the list (list is no longer available but I've seen it a while ago), I don't see a Q4 being any historically or technically significant. To general public, it's a 164 sedan with 4wd system added on. No big deal to general public.
 

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I do not beleive there is a Q4 in the US currently approved under this rule.
 

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I also beleive that under this "Show & Display" rule that the car cannot stay indefinitely At some pre-dertemined time limit it must go back to where it was from :(
The car can stay forever once allowed.
It's the non-citizen/diplamatic rule that specifies that car can stay upto 2 years and must be distroyed or exported (or extended?).

Here is the "show and diplay" rule for those of you interested in this.
Believe me, I studied and thought of every ways to import non-conforming cars legally. It's nearly impossible or economically not feasable so when I saw a Q4 available in grey market, I was all over it without questioning anything. Who cares? :D

How To Import A Motor Vehicle For Show Or Display
 

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Well, there is a 1995 Q4 owned by an AROC member, and it is legally in the country. It was entered in the 2005 Alfa National Convention Concours, and I spoke for a while with the owner. His only concern was that he expected that some day the AWD would need service or it would fail. As far as getting it into the country, well it's no different than any other 164Q, except that it has a six speed transmission and AWD. None of these factors raise a safety concern or disqualify it from being part of an approved design. I'm sure that the fact that it was also a '95 model made the process much easier. Of course, this doesn't mean that what the owner paid for the services of the registered importer was anything other than an outrageous sum, although I have no idea what it cost him. I didn't ask.

Best regards,
 

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This is what I received when inquiring about importing the 164Q4 I had while in Germany. It looks as though as long as it was manufactured in 1994 it can be done (legally). But as the saying's go "where there’s a will, there’s a way", and "there’s more than one way to skin a cat". :)
P.S. Get a parts car 1st for stuff like bumpers, lights, dash gauges, etc. ;)


The 1994 is on the accepted list for eligibility Vehicle Importation Regulations eligibility list. Check and see when produced as we will have to petition for the 1995 if it is truly produced in 1995. Also for EPA it will be modification and test which means we will have to put it on a 4wd dyno which is about 1800 more expensive than the 2500 for a regular test procedure. Should cost 1500 for the petition but you are talking about spending 7800 plus parts plus petition plus 1800 additional testing as we include labor, reports, and 2500 testing ,etc. in the price of the conversion. If you have the parts then this is not charged. We will need brand new Catalysts (USA part numbers only) and O2 sensors on the car so if you want to get tune up, oil change, and cats/O2 sensors installed prior to sending this will save you some money.

If you want a general quote letter please let us know.

Kind regards, JK

J.K. Technologies, LLC
3500 Sweet Air Street
Baltimore, MD 21211
(410) 366-6332
(410) 366-7655 fax
[email protected]
 
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