June 2013 I had an epiphany: I need to buy an E30 M3 now or I may never again have the chance to. I did my homework, won over the support of my wife, and landed a car that has since been a joy to own and drive.
Jump forward less than a year to today. The same feeling struck me again. The 1988 Euro-only E30 M3 Evo II has crossed the 25 year USA import barrier. Uncle Sam will now license the beast on American roads. So... what's stopping people from importing them? Has anyone done it? If not why not? I have no doubt in my mind that the cars are beyond special, and worth the effort, so I'm embarking on a journey. This is the first post to document my efforts.
I am not far into the purchase. I've found the car I want, contacted the owner, swapped dozens of emails and phone calls, and wired a deposit that will hold the car for me while I line my ducks up in a row.
I've consulted other gear heads and I've consulted with collectors. The input I've received from them has been very valuable in buffering my resolve for the task ahead of me. How exactly does someone in the USA buy a somewhat expensive and collectible car from someone in the UK safely and securely? How is the merchandise inspected? How is it insured? how do funds exchange hands? How much do shippers cost? What do duties cost? Which port should I use? Will it pass smog when it gets here? Will Hagerty insure it? Will the government cause me unusual amounts of grief?
All of these are questions that remain unanswered and I haven't found a 1-2-3 manual for how all of this should work. So I'm going to pioneer the process for myself. Friends will help, and we'll check things off the list as we goo.
The light at the end of the tunnel is red. I hope it all works out.