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  #1421  
Old July 27th, 2014, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgreenspan View Post
For the forum record and everybody reading this is purely opinion. Lots of companies import vehicles without issue. Doug is very experienced an has had lots of success and can tell you fairly accurately what the CBP is letting happen and what they aren't. There are other companies that do the same thing, too.
True. But I'll say that in response to your opinion that my opinion is a matter of opinion, I would say that this entire thread is 100% composed of opinions about the justification of the CBP interpretation of their opinion, as well as DOT and EPA's opinion. So that said, we can all just wait until Will makes his opinion known to CBP and we get their opinion back on what will become of these Land Rover's that have become victim to mixed opinions.

Who knows, maybe this will end up working it's way up to the Supreme Court so we can get a final opinion!

Till then, we can agree that there are many reliable and knowledgeable importers (just my opinion). I don't know them all, but Doug's shit is always G2G!
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  #1422  
Old July 27th, 2014, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Willh View Post
TerriAnn,

This is something that I've had to explain to the government. I've had to shift my focus to an entirely different point of view to understand the government's case. They honestly have been operating under the impression that things like waxoyling and galvanizing frames are things that "unscrupulous" people do to "hide" the origins of these vehicles. When I explained that these were common practices meant to preserve the vehicles, I flipped their whole understanding/paradigm of these practices on their heads. Same goes for the reasons doors are replaced (rotting doors) and roofs are replaced (cosmetics of smooth vs. ribbed roofs). I personally do not hold galvanizing to be a "modification" of the frame. It doesn't require altering or replacement of the original, it's simply a coating or varnish, if you will.

I'm very glad to have a dialogue established with the government and I hope things continue moving in a positive direction.
Will's meeting with the US attorney was an important one for the reasons he states. They were under the false impression that the basic/common repairs and other modifications done to these vehicles were being done for "unscrupulous" reasons. A landy chop-shop? Lol..really? That's huge. Their 'take' or mind set in regards to the Rover community and why we want these rusty tractors to begin with was an important discovery. That in itself allows for defense. For him to have been able to create an open dialogue and one in which he feels to have been positive, is a victory and a step in the right direction.

I am hopeful as well that this positive, forward momentum continues.

Will is so perfect to be the one defending the Defenders. A knowledgeable, kind-hearted Rover enthusiast... Willful Will - a triple threat


Quote:
Originally Posted by ipgregory View Post
Since I am the guy that contacted the EPA and asked the questions I will just say this. Frank posted the response I received to some very clear questions that people seem confused about with respect to engine swaps. His answers where very clear as to how the EPA currently interprets THEIR rules. I have posted these responses before in the what's legal thread and other forums and we went round and debated them at the time. As I see it unless Will gets them to change the way they interpret the rules what Frank posted above us the way it is. We can debate and argue about it as much as we want but those are the rules direct from the people who are responsible for them. Like them or hate them it doesn't matter that's what they are. If you have a 300tdi or TD5 in any truck here in the US you should be looking over your shoulder. Period.

With respect to chassis and rhd to lhd conversions google vin tampering. I am on my phone so no link but the rule basically say you cannot change out, modify or tamper with any component that carries a vehicle id. If you do it's vin tampering. That would cover the frame and brake booster bracket on import trucks. I am not going to argue about what people do or have done or what their chances are of getting caught. That's up to you but the rule is simple. Mess with or replace an id bearing part at the fed level and you are guilty of vin tampering. Yes many states let you do it supposedly but fed trumps state. It's all about you tolerance fir risk.

I hope Will does manage to get some of these interpretations and enforcements balanced and defined because then we can stop debating this mess and know clearly what is and isn't legal. If you want to do something that breaks the rules after that then at least you will be doing so with a clear understanding of what you are doing.

Ymmv


Edit: Vin Tampering Code:


Title 18, United States


Code (U.S.C.), Section 511


This covers VIN Tampering and it says in part:


Sec. 511. Altering or removing motor vehicle identification numbers
(a) A person who -
(1) knowingly removes, obliterates, tampers with, or alters an identification number for a motor vehicle or motor vehicle part.


Change the Frame or remove the Brake Booster Bracket as part of a Drive Side Swap and you are tampering with/removing the VIN as far as the Feds are concerned.
I feel the same. If the rules are open to interpretation, to me that means that any Govt employee (or inexperienced importer, buyer) on any given day who is responsible for inspecting these vehicles before being allowed entrance can make a mistake. IMO when it comes to law and and individuals lives; life and death scenario - then open interpretation and philosophical debate is needed. But when it comes to this, black and white makes more sense to me. My ideal outcome is that the owners who (acting in good faith) purchased these vehicles, which were then allowed entry be given clemency and all current and future penalties/charges against them be waived. My argument for this would be because the regulations were poorly written and too open for interpretation - this can be proven by the simple fact that the vehicles are here. They have been licensed, titled, insured, inspected and have changed in ownership numerous times. They have been driven legally for years. The most important, argument of course would be that if they were not going to allow this waiver and clemency, then the innocent buyers of these vehicles would suffer emotional and financial losses that were not their fault and beyond their control. And in which case, at the very least I would expect full monetary restitution for the victims of this across the board local and national Govt blunder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray_G View Post
Regulating international commerce is what the govt does, always has. Don't have to like that, and fear not it doesn't appear to be getting in the way of not passing a budget, frivolous lawsuits by Congress, rambling a about possible impeachment, and the like.

Of course we are talking an executive branch entity which means it's all Obama's fault.

In reality it's our fault-one cannot rub the govt's nose in sidestepping their rules for years without consequence. Skyline guys know this, Mini as well. There is a reason government boils down to the legitimate control of violence-if that doesn't work for you, you can try to change it I suppose.

Within the system you can try to change the laws but you are fighting big automakers & big $$$.

R-
Ray

I agree. That is why this situation and others like it are so upsetting to me. Once bad laws are in effect, they can take decades to correct. I don't like it but that has become the way Govt and some businesses have chosen to get what they want. Their way to make bank comes from taking advantage of a flawed system. D-bags with Big $$ will put their wolves/flunkies to work enabling (self-serving) bad laws to be passed and then work to make them near impossible to correct. Diligence, education and strength in numbers is the way to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Douglas View Post
they already had them from the original seizure.


------ Follow up post added July 27th, 2014 09:46 AM ------



David is a nice guy and is quoting the boiler plate. He's not even an EPA employee. He's a contractor. Epa has no enforcement staff to chase down the millions of engine swaps that aren't legal in this country ea year, they happen in virtually every brand and model of vehicle from Porsche's to hyundai's,they have far larger fish to fry (think factory smoke stacks etc). They rely on state emmissions testing to hold folks in compliance. If you ask, they have a contract person who will answer your email, David. There is no enforcement of epa's rules beyond importation. Mongo is playing devils advocate.

I think Will would prefer there was no conversation here about what was under the hoods of the returned trucks since a lot of peoples fates are more important than a few people here's morbid curiosity.
Agreed. It is a moot point if he is having the type of discussions implied. Move forward.
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  #1423  
Old July 27th, 2014, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Overlander View Post
True. But I'll say that in response to your opinion that my opinion is a matter of opinion, I would say that this entire thread is 100% composed of opinions about the justification of the CBP interpretation of their opinion, as well as DOT and EPA's opinion. So that said, we can all just wait until Will makes his opinion known to CBP and we get their opinion back on what will become of these Land Rover's that have become victim to mixed opinions.

Who knows, maybe this will end up working it's way up to the Supreme Court so we can get a final opinion!

Till then, we can agree that there are many reliable and knowledgeable importers (just my opinion). I don't know them all, but Doug's shit is always G2G!
You know what they say about opinions. Haha.

The original one I quoted made it seem more like an absolute which is not the case. This thread has tons of traffic. Doug probably has the most experience with dealing with them as he illustrated above.
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  #1424  
Old July 27th, 2014, 03:22 PM
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...This thread has tons of traffic...
This being the case, moderators, please post if donations for hosting/bandwidth are in order.

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  #1425  
Old July 27th, 2014, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ipgregory View Post
Change the Frame or remove the Brake Booster Bracket as part of a Drive Side Swap and you are tampering with/removing the VIN as far as the Feds are concerned.
Ian,
The issue/hang up wasn't one of not knowing or understanding the statute you quote. Instead it was that the same agency has a published opinion letter, specific to land rovers, posted in this thread for those previously unaware, that says you can completely re-body the entire truck and in their opinion the truck retains its original identity. How do you remove the entire body of ANY make of vehicle without moving a vin tag ? The contradictions are the issue. As we all know enforcement has gone far beyond the written law, with officers stating push button doors on pre 1988 trucks ,or smooth roofs, puma hoods, etc all being grounds for seizure. This is not our law, its is a direct contradiction to our law, depending on your perspective, our government is breaking the law. Not only are the chief counsels written interpretation in contradiction, enforcement far exceeds the letter of the law.

This is the issue.

Not sure what all the confusion about changing a chassis once a truck is here is about. Obviously it is commonplace and every single parts importer offers replacement chassis. How could they import them and offer them for sale if this was not legal practice ?

As Will said in this thread quite some time ago, chassis replacement is a state level issue. Consult your state with the question before proceeding.

Toyota Corporate is replacing chassis in their dealerships. It truly is a non issue and I'm in awe that some here are expending so much energy on the subject.
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  #1426  
Old July 27th, 2014, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Douglas View Post
Ian,
The issue/hang up wasn't one of not knowing or understanding the statute you quote. Instead it was that the same agency has a published opinion letter, specific to land rovers, posted in this thread for those previously unaware, that says you can completely re-body the entire truck and in their opinion the truck retains its original identity. How do you remove the entire body of ANY make of vehicle without moving a vin tag ? As we all know enforcement has gone far beyond the written law, with officers stating push button doors on pre 1988 truck ,or smooth roofs, puma hoods, etc all being grounds for seizure. Not only are the chief counsels written interpretation in contradiction, enforcement far exceeds the letter of the law.

This is the issue.

Not sure what all the confusion about changing a chassis once a truck is here is about. Obviously it is commonplace and every single parts importer offers replacement chassis.

As Will said in this thread quite some time ago, chassis replacement is a state level issue. Consult your state with the question before proceeding.

Toyota Corporate is replacing chassis in their dealerships.

Hi Doug,


No argument from me about the enforcement issue and I really hope that Will's work will in some way helps us with that. If we can all get on the same page then hopefully we wont have many more innocent people getting burned.


It's not about what the rules say as much as what people 'think they say', or in some cases 'want them to say' and how they are enforced as you mentioned.


The Code says what is does and whilst I agree with you on the body swap letter I don't see that it holds much water because its not definitive. They can simply come back and state they mean the body to include any parts not containing an ID #. But yes, it is confusing.


In other parts of the code and in an 'interpretation' document I read it talks about a manufacturers ability to do thing we the public cannot because they are responsible for affixing the VIN in the first place. I don't know how Toyota did it. They could have manufactured new frames with matching VIN #s and obtained a release from .gov to do the swap or something. Either way it does not allow us to do the same thing.


Ian
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  #1427  
Old July 27th, 2014, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by the rover shop View Post
I'm not quite sure why the "manufacturing a new vehicle " bit isn't clear.. The vehicle is a gas engine v8 nas truck....if you change the engine to a diesel it is no longer that model of vehicle.. You are changing it to a different model. (Or in legalese for the sake of clarity/confusion.. Manufacturing.(.you don't have to be a big factory to manufacture)..As far as I know they NEVER made a diesel NAS truck... Bottom line is this...if the vin deciphers that the truck was built with X then unless it has x in it then it is no longer that model it was built as and must be something else..CBP just want to make sure that you are importing what you are saying your importing...
Most people on here own a house here... Your legal address is the block of land it sits on..that never changes..it ise vin..and is on public record that said address/vin is --insert description here--.the foundation is the frame... It may have started out as a single story 2 bedroom house that you want to convert to a 8 bedroom mansion.. If you change the foundation/frame it is no longer what is on your tax records..You can bet your bottom dollar it is going to be governed by someone and controlled what can and can't be done to that foundation and once changed after completion..taxed higher and public records updated that it is now-- insert new description here--If you change the vin you change your address and it s a new house...and then the Feds can't find where you live ..
I said nothing about a diesel, but regardless I don't believe it to be correct that if you simply change out a motor that you are "manufacturing" a vehicle aaa you stated above. For example - using my 1971 Series once again - I swap the 2.25L for a 3.5L V8. I just "manufactured" a vehicle? That's not true in the eyes of the Feds. *Maybe* I get my title updated from the state *if* it lists the number of cylinders - that's it. Same goes if I drop in a 2.5 NA, 200tdi, etc...though in those examples I'll have to chance the fuel type listed on the title.

This example is for a truck already here in the states FYI.
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  #1428  
Old July 27th, 2014, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by nathanwind View Post
I said nothing about a diesel, but regardless I don't believe it to be correct that if you simply change out a motor that you are "manufacturing" a vehicle aaa you stated above. For example - using my 1971 Series once again - I swap the 2.25L for a 3.5L V8. I just "manufactured" a vehicle? That's not true in the eyes of the Feds. *Maybe* I get my title updated from the state *if* it lists the number of cylinders - that's it. Same goes if I drop in a 2.5 NA, 200tdi, etc...though in those examples I'll have to chance the fuel type listed on the title.

This example is for a truck already here in the states FYI.


It does not say you are manufacturing a new 'vehicle', it says 'configuration'. If you replace the engine with a different one then it says you are manufacturing a new configuration for that vehicle and the rules then apply to the new configuration, not the original.
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  #1429  
Old July 27th, 2014, 04:25 PM
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If you look at it from a neutral point it makes perfect sense why you can configure a new vehicle.. Your 1971 series wasn't designed for the power of a 3.5, the brakes etc are designed to stop the vehicle purely based on the weight and speeds it could achieve with the engine it was released with.. Let's take it to an extreme.. You put a twin diesel v8 that came out in the later range rovers.. Even though it is an EPA approved engine released in land rovers from the factory in another country.. You are still strapping a rocket in Fred flintstones car... His feet can't stop it quick enough..lol..
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  #1430  
Old July 27th, 2014, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by nathanwind View Post
But if anyone can point me to the law that states a Defender (or any import for that matter) cannot have its chassis changed once it enters the states as an import under the 25-year rule I'll gladly eat my words.

------ Follow up post added July 27th, 2014 12:27 AM ------



Ok let me hit this head on - please point me to the documentation that states one cannot change the chassis on a vehicle imported under the 25-year rule (such as the RHD 1971 Series in my example).


I posted an excerpt from the code but also if you refer to the letter Doug mentions that posted or linked to earlier in the thread it clearly states you cannot put a new frame under an old body as well.


The letter is confusing in its other statement regarding new body on old frame for the reasons Doug and I talked about but its pretty clear and in agreement with the code on the new frame/old body part. I also don't see how this would only apply to imports either. It appears to apply to all vehicles.


Again, the code seems to have provisions for manufacturers that we don't have access to so the Toyota swaps are not pertinent.
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  #1431  
Old July 27th, 2014, 04:59 PM
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I think you guys are totally misunderstanding each other:

1. Nathanwind is talking about replacing a chassis AFTER import.
2. Other people are talking about replacing a chassis BEFORE import.

Two totally different things. Please correct me if I am wrong...
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  #1432  
Old July 27th, 2014, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
I think you guys are totally misunderstanding each other:

1. Nathanwind is talking about replacing a chassis AFTER import.
2. Other people are talking about replacing a chassis BEFORE import.

Two totally different things. Please correct me if I am wrong...

Doesn't seem to make any difference. As I said above it appears to apply to all vehicles, its not just an import rule.
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  #1433  
Old July 27th, 2014, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
I think you guys are totally misunderstanding each other:

1. Nathanwind is talking about replacing a chassis AFTER import.
2. Other people are talking about replacing a chassis BEFORE import.

Two totally different things. Please correct me if I am wrong...
Thank you - yes I was specifically speaking about "after" (ie once a vehicle is here). Seems some have confused it as stated above.
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  #1434  
Old July 27th, 2014, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by nathanwind View Post
Thank you - yes I was specifically speaking about "after" (ie once a vehicle is here). Seems some have confused it as stated above.


I don't see anything I posted referring to imports specifically? The letter may, but the code doesn't.


Title 18, United States


Code (U.S.C.), Section 511


This covers VIN Tampering and it says in part:


Sec. 511. Altering or removing motor vehicle identification numbers
(a) A person who -
(1) knowingly removes, obliterates, tampers with, or alters an identification number for a motor vehicle or motor vehicle part.
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  #1435  
Old July 27th, 2014, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ipgregory View Post
Doesn't seem to make any difference. As I said above it appears to apply to all vehicles, its not just an import rule.
That letter definitely is geared towards imports ONLY - it's the entire premise of the context of the letter if you go back and re-read it.
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  #1436  
Old July 27th, 2014, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ipgregory View Post
Doesn't seem to make any difference. As I said above it appears to apply to all vehicles, its not just an import rule.
Ian,

You posted law:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ipgregory View Post
Sec. 511. Altering or removing motor vehicle identification numbers
(a) A person who -
(1) knowingly removes, obliterates, tampers with, or alters an identification number for a motor vehicle or motor vehicle part.
Then you posted an interpretation (yours):

Quote:
Originally Posted by ipgregory View Post
Change the Frame or remove the Brake Booster Bracket as part of a Drive Side Swap and you are tampering with/removing the VIN as far as the Feds are concerned.
Assuming you and I are both reading Sec. 511, I don't see anything in there that would justify your conclusion. I don't think we need a step-by-step proof, but your conclusion does not seem remotely justified by the law as quoted - especially in light of a huge body of evidence to the contrary.

Basically, you're saying that replacing the ladder frame chassis of any vehicle is VIN tampering. This is simply not the case and is not stated in any law. There doesn't seem to be any evidence, even anecdotal, that states that this is the case. We want to take what you are saying seriously but there is a gap in your reasoning that only you can fill, so please help us out to better understand your conclusion
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  #1437  
Old July 27th, 2014, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by nathanwind View Post
That letter definitely is geared towards imports ONLY - it's the entire premise of the context of the letter if you go back and re-read it.
Agreed but I am not using the letter as definitive. For your 71 the code covers it. Unless you want to leave the part containing the id attached to the vehicle and only replace the rest?

------ Follow up post added July 27th, 2014 02:11 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
Ian, You posted law: Then you posted an interpretation (yours): Assuming you and I are both reading Sec. 511, I don't see anything in there that would justify your conclusion. I don't think we need a step-by-step proof, but your conclusion does not seem remotely justified by the law as quoted - especially in light of a huge body of evidence to the contrary.
How so? The frame contains an id #. If you remove/replace the frame you remove the id # which it clearly states you cannot do.

How do you interpret it differently?
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  #1438  
Old July 27th, 2014, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ipgregory View Post
I don't see anything I posted referring to imports specifically? The letter may, but the code doesn't.


Title 18, United States


Code (U.S.C.), Section 511


This covers VIN Tampering and it says in part:


Sec. 511. Altering or removing motor vehicle identification numbers
(a) A person who -
(1) knowingly removes, obliterates, tampers with, or alters an identification number for a motor vehicle or motor vehicle part.
I was saying "some"...not you specifically .

I understand the statute you posted - but believe that has more to do with nefarious and malicious intent. I assure you I will not be charged with vin tampering when I replace my Series chassis.

Further, situations involving repairs don't fall into the category as described above. Scenarios such as the Toyota situation where they had to replace the chassis in a warranty claim. Extending this example, what if my Rover is involved in an collision in the driverside and the brake booster is damaged? All of a sudden I can't replace that? The vehicle is then totaled? Or unable to be repaired because you'll be "tampering"? No.
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  #1439  
Old July 27th, 2014, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipgregory View Post
How so? The frame contains an id #. If you remove/replace the frame you remove the id # which it clearly states you cannot do.

How do you interpret it differently?
I do not interpret the law. Read H.A.M.B., Jalopy Journal, etc. The State Police of every state in the US is responsible for the enforcement of vehicle registrations. For a fee they will restamp chassis VINs after making sure that the VIN that you are attempting to stamp on a vehicle is for the vehicle you own and replacing the chassis of (via state issued vehicle title). I don't understand what you are saying as the law is unambiguous.

People have been replacing vehicle frames for a hundred years, this is not ground breaking case law.
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Old July 27th, 2014, 05:22 PM
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Rugbier
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Gustavo
110 Tdi - 110 N/A - D3 HSE - RRS SC
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Peoples Republic of Marylandistan
Posts: 5,884
Registry
One word

CITROEN


Every bloody 2cv, 3cv, Ami8, Mehari that is in this country have been reconstructed as their frame bend in couple of years, their motor blow faster than a $ 5.00 hooker ( Ask Shane, he used to use them *LOL* )
And the rules do not apply to them

The Greed of few in the name of capitalism has caused this situation, nothing else, the envy on JLRNA seeing people collect $ 150,000 , the pissing between importer/restorers in US soil, and the likes

I couldn't care less of the expert interpretation of the law, and if safety is the concern, well, we should not be able to see Bucket T, A models with mustang rausch engine on them

Now, back to the cheap Whisky and Beagle Porn *LOL*
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