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Hi there. I was wondering if anyone had imported a ferrari to the US before. A friend of mine wants to sell his 2003 modena to me but i'm not sure how much it will cost or if customs will allow it to come in.
Thanks
 

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Usually importing a Ferrari into the US only makes financial sense if you can buy the Ferrari for very little money. First you have to ship the car to the US, and then you wuill have to convert the car to US specs. There are several companies who do this conversion. I will look for a link.
 

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Thanks Dr. Bob for the info. I also wanted to ask how hard would it be to resell the car later on, after the conversion. It wouldn't make sense for me to ship it all the way here, pay for the conversion and then pay for the shipping and conversion costs later on.
 

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Thanks for the info guys. G&K quoted about $20k for conversion including bonding and clearing charges.

I wanted to know if anyone here knew of a broker in case I wanted to sell the car. I know that there are a couple of sites out there that let you post a listing for a fee, but that doesn't always mean the car is going to be sold.
 

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importing

I brought 2 ferrari's in from europe some time ago - one from Milano and the other from Switzerland. It was not hard to arrange the different activities myself (shipping, insurance, etc).

Shipping is cheap - $700 to $1000 for delivery to NY / NJ. Both my cars went thru Hamburg (I think), though ports in Belgium are also popular. You should take out trans insur also (not $$).

Customs charges a duty, of course - don't remember exactly, but as I recall it was approx $1k per car.

Conversion is the major expense. I had both cars done by Amerispec (they are expensive, though) - but at greatly different prices - see below.

Your cars must conform to 2 different gov't standards: DOT and EPA. The DOT spec requires that bumpers be stiffened, doors have a brace added, side markers be added, etc. This part of the conversion is not expensive - $1K to $2K. Thje EPA conversion is the more expenbsive of the 2, and requires that the car be dyno tested to EPA standards - sort of like what must be done during homulgation by the manufacturers. This is mostly a labor charge, but is more like $10K or more.

The first car I brought in went through all of this; became a normal car. I no longer have this car.

The second car I brought in (Milano) only went thru the inexpensive DOT conversion. Why? There is, or at least was, a little known exemption to the EPA requirements that said "if you are imp[orting a car at least 5 years old for your personal use, and do not intend to resell the car, you need not have the EPA conversion done". The operative phrases are "5 years old" and "intend to resell". I specifically looked for cars 5 years old, and actually waited a few months before importing the car from milano so that it fit this requirement. The other part " intend to resell" - the key word is "intend". The rule does not prohibit reselling; it only goes to INTENT. I still have this car, though there are no restriction on reselling it.

This 5 year exemption is a "once in a l;ifetime" deal - you can only use the examption once, so pick your car carefully. My car remains full european spec (no EPA mods whatsoever), which I of course like.

Please keep in mind that these are the federal regulations; states have their own gestapo. I live in CA, and though my car is legal in CA as is (i.e., is exactly as it came from the factory - it has no cats, but that's OK) - it STILL must meet calif. smog regs for that model car every time it gets smogged. This of course requires a bit of creativity when going to a smog check.

If you go ahead with the full EPA conversion, cats and whatever else is needed will be added and you should not need to be creative.

About resale:

Years ago, when the exchange rates made european ferraris about 1/2 the price of a US car, and the US dealer organization was losing a huge percent of their business, there were a lot of scare tactice usee by Ferrari US to discourage grey market cars. Rumpurs spread that US cars were built better, that dealers would not service non-US cars (be informed that you will NOT have a warranty with an impoirted car), that you could not resell such cars, that you could not get parts, etc. Of course, this was pretty much all bunk - though for a while it did serve to depress resale values since people were nervous. I do not think of this remains - probably since exchange rates have become more equal, and the cost of european cars is no longe so attractive (and thus there are not sop many people importing cars). The full-European car I have seems to be pretty desireable; when people learn is legal without any of the US-EPA crap, they invcariably are interested in acquiring it. So, if anything i think there is no disadvantage to imported cars.

Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter #8
dlpweb3, i appreciate your input. its good to hear that someone has gone through the process and actually knows what they are talking about. And you are right, the dealers I have spoken to all said that they don't touch any imported cars and are not interested in buying them. However, i'm sure from your experience that the reaction will be different for private buyers. The thing is with this car, my friend is offering to sell it at a discounted price. Lets just say that he has a few gambling issues. But thats besides the point. I just wanted to make sure I wouldn't have any problems taking the car in for service, even though the warranty would be void, and if I needed to sell the car that I had the option to.

I'm curious to ask what happened to the first car you had?
 

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importing

Hi MTM,

There is zero problem having a car serviced. I, personally, do not prefer dealer servicing; independants could care less about the origin of the car. However, I have serviced my imported cars at dealers a few times and not a word was said. I sold the other car to a friend - his company had just gone public; he wanted to splurge.

A final word: I still have one car because it is near and dear. The effort of actually importing it made it more special and i just can't get to parting with it. Plus, the performance is a bit better than what's available otherwise. But, the main reason, I think, is that it still has it's Itallian license plate attached underneath the Calif plate, a reminder to me of it's past.
 

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Re: importing

The second car I brought in (Milano) only went thru the inexpensive DOT conversion. Why? There is, or at least was, a little known exemption to the EPA requirements that said "if you are imp[orting a car at least 5 years old for your personal use, and do not intend to resell the car, you need not have the EPA conversion done". The operative phrases are "5 years old" and "intend to resell".

This 5 year exemption is a "once in a l;ifetime" deal - you can only use the examption once, so pick your car carefully. My car remains full european spec (no EPA mods whatsoever), which I of course like.

Hope this helps[/quote]

I just checked the DOT website. Can't find a reference to the "Once in a Lifetime Exemption", has it been revoked ?
 

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Re: importing

Boxer42 said:
I just checked the DOT website. Can't find a reference to the "Once in a Lifetime Exemption", has it been revoked ?
That is news to me. When I was in Japan I did look at my options if I were to try and import a car from Japan. The best thing I could find is the "Show Car" stature but that severly limits your miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I did a little research and found you can import a car without having to pay for costly conversions. However, there are some rules as to who may do that and as far as my understanding it is limited to one year and then the car must be exported.

This site has the details
http://www.fiatbarchetta.com/usa/car.htm
 

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I was planning to write a story about it, just like the buyers guides, but first I want to finish my 550 Maranello story
 

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Sorry drag up such an old thread but this was the most promising thing I could find while searching for info on Amerispec. Does anyone have any more info on them, or know how I could get in touch with them? I'm trying to dig up some info on this 512 BBi that the shop I work for is selling.

Thanks!
Brendan

http://www.avarestoration.com
 

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Sorry drag up such an old thread but this was the most promising thing I could find while searching for info on Amerispec. Does anyone have any more info on them, or know how I could get in touch with them? I'm trying to dig up some info on this 512 BBi that the shop I work for is selling.

Thanks!
Brendan

http://www.avarestoration.com
It was run by Dick Fritz and located in Danbury, Connecticut. The last phone number I had for them is: 203 744-0844. Not sure if they are still in business.
 
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