Lotus Elan

Elan Sprint UK to USA?

PostPost by: teapot » Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:03 am

Hi There,
I have recently moved from London, UK to Los Angeles, USA and would love to bring my '72 Elan Sprint over here to sunny California. I gather it doesn't need a smog check, but a friend warned it would not pass safety regulations for an imported vehicle. I've looked at various US Government Websites, but I'm still unclear on what the rules are.
Has anybody has experience of shipping an Elan from the UK to the States? and let me know if it's going to be possible to keep it in it's original condition..
Thanks in advance
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PostPost by: worzel » Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:25 am

Hello there

No connection with him but you might try contacting Mike Abbas who still exports cars worldwide as a business. In the past he's sent many elans overseas.

Sorry I don't know his number but I saw an ad of his recently in Classic Cars. He's based in Lancashire.

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PostPost by: Emma-Knight » Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:11 pm

think its "mikeabbasclassiccars.co.uk"
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PostPost by: pamitchell » Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:36 pm

Hi Andrew;

Welcome to CA. Here's info from CA. DMV thay may be helpful.
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PostPost by: marcfuller » Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:40 pm

As your 1972 Elan is "at least 25 years old" there are no Federal US safety and theft equipment restrictions as to its importation. From the NHTSA website-

"8. Importing a vehicle that is at least 25 years old.

A motor vehicle that is at least 25 years old can be lawfully imported into the U.S. without regard to whether it complies with all applicable FMVSS. Such a vehicle would be entered under Box 1 on the HS-7 Declaration form to be given to Customs at the time of importation. If you wish to see that form, you may download a copy from our website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import. You should note that the 25 year period runs from the date of the vehicle's manufacture. If the date of manufacture is not identified on a label permanently affixed to the vehicle by its original manufacturer, to establish the age of the vehicle, you should have documentation available such as an invoice showing the date the vehicle was first sold or a registration document showing that the vehicle was registered at least 25 years ago. ... "

Here is the link for the wepage quoted above-
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/imp ... chor-28852

Here is the link for the US Customs form HS-7-
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/imp ... 9short.pdf
-Marc '66 Elan DHC (36/6025)
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PostPost by: marcfuller » Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:23 am

You may also want to review the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations related to bringing in your Elan. It seems that since your Elan is over 21 years old that that it is "exempted" making it a fairly simple process.-

and the required form-

here is the link for the full EPA Automotive Imports Facts manual-
-Marc '66 Elan DHC (36/6025)
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PostPost by: schroeder » Sat Feb 04, 2006 1:36 am


I brought my 71 +2 into the US in 1996 just after it's 25th birthday. No DoT or EPA inspections were required.

Indiana registration was a simple matter of presenting the UK log book and import papers. CA is stricter than most states so best to check with DMV.

Good Luck
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PostPost by: Alpine_Ian » Sun Feb 19, 2006 1:18 pm


I had no trouble bringing my '61 Harrington Alpine into the States back in 1992. I paid a broker 150.00 to handle all the paperwork for me. The rest was easy. Schroeder is right... I had to surrender my log book and import papers for a US title. It's now legal in the US.

The biggest problem I had with bringing the Harrington over was that it was not a running car. The shipping yard in England held me over a barrel for tons of little things. I remember getting these phone calls in the middle of the night. Each one costing me 500.00! They wouldn't ship the car until it had been bug sprayed, e-brake fixed, stuff like that. They even welded a tow hitch to the front cross member! My advice is be sure it is a running car!
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PostPost by: wparslow » Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:57 pm

Guys, it's easy peasy for a car over 25 years old. I did it with a 1971 Jensen FF a couple of Years ago. In order to get the car registered with the RMV over there they will want to see proof of title (i.e. V5) and also proof that you've owned it for more than 6 months so they don't tax you. Other than that it's a doddle.

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