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Miata Master
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2,138 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
here are some pics from a site i belong to in japan check out eunos and jdm cars







ill post more later enjoy
 

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ClubRoadster.net Founder
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4,631 Posts
Guys: I'm not getting all Miata.net on you, but please post these pics in the ALBUM so that they are all in one place and everyone can find them without having to sort through posts.
 

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Supporting Member
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12,259 Posts
You gonna import some Roadsters from Japan?
Not gonna happen. At least not until the year 2014. That is unless:
  • You live in Canada, in which case it's pretty easy to import 1991 or older model year vehicles.
  • You plan on paying a RI/ICI thousands and thousands of dollars to certify it compliant.
  • It's coming in on a temporary basis (maximum 1 year) and the vehicles is owned by a foreign national, foreign diplomat, etc.
  • You're a manufacturer registered with DOT. Manufacturers can bring a vehicle in to the US for up to 1 year to conduct testing or R&D. Or, as the manufacturer, you could just certify it compliant but unless it meets all current standards it would be illegal to say it is in compliance when it is not.
  • You call it a race car. Race cars can be imported and used here for one year and extensions may be granted for not more than 5 years from date of import. But you must request a prior letter of approval from DOT and show them what makes it a race car (e.g. lack features associated with safe and practical public road use). A car imported under HS-7 Box 7 (or Box8) can never be used on the street.
  • You plan on breaking the law.
For all temporary imports you'll be required to provide proof of export or destruction. A Miata cannot be legally imported to the US on a permanent basis as a race car (Box8) unless you can prove to DOT that it was originally manufactured as a racing vehicle and not a road car converted into a race car. It gets a little fuzzy if you call the Miata an assemblage of automobile parts instead of an automobile. Removing the engine from the car, shipping them in separate containers, and putting it back together again once it clears customs would technically still be illegal. Now if you put in a SBC or 13B you could call it a homebuilt car.

edit: remove stupid emoticons that didn't show up in preview
 

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Supporting Member
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12,259 Posts
I see it's on dealer plates. You say "we" so I assume it at least partially belongs to you. How did you get it into the US and legally registered for street use?

I'll have to check the docket to see what the details are regarding importing a Mazda "Miata". According to NHTSA, a 1990-93 Mazda "Miata" is eligible for importation to the US under VSP Eligibility Number 184. "VSP" eligibility numbers are assigned to vehicles that are decided to be eligible under 49 U.S.C. § 30141(a)(1)(A), based on a petition from a manufacturer or registered importer which establishes that a substantially similar U.S.-certified vehicle exists. Usually in this case only minor things like speedometers (kmh to mph) and lights (DOT markings) need to swapped to certify them compliant. Unfortunately, the petition and response (Docket No. 96-81) are not located online and a manual paper search must be conducted to find out the details.

I'm curious which RI submitted the petition to NHTSA (a manufacturer almost never does this since they want to protect their factory authorized distribution network), what else is needed to bring the substantially similar vehicle into compliance, and whether that RI is still in business and willing to import them today. At this point, without reviewing the docket, I would say that only LHD Mazda "Miata" vehicles are eligible for importation since the eligibility list doesn't specifically allow RHD. While there is no specific restriction on importing a right-hand drive vehicle, these may not be imported under eligibility decisions based on the existence of substantially similar U.S.-certified left-hand drive vehicles. At any rate, despite the fact that NHTSA has determined it to be eligible for importation, a Mazda "Miata" may ONLY be imported under bond and by a RI unless it meets one of the other conditions I stipulated above (race car, foreigner, etc.). Also, many eligiblity petitions are only valid for the RI who submitted it. If a different RI wants to import a vehicle, it must independently submit its own petition to NHTSA showing how the vehicle can be brought into compliance with the applicable regulations.
 

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Esteemed Member
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1,794 Posts
I looked into this several years ago, bringing a Roadster into the US. The icensed importer gave me an estimate; tey reckoned a conservative $10k, and that doesn't include crash-testing. A heck of a lot is needed to get airbags and extra emissions controls into the car. This isn't work you can do, or any old garage; only NHTSA-licenced places can do this work, and there aren't many. A least 2 identical MY cars will be needed for crash testing. I guess a dealer might be willing to stump up the cost for this, but unlike a Skyline, these cars aren't really worth anything.

I can only assume whoever owns the old Vspec pictured had somehow persuaded some dimwit that it was some kind of rare edition.

There are a number of rhd MX5s in the US (and MGFs!), but these have been brought in on a temporary basis by British Servicemen on long term secondments. But they stay on UK tags, such as this RAF guy's MG:
http://www.mgcars.org.uk/news/news228.html
 

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ClubRoadster.net Founder
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4,631 Posts
You guys seem to know a lot about this.

Why does the government make it so damn difficult?

I mean, crash testing a car that is also sold here, just because it's RHD. It's going to react the same, isn't it?
 

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Supporting Member
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The government makes it so hard to be fair to all the manufacturers who build and sell new cars. If the system made it super easy to import cars our roads would be littered with scrap heaps that polluted and were less safe and there'd be no incentive for the real players in the market to abide by the rules. Remember, these standards are just minimum levels of performance anyways. It's like flair. Sure, you only need 15 pieces but do you want the bare minimum in (safety) performance?

You don't necessarily have to crash test vehicles to show they meet the standard but you do need to support the petition with some sort of engineering or scientific data and crash testing is often the easiest way to do this.
 

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Miata Master
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2,138 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
it was already in the us.. im thinking a former dignitary car. it was from wash dc.. we picked it up as chance just luck i would say.. it was federalized and given a vin. not by us but by the former owner.. so someone has legalized at least one. which would mean that more can be.. i would assume
 

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Mufasa in Training
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31,122 Posts
The government makes it so hard to be fair to all the manufacturers who build and sell new cars. If the system made it super easy to import cars our roads would be littered with scrap heaps that polluted and were less safe and there'd be no incentive for the real players in the market to abide by the rules. Remember, these standards are just minimum levels of performance anyways. It's like flair. Sure, you only need 15 pieces but do you want the bare minimum in (safety) performance?

You don't necessarily have to crash test vehicles to show they meet the standard but you do need to support the petition with some sort of engineering or scientific data and crash testing is often the easiest way to do this.
Your point's well taken, but...geez...$5k? On a car that's only worth maybe that? #-o
 
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