Importing a US car. | The Z Club of Great Britain
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Importing a US car.

Discussion in 'General discussion' started by Wally, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. Wally

    Wally New Forum User

    I'm now ready to begin the search for a late 260 or 280z. After the advice on here I'm looking to import one from the US.

    Where's the best place to start looking? I've looked on US ebay and hemming.

    Anyone have any experience and advice for importing a car?

    I'm looking to import one that obviously requires work for around £10,000. I'm hoping for as little rust as possible but the car will be media blasted and painted.

    Many thanks.
  2. Woody928

    Z Club Member

    Hi and welcome :thumbs:

    I ended up buying my 240z through ebay however the list of places I used to search were ebay, Bring a trailer (BAT), Craigslist and some of the local clubs along with some of the US facebook pages. There's a few facebook pages that actually spot cars for sale which is really handy.

    I arranged to import my car through CFR Rinkens, they collected the car from the buyer, transported the car to New York and then shipped it to Southampton for me to collect. What would you like to know about the process? There's several members on here who will be able to help having been through the process themselves.

    Certainly speak to a few shipping companies, get some quotes and an idea of who you like dealing with before deciding. My expirience has been detailed in my project link below if you get bored and fancy reading through.
  3. SacCyclone

    Z Club Member

    Be extra careful of the locations from which the cars are being sold.
    Stay away from wet states like Washington and Oregon, snow states in the east and north. Humid states like Florida can be very hard on Zeds too.
    Keep to dry states like Cali, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico if you can.
    Always try to get someone you trust to inspect the car for you as there are many flippers trying to pass off rusty cars that have lipstick applied to them. Better a sunbaked car than a newly painted car with little to no history and documentation.
    Good luck, Mike
    Paul_S likes this.
  4. Wally

    Wally New Forum User

    Cheers for the info guys. Managed to find one of your threads woody on the US Z club.

    I'm happy with the physical process of bringing the car over. I've had a quote from Sea Kargo for just shy of £2,000 for door to door delivery including import fees. Is this around right?

    How has every who's looked at cars in the US found sellers willingness to deal with people exporting the cars? Do they generally prefer local guys for ease?

    I've had eyes on one 280z which I'm liking the look of. I'm just waiting for the seller to get back to me with more photos and to answer a few questions.

    Doesn't look in to bad shape and looks mostly complete.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
  5. SacCyclone

    Z Club Member

    "Sandstone Beige " with metallic flakes .

    Saw that in his description although the car looks silver in the pictures. I like to buy cars that are factory colors, I think they look better and for re-sale down the road if the car has paint as it left the factory the better money you get. Metal flake paint is very hard to match or almost impossible if you ever needed to re-shoot a panel or something.
  6. Wally

    Wally New Forum User

    I’m not too fussed with an original colour as I will be media blasting and painting the shell. This will be a car built for what I want rather than looking at potential buyers in the future. Hopefully I’ll never sell the car once I acquire one.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  7. uk66fastback

    Z Club Member

    Haha! Reading that thread they seem to think it is overpriced. But with so little info to go on - the seller hasn't given much away - how do they know?

    There's a lot about in the US, don't rush. Thought about bringing one in from Europe?
  8. Wally

    Wally New Forum User

    Yeah I've not discounted Europe. Theres quite a few lhd 240z in my price. Even more that need serious body repairs. Rust free, minimal body repairs and preferably a 240z are the main criteria. Not too fused where it comes from.

    The seller from that US thread still hasn't got back to me with more detailed pictures. I'm in no rush so the wait will continue.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
  9. Woody928

    Z Club Member

    Haha small world, I still update my thread on ClassicZclub as they guys over there really helped me out at the time and focused my mind.

    I've just checked and I paid $1,450 to have my car collected from Jaffrey NH, transported to NY and then shipped to Southampton fully insured. I then paid £200 for UK transport and about £1,200 to clear customs so your quote doesn't sound unreasonable. Cost will depend on the value of the vehicle and extras such as Insurance, Ro Ro or containerized etc.

    I don't think its an issue for most, as long as they are comfortable and money appears in their bank account or hand they're not too fussed. Just make sure you've got the shipping company all ready, in some cases you can pay a fee to the shipping company to exchange cash for the car on your behalf if you want the extra peace of mind.

    I'd take Mike's advice he's seen and been around more Z's than most, I'd be most concerned about making sure that the shell is as rust free as possible. This will usually be the biggest cost of any restoration down the line. Everything else is generally bolt on within reason. I'd advise buying the best and most complete car that your budget can stretch to. Post any others up here, there's lots of experienced names that can chip in.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
  10. Mr Tenno

    Mr Tenno
    ZClub Administrator
    Staff Member Committee Member


    Also making sure that all those bolt-on parts are in good condition, after almost completely dismantling my California car, the number of parts that need replacing (and their cost) is astounding.

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