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Old 07-15-2001, 01:29 AM
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Hey everyone!! I found a '92 600SEL flawless with 78,000 miles on it. The price is insanely low, but the problem is: it was just imported from Germany. The seller says that it needs to be converted. What kind of conversions does it need? Exhaust I would guess, but what else? Dash? Trunk (liscense plate mount)? Or what??? I want to buy it, but I need to know what I will have to spend to get it legal. Please respond QUICKLY because it might not be available soon!!! (P.S. It's a friend of mine selling it as soon as he can for about $6500 and there is NOTHING wrong with it)
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Old 07-15-2001, 01:49 AM
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JCE JCE is offline
Down to the Wear Bars
Join Date: May 1999
Location: So Kalifornia
Posts: 2,189
There were several threads a while back on importing and federalizing European cars. Safety standards, emission standards, lack of support from US dealers, differences and scarcity of parts, difficulty in selling it later, etc. made it an expensive proposition and most people walked away from the prospect.

US DOT/EPA regulations; I need HELP!!!

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Old 07-15-2001, 02:04 AM
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Yes, but

It is a hassle as everyone has seemed to say, but the S-Class should have all of the necessary requirements for most of the safety features. All I see needed is a third brake light and side lights. What exactly is needed to get it up to US standards? I cannot find stats on a German made 600 anywhere!

Also, what will be different about the car? What should I expect to be changed from a US version? THANKS!
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Old 07-15-2001, 11:15 AM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
Getting a car federalized has absolutely nothing to do with what the car has on it. The problem is documenting every thing.

The rules have changed (for the worse) since I was involved with bringing in 30 cars in the early 80's. At the time we had to document with engineering studies each modification. We also had to document all the things that were right such as the AS2 and AS1 glass in all the windows (we had to take pictures of each window label with the chassis number superiposed). The biggest problem is that one can not do this one's self. The current rules require that one must certify a model and then each additional model doesn't have to be individually documented. Just the process needs the documentation. These rules on model certification keep all small timers out of the process. That and the value of the dollar stopped the business almost totally in about 1986.

The fact that the car has a catalyst does not mean that it satifies US requirements. The fact that its cleaner than a US car wouldn't either. What is necessary is US certification. To get this a full body of tests will have to be done, maybe even destructive testing as part of US certification requires longevity issues.

If you wish to do this, find a skilled agent (one currently successful) and get his price. Then evaluate your total cost against what the car will be worth (next to nothing by most accounts).

BTW the reason the car is up for quick sale is probably because it is currently illegal and could be siezed at any minute. It is also likely that it could be siezed even after it was brought into compliance as it obviously was brought into the country illegally. NO CARS can be brought in without a bond being placed against either their removal(as in race cars and/or diplomats/visitors) or compliance. Ask yourself how this car got where you could see it (I am figuring that it isn't still sitting in the freetrade zone).
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 07-15-2001, 11:15 PM
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Actually, it's still sitting in the free trade zone behind barbed wire. And he is still selling it for $6500. Just so you know. I have decided however, that it would be too much of a hassle to deal with all of this. Thanks guys!
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Old 07-15-2001, 11:27 PM
Q Q is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 839
What about places like Titles Unlimited? I don't know if it can help you out or not, but maybe someone else knows.
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Old 07-15-2001, 11:58 PM
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I think you've made the right decision. I knew a few people with "Federalized" late model cars. None of it went well. Thanks to a few "butcher shops" in the eighties,it's always more $$ and paperwork than it's worth.
Randy D.
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