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  #1  
Old 07-08-2000, 05:11 PM
LarryBible
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Does anyone know what is involved in bringing a used Benz from Germany to the US. My 240D was greymarketed into the US over ten years ago. I know that it has gotten more difficult. Does anyone have any knowledge of what this now involves? Or, can anyone point me somewhere I can get information.

The number of manual transmission cars in Germany is amazing. If I could have one here, it would be great.

Thanks for any help offered,


------------------
Larry Bible
'84 Euro 240D, 523K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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  #2  
Old 07-08-2000, 06:55 PM
WmHarlow
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Larry,
I hope this info helps... it is an experpt from U.S. Customs Website:




Automobiles imported into the United States must meet the fuel-emission requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the safety, bumper, and theft-prevention standards of the Department of Transportation (DOT). (Please see Customs pamphlets Importing a Car and Pleasure Boats.) Trying to import a car that doesn’t meet all the requirements can be a vexing experience. Here’s why:

Almost all cars, vans, sport utility vehicles, and so on that are bought in foreign countries must be modified to meet American standards. Passenger vehicles that are imported on the condition that they be modified must be exported or destroyed if they are not modified acceptably.

And even if the car does meet all federal standards, it might be subject to additional EPA requirements, depending on what countries you drove it in. Or it could require a bond upon entry until the conditions for admission have been met. So before you even think about importing a car, you should call EPA and DOT for more information.

Information on importing vehicles can be obtained from the Environmental Protection Agency, Attn.: 6405J, Washington, DC 20460, telephone (202) 564-9660, and the Department of Transportation, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance (NEF 32) NHTSA , Washington, DC 20590. Copies of the Customs Service’s pamphlet Importing a Car can be obtained by writing to the U.S. Customs Service, P.O. Box 7407, Washington, DC 20044 or checking the Customs Web site at http:\\www.customs.gov. EPA's Automotive Imports Fact Manual can be obtained by writing to the Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC 20460 or visit: http://www.epa.gov. Cars being brought into the United States temporarily (for less that one year) are exempt from these restrictions.

I do not think the links took well, so the main page is http://www.customs.gov/travel/travel.htm and scroll down to the Automotive section.

Hope this helps.

------------------
William
76 240D - 550K miles
78 300D - 200K+ miles
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  #3  
Old 07-08-2000, 07:04 PM
WmHarlow
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Oops, forgot to give proper links/path.
Use the URL I gave at the bottom> choose Restricted Trade with Certain Countries (cigars, Persian carpets, etc.)> choose TOP> choose Prohibited and Restricted Items (subcategory Automobiles) and this is the exerpt I provided.... the links work there

------------------
William
76 240D - 550K miles
78 300D - 200K+ miles
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  #4  
Old 07-08-2000, 07:16 PM
roas
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Try a search on "u.s. 500e and euro 500e ", as well as this article, http://underwire.msn.com/underwire/reallife/Lu/81lucille.asp , good luck!

------------------
Ross
96 C280, Greenish Black
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  #5  
Old 07-08-2000, 11:58 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 117
Having a Gelaendewagen as well as regular MBs, I also spend a lot of time on GWagen lists (in addition to this list), and this question of importing a car from Europe (a "gray") regularly comes up because folks would really rather circumvent Europa's premium pricing on G's (a new G that would wind up costing you $140K from Europa can be had overseas for only about $75K). Naturally, importation interest is not only on new vehicles but used ones as well -- and is analogous to your question.
Sadly, however, the "bottom line" is that, after 1986, our gov. rules changed drastically, making it nearly impossible unless you have a VERY BIG wallet to get customized certification. That's why practically no one except those with money to burn ever brings a GWagen into this country (unless Europa overseas the certification) anymore on their own.
So unless you have money to burn, don't try it. I know (fromt the lists) two people that have a GWagen sitting in customs waiting over a year now for the right certificates and documents. Doing it yourself is not for the faint-of-heart, or the frugal.
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  #6  
Old 07-09-2000, 10:05 AM
LarryBible
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Thanks for the feedback. I expected such a response.

Our only hope for stick shift Benz automobiles in the US seems to lie in MBNA. They've already proved that they have no interest in satisfying the desires of the customers who prefer shifting for themselves.

If I ever buy another new car, thanks to MBNA it will probably be a BMW.

Thanks again for the info.
Larry
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  #7  
Old 07-09-2000, 11:06 AM
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: macon,ga. usa
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Although I'm as big a Benz geek as anyone here, I would encourage MB to stay out of the manual transmission business until they can satisfactorily build one. It's like stirring a yardstick through a bowl of outmeal, not to mention that they are noisy and the shifters themsleves are remarkably ugly. European mags routinely bemoan the fact that MB can't build (or outsource) a tranny of the quality of others, particularly BMW. After owning 123's, 124's, 201's, and an SLK with a stick, I'm done. I don't think that MB sees this as a problem, because virtually no American customers want to buy sticks. The only reason that the cars are now offered in Europe with the sticks is to try to enhance their image with younger customers (read: BMW buyers). Thus, no real progress in the area. Just my .02...
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  #8  
Old 07-09-2000, 11:19 AM
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Location: Gainesville FL
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I doubt that you will see many more manual trannies in a lot of vehicles. As the emmisions requirements get tougher on the internal combustion engine the manufacturers are having to control the engine speed (most during warm-up). Its so much easier to control on electronic automatic trannies.
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  #9  
Old 07-09-2000, 09:48 PM
jco
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This outfit advertises in The Star as "specializing in importing and converting cars from Europe since 1976". I know nothing about them other than that. You might give them a call see what they have to say.

Let us know.

Harry M. Taylor Enterprises
Phone: 510-235-3990
Fax: 510-235-3998

------------------
2000 CLK 430 Silver/Charcoal
2001 CLK 55 On order
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  #10  
Old 07-10-2000, 02:58 PM
Harvey Sutlive
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Last winter my wife and two kids and I took a taxi from downtown Paris to Orly airport, the taxi was a Mercedes 430 style body with a turbo diesel motor and a manual transmission. It was 6 in the morning so my interest level was low but I do remember the excellant excelleration and very smooth ride. We had a lot of luggage and my kids are nearly grown but everybody and every thing fitted nicely, and the car handled the load effortlessly.
I did ask the driver what kind of mileage he got and I believe he said high 20's per gallon (he was speaking French with a Vietnamese accent and talking in terms of liters per 100 kilometers)
Why can't we have this car in America? It's one terrific car. Or maybe we do have it and there aren't very many of them.
It's hard to believe there isn't a market for fast manual shift diesel cars. Maybe the marketing people are having too much sayso in the production process.
Maybe Mercedes is making a mistake here.
Harvey
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  #11  
Old 07-11-2000, 02:01 AM
Aaron's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,935

The greatest manual-shifted Benz to drive, in my opinion, is the W113 SL. Any of the breed (230, 250 or 280) with the stick are wonderful, and you can coax one helluva beautiful exhaust note out of them as well!


------------------
Rgds,
Aaron Greenberg
MB technician
Precision Motorcars, Cincinnati, Ohio
'67 250SE Cabriolet
'77 450SL
'80 300SD
'85 380SE
'86 420SEL
'89 420SEL
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'84 BMW 745i Turbo
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  #12  
Old 07-11-2000, 08:51 AM
LarryBible
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allenjdmb,

I apologize for having to respond to your comments in this way, but after putting 525,000 miles on my 240D with absolutely NO transmission problems, and only two clutches, and 175,000 or so miles on my 300E five speed, and many other miles on earlier Benz manual transmissions, I have to question your ability to drive a manual transmission properly.

Sorry, but that's how I see it.

Good luck,


------------------
Larry Bible
'84 Euro 240D, 523K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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  #13  
Old 07-11-2000, 10:48 AM
CMCon98
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Larry,
Why don't you simply import the manual trans conversion parts for the Benz of your choice from a German junkyard, buy the car here in the US, and have it converted by the tech of your choice, or do it yourself. It would be cheaper and easier than importing a "grey" car, and the stronger bumpers and better rustproofing on the US cars are an advantage in most cases. A few years ago, I converted an Alfa from Spica mechanical fuel injection to dual Dell'orto sidedrafts. I obtained the complete setup from an Italian salvage yard, bolted it on, and a temperamental car became a really quick, fun, simple, and dead reliable daily driver. Just my .02.

Colin Connor
'71 Triumph TR-6
'72 BMW 2002
'82 Volvo 245
'82 Moto Guzzi 500 Monza
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  #14  
Old 07-11-2000, 05:31 PM
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: SW Colorado USA
Posts: 296
I like Ken spend time on the Gweagen board. I purchased my G used from Gwagen USA/Europa and am relatively friendly with them. From what I have found the older the car the easier it is to import, fewer regulations. You must pay duties etc. at the port of entry based on the vehicles value. Even on a Gwagen it amounts to $2-3k. You must then post a bond and have a signed contract with a registered importer to get the vehicle released from the docks. I would suggest contacting the RI for an estimate on conversion of the model you desire. The exchange rate is very good right now and I think with a little footwork you could end up with a great car. The problem with the Gwagen in particular is that Gwagen USA does ALL of the work to get these cars here. By law they must provide the meathods employed for certification. This reduces the cost to the other RI's. The hang up comes with strict OBD II regulations. They are very very strict on evaporative emissions. Gwagen USA had to engineer a system to control these emissions. The G has a magic box near the filler neck to control these emissions. As the invertor of this particular system they were not required to disclose thier meathods on this part. Now any RI wishing to certify this car must figure this part out on his own. I think it took them over a year and a half to complete just this part for the G500. That is why there are at least 2 G's in limbo. The good news is that if you look at cars at least 5 years old I think it can be done relatively economically considering the exchange rate. Don't give up Larry, your 5sp is waiting. I do like the idea of a trans swap, once again though the older the better, new cars are too complex.

------------------
90 300GE 5sp
95 740iL
86 944 Turbo
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  #15  
Old 07-11-2000, 06:19 PM
yal's Avatar
yal yal is offline
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: New York, Long Island
Posts: 2,705
Like the G_Man said stay the hell away from the Gwaegens and any of the other exotic or rare models on the benz line. Keeping it simple (by simple I mean popular in the US) will give you a hell of a lot less problems and net you a decent car.
Also if you're bringing in the car for your personel use rather than to sell of for a profit (like some people think) you should be ok. Check all local applicable laws before you proceed.
The most difficult part is getting a piece of paper that certifies that your car meets US standards (most benzes after 86 do).The NHTSA has a good preliminary description of the process. Go here:-
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import/gray0006.htm

The question you should ask yourself is do you have the stamina for it all. If not then buy the parts as somebody suggested, Customs barely would even ask you for an ID in that case.

yal
88 230E (W124)
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