10 Cars You Can Now Legally Import in 2019
10 Cool Nineties Foreign Cars You Can Finally Importby Safet Satara, on
Every year, several awesome 25-year-old cars become eligible for import in the U.S. without regard to whether they comply with the DOT Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS).
This law enables us to drive some incredibly cool cars and considering that 2019 is exactly 25 years after 1994, I give you a list of astonishing vehicles you can import from all over the world.
It is important to note that the 25 year period starts from the date of the vehicle’s production. You can prove it with the vehicle documentation, first registration document, or by a recognized vehicle historical society that can identify the age of the vehicle.
Among many greats from 1994, I’ve picked up a few obvious choices and a few secret gems. If you see something you like, it’ll be worth it to have a piece of rare Non-U.S.-spec automotive history.
1994 Audi RS2 Avant
Made in conjunction with Porsche, the Audi RS2 was one of the first insane Audi wagons that shaped companies future. Not only did Porsche largely redevelop its 2.2-liter turbocharged engine, but the RS2 was fitted with some essential engine internals from the 911 engine. With 315 horsepower and a healthy 302 pound-feet of torque, the Audi RS2 became the first RS and a car that was quicker to 30 mph than the staggering McLaren F1. I am not joking!
Of course - a six speed!
Based on top of the Audi 80 Avant architecture, the RS2 actually features brakes and suspension developed by Porsche.
So, not only did it go fast, but it could corner.
While at that, let me tell you that the RS2 can do 62 mph in 5.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 160 mph.
As for that 30 mph surge - it will do it in 1.5 seconds.
Audi produced just over 3,000 of them. You can, and you should buy one. Prepare to churn out $80,000 for a pristine model. One will not come cheap!
1994 Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 V-Spec II
Introduced on February 14, 1994, the Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec II was the final evolution of one of the most sought after Japanese vehicles ever produced. Drizzled with a unique body kit and wide 245/45R17 tires (wider than ever), the GT-R R32 V-Spec II was the swan song for the R32 generation. Nissan produced 1,306 units of it, and you are fortunate enough that you could have one for around $40,000. But start your search now as they don’t go up for sale that often.
The thing with the Skyline GT-R R32 is the fact that it has a 2.6-liter, turbocharged engine that develops 276 horsepower.
Some, however, estimate the real power output at 310 horsepower. It made it quite capable back in the day, and now, after all the Fast and Furious movies and video games, it is as appealing as ever.
1994 Subaru Impreza WRX STI
With an electromechanical locking differential, 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 276 horsepower, and rally bread chassis, the first Subaru Impreza WRX STI appeared in the first half of 1994. Right now, it is one of the most sought after vehicles from the nineties, and you can finally import it in the country.
It would seem that you can find an excellent example for anywhere in the $15,000 - $20,000 range.
1994 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo II
Along with the Subaru Impreza WRX STi, 1994 gave us yet another astonishing rally bread racer - the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo II. It entered production in December 1993, but the bulk of them was produced in 1994 and 1995.
Considering it was basically a direct competitor to the Impreza; it had a 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine that developed 252 horsepower.
Easily enough for a sprint to 62 mph in 5 seconds. That is the main reason why the Lancer Evo II was such a magnificent performer. It was considerably quicker than any hot hatch, and it could do wonders on a rally stage. On the autobahn, on the other hand, it would go to 140 mph. Kinda great!
A few years back, you could have one for $20k.
1994 Toyota Supra Turbo
In 2019, a Toyota dealership in Chicago bought a clean 1994 Toyota Supra Turbo for $121,000.
Soon after, it listed the car for $500,000. Insane. This all goes to say that the 1994 Toyota Supra Turbo is one of the most valuable Japanese cars ever produced. The reasons are as follows:
- Fast and Furious
- Fast and Furious
- It is a genuinely good car
- It is quite fast too (0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds and quarter-of-a-mile in 13.1 seconds)
- Paul Walker
1994 Toyota Celica GT-Four
Envisioned as the most potent Celica of all time, the Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205 features a 239-horsepower turbocharged engine linked to AWD via an E154F gearbox. Toyota produced 2,500 units of the Celica GT-Four ST205 with only 300 exported to Europe. 2,100 units remained in Japan, so that is the best place to search for them. If you are lucky enough to find one for sale, I believe its price will top $40,000.
As for the performance, the Celica GT-Four can do 62 mph in about 6 seconds and almost reach 150 mph.
While all that sounds cool and nice, the Toyota Celica GT-Four has one more important, well,... benefit. Its rally version had a cheating device that helped its engine produce about 50 horsepower more compared to all other rally cars. In short, Jalopnik explains:
"The brilliant part of Toyota’s cheaty turbo was that when the part was removed and inspected, it appeared to be a completely normal, rules-compliant turbo with a restrictor plate. The difference was, though, that when the part was installed, the very act of installation changed the internal geometry of the part."
The device was so sophisticated that when FIA president Max Mosley saw it, he said:
“It’s the most ingenious thing I have seen in 30 years of motorsport.”
1994 Renault Clio Williams
It was so popular that after assembling 3,800 units, Renault had to produce 1,600 more because of the fantastic demand.
The Renault Clio Williams is the starting point of the whole Renault Clio RS legend.
While introduced in 1993, many of the units had been produced and sold in 1994. This is a small car - weighing only 2,163 pounds - that was powered by a 2.0-liter, naturally aspirated engine that developed 148 horsepower and 126 pound-feet of torque.
Its diminutive size and powerful engine made it far quicker compared to standard Euro hatches of the time. After all, it was able to accelerate to 62 mph in 7.6 seconds. Remember, this is 1994, and the Clio Williams is a city car.
1994 Peugeot 106 Rallye
Similar to the Renault Clio Wiliams, the Peugeot 106 Rallye is a small french fearsome snake that weighs only 1,818 pounds.
A 1.6-Liter, naturally aspirated engine that developed 118 horsepower hid under the hood, but far more critical than that is the fact that it has a short five-speed transmission that makes it a perfect sprinter. If you ever wanted a formidable slalom car, this is it.
The best way to recognize the 106 Rallye are the white steel wheels - it’s a trademark. However, if the Rallye is a bit too raw for you (it was available with a 103 horsepower 1.3-liter also), you can try to find a beautiful example of the 106 GTi. That one is quite an impressive hot hatch too.
1994 Fiat Coupe
Dubbed as the poor man’s Ferrari, the 1994 Fiat Coupe was a major refreshment on the market. It looked quite lovely and had a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine up front powering front wheels. I know, that’s sad, but this car was well balanced and rather fun.
Although introduced in 1993, Fiat produced almost 18,000 units in 1994 (highest of any year), so you are bound to find one in Italy.
Unfortunately, the 2.0-liter 20-valve engine was not available before 1996, but even the early models had a 2.0-liter, 16-valve, turbocharged engine with 190 horsepower for a 0-60 mph in time in less than 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 140mph. They are quite cheap, actually, but you will have to look hard to find a good one.
1994 McLaren F1 Chassis No. 18
I know that you can import the F1 into the country under the "show car" rule, but I had to include one of the rarest McLaren F1 cars on the planet on this list. Assembled in 1994, the McLaren F1 with a chassis number 18, is finished in dark silver and equipped with the High Downforce Kit right from the factory. It turns out that it is the only HDK McLaren F1 produced. The other HDKs (five or six of them), have been equipped with the kit after the production.
Apart from astounding looks of the High Downforce Kit, which includes that incredible fixed spoiler, the McLaren F1 HDK is more powerful compared to standard models
. Its LM, V-12 developed 680 horsepower and revs to 8500. This car sits in some garage on New Zealand right now.