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I'm about to get a hold of a 2000 subaru WRX STI. I just have one question about it. Is it legal to import from japan to the states. I need to know before I buy it from an auction
 

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Are you asking whether you can register it for road use? Check the laws yourself to be certain, you’ll be paying for fancy spares otherwise.
 

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Are you asking whether you can register it for road use? Check the laws yourself to be certain, you’ll be paying for fancy spares otherwise.
The car is being bought from an auction. Shipping it to america will be no problem. I do want it for the streets. I'm aware of changing some parts to make it legal, but the only knowledge I got is the 2002 STI is legal to import. Does the 2000 WRX STI have to abide by the 25 year rule or is it possible to import it?
 

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I see no reason the 25 year law would not apply. Do you?
 

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I just didnt know which years weren't import friendly
Car must be 25 years old OR have some level of collectors value or special status.

Essentially you'd import that car and they will crush it before your very eyes.
 

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Car must be 25 years old OR have some level of collectors value or special status.

Essentially you'd import that car and they will crush it before your very eyes.
Alright. Hypothetically speaking, say I didn't bring the engine, just the chassis. Can that be a way around the law and prevent it from being crushed?
 

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You're talking about spares. You're paying to have spares shipped across an ocean. Spares for a 20 year old Japanese car. It's your time and money but life is short and expensive.
 

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Alright. Hypothetically speaking, say I didn't bring the engine, just the chassis. Can that be a way around the law and prevent it from being crushed?
This reminds me of the Land Rover Defender debacle that cost the people more money than god for violating multiple import laws, tax laws, as well as other various violations. Its been a while, but some folks were looking at prison time. From that famous office space quote "we're not going to white-collar resort prison. No, no, no. We're going to federal.." I'm sure you remember. The importer was also charged. This was an egregious case however it really put the wet blanket on the bed for everyone else as well.

You could theoretically do what you are saying. However because you are the 500 millionth person to have that idea I'm going to assume the states are a little wiser than that now. Thats why nearly all spares imports are cuts. They physically cut a part of the car off and ship it. Front cuts being most common so people can do RHD conversions for whatever stupid reason.

The STI was introduced mid 90s. Why not import one thats legal now. Sure, a 25 year old car is going to be ragged to shit, probably barely run, likely a rust bucket, entirely impossible to find parts and support for in the US, be a complete nightmare to drive because RHD, and basically sit around because if it fails spares are nil but so is a 21 year old foreign car that was never domestically available.

You'd better spend your money on something available in the US unless you are an avid collector.
 

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Lets actually take this another route.

What is it you are specifically after? STI bugeye? GC8 STI? At the money you are theoretically looking at to import based off of some research I did and the hidden fees and taxes involved you could likely buy the USDM verison of the desired body style and Import what you need to make it a clone of the particular car you want. Thats usually the method with the bug eye stis you see floating around. If they didn't just badge it.
 

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The best way to get an STi bugeye IMO is to buy an STi Hawkeye from an enthusiast (meaning the car will be crashed of course) and swap bumper beams, bumpers, fenders, headlamps, engine cover — presto, a 2,5L bugeye that’s only 13 years old and has the bigger torque plus better driveline. That’s what I’d do anyway.

The drive it to Earl Scheib for the cheapest spray and done.

Importing a car for Japan means at best you’re stuck with a goofy looking car and are sitting on the wrong side. Not worth it.
 

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Dang, alot of hate for right hand drive cars, lol, a guy here in town has a rhd supra imported from Japan, its awesome, and fun to drive btw, especially going thru drivethru restaurants and watching the workers reaction to no one in the "drivers" seat, lmao
 

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Dang, alot of hate for right hand drive cars, lol, a guy here in town has a rhd supra imported from Japan, its awesome, and fun to drive btw, especially going thru drivethru restaurants and watching the workers reaction to no one in the "drivers" seat, lmao
Does he deliver mail? Otherwise I see no point.
 

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Nice, lol. Let me clarify for you, i've said it before, to each their own. But if your like me and alot of other people, being a Japanese car enthusiast, there is a sort of mystique about owning a right hand drive imported Japanese car. If you don't understand why someone would want that, then you just don't get it. Someday I will own a classic rhd skyline... on my bucket list for sure
 

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I currently own four Japanese cars. I've owned a total of 9 Japanese cars so far. It probably doesn't make me an enthusiast to the extent that I'd live with an RHD car anyplace other than, say, Cyprus or UK.

For the Subarus in particular the RHD cars have a poor layout, with the turbo and brakes both on the same side.

A few years back a friend picked me up at the airport and he brought his bugeye car (not a Subaru; a bugeye made in Germany -- I won't bore the forum with details). He'd imported a UK version (I suppose he was after the inconvenience and rust). I was the one on the left that had to pay at the toll booth. I still miss my 1,5€...
 

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Dang, alot of hate for right hand drive cars, lol, a guy here in town has a rhd supra imported from Japan, its awesome, and fun to drive btw, especially going thru drivethru restaurants and watching the workers reaction to no one in the "drivers" seat, lmao
It's unsafe. There is a reason the driver sits to the center of the road.
 

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Meh.. maybe, doesn't seem unsafe compared to any other vehical I've driven. Does take some getting used to, so I can see it being unsafe initially I suppose
 

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I don't see anything wrong with RDH Vehicles though the only way I'd ever own one would be if I imported a dream car.

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