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  #1  
Old March 23rd, 2014, 11:59 AM
zwak
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A problem of German proportions...

I have a problem that is quite involved but I’m confident it can be solved here on this site… Here is my dilemma. I live in Dusseldorf, Germany. Dusseldorf, like many other German cities, is a designated “environmental zone”. Basically, you are required to have an emissions-friendly vehicle (designated by a green sticker) in order to drive in this zone. It is explained like this:

Gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles without catalytic converters will be unable to get any kind of a sticker and will not be permitted in the environmental zones. All gasoline-powered cars with catalytic converters will get a green sticker. So will the best of the diesel-powered vehicles. Diesels, however, present a greater pollution hazard, and many will only get yellow or red stickers. http://www.howtogermany.com/pages/en...ntalzones.html

Here where it gets challenging… The Germans designate a vintage/classic vehicle as one older than 30 years. At that point, the vehicle is exempt from the green sticker rule and can travel freely in any zone. My goal is to buy a Defender 90 or 110 to drive while I'm stationed here that will be greater than 25 years old when I move back to the States in 2016. To meet the German 30 yr rule now, I would have to buy a 1984. To meet the US 25 yr rule in 2016 I could buy up to a 1991. Anything ‘85-‘91 won’t meet the emissions standards of the “environmental zone”. It’s quite a quandary.

Can anyone come up with a solution to this problem? Thanks ahead of time.
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  #2  
Old March 23rd, 2014, 05:08 PM
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William Skidmore
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Buy a series 88 to drive around while stationed there and before you ship back stateside buy a defender that meets the 25 year rule.
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  #3  
Old March 23rd, 2014, 05:40 PM
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Just get a pre 1991 car and put a green sticker on it....
And you realize you can get a 90 and a 110 in 1984 model year right?
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  #4  
Old March 23rd, 2014, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zwak View Post
I have a problem that is quite involved but I’m confident it can be solved here on this site… Here is my dilemma. I live in Dusseldorf, Germany. Dusseldorf, like many other German cities, is a designated “environmental zone”. Basically, you are required to have an emissions-friendly vehicle (designated by a green sticker) in order to drive in this zone. It is explained like this:

Gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles without catalytic converters will be unable to get any kind of a sticker and will not be permitted in the environmental zones. All gasoline-powered cars with catalytic converters will get a green sticker. So will the best of the diesel-powered vehicles. Diesels, however, present a greater pollution hazard, and many will only get yellow or red stickers. http://www.howtogermany.com/pages/en...ntalzones.html

Here where it gets challenging… The Germans designate a vintage/classic vehicle as one older than 30 years. At that point, the vehicle is exempt from the green sticker rule and can travel freely in any zone. My goal is to buy a Defender 90 or 110 to drive while I'm stationed here that will be greater than 25 years old when I move back to the States in 2016. To meet the German 30 yr rule now, I would have to buy a 1984. To meet the US 25 yr rule in 2016 I could buy up to a 1991. Anything ‘85-‘91 won’t meet the emissions standards of the “environmental zone”. It’s quite a quandary.

Can anyone come up with a solution to this problem? Thanks ahead of time.
Plenty of solutions.

Buy 2 trucks ... one now and one in a couple of years to export.

Use public transport when you go into Dusseldorf.
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  #5  
Old March 23rd, 2014, 07:42 PM
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Buy a solid 83 or 84 110 and Bob's your uncle. Where's the quandry in that ?
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  #6  
Old March 23rd, 2014, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Douglas View Post
Buy a solid 83 or 84 110
X2...
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  #7  
Old March 24th, 2014, 01:40 AM
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Best to come and visit me, Dusseldorf is only 2 hrs away from me. I have a selection of 1983 to 1992 110's , also some 200 Tdi's...
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  #8  
Old March 24th, 2014, 12:37 PM
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I also live in a green "umwelt" emissions zone, one of the bigger ones near Stuttgart. I recommend that you buy the legally importable truck that you want and not worry about the emissions zone...but have a backup plan in case you run in to issues and need to toss it in storage for a few years before import. More details below. I also fully endorse the 2 truck plan!

Before buying a puma, I drove and street parked my smoky 1988 diesel 110 turbo for over a year without problems...it is too young to get proper German "oldtimer" H license plates (H is last character in plate number). Worse case, I was prepared to pay the 40 euro fine if any authorities decided to care. I even had an extra green sticker but didn't put it on since I figured Germany would consider this some form of federal fraud. There are a number of exemptions to the emission zones including oldtimers (30 years as you mentioned), commercial vehicles, farm vehicles, etc. At first glance, I think most Germans assumed the beastly truck was in one these (ironic) categories...after all, their underlying assumption is what law abiding German would otherwise drive a non-qualifying vehicle in a low emissions zone. Additionally, I'm sure you know that polizei aren't out looking for you and a green sticker. Getting "pulled over" or looking under every overpass isn't a way of life here, that's what high revenue speed cameras are for. And I can personally attest that the speed cameras (or people reviewing the pictures) don't care about your emissions sticker...only your Euros. Who knew you could speed in a 19J. One of the few things I ever worried about was parking in metered spots and the metermaid being knowledgeable or caring enough to look for a sticker (doubtful). As it turned out I tested that one too and only got my 5 Euro parking fine in my local town.

Also, registering a 30 year old vehicle as an "oldtimer" with Historic "H" plates is not necessarily a given. If you are military (my assumption), USAREUR vehicle registration still requires you to get a one-time TÜV inspection/certification before they will request H plates. Part of the TÜV inspection is supposed to verify originality, but I don't know the extent that they would analyze it. You might be able to get around this if you can buy an existing H-plated truck, but to be honest I just don't see that many H plated 90/110's around. Most of that is due to the 30 year rule, but additionally most logical Germans yanked out the original engines years ago and put in a TDI and I'm wondering if that modification might not qualify it for oldtimer status (my guess, no facts).

Lastly, the German emissions regulations have cutoff dates for vehicle eligibility. Green sticker is for Euro 4 vehicles that must be 2006 or newer. Diesels before 1997 (Gas before 1993) are considered Euro 1 and don't even qualify for a red or yellow sticker (and that won't help you much these days). I have heard of Germans that are able to get into the next highest category by installing more stringent TÜV certified catalytic converters. Unfortunately, I don't think there is any technical, legal, or cost effective way to get all the way from Euro 1 to Euro 4 unless you retrofit a complete Euro 4 engine and have it TÜV inspected...which you would need to completely undo when it was time to import to the US.

Good luck regardless of what you decide. PM me anytime.
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  #9  
Old March 25th, 2014, 03:09 AM
zwak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSBriggs View Post
Is there an actual emissions test, or is it a visual inspection to see if it has cats?

-Jeff
Actual test. Like most things German…strict and unbending

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
Plenty of solutions.

Buy 2 trucks ... one now and one in a couple of years to export.

Use public transport when you go into Dusseldorf.
Living in the "green zone" would make driving in it a necessity. Public parking outside the zone is too far to be useful. My wife would have my ass! Public transport won't fix that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Douglas View Post
Buy a solid 83 or 84 110 and Bob's your uncle. Where's the quandry in that ?
I was hoping to have a larger pool to choose from. It appears from the last post that a modification to a later model won't solve the problem either.

Thanks to all the posters for the help.
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  #10  
Old March 25th, 2014, 09:15 AM
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I'm guessing the question was really rhetorical ... There isn't a solution only a set of restrictions that define what's possible. You could get a great truck of the right vintage and collect parts to update it when you return to the US!
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  #11  
Old March 25th, 2014, 11:47 AM
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Patrick:
Sent you a PM on the subject.
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  #12  
Old March 27th, 2014, 07:47 AM
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If you are interested, I have a few 110 station wagons, 83 an 84, located in The Netherlands. They will be shipped to US soon though (April). Willing to sell there.


Two of them are in extremely good condition, completely original and both less then 100K mls.
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