View Full Version : Sighting: 3 RHD Minis in US Customs

05-14-2003, 06:44 PM
Hi Mini Folks

Interesting sighting this morning. I was working on one of our systems at the US Customs “Holding” Warehouse in Carson, CA (South of Los Angeles), when saw three old minis awaiting to be cleared.

I’m not an expert on Minis but from what I could tell they where all in pristine condition. One white Cooper “S” & two (red & blue) regular flavored Minis. Anyway I managed to get a close up look at these fine specimens and all are right hand drives.

Now it is my understanding that you can import RHD vehicles as long as they are beyond a certain number of years old.

Anybody know what are the rules regarding imports such as these and how would someone find out about this?



05-14-2003, 06:53 PM
It probably varies by state, but it's my understanding that the steering set up in all classic minis can be swapped. That's was true for my old Jeep CJ as well.

BTW, I read that DC was going to begin producing Wrangler mail jeeps again. They should be RHD as well.

05-14-2003, 09:01 PM
I believe that you are okay importing a right-hooker of any vintage, but the emissions are a different matter.

05-14-2003, 10:03 PM
One of our mail carriers owns a fairly new RHD Saturn wagon (I think these were mostly built for Japanese export).

I've seen rural mail carriers driving new RHD Subarus also. I guess if civil servants can drive them, they must be OK.

As Huck says, it's pretty easy to switch Minis to LHD, if desired...most of the holes and mounting brackets are already in place. Other than the steering rack, I believe nearly all the parts and hardware can be used on either side.

XLY 245G
05-15-2003, 09:55 AM
The general rule is that you can import any car over 25 years old regardless. some states, such as CA have strict emissions regs that must also be adheard to. I imported my Mini to MA without any problems, MA does not emissions test vehicles over 25 years old.

05-15-2003, 10:30 AM
Could they be for a remake of the remake of "The Italian Job" ?

Just the sad way my mind works.


graemlins/savewave.gif graemlins/england.gif graemlins/savewave.gif

racing girl
05-28-2003, 12:39 PM
Basically the import restrictions for older cars, or cars that won’t meet safety and emissions regulations in the US, have been changed. In a nutshell any car over 25 years old and not manufactured for the US market at its’ time of production is exempt from bumper, theft and safety standards. Likewise with the emissions, if the car is over 21 years old then no EPA requirements apply. Obviously CA probably has it's own restrictions...

These links will give you the info you need…

US Customs (https://www.cbp.gov/ImageCache/cgov/content/publications/importingacar_2edoc/v1/importingacar.doc) - Pertinent section is “Safety, Bumper & Theft Standards.” Don’t get bogged down in the legalese, most of it is only designed to confuse!

EPA (https://www.epa.gov/otaq/imports) - Look at “Quick Overview of Vehicle Imports Requirements."

This is the info I've passed on to a couple of people in recent months, I think it's still current. We had no problems importing our two (31 yr old) cars last December.

RG graemlins/england.gif

[ 05-28-2003: Message edited by: racing girl ]</p>

05-29-2003, 03:24 AM
I have often wondered how a cop could tell a '71 mini from a '99. I guess your biggest worry is getting the title, still, if the guy or gal at the desk is a mini lover, who knows ...

06-23-2003, 11:37 AM
Racing Girl has got it right on importing Minis.

I believe those three Minis in the warehouse belong to a member of our club (Mini-Sota Minis, Pizza Eating, And Psychiatric Self-Help Association) who's bring them back from a buying trip to Australia & New Zealand.

He (and the Minis) are due back right about now.