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Trabants in the USA

Posted by Mgnostic 
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Matt Kirk
Vernon, North Texas, USA   usa
1959 Austin-Healey Bugeye Sprite
1976 MG MGB
1979 MG MGB "Killer Bee"

Is it possible to register a Trabant in the US?

Skye Avatar
Skye Nott
Vancouver, BC, Canada   can
1964 Vespa VNB 125
1966 MG MGB "The Bomber RIP"
1983 Suzuki MC GS750E "Kate"
1986 Merkur XR4Ti "The Rally Car"
1990 Volkswagen Corrado G60   → more

It must be possible, if this guy has done it... don't know the details unfortunately.
I think Canada has much more relaxed importation laws!

http://www.trabantregistry.com/registry/28255888



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Renato Piereck
Ansbach, Franken, Germany   deu

I have been pondering importing a Trabant into the US when I return at the end of my tour in Germany in two years. I have been doing a bit of home work, and as far as I can gather, bringing a Trabant that is more than 25 years old into the country won't be a problem. Any vehicle over 25 years of age (calculated from date of manufacture) can be brought in, no questions asked, according to the United States government rules. The problem lies with which state you will register the car. Some states are more lenient (like Florida), whil others not so much (California, Virginia). The biggest problem with a Trabant is the two-stroke engine that supposedly won't meet emissions in a few states. From what I hear registering a Trabant in California would be near impossible, unless then car was made before the late 60s when emissions testing started. The best thing would be to consult with the DMV of your state, and ask them what would be the rules they follow for bringing in a car from overseas. It also helps if you read up online on your own state's laws concerning this matter, as your local DMV might have no clue on this issue.

Here is a good article on this same issue: http://jalopnik.com/5892536/how-to-import-a-foreign-car-legally

SiteTest Avatar
Site Tester
City, Region, Sweden   swe
1970 MG MGB

Good information Renato, thank you! Keep us updated on how it goes if you decide to import... I'm sure it will be of interest to others that want to do the same thing.

- Skye

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Bence Mazán
Budapest, Budapest, Hungary   hun

They can help you in Trabant buying shipping and registering: socialistcarimporter.freewb.hu

Renato Piereck
Ansbach, Franken, Germany   deu

I am still pursuing this. I will be leaving Germany in December this year and most likely returning to the USA (there is a small chance I'll end up in South Korea, and I cannot bring a car there).

I currently own a 1989 Peugeot 205 CTI. I am thinking of bringing this car to the USA, but the car needs some work, especially in the rear suspension, which could be rather expensive here in Germany. In the USA I'd be stuck doing that work myself because there are virtually no Peugeot mechanics in most of the country. For that reason alone I am thinking of selling the Peugeot. If I do I think I'll be looking into buying a Trabant 601 Tourist. I really love the design of the wagon body on the Trabant, it looks very handsome.

Whether I buy a Trabant or not will also depend on where the US Army decides to send me.

I have recently started gathering some information on registering and getting emissions done in a few states, and I have found out that in Virginia all cars above 25 years of age are considered an Antique and exempt from emissions, so any Trabant that is legally imported into the US can be registered there as there is no emissions required: http://www.dmv.state.va.us/vehicles/#emissions.asp



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2014-05-11 03:08 PM by pyrrhic.

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Skye Avatar
Skye Nott
Vancouver, BC, Canada   can
1964 Vespa VNB 125
1966 MG MGB "The Bomber RIP"
1983 Suzuki MC GS750E "Kate"
1986 Merkur XR4Ti "The Rally Car"
1990 Volkswagen Corrado G60   → more

I know what you mean about support, there was a Lancia Delta Integrale for sale here which is pretty much my dream car, but after buying it, then what?? Sometimes you have to temper your dreams a little bit, and go with something that has a bit of local support.

That said, there do seem to be quite a few Trabants around the US. Enough to make it a viable hobby, at least. And they don't have that many parts to begin with winking smiley

Skye



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Renato Piereck
Ansbach, Franken, Germany   deu

With today's age of the internet getting parts from overseas is not an issue at all. Need parts for a Trabant? Lots of places for it.

There is even an app for it! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.shopgate.android.app10617

Parts for my Peugeot? As long as I can speak English, French, and or German there are loads of places to choose from. Not an issue.

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