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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am not on here a tonne but I am hoping some of you may be willing to chime in anyway.

It appears I will be moving from Canada to the U.S. I'd like to bring my beat up 87 16v Scirocco which I did have for sale on here last fall but decided I still enjoyed the car and it was still fun even if it didn't look good.

Unfortunately, from what I've read, to import a car from Canada to the u.s. it must have the original engine and must not be modified. My engine is a 2l 16v and the car has euro bumpers, lights. There is a header & cams but the original muffler so it's quiet. I really like the car including the colour.

My question is this... Is it worth the trouble to import my ratty car knowing that I would have to source U.S. bumpers, lights and possibly an engine (if I was paranoid, which I am slightly) OR buy another Mk2 16v in the U.S. with non-vandalized body work and just bring over my good bits one part at a time (including possibly my engine& transmission).

Any thoughts? Anthony
 

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First, I am not an expert :what:

But, I believe this will depend on what State you are moving to.
Emissions / Engine could be your worry, I don't think the bumpers or lights will be noticed.

Also car is over 25 years old so that may help.
as for moving to California..............................forget it :thumbdown:
 

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I agree it'll depend on the state, pretty sure Illinois couldn't give two ishts about any of it, including emssions. Just don't hide a bunch of cocaine in the rocker panels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks - this is more encouraging than the research I've done so far. Tentatively (visa pending) we are moving to Ohio. Under the hood everything looks stock - it's the exterior safety stuff that is more obvious as "not meeting safety standards, i.e. lights and bumpers. I see that there are plenty of cars running around south of the border with that setup though - it's a case of getting to pass the paperwork without being seized during the crossing if you make a false claim on the import forms.

The latter is what I found most ironic. I could remake my car down south but that I may not being able to import one set up the same way across the border.
 

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...Tentatively (visa pending) we are moving to Ohio.
Jeebuz, just do the New Cincy in June. There will be people and parts that can make your car into whatever ancestry it needs to be. Problem solved.

:beer:

Oh and... for where to import to, Wyoming is pretty lax about older cars, tell 'em it's a VW and they'll ask you how you like that air-cooled furrin' stuff; and if you tell them the radiator is the reservoir for washer fluid they won't know any better...

Not that I have anything against WY-mites... they're funny to watch.
 

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From what I recall, Maine is also an easy state to bring a car too. We have a member there who brought in a Slegato. Heck, (wink wink), if the car came to Cincy, maybe it could become THAT car (since the Slegato has since died a horrible death....but I digress). Paging Daun....he would be the Ohio go-to guy and he did an export on one from Canada to Ohio. And it was a bit of a pain. But yours is that bit older, and older can = easier sometimes. AND do you need to re-register it at all? If it comes back up here to the GWN once in a while to get a sticker, do the authorities on either side really know or care? (That may depend on your address and citizenship) As states go, Ohio is a bit more user friendly than some are.

There are likely many creative ways to retitle the car too. Like "it was abandoned", so someone buys it down there, then resells it back. Not sure what the laws are for that, but I heard of one that went the other way as that sort of deal.

I bet they will not know it is a swapped engine unless you tell them. It looks like an 80's vintage engine, so that will likely be fine. Old cars need parts. An engine is simply a part it needed to stay running. (They will put stickers on everything and check to see that all the components have those same stickers after the car crosses the border.) Heck my appraiser thought my 79's engine was stock. Yup, stock for about 20 different cars ranging from 1974-2001. With a turbo. On standalone engine management. Which was stock in 1979???? VW was THAT far advanced back then, LOL :rolleyes: So yeah, they won't know.

Anyway, Daun, chime in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
"Heck my appraiser thought my 79's engine was stock. Yup, stock for about 20 different cars ranging from 1974-2001. With a turbo. On standalone engine management. Which was stock in 1979???? VW was THAT far advanced back then,"

That's really funny. A turbo should be a definite give away. Perhaps if I just switch the lights back over to sealed beams and put back the original grill they won't notice my bumpers, 2l block (my head is still the stock 16v) and rusty header. The emissions stuff is still present (in working condition... who knows?). I am worried about if they do notice. Has anyone heard of a car being seized? The bumpers, lights and grill are likely worth more than the car itself. I had it for sale earlier in the year before I came to my senses.

This is the car in question: http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthre...car-with-euro-bumpers-lights-kamei-grill-1000
 

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I believe the rules are different/easier if you are moving to the USA and bringing it with you rather than a current resident importing.
There is a section for temporary imports for non-U.S. citizens, but it's only for a year (for private citizens) or tour of duty (for diplomats and military).

If you want to keep it in the U.S. I don't think it matters where you come from. You have to make it legal.

https://icsw.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/TempInfoJuly2016.pdf

Keep in mind that once a car hits 25 years old, it's much easier to import. Just check box 1 on the form.

-Old Eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all your input. I was told by a guy who has imported many cars that the worse that would happen is that I would be turned away at the border. Keeping that in mind, I am going to give importing it a go. Otherwise - I'll do as suggested and buy a rust free shell on the U.S. side - then I'd have an actual nice looking car as opposed to a "dog's breakfast". Luckily it is 30 years old. I am almost contemplating waiting for my Miata to hit 21 years before importing it (that's less than 12 months away) as my research has turned up some cases where that age makes some things easier too.
 

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I imported my 84 Wolfsburg from BC to California with no problems.
I actually drove it down as a Canadian, drove it for a while and then went to the motions of registering it in California. At the DMV, I told them I drove my own car down. They asked if I imported it, and I acted dumb and said I didn't know I had to, just knew I had to register it here, and I only paid a couple hundred for this car...

They decided to go ahead and let me register.

I had to request a Letter of Conformity from VW (I can't remember if I requested from VW US or Canada, for some reason I think from US). With that letter, I had sent it to CARB (California Air Resources Board) so that they can approve me so I could have the car tested at the local emissions referee and a label affixed in CA so that any emission testing station will approve it.

The interesting thing is at the referee, they don't really know what they were looking at in the old cars. I watched they fumble through thick books to look for information on my car. I don't think they will be able to tell you have done a 2L swap.

After approval, my car would barely show any numbers at the testing stations which always made me wonder how far I could have gone with modifying the car.

Since you are moving down and driving your own car, I don't think it should be a problem for you. California registration and approval is supposed to be really tough, I didn't have a problem except for making the appointment for the referee.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks!! I would of imagined that being the most complicated place to import into. It sounds like I won't have any trouble - glad I won't have to give it up as I was collecting bits to make it more reliable... Might even make Cincy for the first time. Anthony

I imported my 84 Wolfsburg from BC to California with no problems.
I actually drove it down as a Canadian, drove it for a while and then went to the motions of registering it in California. At the DMV, I told them I drove my own car down. They asked if I imported it, and I acted dumb and said I didn't know I had to, just knew I had to register it here, and I only paid a couple hundred for this car...

They decided to go ahead and let me register.

I had to request a Letter of Conformity from VW (I can't remember if I requested from VW US or Canada, for some reason I think from US). With that letter, I had sent it to CARB (California Air Resources Board) so that they can approve me so I could have the car tested at the local emissions referee and a label affixed in CA so that any emission testing station will approve it.

The interesting thing is at the referee, they don't really know what they were looking at in the old cars. I watched they fumble through thick books to look for information on my car. I don't think they will be able to tell you have done a 2L swap.

After approval, my car would barely show any numbers at the testing stations which always made me wonder how far I could have gone with modifying the car.

Since you are moving down and driving your own car, I don't think it should be a problem for you. California registration and approval is supposed to be really tough, I didn't have a problem except for making the appointment for the referee.
 
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