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Minis in the US

Today a caller asked about possibly bringing a 90’s European Austin Mini to the US. Strictly speaking, they are not US legal (they were not imported by the manufacturer since 1967, when the safety and emissions regulations went into effect) but there is a dealer in the Los Angeles area that is bringing in 90’s Minis. I have a British car repair shop in Southern California and we have several customers with these cars.

That dealer must be doing extensive/expensive conversion work. Maybe they’re skirting the regs by putting very old vin plates on them.

I saw a pretty late model one on the road in Providence back in 2005. I don’t know what’s involved in either upgrade or what the requirements are. Would any 1994 car need to meet 2013 safety regs if being brought here? Is 20 years old enough to earn it historic plates? Requirements would then be relaxed.

Older than 25 yrs and it doesn’t have to meet safety (DOT) regs, but all cars have to meet the EPA regs applicable on the date of manufacture. That’s very hard and expensive to do.

Switching to propane enables them to pass EPA requirements I believe.