Glad to be here!

Discussion in 'The Welcome Mat' started by Nic Wiederhold, Sep 17, 2020.

  1. Nic Wiederhold
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    Nic Wiederhold Member

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    I've been a motorhead for most of my adult life. Like a lot of people, I'm sure, I found it easy to be a fan of the WRX by watching Colin McCrae win WRC. When the WRX was finally coming to America I wanted to own one. In the meantime I've worked on a few other projects. Last week I finally got my first WRX.

    upload_2020-9-17_12-37-55.png

    Sti002.jpg

    It's a '96 STI. Getting used to driving from the right side has been interesting... Looking forward to meeting up sometime.
     
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  2. Krazylegz1485
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    Krazylegz1485 Well-Known Member

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    Welcome!

    Was this the one for sale locally for a while?
     
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  3. Nic Wiederhold
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    Nic Wiederhold Member

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    Probably. I got it in Shakopee. I know the guy had it for a while but he wasn't advertising it when I found it. It was SO dirty when I picked it up!! OMG! It runs and drives great. For the most part it looks pretty much stock. Unexpectedly powerful. I've been trying to learn all I can about the EJ20k. Like does it use the same timing belt as any EJ20?? (Since that's probably what I'm going to be doing asap).
     
  4. tangledupinblu
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    tangledupinblu Event Coordinator Staff Member

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    Sweet ride and welcome aboard! If we pull off the LaXCruise again in 2021, it better be there! :D

    -Josh
     
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  5. joebush44
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    joebush44 Well-Known Member

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    This is that same car. At the time there were suspicions of it being here illegally and vin swapped with a USDM Impreza to skirt around the import law. Hopefully that isn't actually the case. It is a great looking car. Welcome!
     
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  6. Nic Wiederhold
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    Nic Wiederhold Member

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    Oh! That's interesting. I hadn't considered whether it was here illegally or not... I did actually double-check that the chassis# on the car matched the 'VIN' on the stamped tag. I guess it's also possible that those stamped numbers were seamlessly grafted in too but I doubt it. Here's a pic of one of them on the firewall:

    upload_2020-9-29_9-28-28.png

    Now that you mention it, I don't really know much about the import laws but I seem to remember hearing something on Donut about 25 yrs or something... Well if that's the case it really could be illegal. Based on a service sticker on the window, it was in Canada before it came here because it's got a 403 area code...
    upload_2020-9-29_9-52-14.png
    The odometer is 134.000 (km). I wonder if they've got any records of this car with this 'VEX Performance' place ( http://www.vexperformance.com/) They describe themselves as Subaru specialists. I'll try giving them a call to see if they remember this vehicle or have any service records.... The car is currently at ≈ 134k so maybe it wasn't that long ago.

    I'm also seeing a service tag in the door jam that shows the odometer at 108k on July, 24 2017 with service due at 111k on Oct., 24 2017 (I think).
    upload_2020-9-29_9-51-54.png
    So maybe it was in Canada until last year or something. Are the import laws different for Canada? I'm gonna have to do some research. Thanks so much guys. It would be pretty sad if this is someone's stolen vehicle. I hope not.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
  7. tangledupinblu
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    tangledupinblu Event Coordinator Staff Member

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    They allowed it to be registered at the DMV with the title you had? If so...:thumbup:
     
  8. Chux
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    Chux Well-Known Member

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    Negative...

    The import laws are on a Federal level, DMV is state. The state doesn't care if it meets Federal emissions and crash testing. But if it wasn't 25 years old by build date when it was imported (even if it is now), the feds can seize and crush it. NEVER buy an imported car that's ever been registered in Florida, Florida DMVs are privately-owned, making it considerably easier to get a title on a gray-market vehicle.

    Like this notorious story, where all was good until he was involved in a fender bender, and it got flagged, seized, and publicly crushed: https://jalopnik.com/watch-the-feds-crush-an-imported-nissan-skyline-1753280296

    An acquaintance in the car scene up here has imported several, he brought his R32 into Canada before it was 25 years, and drove it halfway across the country, and was at US customs hours after midnight on his car's 25 year birthday, had to jump through some hoops to even prove that build date. Since then he's imported several more vehicles, at least 2 more skylines, and a Mazda Eunos Cosmo (factory 3 rotor!).
     
  9. Nic Wiederhold
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    Nic Wiederhold Member

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    Thanks so much for this post, man. I appreciate the info! So it comes down to whether I want to risk it being crushed at any moment... Wait, do I import it from Canada then? I talked to the VEX Performance place. Said they wouldn't release any records about the car so I'll have to do the digging on my own. I did find out that the import laws restrict vehicles 15 yrs. old instead of 25 yrs. here. More will be revealed I guess.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2020
  10. joebush44
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    joebush44 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to stir this up

    I'd highly doubt it's stolen, but it is possible it was illegally imported. I think Canada's import law is only 15 years. I have zero experience with importing cars so I'm not sure what it would take to prove it's good or to make it good going forward. The whole import law/car crusher thing is just ridiculous to me.
     
  11. Nic Wiederhold
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    Nic Wiederhold Member

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    No problem. I edited my post to include what I found out about the 15 yr. in Canada thing. I'll have to do more research into who owned it before me. Maybe I can get that person to release the service records too. We'll see where this goes...
     
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  12. SlowSC
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    SlowSC Well-Known Member

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    Welcome!

    This car drew a lot of interest (including myself) years ago when it first popped up, but yeah, the back story and shady dealership in Shakopee selling it definitely brought up a lot of questions.

    Nonetheless, beautiful car and hope to see it in person at future meets!
     
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  13. derp
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    derp Well-Known Member

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    So, my opinion is that it's illegally imported. I doubt you're at a ton of risk having the car in the bustling metropolis of Minnesota, and state probably won't come to get you.

    However.

    It is still probably federally illegal. Personal opinion, swap the everything into a clean, US titled hatch from Arizona or somewhere rust free. Your other option is likely hairy, due to the fact that the US wants their import taxes. Finding a way to pay duty on a car you can't verify the date of import on is going to be gnarly. Not to mention the fact that it's in the US already means they're going to pay extra attention. They want their money.

    If you're handy with a welder, you can swap everything including the firewall to a US shell and be golden. Otherwise, you'll always have the risk, however small, of having it taken. It'd be a shame.
     
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