Is It Time To Import Your Own Car To The US?

October 6, 2009

If you have ever wanted to drive or own something different and unique this is the idea of the century: import a classic from Europe, Asia or Australia. Now is your chance to bring any car from 1984 (or earlier) into the United States.

Our importation laws state that an automobile must be older than 25 years to successfully cross our borders without having to meet strict emissions and safety regulations. It is known as the 25-year clause, and it has opened the door for automotive enthusiasts everywhere to get those strange, foreign dream cars into the states.

If this whole importing idea has you grabbed interest and you have the available funds, here is a model that you should consider purchasing abroad.

Mk1 VW Golf GTI
The final production year for the original hot hatchback, the Golf GTI from VW, was 1984. This is the right-hand drive, lightweight sport-compact version that never made it to the U.S., and a car that has been an unachievable legend to VW lovers for over two decades.

This German-built go kart comes with a tiny but powerful 1.8-liter 16 valve engine, which cranks out 90 horsepower. The stiffened and lowered suspension beneath its flared wheel arches was designed with one purpose; to tear through the asphalt like no other econo-box before it.

Inside the 84 Golf, you get racing seats with GTI logos, a golf ball-styled shift knob and plenty of room to seat four people. Even though it is 25 years old, VW interiors tend to hold up very well (depending on the care taken by previous owners).

If there is a downside to importing a Mk1 GTI, it may be the availability and quality of the cars on the market. Most GTI models were purchased and raced, rallied or modified, so the condition and prices will vary accordingly. Dont expect to have one shipped over in mint condition for less than $8,000, and dont be afraid to pick one that needs a little work.

To find the right GTI, you can search worldwide car dealerships via the internet or even use the eBay United Kingdom site.

The Golf GTI was never brought to the U.S. but the Rabbit GTI version was for a stint. This means that parts are readily available to cater to any repairs you may need to make. Chances are that you will face various difficulties by purchasing this 25 year old foreign hatchback, but that's why VW and GTI internet forums exist.

Its a fuel efficient, reliable, stylish and most importantly, a fun car to drive. The Mk1 GTI will forever hold a place in automotive history and hopefully, a spot in your garage. For more information on importing classic cars into the U.S., check this out.

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