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I have purchased a 1997 Alfa Spider and it is here in the US sadly sitting in my garage. It may never get DOT approved and allowed to be driven. The conversion to federal standards is actually not to expensive, $3500-10,000, but without crash test results the NHTSA will not allow the alfa to be imported.

The Skyline importer in Torrance, CA is a RI (a NHTSA registered importer) actually crash tested the cars to provide safety results. They are now able to import those and resell legally to US. If anyone out there has an extra 1/4 mil, we can partner up and become a RI and crash a few alfa's to start our own import business.
 

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No, i dont want to risk losing it to . I have it because of a police auction, someone else must have gotten cute with the plates :).

I'll post some photos, but the car is simply unbelievably gorgeous in real life. It turns everyones head.
 

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As far as a kit car goes that would never fly since the local DMV would take one look at it and know that it's not one. Any imported kit still must go through customs and have proper documentation. The EPA or DOT website is pretty clear I'd have to check but maybe the yellow GTV Spider in the NW is a newer model that came through Canada. There are vehicles that are OK from up north after certain years.
Without the crash test data and meeting the safety requirements, no alfa built after 1994 is legal on US highways. Only cars similiar in previous years would be allowed. Lets say a 1995 spider had same chasis, body etc as the 1994, you can have an RI petition that based on it is similiar to the 1994 which met the US safety. I wish someone would post how they did it because right now my only option is to drive in 15 more years. (safety and emmissions dont matter if your car is over 25 yo., for anyone who does not believe the federal law is in place to protect the US auto industry)
 

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oh man. very nice!

HOW can you resist not driving it!? i'm sure you sneak it out once in a while.....what are your plans for it?

Hard to resist, but not having it would suck more!! No plans yet, still looking at options to drive. May just throw on a trailer and bring it to shows so people can get fired up for alfa's return.
 

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This whole DOT and safety thing is an absolute joke........ I seriously doubt the modern Alfa would inflict half the damage one of these trucks would (or conversely protect you any less than a DOT approved car would when hit).
Dont think its a joke, but the whole world uses one standard, but US choses to have thier own seperate from the rest of the world. In no way is the US safety standard superior, it really is designed to proctect the US auto industry and keep manufacturing costs down.

UN has a standard that both euro and asian cars manufactures comply with making it easy to bring your vehicle to other countries.
 

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wow. you are a good predictor.

this just happened over the weekend at an Audi/VW GTG in Maryland. This is the S3 i was talking about....the owner got drunk, arrested, and now the car is probably gonna be destroyed!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb9X-0aXj0I&NR=1
The federal gov, and the state gov do not talk to each other, so if this car has state registration, they will not be inspecting it for the epa tag or fed tag. Unless someone call the DOT, this car will go back to the owner.
 

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The issue is importation. When it comes to customs it needs to be EPA and or DOT approved. Whereas a 1927 T bucket though highly modified is already titled in the U.S. Now many states will not allow a big block blower car to run on the highway, they are OK for city driving and such. Also many states have age limits for cars (say 25 years and newer) that are tested and ones that are licensed as "Historic" get a pass on emmisions and visual inspections.
Dont you people realize its not about safety or the environment, its all about the auto industry and market share. Once the car is 25 or older, its historic and safety and emmisions dont matter?? its all about protecting the auto sales industry and keeping manufacturing cost low for the US cars.
 

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This car has never had any state registration! It has to come in through U.S. customs. According to the current owner, the last owner did some shinanigans with with the plates and the car was impounded and auctioned.
The city, state, and federal goverment do not work together. There is no national VIN database kept by DOT. Each state handles the VIN's , titles, and registrations differently. The Alfa posted was purchased at a police auction, with title transfer papers filled out.

If he got his car impounded by local govermnet, he can get back. If you get your car impounded, and it is not registered and you have a title, you can get the car out of impound with a trailer (at least here in california).
Cant drive it out with current reg.

I dont mind waiting 14 years to drive :)
 

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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. The "Conversion" must be performed by a registered importer, i.e. one who is duly registered, with a legitimate place of business, and don't think that they will give you a license, no matter how pretty you garage may be.
Conversion process:
.....
Best regards,​


You listed all the do-able stuff, but you missed the one item that keeps you from importing EU cars, crash test results. Without smashing a couple of these and presenting the data to NHTSA, its a no go. It is do-able, one RI did with nissans and got them on the approved list. Heard they only need to smash two cars.​
 

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164s newer than 1995 that have been imported without crash tests, because they are similar enough to the previous models
Best regards,
That is correct, if a 96 or 97 have minor modifications but is similiar to a model year like the 95 which did meet the standard you could work with an RI to petition to have it imported. But you would never be able to bring in a 166 as it is not simiiliar and has never been federal approved.

Here is a good link for anyone interested in starting research:
http://www.foreignborn.com/visas_imm/entering_us/7importingyourcar.htm
 

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Another idea is to see if it qualifies as a kit car. One can remove the engine from a new production European car
..hhmmm kit cars

10. Importing a disassembled vehicle.

A disassembled vehicle that is shipped without an engine and transmission is treated for importation purposes not as a motor vehicle, but instead as an assemblage of motor vehicle equipment items. Such an assemblage can lawfully be imported into the U.S., provided any equipment included in the assemblage that is subject to FMVSS, but was not originally manufactured to comply with that FMVSS or was not so certified by its original manufacturer, is removed from the assemblage prior to entry into the U.S. Equipment items that are subject to the FMVSS include tires, rims, brake hoses, brake fluid, seat belt assemblies, glazing materials, and lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment.


http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import/FAQ Site/pages/page2.html#Anchor-10-55977
 

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Probably doesn't help, but since a certain date in the 90'ties all car in Europe have been crash tested for EU approval, probably in compliance with US test - lots of EU car makers export lots of car to US. All newer Alfas have tru the tests.
Will the US authorities recognise these approvals?
Erik
The problem is with the manufacture will not provide this info. Its like an un written agreement between all of them not to encourage a grey market. It hurts their dealers.

I believe the RI would have to provide a label or compliance letter that it has met the federal requirements, I am not sure about that. If crash test data is required for conformance, unless the manufacures provide, an approved independent tester can perform the tests.

From the DOT website:

Motor vehicle manufacturers are not required to submit to NHTSA, and do not submit to NHTSA, information on whether any particular vehicle they manufacture has been manufactured to comply with all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety (and, where applicable, bumper and theft prevention) standards. Moreover, there is no way for NHTSA to discern, from the VIN that has been assigned to a vehicle, or from any other identifying characteristic, whether the vehicle was originally manufactured to comply with all applicable standards. The only way that NHTSA could tell whether a given vehicle has been so manufactured is if the manufacturer has affixed a label to the vehicle certifying its compliance with all applicable standards. If you are unable to find a certification label on a particular vehicle, and are interested in learning whether the vehicle was originally manufactured to comply with all applicable standards, you should contact the vehicle's manufacturer.

I personally like the part that states that the VIN number does not indicate compliance, gives hope.
 
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