QOTD: Which Forbidden Classic Would You Import?

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn
qotd which forbidden classic would you import

It’s the last week of the year, which means it’s time for end-of-year or new-year listicles. Time to recount all the celebrities who’ve passed, or to predict what will happen in the coming year. It’s a convenient time, certainly, as the turning of the calendar page allows one to mentally erase the past in favor of a potentially brighter future.

For guys like me, though, the lists of legally importable 25-year-old cars are the ones I’ll read the most. Heck, I wrote one last year.

To recap: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires that any car not meeting US safety regulations be at least 25 years old (to the month of production) before it can be imported and used on American roads. Thus, the class of 1992 is of particular interest to me.

I’m rather surprised there seem to be few dealers doing mass imports of European cars. Japanese imports, likely spurred by the popularity of the R32-chassis Nissan Skyline, have been the mainstay of dealers such as Japanese Classics in Richmond, Virginia. As much as I’d love a Skyline or some other JDM beauty, I really dig the Euro forbidden fruit.

Thus, my choice is a 1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth. Big power from a turbo Cosworth four-cylinder, all-wheel-drive, and that massive wing. I got a brief glimpse of one last year, and was not disappointed. I don’t know if it was brought Stateside under the “show and display” exemption, or if it was one of the Sun International cars that were legitimately federalized (thanks, Bozi!), but what a car either way.

This one for sale on eBay UK has been breathed on a bit by a tuner, which could limit the appeal for collectors, but should prove quite fun to drive. At 19,500 GBP (about $24,000 US currently) it seems to be a bargain. I’m sure I’ll be laughed out of here by some of you claiming that TTAC is on Ford’s payroll, but this is a seriously badass car.

Still, there are plenty of others cars that have been denied to US drivers over the years. I’m not limiting this to 1992 model year cars. What car, 25 years or older, would you bring in from overseas, and why?

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