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Great Cars You Can Import To The U.S. Now -- /ROAD TESTAMENT

by /DRIVE • 127,301 views

With the U.S. clinging to its 25-year rule for importing cars never sold here, we find the greatest cars from 1987 that are ready to go. These are our favorites. What are yours?

the Silvia mk2 was kinda sold in the US... it was called the Nissan 200sx, and the first year did come with the ca18et turbo motor so.. pretty close
Yea how can you have a must have import show which you turned into a must have homologation rally car show, then showing cars you can't really import, leave out the one car (short of an r32+ skyline) that you actually want to import?
ruf yellowbird........................................
your rs200 facts are wrong and crap !!!!!
You guys need to do this every year.
sort of off topic but you were talking about cars which could be an investment, the 1994-96 (96 is most sought after) Impala SS. Most people have some kind of weird soft spot for this car, it's carrying a 5.7l v8 corvette LT1 engine under the hood and looks imo amazing. Having a somewhat understated front end, slightly bulging sides, incredibly long and sitting low, it's almost impossible to find an angle that it doesn't look awesome. competition which also is in demand is the Mercury Marauder, having a similar style, engine, and being rare. I've always wanted one just as a daily driver and was shocked to see how well the value has held, ebay motors is filled with SS's going for around 15-30 grand in good condition.
Want an R31 Skyline? Buy an Infiniti M30 and start swapping parts Want an S12 Silvia? But a Nissan 200sx and start swapping parts Also, why no mention of the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth? (Although I suppose you could get an XR4Ti if you can find one)
The only way m30s would be worth it is if you wanted to do a trans swap. They did not have a standard transmission option from the factory
Really late lol 3 years but Audi RS2 ur coupe Quattro
I great car to import would be the Ford Cosworth
In canada, everybody brought the nissan gtr r34. There must be thousands of them here now.
GOD DAM that skyline is fucking hideous....reminds me of a k car...also notice how all Japanese cars have the square box look at the time...ex: silvia and skyline... landrover: WHY THE FUCK would anyone want one? they cost a arm n leg to fix and parts are next to impossible to find...i would know...we had one come into the shop needing a engine and in canada there were ZERO engines for that thing we had to get one imported from U.S and then when we got it the engine was also fucked...nedless to say they are a rich mans jeep that has more money than brains, FORD: why do they always make better vehicles in other country's and leave the crap ones here in NA...
There are many engines you can fit in a Landrover. Parts maybe expensive there, but not bad in many places. Good, hard-working vehicle depending on the use.
Jesus these guys are boring
1989 Nissan GT-R 
Same here in Australia with 25 year rule, also they are stopping production of the defender in 2015/6  
G'day blokes. Instead of the Group 3 Commodore maybe consider the VL Walkinshaw. Super bewinged Commodore based on also the VL platform but with much more racing homologation gear. Top car.
A short list of my personal drool worthy classics 1) AMG hammer, amazing car and built on one of the most solid longest lasting chassis in the world. 2) 70 series land cruiser, the go anywhere do anything machine. 3) Sierra RS cosworth (still have to wait a few months on that one) 4) Austin mini, because who says a small car has to be awful
Be hard pressed to get an Austin or Morris Mini, you can pick up the Leyland and Rover pretty cheap now. Plus which one, there are quite a few models?
I swear despite everything else being in 720p, Spinelli's face somehow looks like it's still in standard def...
He looks like Spicolli (fast times ridgemont high) w that hair and seems just about as knowledgeable as him as well...terrible host, always second guessing shit :/
I've seen a few Nissan R32, R33, R34 Skylines here in Iowa, all right hand drive. All of which I'm pretty sure were legal. I'm assuming if they were illegal they wouldn't be at large public car shows.
They are legal here.  For off road i.e., show, use only. they can't legally be registered unless they are one of the very, very few examples that motorex imported and made legal but you will pay well over a hundred grand for an r34 one of those..... Not saying there aren't illegal ones roaming around the roads either.  The FBI has amassed and crushed quite the collection lately.....
Audi S1 group B.... hands down, sign me up, who do i have to kill?
The R31 isn't that expensive
As of this year, you can now get the 89 Nissan 32 GT-R here in the states. The original Godzilla has arrived!!!
I live in new zealand, they're everywhere. still about 20 grand for a tidy one though. but gts-t's with the rb20det are like 2-5 grand ten for a good one.
I realize Holden is owned by GM and that they make Chevy stylized cars, and the divisions days are numbered, but they made some very sweet sport cars and standard family drives. Check out the Monaco from the late 60s on, The HQ from 71, the VL Commodore from 86 would be a great choice., the 97 model was very nice but you have to wait till 2022
Its called a MONARO not a MONACO.
I made that correction 8 times to have YouTube spellcheck change it back, finally I gave up.
lotus s1 elise or exige audi rs2 wagon suzuki cappuccino autozam az1 lotus carlton twin turbo ford rs200 (unrealistic dream) all will be legal by the time i can actually afford to bring one over.
suzuki cappuccino fuck yeah
The Carlton/Omega is one of my long time wishes :)
The GTS and GTB Turbo were Italian market cars. They were created solely because there was a tax break for cars under 2 liters. The only way to bring the performance up to anywhere near the level of the 3.2 liter cars was to turbocharge the engine. It still makes 16 bhp 6% LESS than the 3.2. There's really no point in bringing one here. There's nothing special about it other than being an underpowered home market tax dodge special which is more complex and maintenance intensive.
he should have been the mole in austin powers
Toyota Landcruiser 70 series.
AE86 Levin hatch 323is E30
2002tii touring !!!
I'd have to wait until 2016, but, I'd go for a 1992 Toyota Townace or Hiace hi-top van.
G'day blokes. Instead of the Group 3 Commodore maybe consider the VL Walkinshaw. Super bewinged Commodore based on also the VL platform but with much more racing homologation gear. Top car.
toyota trueno or levin
this video is hard to watch ouch. im picking up a skyline next years =]
Its hard to watch cuz these guys are so boring
Tim Allen, has one of those Fords. It's even the same color, oh wait; that one's prolly his.
70-series LC > x1,000,000 then a fucking POS 110 LR.  I knew the instant he said "Land Rover 110" that this guy has NO idea about 4wd's and simply wants one to "look" rugged and outdoorsy...  Yes they're "iconic" but in reality, all those safaris are really carried out in... Yep:  70-series Cruisers.  That's why NATO, The Red Cross and everyone else who truly operates "in the bush" run Landcruisers.  Hell the Hilux is a more desired vehicle in combat theaters then the HMMV is for good reason...  Toyota > Land Rover simple as that.  And to put a solid point on it (and one of my favorite pieces of trivia): When the Landcruiser was introduced to Australia, LR sales fell off OVER EIGHTY (80) PERCENT and have remained low ever since.  I lived and worked on a cattle station in The QLD for a fair few years we years and the ONLY trucks we ran were Toyotas (45/70/80-series trucks) for one very good reason:  they're put together better then any other 4wd out there except maybe a G-Wagen (a 461D Glandewagen would be a "must have" for me).  Now back in the US, my own 1st Gen Hilux Surf 22RE has over 330K on the odo and its going strong while I complete my JDM 1KZ-TE (3.0L Turbo Diesel) -> 2nd Gen 4Runner/Surf swap.  When it comes to relying on a vehicle for your life, it's Toyota all the way.
Alternative to the Holden would be a similar GM product the Vauxhall Carlton Lotus mad and very quick.
there is 1 defender in Knin Croatia
Bet there will be a ton of Skylines (newer then the R31 anyways) heading over here to the US when they start hitting 25 years old. Could really import any car you want, just not legally put it on the street. Then hold onto it till it's 25 years old and your good to go.
Fun fact: In 1987 Holden Commodore 6 Cylinder variants were fitted with Nissan RB30 motors. That's the same motor that was in later Skylines. This was due to the transition to unleaded fuel and new emissions regulations. Holden was not ready so they used the Nissan motors. A Commodore turbo variant exists known as the VL Calias Turbo, a luxury/performance oriented sedan designed to compete with euro imports.
this is the worst automotive show ive ever seen, its like you guys took literally 60 seconds to prepare for it
Hey guys, sign the petition now to try to change the 25 year rule to a 15 year rule like Canada has.
this is the most boring shit I have ever watched.
1987 BMW 745i South African version. Came with the M88/3 derived from the BMW M1...
1999 Skyline GT-R R34 V-spec
1987 Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth
Get to the point punks
commodore ss !!! Hahahaha that's pretty funny.
"We have really good car standards here in the US" right...
They were referring to the stricter safety and emissions standards we have here compared to many other countries, which have prevented many cars from coming here unchanged, or barred altogether.
LOL @ JF Musial's sarcasm about early 90's imports being good. If only he could see what car meets in Canada have looked like since 2005.  When my buddy from the states comes up for Rev Scene in the summer his eyes pop out of his head at all the Skylines, Silvia's, Chasers, early EVO's and STi's, and the fact that RHD Supra's and RX7's can be hand for so much cheaper.
20b engined Eunos Cosmo
Kuntage? KUNTAGE!? The closed-captioning writer needs to be shot. Countach, for fuck's sake.
kuntage is way better, i love a bit of kuntage
All right. This makes the umpteenth Cadillac commercial! From now on, I'm stopping feed, and moving on. Sick of these commercials.
a bunch of people have replaced the badges on their G8 with holden badges, and a small handful have done the hood/grill/bumper replacements as well. (I own an 09 GT and follow a bunch of the boards and FB groups)
My BX 16 Valve will be 25 this november lol
If the question is limited to just the late 80's, in no particular order: Volkswagen T3 DoKa (with or without the Syncro package) R32 Skyline (it's not ready yet, but the 1989s will be in just a few months) Miltary-spec Mercedes G-Class (the one we got here is too plush and too pricey) Holden VN Commodore ute or Ford XF/XG Falcon ute Ford Sierra XR4x4 (sure, you could just swap the AWD setup into a US-market Merkur, but Merkurs are becoming collectibles in their own right, I wouldn't want to mess one up).
T3 Doka would be awesome... as would one of those "Allrad" modified (with portal axles no less) Transporters (T5?) aye.  There are actually quite a few Syncro and non-syncro Dokas (obviously a LOT more full "vans" though) here in the PNW where I live.  There's actually a HUGE cult following that goes out with our Toyotas every year for some trail runs that you just do NOT believe they'll be able to complete... but they do for the most part.  And while my own Toyota has a nice sleeping/camping set-up, it still pales in comparison to the living conditions in a Vanagon aye ;)   The G-Class you want is the 461D or really just a "non-US" spec truck and the ability to order the truck like Euro buyers can (you can spec out he specific weight ratings of each axle and all sorts of other amazing options to make it an unreal Expo or even a race truck).   As someone who lived in Australia for a fair few years... the Holden Utes are neat but I'd never waste money importing one.  Build a VW Caddy, it'll last longer and handle better.  Maybe it's not as fast, but it's a true "ute" in the Ozzie sense and it's got a great chassis... We've actually got 3: 2 in teh barn and one that's built out with a solid 16V mill from a GLi that got totaled.  Such a fun little "truck" and it suprises the pants of unknowing drivers in their "performance" cars hahahaha And yeah, if you can FIND an XR4Ti they're going for a pretty penny these days even if they're piles of bolts and broken plastic.
+D King  Yeah, I know about the 461D, but a military G would be a lot cooler.  The Euro civilian spec just wouldn't stand out that much. I like VW Caddys (sold here as the Rabbit Pickup, my uncle had one), and have been thinking about building one someday (with a GTI engine and grill swap) but I'd rather have a Holden.  Even if it's half as bad as you say, I can always just rebuild it from the ground up with Chevrolet parts, or maybe just drop it on a Caprice wagon frame (I still see 90s B-bodys on the road all the time, they must have done something right).  The later Commodores are better engineered (and better looking), but it'll be some time before those are legal to import.  I visited Australia in 2006, right when the VE came out (I'd never even heard of Holden before, there was a real "wow" factor there for me).  That's my favorite, but I'll have to wait at least another 17 years to bring one over.
I want to make a VIP 87 Toyota Crown
Ive seen a G8 here in Texas with Holden badges lol
ferrari 438, tatra mtx , anything cosworth
i like your list, but u guys suck in presentation!!
Stupid question - why were they banned? Land Rovers have been a staple of our agricultural economy as well as the armed forces for years and are proven excellent vehicles.
Land Rivers aren't banned. these particular models are banned. Probably because they don't meet emissions standards or crash test standards in effect when built..
i swear some guy around where I live has the Alfa Romeo Evolution. Ive seen him driving it a few times and even his punk as teenage kid. Could this be true? or is there another Alfa that resembles it here in the U.S? and YES!! Its definentlly a Alfa
328 GTS turbo???  More like the 208 GTS turbo
Wrong. The 208GTS turbo was 2 liter version of the 308, not the 328. By the time the 328 came around Ferrari had smartened up and chose not to draw attention to the fact the tax dodge car was missing 1200cc of displacement, which meant it's owner was too poor or too cheap to pony up the extra tax in order to own the real 328.
I live in the U.K but if I was to drive Coast to Coast, Audi Coupe S 100, Skoda 130 Sport, Bangkok TUK TUK, Subaru legacy 4 Cam TURBO Mk1, Tatra 601, Renault Alpine A 610, Renault Avantime, Citroën XM and a Venturi Lp400.
Why bother importing an S12 Silvia? It was sold here as the Nissan/Datsun 200SX.  You could get the US market car and build it up with the JDM parts, and not have to deal with the steering wheel on the other side.  I saw a 200SX in a salvage yard a couple years ago with a complete, rust-free body.  It was just begging to be rebuilt. It's a little known fact that with the exception of the S15 and the original CSP311 (which was a low-production model anyway), every generation of the Silvia was sold here. Prior to the 240SX and its awful engine, the US market cars usually even had the same engines as their JDM counterparts, if not better ones.
Not true.  Good luck fitting a FJ20ET into a LHD car.  Even the Euro model S12's didn't have turbo (likely for the same reason).  Also, sourcing FJ20ET parts would be a pain.. although I think the Mk II Silvia RS-X (the one in this video) would be the CA18DET, so maybe it would be slightly easier (but way more lame then trying to put a FJ in, as the FJ is the one of the most bad ass motors Nissan ever build.. we're talking easy 500 HP on stock internals).  I have owned a few S12's before, and I would love to import and RS-X, but probably the 1985 version instead. If i was going to go a CA18DET path, I'd take a CA20E block, drill it out and put a CA18DET head on it... would just need to know were to find the pistons........ ramble ramble ramble
+Michael Reed "Some assembly required"? Perhaps the parts that are oriented the wrong way could be fabricated.  This is the age of the 3D printer: if something that amazing is possible, there has to be some way to make it work.
All i want is SKYLINE R34 NISMO and Ford Escort RS :)
all unobtainium. realistically? look at jdm 4 bangers
My friend got that exact model silvia for his first car
Does this guys know what they are talking about?
Next year we can bring in R32 Skylines. I really want one, but it'd almost be a waste of money if I didn't get at LEAST the GTS-T, the GT-R being the one to get.
Couple of notes : cool info on the Alfa 75 and the 959 FYI the R31 in the active aero package was that just front active set up HICAS was not avail untill R32 R31's are a RB20DET motor with the less desirable ceramic turbo set up. the R31 to get is a factory Impul or Nismo version and anyone who has them will not sell them. the S12's early ones are FJ20 motors later ones were the CA18DET but no intercooler other then that cool vid 
As an Australian I find it hilarious that Americans are rebadging their Aus-built Pontiacs as Holdens because over here we pay people out who put Chevrolet badges on their Commodores. So it's kind of funny how people over here want their car to be a Chev but people in the States want their car to be a Holden.
we all want what what we cant have :D
id like to get the porshe at 3:40
why not a rs500 cossie? btcc legend;)
Lancia Delta Integrale, Ford SierraCosworth RS500, Ford Escort mk1-mk2, Renault Alpine (all of them), Land Rover forward control v8, Renault 5 Turbo2, Opel Manta&Ascona 400, Austin Metro 6R4, Rover SD1 Vitesse, Ford Capri mk3 Brooklands Turbo, Fiat 131 Abarth, Lancia Stratos, Fiat Uno turbo, NSU TTs, Matra Bagheera,BMW 3000CSL etc. God there are so many nice cars you people didn't have a chance to put a 350/slushmatic combo into and ruin them
ford escort cosworth im canadian
and has to rev to 11k :) panda, the red and black one blah. heh.
Opel badges on a new regal turbo!
why is countach subtitled as 'kuntage' at 7:06? hahaha
A Rover SD 1 or a Ford Mondeo would be a good choice to import.
australian cars are the fastest and best handling sedans on earth,have been since 1968 with the ford xy gtho.
The 959/Bill Gates story is kool.....
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