The Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act of the USA has opened opportunities for several old but legendary cars to be newly available in 2023, passing the USA market regulations. A point to be noted, this regulation only allows cars 25 years old or more to be legal for USA import. So, all these not-sold-in-America cars in this list technically kicked off production in 1998. In this list, we’ve compiled a few of the coolest specimens that turn 25 this year and thus become finally eligible to hit the USA public roads.
Subaru Impreza STi 22B
This Subaru model fetched over a quarter-million dollars at auctions. With a 2.2-liter Boxer engine pumping out more than 280hp, this model reached legendary status in 1999, even earning a pretty cool moniker ‘the Subaru from hell!’ You can now import a Subaru Impreza STi 22B technically under the Show and Display exemption but with a usage limit of 2500 miles a year.
Nissan R34 Skyline
While the Nissan R34 Skyline hit the market by 1998, the iconic Millennium Jade GT-R model didn’t arrive at showrooms until the following model year. So, for now, you can only import into the USA the more affordable version of the Nissan R34 Skyline GTS-T. This rear-wheel-drive model is equipped with a turbocharged inline-six RB20DET and a manual transmission option.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution V
Popularly known as the Evo 5, this Mitsubishi Lancer iteration is reckoned one of the most legendary rally superstars. Its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-banger engine generates about 280hp and also an equal amount of torque. It also features an all-wheel drivetrain and five-speed manual transmission. This award-winning model is finally eligible to import into the USA in 2023.
Honda Accord SiR-T
Both the Honda Accord SiR and SiR-T hit the market in the model year 1997, so, technically they have been eligible for importation in the USA since last year. However, the SiR-T is the better option to import for one simple yet important reason- it features a manual transmission, which wasn’t common in a ‘90s car. The engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder one producing 200hp.
Porsche 911 GT1 Straßenversion
This track-only GT1 variant of Porsche is too cool to not be included in the list! That being said, unlike many other GT1 models from companies like Nissan, the public production units of this Porsche model actually exist. Especially for its 3.2-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six engine, this powerful Porsche can hit an astronomical import price of around $11.3 million.
When Alex Bowman, the most recent winner in the Cup series, partnered with the No. 48 Hendrick motorsports team to surprise crew chief Greg Ives, it was unexpected. The race car driver revealed a seafoam-colored throwback scheme to drive at the Darlington Raceway that pays tribute to Ives’ racing career in Super Late Models.
Sticking to priorities
After the surprise, Ives has confessed to NBC that the team caught him off-guard and expressed his dislike for unexpected gifts and tributes. Alex Bowman also told NBC how Ives could not comprehend what he was seeing at the moment and got emotional once he realized what it was. However, there is a lot more to the paint job story. After Ives’ first full season at the Super Late Models, he was looking for an equipment upgrade to lead him on his journey. “I was a quiet greaseball kid, who only thing he cared about was racing. That was my No. 1 priority. Not girlfriends. Not going to the movies with my friends,” he recalled.
The right color scheme
On his way to his second season in Super Late Models, his father decided to spend $10,000 for a new car, and it meant a great deal to him. Ives’ car seller had insisted that he keep the color scheme, although he was perplexed as to why it mattered. When he pulled into Wisconsin International Raceway, he realized his car was similar to that Jimi Pagel, a renowned driver who passed away during a 1997 crash on the same course. Ives later got to know more about Pagel and continued with the seafoam color, keeping his designs simple. Very soon, it will be back on the Darlington Raceway on national TV for millions of fans.
Alex Bowman adds that he lacked inspiration for his next event’s scheme when he considered Ives’ color and was given the go-ahead by Ally, their sponsor. He feels that the surprise was not just for Ives but for all his team members who were not familiar with its history.