Sorry, it's not true. US does allow the vehicles more than 25-year-old
to be imported without modification to meet the safety regulations.
However, the vehicle must be modified to meet the EPA pollution
regulations of the year manufactured.
On other hand, if you insist on importing and registering the vehicles
younger than 25-year-old, you must arrange for the registered importer
to modify the vehicle and to sort the paperwork for both DOT and EPA.
If the vehicle has same body chassis and same motor-gearbox combination
officially sold in the USA, the cost is considerably cheaper. For
instance, if you want a C55 station wagon which is not even officially
imported to the USA, the registered importer can obtain all of required
parts and do the conversion work easily.
In that case of smart cars, Zap, Inc. of Santa Rosa, California
contracted a registered importer for $10million to 're-manufacture' the
smart cars for US market with unique components that were fabricated by
the registered importer.
We do have a category called 'historical and technical' importation
which allows the owners to import the specialty vehicles without any
modifications to meet safety regulations. The rules for pollution
regulations for the year manufactured still applies here. However, the
owners are not allowed to drive more than 2.500 miles a year. NHTSA will
verify the odometer annually as to ensure the compliance. The rule is
that the vehicle must not have shared a common chassis with the vehicles
that are officially imported. Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR, McLaren F1, and
Porsche 959 fit that category. But, Audi RS6 station wagon doesn't.
It's time to push for the switch to ECE R 29 (international de facto
safety regulations). We've have enough of restricted choices of models
and motors for the US market. We've have enough of inept NHTSA trying to
reinvent the wheel once too often. Australians have it lucky than the
Americans as they have harmonised their safety and pollution regulations
with ECE R29 which made the vehicles cheaper and widely available in
Very well said, the W124s are modern enough (ABS, airbags),
simple enough (non-CDI diesel engines) plus high quality
Also a wide choice, here in Germany from 72 PS 200D to
320 PS E500 (not counting E60 AMG), sedan, T-model,
He is saying exactly that... 1998 or 1999 E300TD is the last of the classic
turbo diesel before the CDI engine... are probably the most reliable and
powerful diesel engine before the CDI came out in 2003.
Looking at reliability, simplicity, ease and cost of repair
plus longevity as well as durability: Yes, I do.
But of course I'm not mainstream with my thoughts and
wants plus there's another thing, that's the sound of
When I drove a w124 300D (sedan, auto, 109 PS) for a year,
which now is more than 10 years ago, I not only liked the
power - yes, POWER, compared to the 55-80 PS 4- and 5-cyl
W123 diesels - but especially the sound of the engine.
I know that's _highly_ subjective and in realistic terms
the car was not _fast_ (185 km/h//115 mph, 0-100 km/h 0-62.1 mph = 14,1 s), but I also found the power delivery
of the 3 litre-inline 6-cylinder (OM 603.912) smooth and
even. It's for me like giving a bit of the impression some
ship diesels make on me.
And the sound was different from all the competition, they
were all _way_ behind in any aspect (W124 300D was built
starting in 1985, except maybe Audi, but the MB cars were
way better in any respect - then).
Everytime I drive a W210 E270 CDI (station, auto, 170 PS,
OM 612) I'm underwhelmed by the noise, inside it is
acceptable, outside it is loud and the sound is _cheap_.
The engine is the same as all the competition makes',
no advantage compared to them in power, sound or longevity
Of course the latter engine (OM 612) is better as it has
identical fuel consumption to W124 300D in city driving
and the car is much faster, too:
212 km/h = 132 mph, 0-100 km/h = 0-62.1 mph = 9.5 s,
sedan = 222 km/h = 138 mph (some influence on the Vmax
of course comes from the better drag coefficient of the
What I definitely do not like regarding longevity and
durability is the added electronics in the CDI engines,
also not the VTG, the turbo with V ariable T urbine G eometry,
but of course both are key components for the excellent
fuel efficiency (besides the fact it is no pre-chamber
engines, but direct injection ones).
I have taken several chances to talk to Taxi company
owners and operators, and most of them can tell true
horror stories, esp. regarding the CDIs and the W211.
The majority of these stories have to do with electronics -
and engine electronics has a big share in that.
And even if you are under factory warranty, every failure
costs money - and taxis only earn money when they are
on the road, not at the dealership.
So it's no wonder the MB market share in the German
taxi business has come down from ca 70 per cent to
ca 50 per cent (the latter depends on the source) and
if you look around you find a lot of VWs (Passat, Sharan,
Touran and some T4 and T5 vans).
Some German language reading here
The search string for google is
MB taxi marktanteil
And also with other things there are more problems with
the W210 than with the W124, many of them related to
the heavily added electronics, but also the known rust
problems due to cheap fabrication are nothing I like
(e.g. door frames rusting - DC fixes that for free,
but you can't use the car for three or so days and
most customers do have to pay for a loaner car. And
YES, I know very well of the W124 typical problems,
from the windshield-wipers over the ignition lock to
to the rear axle).
So again, that's my very personal opinion only and
I know the majority thinks different, they want
(note: _want_, NOT _need_) more power.
And of course for not-so-good drivers a faster car
is better as it's easier to compensate for their
multiple inabilities than with a slower car:
With the latter you have to look a long way ahead
of the MB star to keep it running as acceleration
is so slow - I have learned my lessons more than 20
years ago with 55 PS and 60 PS 200D auto sedans.
Juergen - 72 PS W123 240D, sedan, auto, mechanical
steel sunroof, power steering, central locking,
center armrest front, stereo cassette radio, right-
hand outside rear-view mirror, metallic paint,
And as an exception to my usual habit to talk in
the usenet about the 240D only:
Also a 130 PS VW Passat 3BG Variant Diesel TDI
with lots of gimmicks like Navi, Xenon, heated seats,
auto climate control, tiptronic auto trans, power
glass sunroof, ABS, ESP, ASR, CD-Changer, multi-
function display, tempomat, front and side-airbags,
remote central locking, auto dimmable rear-view
mirror, factory alloy wheels, chromed roof rack
rails, sports seats etc. blah blah blah...
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