They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, or at least that’s the modern iteration of the Roman poet, Sextus Propertius’ opinion from his poem, Elegies. Alternatively, they also say Absinthe makes the fart grow stronger. Either way, over the decades, American safety and emissions regulations have kept many a desirable auto out of our wanting grasp, and of course that time just makes our ardor all the more unquenchable. But there is a possible out – a way to finally be together – if only you are willing to bide your time. Any car over 25 years old may be brought into the country without having to comply with Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) as long as they have been bonded at the dock, and have the appropriate HS-7 (PDF) forms. Those under 25 will have to be brought into full Federal Safety compliance, and would probably have to meet your particular state’s emissions standards. Muy Expensivo! Also, like a marriage, it’s supposed to be for life – you bring it in, you keep it – no selling the car to someone else once the new has worn off. And for those of you living in California, don’t even bother unless the car you want is a pre-1976 model, as that’s the cut-off for smog tests on the left coast. Still, that gives one a lot of leeway and is much more flexible than what was possible back in the dark ages of the ’70s and ’80s. Since you have that new-found freedom, there must be some forbidden fruit that you have always wanted to grab, but couldn’t because of THE MAN, but now might be considering. What car – 25 or older – might you think worth a boat ride from across the sea?
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