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Old 09.11.2014, 02:21
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Importing a classic/vintage car into Switzerland

After scouring through the threads about importing classic/vintage cars into Switzerland, I've noticed that there isn't a thread explaining people's experience on their process. I want restore (well, my little brother will do the work - I will be in charge of the finances) and import a 1969 Chevy Camaro in a few years (is my "American" showing??). So if you've imported a car that is 30 years or older, tell us about it!
  • What's the make, model, and year of your car (a pic would be AWESOME)?
  • What country did you import the car from?
  • What shipping company did you use (including cost)?
  • From where to where did you ship your car?
  • What taxes/fees did you pay at the border?
  • What was the detailed process (from A-Z), including all fees paid?
  • Is there anything you would have (not) done differently?

For those who have RESTORED their vehicles tell us about your experience!
  • Did you obtain a MFK list and pretty much "Autozoned" it?
  • Did you have to order specific parts from Switzerland or anywhere else in Europe? If so, what did you order and from where?

If you don't have FIRST-HAND experience in restoring and/or importing a classic car into this country, please refrain from giving your 2 cents. It will only cause confusion and crowd up the thread. Also, this isn't a thread to complain about prices or to discourage someone from restoring and/or importing their vintage vehicle into Switzerland. There are many other threads to do that on

A pic of my (future) baby
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Old 11.11.2014, 16:45
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Re: Importing a classic/vintage car into Switzerland

Hi MichigianLC,

I am currently towards the end of the story of having my 1984 Porsche 911 3.2L shipped from Austin TX to Holland and then to outside of Zürich where I live.

I am having Italian Plates put on since I've lived in Italy for a long time and have two other cars registered over there. Last chapter of this "shipping" story is having the car shipped from Holland to Zürich which should happen within the next 10 days... Just in time for Snow!!!!!

The I will start the sequel called "The Swiss Registration Story" but more on that in the future.......


The "trick" is to get the car registered in the EU with Dutch or German temp plates. After that it becomes just another EU import. Then if you can pass the MFK you can get Swiss plates, If it doesn't pass then your in trouble...

BTW why a "couple" of years to fix up a 69' Camaro? I doesn't look in bad shape unless of course the Pic is what it should look like!!!

I noticed you have a 396 in there... Way to go!!! (Well you could of had a 454).

Will keep you posted and will post pics....

Bye
ZoeTheCat




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Old 17.11.2014, 23:10
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Re: Importing a classic/vintage car into Switzerland

That baby that you see is the goal of how I want the car to look like when it's done. I would rather buy the body and invest in rebuilding it (it'll help my brother gain better knowledge on cars and it'll be awesome driving a car that you've helped "build") than look for something that's already "done". So when the time is right, I will begin to build my baby to look exactly like the one in the pic, bring it over, and cruise on these Swiss roads with a real car!

Btw, do you have a pic of your car?
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Old 18.11.2014, 08:46
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Re: Importing a classic/vintage car into Switzerland

I get it.... But then your Brother will have all the fun!!!!

Here are Pics of mine.... Only had the 3.2L and Tranny rebuilt. The rest is original..

Bye
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Old 18.11.2014, 09:17
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Re: Importing a classic/vintage car into Switzerland

I have a similar situation, I'd like to restore and import and Ford model A(!) from Uruguay. Looking for any advice I can get
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Old 20.11.2014, 09:27
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Re: Importing a classic/vintage car into Switzerland

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I get it.... But then your Brother will have all the fun!!!!

Here are Pics of mine.... Only had the 3.2L and Tranny rebuilt. The rest is original..

Bye

She is gorgeous! Are you going to drive it with a regular license plate or are you going to use a vintage one? If you are going to get a regular license plate, how would you go about doing that? When I bring my car over, I don't want to use a vintage plate for it because I want to use that as my main transportation (and get rid of this little "substitute" car that I currently have). What was your process on getting it insured? Did you go on comparis.ch or just googled a few and called to see if they would insure you?
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Old 20.11.2014, 09:29
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Re: Importing a classic/vintage car into Switzerland

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I have a similar situation, I'd like to restore and import and Ford model A(!) from Uruguay. Looking for any advice I can get

Hopefully more people, who has experience in this area, will respond so that we BOTH can learn!
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Old 20.11.2014, 09:35
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Re: Importing a classic/vintage car into Switzerland

Right now I have regular ITA plates and insurance. Having about 8 months left before my 12 month limit expires I'm in no hurry to get Swiss plates but I will keep you posted on my adventure when I start....

Bye
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Old 20.11.2014, 09:43
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Re: Importing a classic/vintage car into Switzerland

My only words of advice are this: if you're looking to rebuild a car that isn't totally stock, be sure that all of the non-original parts are certified for Switzerland. For example, those wheels look great, but if you don't have the right paperwork for them, you won't get the car through its MFK.
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Old 20.11.2014, 09:45
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Re: Importing a classic/vintage car into Switzerland

You guys should scroll down the page (to the bottom) there is mostly all the info you need .....
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Old 23.11.2014, 11:05
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Re: Importing a classic/vintage car into Switzerland

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My only words of advice are this: if you're looking to rebuild a car that isn't totally stock, be sure that all of the non-original parts are certified for Switzerland. For example, those wheels look great, but if you don't have the right paperwork for them, you won't get the car through its MFK.

That's not the pic of my actual car - just how I want it to look when it's all done. Since it's not staying in America, I would rather import "Swiss approved" parts because of the MFK and whatnot.
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Old 23.11.2014, 11:06
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Re: Importing a classic/vintage car into Switzerland

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Right now I have regular ITA plates and insurance. Having about 8 months left before my 12 month limit expires I'm in no hurry to get Swiss plates but I will keep you posted on my adventure when I start....

Bye

Awesome! I am most def looking forward in reading about your experience in that area!
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Old 23.11.2014, 11:09
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Re: Importing a classic/vintage car into Switzerland

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You guys should scroll down the page (to the bottom) there is mostly all the info you need .....

But if you scroll to the top of the page and reread the original post, I'm not asking anyone how to import vintage/classic cars, but rather their experience with the entire process - especially if they built their car from scratch.
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Old 23.11.2014, 19:10
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Re: Importing a classic/vintage car into Switzerland

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But if you scroll to the top of the page and reread the original post, I'm not asking anyone how to import vintage/classic cars, but rather their experience with the entire process - especially if they built their car from scratch.
I know how difficult this can be. Don't even bother.

If you have anything which is heavily modified from original - especially if it wasn't originally imported into Switzerland it will cost you a lot of make it legal. Each modification will need to be approved - and if the part hasn't been approved before it will cost.

BigBlue had issues with a Japanese car.
I had to sell a Volvo (of all cars).
I currently own a "near" individual import - which requires me to carry the CoC at all times
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Old 23.11.2014, 22:24
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Re: Importing a classic/vintage car into Switzerland

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I know how difficult this can be. Don't even bother.

If you have anything which is heavily modified from original - especially if it wasn't originally imported into Switzerland it will cost you a lot of make it legal. Each modification will need to be approved - and if the part hasn't been approved before it will cost.

BigBlue had issues with a Japanese car.
I had to sell a Volvo (of all cars).
I currently own a "near" individual import - which requires me to carry the CoC at all times

I'm sorry, but this isn't a thread to discourage someone out of rebuilding and/or importing a classic/vintage car into this country - but to share one's experience (if you would kindly reread the original post). For those who are passionate in this area (of rebuilding a classic car), money is not an issue and it's not a hassle to have the COC in the car at all times. Obviously, those who plan on importing cars know that there will be a great deal of paperwork and possibly headaches along the way, but for me - it'll be all worth it.
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Old 24.11.2014, 08:40
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Re: Importing a classic/vintage car into Switzerland

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I'm sorry, but this isn't a thread to discourage someone out of rebuilding and/or importing a classic/vintage car into this country - but to share one's experience (if you would kindly reread the original post). For those who are passionate in this area (of rebuilding a classic car), money is not an issue and it's not a hassle to have the COC in the car at all times. Obviously, those who plan on importing cars know that there will be a great deal of paperwork and possibly headaches along the way, but for me - it'll be all worth it.
You wanted stories of people importing cars - you got one - you didn't like the answer.

You really want to make sure everything is in order BEFORE you buy, restore and ship the car. That means double checking what paperwork already exists in Switzerland. You'll need to check whether the car was originally maticulated here, to what standards and to what emission levels. Switzerland was a lot stricter on emissions than the rest of europe in the 1980s and some cars that were OK in the Europe and the US fail emissions here.

The other point is about parts - it is important that original type parts are used in restoration - if not you will almost certainly find that they flag them as needing individual approval. IIRC it cost a friend somewhere in the region of 20,000chf in order to have this done on a car he was desperate to import (and worth considerably more).

In hindsight I wish I had made sure I had sorted this all out BEFORE I tried to import my car.

EDIT: I can't be for sure, but I think in 1982 Switzerland introduced tighter emission controls (AGV82) which deviated from ECE which was in place before. These moved to AGV86 then FAV 1 and 2 - before merging again with EURO3 in 2001. FAV2 was the same in terms of limitation as EURO2. But double check though. Furthermore if the STVA suspects that power is up over a certain % against stock they will want to know why and require documentation that it is inline with Swiss standards.
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Old 24.11.2014, 08:52
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Re: Importing a classic/vintage car into Switzerland

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I currently own a "near" individual import - which requires me to carry the CoC at all times
Likewise.

In my case, a new Italian motorcycle that I had bought at the factory two months after the change to Euro3 (the bike is Euro2).

Still don't understand the need to carry the CoC.

Tom
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Old 24.11.2014, 09:12
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Re: Importing a classic/vintage car into Switzerland

Do not even think of restoring a car here! seriously, it will bankrupt you.

It was cheaper for me to get a transport company for the UK pick up my car and take it to a specialist in England, then getting even 1/4 of the work done here.

We've also imported a car, An MG from the UK and that was also a total ballache, the import MFK can be a real pain, they argued our body kit wasn't factory standard so we had to prove it was etc etc the paperwork cost a small fortune too.

As you're probably aware, the swiss don't do anything to there cars themselves, finding even the basic parts is difficult, and finding somewhere you're allowed to work on your car is also a pain, you'll need to be far away from prying eyes or have your own private (not shared) garage

Personally I'd get the car fully restored in the US, where parts and labour are cheap and available, then import it
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Old 24.11.2014, 09:17
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Re: Importing a classic/vintage car into Switzerland

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finding somewhere you're allowed to work on your car is also a pain, you'll need to be far away from prying eyes or have your own private (not shared) garage
Before I had a garage, I did it at work (still do sometimes), but now usually in, or in front of, my garages, or in my parking spot.

Tom
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Old 24.11.2014, 10:21
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Re: Importing a classic/vintage car into Switzerland

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Do not even think of restoring a car here! seriously, it will bankrupt you.

It was cheaper for me to get a transport company for the UK pick up my car and take it to a specialist in England, then getting even 1/4 of the work done here.

We've also imported a car, An MG from the UK and that was also a total ballache, the import MFK can be a real pain, they argued our body kit wasn't factory standard so we had to prove it was etc etc the paperwork cost a small fortune too.

As you're probably aware, the swiss don't do anything to there cars themselves, finding even the basic parts is difficult, and finding somewhere you're allowed to work on your car is also a pain, you'll need to be far away from prying eyes or have your own private (not shared) garage

Personally I'd get the car fully restored in the US, where parts and labour are cheap and available, then import it

Oh, no! I don't plan on bringing the car over from America until it's completely restored! It's going to stay in my brother's driveway and I'm in charge of giving him the money needed/ordering specific parts. I refuse to get my hands dirty with this car (literally)! Lol!
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