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Old 24.09.2015, 12:29
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Importing a Modified Classic Car

I read the other threads I could find on modified cars and importation, but my situation is a bit different.

I will import a 1961 Alfa Romeo that I've owned for years (it's spent all of them in restoration) with my household effects.

I did a restomod designed to make it a better and safer driver. For example, it has a later Alfa Romeo engine in it. It has a 1961 airbox, same kind of carbs as 1961, the "generator" looks just like the old one with an alternator inside. It takes an alfa expert to tell that anything is different, it's just all "better". The engine was rebuilt to a high standard and being later, has about 50-60% more power. This one is ~1969, it's a little taller than the original, but fits with no bulge and has any exterior bit that looked different has been swapped for a 1961 part. Ride height is standard, wheels are stock.

The most visible change is 4 wheel disc brakes (again from a later Alfa). 1961 cars didn't have all wheel discs (it was going to be in the Pacific NW, so discs made it safer in the rain--same here I suppose). This strikes me as the easiest thing to be flagged.

As part of the restoration, a new build plate will be fabricated for the engine compartment. Nearly all of the time, people put the new engine number on these, so the build plate will match the engine number.

The restoration was done by the best guy in the US, it will arrive looking ready for Villa d'Este. It may be the most interesting thing the guys see at the inspection station that week. Does this mean they view it as fun and don't look hard? Or do they all have a look and try to impress one another spotting the things that aren't original?

To sum up with specifics

1) there's lots here that a Swiss inspector could choose not to accept.
Is the same standard applied to a 1961 classic Italian car as a Fast and Furious rice rocket?

2) If it's no go, do I have a year to export it? My wife's a Polish citizen and I know car guys there. In the worse case, I stash it in Poland and drive it to Zakopane for the summer holiday and it goes back to the US or off to auction at Villa D'Este...

Thanks! The English Forum is the best.
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Old 24.09.2015, 13:18
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Re: Importing a Modified Classic Car

As I understand the Swiss testing system, it will be tested as if it was imported in 1962. Everything should work as the original car did.

Anything that doesn't work would have to be removed, for instance you cannot have a defective remote headlamp height adjustment, either it works correctly, or it is removed.

Anything that is added after 1961 would need to be tested & approved & issued with a certificate: for instance the disk brakes.

As you have changed the brakes and the engine, you will have some expensive specialised testing to pay for.

Maybe you should export it to a more lenient country, as you suggested.
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Old 24.09.2015, 13:27
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Re: Importing a Modified Classic Car

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As I understand the Swiss testing system, it will be tested as if it was imported in 1962. Everything should work as the original car did.

Anything that doesn't work would have to be removed, for instance you cannot have a defective remote headlamp height adjustment, either it works correctly, or it is removed.

Anything that is added after 1961 would need to be tested & approved & issued with a certificate: for instance the disk brakes.

As you have changed the brakes and the engine, you will have some expensive specialised testing to pay for.

Maybe you should export it to a more lenient country, as you suggested.

It greatly depends on what is in the 'Swiss system' for the car. It's easier for over 50 years old.
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Old 24.09.2015, 20:23
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Re: Importing a Modified Classic Car

I am sure that there will be a Alfa Romeo classic car club in Switzerland.We have an old Lancia and there are so many "Old Timers"in the country. They will be able to possibly point you in the right direction and advise.

Classic car club members are usually really helpful to a fellow enthusiasts!!
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Old 24.09.2015, 20:45
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Re: Importing a Modified Classic Car

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As I understand the Swiss testing system, it will be tested as if it was imported in 1962.
The date of importation does not matter, rather it's the date of first registration.

Tom
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Old 24.09.2015, 21:01
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Re: Importing a Modified Classic Car

How is your German?

The 1969 Motor could mean that 1969 rules apply.
The non original motor means you can not register it as Veteran (much lower tax, but only 2000 - 3000 km per year permitted)

Unfortunatly, the rules where only codified 1969 and came into force in 1970 as BAV (Bau und Ausrüstung von Strassenfahrzeuge)
(Not aviable online. Zentralbibliothek has a copy of it)

http://www.fsva.ch/

http://www.porsche-356-club.ch/Porsc...neneintrag.pdf

http://www.astra2.admin.ch/media/pdf...9-29_710_d.pdf

http://www.bfu.ch/de/Documents/05_Di...setzgebung.pdf
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Old 24.09.2015, 21:05
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Re: Importing a Modified Classic Car

I was recently in the same boat as you, but have not yet decided if I will import my old car or not (1941 Mercury town sedan, but with a 305 Chevy and modified suspension - a mild custom.)

In looking for answers, I posted a query on the H.A.M.B. - the Hokey Ass Message Board - an internet pit stop for classic custom and hot rod enthusiasts.

On that forum there are several Swiss members who have imported classics, and they all directed me to Schilters in Goldau as the people to speak to. Supposedly they can tell you eveything that will pass or not - and I wouldn't be surprised if they also know how to grease the proverbial wheels at the Strassenverkersamt.

Good luck! And please keep us updated..
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Old 24.09.2015, 21:08
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Re: Importing a Modified Classic Car

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I read the other threads I could find on modified cars and importation, but my situation is a bit different.

I will import a 1961 Alfa Romeo that I've owned for years (it's spent all of them in restoration) with my household effects.

I did a restomod designed to make it a better and safer driver. For example, it has a later Alfa Romeo engine in it. It has a 1961 airbox, same kind of carbs as 1961, the "generator" looks just like the old one with an alternator inside. It takes an alfa expert to tell that anything is different, it's just all "better". The engine was rebuilt to a high standard and being later, has about 50-60% more power. This one is ~1969, it's a little taller than the original, but fits with no bulge and has any exterior bit that looked different has been swapped for a 1961 part. Ride height is standard, wheels are stock.

The most visible change is 4 wheel disc brakes (again from a later Alfa). 1961 cars didn't have all wheel discs (it was going to be in the Pacific NW, so discs made it safer in the rain--same here I suppose). This strikes me as the easiest thing to be flagged.

As part of the restoration, a new build plate will be fabricated for the engine compartment. Nearly all of the time, people put the new engine number on these, so the build plate will match the engine number.

The restoration was done by the best guy in the US, it will arrive looking ready for Villa d'Este. It may be the most interesting thing the guys see at the inspection station that week. Does this mean they view it as fun and don't look hard? Or do they all have a look and try to impress one another spotting the things that aren't original?

To sum up with specifics

1) there's lots here that a Swiss inspector could choose not to accept.
Is the same standard applied to a 1961 classic Italian car as a Fast and Furious rice rocket?

2) If it's no go, do I have a year to export it? My wife's a Polish citizen and I know car guys there. In the worse case, I stash it in Poland and drive it to Zakopane for the summer holiday and it goes back to the US or off to auction at Villa D'Este...

Thanks! The English Forum is the best.

Astrolake,


I take it this is a Giulietta, wonderful car.


The car will be evaluated per the specs it was originally built to. Exhaust emissions, exhaust noise level etc.



You will probably have trouble getting the disc brakes through, if it were only the fronts, and they were off a Sprint Zagato, then you would get by. Otherwise you could get a special approval for the brake mods - you would have to prove that they are dimensioned and manufactured to a suitable spec (i.e. detailed engineering drawings from the manufacturer) and it will cost a LOT of money (i.e. 5k or so)


The motor you can pretty much forget getting through with. You would have to prove (again engineering drawings/calculations) to prove that the chassis, driveline, suspension and brakes have been uprated to handle the additional power.


The inspectors here know Alfas fairly well, and when you go for the MFK after import they consult a database of all the pertinent data for that model (Yes, they measure brake disc diameter, thickness, if they are ventilated, if the casting part number on the caliper matches etc, etc, etc). If the engine number isn't conform to their database then they will spot the restamped build plate. I took a big Healey in this summer and the inspector made a stink because it didn't have an original style fuel pump.


If you could prove that the car has a racing history from back in the day equipped as it is, then you might get through.


Sorry to pee on your fireworks mister. I would suggest that you talk with the STV before you even think of shipping the car.
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Old 24.09.2015, 21:12
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Re: Importing a Modified Classic Car

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The car will be evaluated per the specs it was originally built to.
Again, no.

A car built to 1961 specs, but first registered in 1985, for example, will have to meet 1985 specs, for example.

Tom
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Old 24.09.2015, 21:34
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Re: Importing a Modified Classic Car

I dunno. I MFKed my 67 Corvette as an oldtimer and they checked the brakes and the lights and made sure the frame was not rusted and off I went. Pretty easy. It also had a new engine block and they weren't quite well versed (or interested) in the build dates, casting dates or other such minutiae.
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Old 24.09.2015, 21:47
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Re: Importing a Modified Classic Car

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I dunno. I MFKed my 67 Corvette as an oldtimer and they checked the brakes and the lights and made sure the frame was not rusted and off I went. Pretty easy. It also had a new engine block and they weren't quite well versed (or interested) in the build dates, casting dates or other such minutiae.


Brass,


Astro is in Zürich. They are pretty strict here (particularily Uetliberg, Winterthur a bit less so). Them not knowing the Vette (and not wanting to show that) may have played a role. When I was with the Healey in Winterthur the first inspector was about 25 years old and not very well versed in classic cars: as we drove into the lamp test area he said "So, these cars have no turnsignals"... I didn't reply, as I didn't want to embarass him by pointing to the trafficator... he just checked that the head and brakelights worked and ticked off his little boxes. It is a bit of a crap shoot, some inspectors are pretty reasonable, some are just OTT.
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Old 25.09.2015, 16:40
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Re: Importing a Modified Classic Car

Thanks for the useful advice!

I'm in Zurich, but the car will be imported into Lugano as part of my wife's arrival (it has been titled in her name for years and she's a new USI prof).

It sounds like no place is tougher than Zurich. Brass427, where are you? I owned a '68 Corvette that had a big block from a Chevelle. Car and motor were both stamped to masquerade as an L88 (only 12 might have been built, but 200 survive). It had Crager mags and all sorts of mods, most as screwy as the engine rather than the mags (huge L88-like single carb). It somehow got through the system in Zurich (I bought it here, so didn't see how that happened).

Anyone know what the Lugano inspectors are like?

It seems I can enjoy it for a year here before it must be inspected and registered.

Do I wait most of the year before braving the inspection? If I do it early and they say "no dice", do I get to drive around for the rest of my 365 days before it's deportation?

Yes, it is the Giulietta Sprint. The Alfa club was a good suggestion. I sent a contact message, but their web site hasn't been updated for several years. We'll see if anyone monitors the contact account.

Parking is so expensive in Lugano, I've been telling my wife that I need to find a man cave a few km away in Italy. Maybe this is one more reason to look for that.
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Old 25.09.2015, 16:42
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Re: Importing a Modified Classic Car

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Parking is so expensive in Lugano, I've been telling my wife that I need to find a man cave a few km away in Italy.
I pay only CHF 140/month for each of my garages, and nothing for my parking space.

Tom
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Old 25.09.2015, 16:56
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Re: Importing a Modified Classic Car

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I pay only CHF 140/month for each of my garages, and nothing for my parking space.

Tom


Doesn't matter how much or little parking slots cost, a gearhead needs a mancave.
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Old 01.10.2015, 11:20
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Re: Importing a Modified Classic Car

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Thanks for the useful advice!

I'm in Zurich, but the car will be imported into Lugano as part of my wife's arrival (it has been titled in her name for years and she's a new USI prof).

It sounds like no place is tougher than Zurich. Brass427, where are you? I owned a '68 Corvette that had a big block from a Chevelle. Car and motor were both stamped to masquerade as an L88 (only 12 might have been built, but 200 survive). It had Crager mags and all sorts of mods, most as screwy as the engine rather than the mags (huge L88-like single carb). It somehow got through the system in Zurich (I bought it here, so didn't see how that happened).

Anyone know what the Lugano inspectors are like?

It seems I can enjoy it for a year here before it must be inspected and registered.

Do I wait most of the year before braving the inspection? If I do it early and they say "no dice", do I get to drive around for the rest of my 365 days before it's deportation?

Yes, it is the Giulietta Sprint. The Alfa club was a good suggestion. I sent a contact message, but their web site hasn't been updated for several years. We'll see if anyone monitors the contact account.

Parking is so expensive in Lugano, I've been telling my wife that I need to find a man cave a few km away in Italy. Maybe this is one more reason to look for that.
I did mine in Schafisheim and it was rather easy.

Actually there are FAR more than 200 'original' L88s running around, some with big tanks and all sorts of nifty non-existent 'options'.

An English friend of mine (I keep a few for sh*ts and giggles) MFKed a right hand drive TR5 with no sweat.

I think it depends a lot on who you get. I haven't done this in several years but I've been told that there are some red flags to avoid getting closer looks. For example, if you have non-standard wheels, swap them out for the originals. Borrow them if you have to. Original air cleaners and other cosmetic mods also ring the alarm bells. I've been told - never tried it - that TCS will do a 'pre-inspection' to give you a list of things to adapt but I don't know if that is true or a rumor.
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